Johanna Konta chipped away at Venus Williams in the semifinals of the Miami Open on Thursday evening like a patient laborer. Konta took a little here, a little there. Williams dug in her heels and resisted, but Konta was unrelenting. She saw Williams brush aside break point after break point, escape from one perilous situation after another, but Konta still kept her composure.
Ultimately, her patience paid off. The reality is that these are similarly built women, all lean muscle and live arm. They both attack a serve as furiously as they hit one. Each of them likes to crack the forehand and turn the heat up in rallies.
At 6-foot-1, Williams is two inches taller, which gives her an advantage. But at age 25, Konta is 11 years younger than Williams. And that’s an even greater advantage.