Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Aggressive; to Reach the Semi-Finals, Jo Has Got to Be the Most

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Aggressive; to Reach the Semi-Finals, Jo Has Got to Be the Most

Article excerpt

Byline: Martina Navratilova

N any other surface, I would give Simona Halep the nod over Johanna Konta but not on grass.

OThe surface suits the more aggressive style that Jo adopts: she has got a big game and a big second serve plus it will be easier for her to attack Simona's second serve than Jo's.

But it's not just about game styles, is it? It's about pressure and I don't quite know who has got more pressure on them. On the one hand, you've got Simona having lost the French Open when she could have -- and should have -- won that match.

This would be a great chance for her to redeem herself but there's the argument she plays too defensively. And then on the other hand, Jo has the pressure of Great Britain on her. But she's really embraced that pressure so far -- I've been very impressed with the way she's handled it -- plus she's sharing some of that pressure with Andy Murray as he's still in there. Jo's created a bit of history, too, being the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1984 to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. One more win and she'll be the first since Virginia Wade in 1978 to make the semi-finals.

But Jo won't care about history. History's great but it can get to you and, anyway, what she has done is personal so she shouldn't think about it. It's not about British tennis but her career and she's not been to this stage before.

In some ways, it means the pressure's off but in other ways it's huge on her and Simona. It'll be interesting to see who handles it the best and both know they have a great opportunity.

Whoever is the more aggressive to my mind will win and that looks like being Jo. Her approach to the game on grass means it's easier for her to be the aggressor. There's just the matter of whether she beats herself or not on the big occasion.

I've heard talk of this being a grudge match with everything that went on in the Fed Cup tie earlier this year but I doubt very much that either of them will have given it any thought.

In fact, the only time they'll think about it is if they're asked about it in press conferences. Otherwise, genuinely it's irrelevant. …

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