First Brit woman since 1978 to reach the last four gets a volley of Twitter praise for helping John Griffiths take special snap
JO KONTA melted hearts at Wimbledon and on social media – as she celebrated an historic victory by taking a selife with a Chelsea pensioner.
The sixth seed became the first British woman to reach the last four of the singles at SW19 since Virginia Wade in 1978.
And she enjoyed a photo finish on court as well as off it – sneaking past Simona Halep in three sets before stopping to celebrate with OAP fan John Griffiths.
Konta first signed autographs and evaded the efforts of one colourfully-dressed fan to take a selfie with her.
Then as millions of TV viewers watched on she accepted a welcoming arm from 72-year-old John, helped him twist his phone into position for the best photo and posed for a snap.
Delighted John was patted on the back by a colleague – and responded by punching the air with a jig that sent Twitter into a volley of action.
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Konta served superbly as she beat Romanian Halep 6-7 7-6 6-4 in 158 minutes.
And her selfie-service after that was just as good.
John, from Swansea, revealed later he had also grabbed a selfie with Novak Djokovic.
But he said: “Jo’s the one I’m most pleased with. She had an amazing win and is a great player.
“She’s a brilliant lady. She’s a fighter. I’m sure she was using the crowd. I guess I am the Selfie Pensioner now.”
Jo said of her win: “It’s a little bit surreal. I’m definitely digesting things a bit still.
“I felt very clear on what I was trying to achieve out there.
“I stuck to my true self and tried to create as much opportunities as possible. I had to be the one out there to create my own chances.
“The crowd were incredible. I can’t complain with the amount of support and good feelings they were sending my way.”
It comes months after her Romanian opponent, 25, refused to condemn local fans who had booed and threatened Jo during a bad-tempered clash.
The Brit was called a “f***ing b****” by Romanian captain Ilie Nastase and verbally abused by supporters at the Federation Cup in April.
However, Halep said at the time they had been “very fair”.
Up in the Royal Box yesterday was Wade, who won Wimbledon in 1977.
And fellow Brit Jo Durie, 55, who reached the quarter-finals in 1984, told The Sun: “It’s colossal for women’s tennis in Britain. I thought Johanna held her nerve very well in the end.
“It was a good match and I could see she was being pretty aggressive. It was a great effort from her.”
Pop star Ellie Goulding, 30, was also in the Royal Box, alongside Strictly judge Darcey Bussell, 48, and Olympic gold heptathlete Denise Lewis, 44.
Jo now faces American Venus Williams on Thursday for a place in the final.
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