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When Jo Durie reached the French Open semi-finals out of the blue

Jo Durie, the last British woman to reach the semis before Jo Konta, had only won one match in three years at Roland Garros

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog

The past is indeed a foreign country. Before Johanna Konta’s exploits at Roland Garros this week, the last British woman to reach a French Open semi-final was Jo Durie in 1983. Things looked very different in the spring of 1983. Manchester City had just been relegated, Brighton had almost beaten Manchester United in the FA Cup final, Aberdeen had just lifted a European trophy and a female Prime Minister was about to increase her majority in a general election.

Durie’s previous appearances at Roland Garros didn’t suggest a run to the semi-finals was likely. She had never gone further than the second round in her three previous visits to the French Open so was only hoping to win “a round or two” in 1983. The draw handed her a relatively sedate start. She began with a 6-4 6-3 win over Candy Reynolds and then lost just three games against Alycia Moulton in the second round.

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