Johanna Konta sent a message to the women’s tour on Thursday night with a magnificent display of relentless aggression to beat Eugenie Bouchard in the Sydney semifinals.
The Brit overwhelmed Bouchard 6-2 6-2 in just 68 minutes at Ken Rosewall Arena to set up a final against No.2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
The final will be a repeat of their clash in the Beijing final last October, a match Radwanska won in straight sets. Radwanska won their only other meeting in Cincinnati in August.
“I’m really actually looking forward to having another match against Aga,” Konta said.
“She’s been at the top of the game for so many years. Honestly, I can’t remember when she wasn’t in the top 10 or five. And that says so much about her as a competitor more than anything else.”
“Everyone knows she’s the Ninja. I’m just looking forward to the challenge, and I’m looking forward to trying again. Hopefully, I will be able to play some good tennis.”
Konta, seeded sixth in Sydney, is through to her third WTA final – all which have come at Premier level – and has now won seven of her eight matches in season 2017.
She was at her commanding best from the baseline against Bouchard, frequently getting the first strike in and forcing the Canadian onto the back foot.
From 2-2 in the first set, Konta won seven games in a row to build what appeared an insurmountable 6-2 3-0 lead.
And she never faltered, maintaining faith in her game plan and continuing to hit out against her in-form opponent.
Bouchard gave fans something to cheer about when she held in the seventh game to remain alive at 2-5, forcing Konta to serve for the match.
Yet the Brit was composed as she stepped up to the line, quickly hitting 40-0 and converting her second match point when Bouchard sent her return long.
“Sometimes you just get whooped,” Bouchard lamented.
“I think she played really well tonight. She definitely deserved to win. Her balls were really deep. She was putting so much pressure on me. I didn’t feel like I had a chance to kind of do what I like to do on the court.
“I just didn’t feel I was moving as well as I have the past couple of matches, so a couple of little things here and there make a big difference obviously against great players.”