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Wimbledon crowd can expect more nailbiting moments from Johanna Konta

The British No1 bows to the court craft of Venus Williams but her exit cannot dampen the enthusiasm of her fans on Centre Court or the Hill

Throughout the 73 minutes that constituted Johanna Konta’s biggest match of her late-flowering career her mother, Gabrielle, paced the grounds of the All-England Club, biting at her nails and taking furtive glances at the big screen. A fulsome Centre Court crowd, along with thousands more scrunched tight on the Hill to watch her semi-final against Venus Williams, knew precisely the anguish she was going through.

They willed the British No1’s piledrivers home, gasping and rasping every time a winner pinged off her racket. But, as Williams’ immense class and experience began fully to emerge, hope gave way to the painful realisation that this would not be Konta’s year. The 6-4, 6-2 score was harsh but no one doubted that the better player had won – and won well.

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