Konta on the edge as Bono proves Roland Garros inspiration

Paris (AFP) –


Johanna Konta became the first British woman in 36 years to reach the fourth round of the French Open on Friday and then revealed her regrets over best friend Bono being absent from her side in Paris.

The 26th seed defeated Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2, 6-1 to set-up a clash on Sunday with 23rd-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia for a quarter-final spot.

But it was the absence of Bono which was causing her distress even if she was referring to her beloved pet dog rather than the veteran frontman of Irish rockers U2!

"He needs a puppy passport, and we haven't gotten him a puppy passport yet," said the 28-year-old of her miniature dachshund.

"So he will need some vaccinations for that and those vaccinations need to set in, and so is quite a procedure.

"And I was under the impression you couldn't bring dogs here, but then I saw everyone bringing dogs, so now I'm, like, Why didn't we bring him?"

"So for next year, Bono will be making an appearance at Roland Garros, that's for sure."

There is little doubt that Konta is close to her pet dog.

She even says Bono instantly recognises her voice when she appears on TV.

"I got a video of him listening to my on-court interview, and I swear he recognises my voice because you can see his little ears go up.

"Honestly, it's so adorable. He's so cute. He has his little white bib."

Anne Hobbs and Jo Durie where the last British women to get to the last 16 in Paris in 1983 with Durie going on to reach the semi-finals.

Konta has Grand Slam pedigree of her own having made the semi-finals of majors on two occasions -- the 2016 Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017.

Against Vekic, who is two places above her in the world rankings, she stands 3-3 in career meetings.

Konta defeated Vekic at Wimbledon in 2017, thanks to a 10-8 final set of a second round encounter which was memorably delayed due to an invasion of flying ants.

However, they have never met on clay.

Vekic reached her second last-16 at a major by seeing off 15th seed Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1.

She had previously made the fourth round at Wimbledon last year.

Not that Konta has been paying too much attention to the action unfolding at Roland Garros.

"The apartment where I'm staying has no TV so that kind of takes care of that," she explained.