Johanna Konta reaches final - and breaks into world top 10

Johanna Konta is the first British woman to break into the top 10 of the world rankings in 32 years after beating Madison Keys to reach the final of the China Open.

Johanna Konta defeated Madison Keys to reach the China Open final. Picture: Andy Wong/AP

Konta, the 11th seed, overcame her American opponent 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4 in an encounter that lasted more than two and a half hours.

The 25-year-old’s victory in Beijing means she will climb into the top 10 of the next WTA rankings, becoming the first British woman to achieve the feat since Jo Durie in 1984.

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Durie, 56, was quick to offer her best wishes to Konta, tweeting: “Congrats to @JoKonta91 a fantastic year & thoroughly deserves the Top Ten ranking. More to come I’m sure.”

By reaching the China Open final Konta will also move into the top eight of the Road to Singapore - the race to reach the WTA Finals later this month.

Konta said in her on-court interview immediately after Saturday’s victory, broadcast on BT Sport: “I’m definitely enjoying my time here, it’s my first time playing Beijing and hope to play many more times. It’s a pleasure to play here.”

Asked what the secret was to beating eighth-seeded Keys - who made 47 unforced errors compared to 32 from the British number one - Konta said: “I don’t think there really is a secret. She’s such a high quality player, she has such weight of shots I’m pretty sure I was cleaning the back of the court there, she was keeping me back.

“I really just tried to run down as many balls as I could and really just take the chances that I got.”

Konta, who is looking for the second WTA title of her career, said of Sunday’s final: “It’s pretty special. I’m just enjoying being here, I’m just trying to prolong it as long as possible and I feel very very blessed to be coming back tomorrow to play in the final.”