Olympic24: Konta through but Murray and Watson out in Miami

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals of the Miami Open, while Mahama Cho admits he is as confident as ever after Olympic qualification tournament in Istanbul. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours:

Johanna Konta kept British hopes alive at the Miami Open, as she became the first female Brit ever to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

The 24-year-old world number 23 set up a clash with Victoria Azarenka by beating Romania's Monica Niculescu in straight sets, 6-2 6-2.

“It felt like we had a lot of close games and I had to work hard for every single point,” Konta told BBC Sport.

“[To be the first Brit to reach the quarter-finals] is a wonderful thing to have on paper and for other people to recognise, but I am very much in the moment in this tournament and it's not over for me.”

It was not all good news for Team GB’s stars however as both Andy Murray and Heather Watson crashed out of the singles on Monday.

Murray lost 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-3 to Grigor Dimitrov in the third round, while Watson - who was struggling with a slight thigh injury - went down 6-3 6-4 to Simona Halep.

And Murray admitted he was mystified by his defeat after making 55 unforced errors against Dimitrov, and going 3-1 up in the deciding set only to lose his next three service games.

“Grigor played some good stuff, too, but to lose your serve three times in a row from that position is obviously disappointing,” he said.

“It's disappointing, that's for sure. I had time to prepare on the court and get used to the conditions, but I wasn't able to get on a good run.”

Mahama Cho has certainly endured his fair share of up and downs during this Olympic cycle, but the British taekwondo star insists confidence is high after helping Team GB secure the maximum number of quota places for Rio 2016.

With Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden and Lutalo Muhammad having already qualified quota places for Team GB at this summer’s Olympic Games, Cho needed to reach the final of the European Olympic qualification tournament in Istanbul to make it a clean sweep by adding a spot in the +80kg category.

And the 26-year-old did exactly that, beating London 2012 gold medallist Carlo Molfetta of Italy in the semi-final before going on to take the title overall.

GB Taekwondo won’t select their fighters until nearer the Olympics, but having missed out on the London Games Cho admits his is desperate to get the nod this time around.

“I’m so buzzed for securing a quota place for Rio. I’m really, really motivated and looking forward to this phase of the Olympics, especially after missing out on London 2012,” said Cho.

“I’m just excited for the challenges coming ahead and I’m sure we’ll be in the best shape for the upcoming tournaments.

“The Olympics will be the best of the best but I’ve been in that position before and it doesn’t bother me.

“I’m not worried about anyone and I’m not scared of anyone whatsoever. I’ve got 110 per cent confidence in myself.” Read more here.

Welsh judoka Natalie Powell believes she is edging closer to securing her place on the plane for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

Powell enjoyed a successful weekend, beating world number 12 Madeleine Malonga of France to claim her second bronze of the year at the Tbilisi Grand Prix.

She is now ninth in the world rankings, one spot below automatic selection and four places above London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons – who she beat to claim gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

And with the European Championships taking place in Kazan, Russia from April 21-24, Powell believes gold there would help her stake her claim for Great Britain's -78kg place in Rio.

“I think that would pretty much secure my spot if I won the Europeans,” Powell told BBC Radio Wales. “I don't think there's any catching me after that point.

“I'm pleased with the medal because it means I've got a few more points towards qualification, but it wasn't the best day of fighting for me.

“I was quite tired to be honest, but I was really pleased to be able to pull out a result when I was physically probably not in the best shape that I could have been.”

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