Unseeded Barbora Strycova will play seven-time champion Serena Williams for a place in the Wimbledon final after an impressive 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 victory over Britain’s 19th seed Johanna Konta on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old Czech – who has ousted four seeds on her run to the semi-finals – last had been mulling over retiring but may have a rethink after she came back from 4-1 down in the first set to dominate the match with some delightful strokeplay.
Strycova, the only unseeded player in the last four, has achieved her best Grand Slam performance with her previous best reaching the last eight, also at Wimbledon in 2014.
“It sounds crazy, it’s happening but I can’t really believe it,” said the bubbly and diminutive Strycova.
“I am extremely happy and my voice is even shaking still right now. I felt like I was playing well but she was striking the ball very quick and very hard.
“I got into the match and then I started to feel better and then I turned it around and the confidence was building.”
Strycova, who succeeded in beating Konta where her compatriot and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova failed to on Monday after being a set up, said this performance was her finest in what is her 16th singles campaign at the tournament.
“I think this was one of the best matches I played here,” said Strycova. “Especially as I haven’t been playing on Centre Court.”
Strycova, who served a six-month doping ban in 2013 due to a banned substance being in a supplement, said confronting 37-year-old Williams held no fears for her.
“It’s a great week to play Serena and it’s a match that I really look forward to playing,” said Strycova.
Konta’s hopes of a second successive Grand Slam semi-final appearance were largely dashed due to a massive 34 unforced errors.