Johanna Konta battled back from the brink to win a three-set thriller against Simona Halep and become Britain’s first women’s singles semi-finalist at Wimbledon since 1978.
It is 39 years since Virginia Wade reached the last four at the All England Club and Konta now stands just two wins away from matching Wade’s more notable feat of a year earlier, when she was crowned the Wimbledon champion.
Konta trailed by a set on Centre Court and was two points from defeat in the second but surged back to win 6-7 (2/7) 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.
The British number one will on Thursday face Venus Williams, who beat French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, for a place in Saturday’s championship match.
It could have been Halep, not Ostapenko, playing here as the queen of Roland Garros were it not for a meltdown in last month’s final but the 25-year-old could hardly be accused of throwing this one away.
Konta won it, through her brave baseline hitting and relentless never-say-die attitude which have now seen her emerge from three final sets in five matches, each one the victor.
Defeat ended Halep’s hope of taking the world number one ranking, which instead will transfer from Angelique Kerber to Karolina Pliskova next week.
“Right now it’s a little bit surreal” Konta said.