By Toby Davis
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Johanna Konta will be feeling humble when she steps on Centre Court to face five-times Wimbledon singles champion Venus Williams in their semi-final on Thursday.
Konta, who has the hopes of the home nation on her shoulders after men’s champion Andy Murray went out in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, became the first British woman to reach the last four in almost 40 years when she beat Romanian Simona Halep.
Standing between sixth seed Konta and a shot at a first grand slam title, however, will be one of Wimbledon’s most decorated daughters who has won five singles and six doubles titles at the All England Club.
The achievements of the 37-year-old Venus and her younger sister Serena are a remarkable part of Wimbledon’s history, with the siblings having lifted the famous Rosewater Dish trophy in 12 of the last 17 tournaments, and Konta is full of admiration.
“I think what Venus and her sister have given our sport is absolutely tremendous. The way they’ve elevated women’s tennis is truly inspiring. So I feel very excited and very humbled to be sharing the court with her again,” she told reporters after her semi-final win over second seed Halep on Tuesday.
Waiting in the final will be either Spain’s 14th seed Garbine Muguruza or unseeded Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova, who meet in the other last-four clash.
Muguruza is looking to reach her second Wimbledon final, having been beaten by Serena Williams in 2015, while Rybarikova, the world number 87, is the lowest-ranked player for almost a decade to reach the women’s last four.
(Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris)