Konjuh lost to Pliskova 2-6, 2-6
The dream tournament for Croatian youngster Ana Konjuh ended on September 7. 2016, as she lost to Czech Karolina Pliskova in straight sets in just 57 minutes of play.
Neither player had ever been to a major quarterfinal before, and both Pliskova and Konjuh upset higher-ranked and better-known players; Venus Williams and Aggie Radwanska, respectively – to get to this stage.
But it was the more experienced 24-year-old and tenth-seeded Czech, Pliskova, who handled the occasion better. She used her smooth and powerful baseline ground strokes to out-hit the more erratic Konjuh, ranked No. 92 in the world.
Six years older and four inches taller, Pliskova was simply stronger than Konjuh.
Konjuh began the match looking flat and nervous, and she played with little confidence. In the first set, the always-stoic Pliskova hit her younger opponent off the court in just 28 minutes.
The Croat struggled to get into the match. Pliskova quickly went up a set and a break, and nerves never entered the picture, even as she closed in on her first semifinal at a major. The tall Czech broke again, as Konjuh double-faulted to hand her a 5-2 lead in the final set.
Pliskova won the final game at love, serenely striking an ace out wide to advance.
Konjuh, who was the No. 1 junior girl in 2013, when she won both the Australian Open and US Open girls’ singles titles, has been as high as No. 55 in the world. Her quarterfinal finish here was easily her best performance at a major; she had only previously been to the third round, in her first Wimbledon in 2014, her first year on tour.