Zhang’s fairytale run ends

Zhang Shuai’s Australian Open adventure has ended in the quarter-finals after she was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by Johanna Konta.

Zhang arrived at Melbourne Park having failed to win a match in the main draw of a grand slam in 14 attempts, but enjoyed a dream run that included claiming the scalps of second seed Simona Halep and 15th seed Madison Keys.

However, on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday the Chinese qualifier didn’t quite have enough to down her British opponent.

Konta was aggressive from the outset, always looking to go on the offensive and move Zhang around, and it paid dividends. A break to go 2-1 up was followed by a second break as Konta went to 5-2 up.

Zhang would not give the set up without a fight and denied Konta three set points before breaking back in a marathon eighth game. Zhang pushed hard in the 10th game too, but the world number 47 held firm to serve out the set 6-4.

Both players struggled to win their own service games early in the second set, but having gone 4-1 up Konta held serve before breaking Zhang for a fourth time in the set to wrap up the match in an hour and 23 minutes.

Konta will face seventh seed Angelique Kerber in Thursday’s semi-final.

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