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Britain's Konta rides big serve to reach first career final

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Johanna Konta beat Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to reach her first career final, also becoming the first British woman to reach the championship match at Stanford since Virginia Wade was runner-up in 1981.

The third-seeded Konta, in her debut in this tournament, rode her strong service game to the title match of the Bank of the West Classic on a scorching-hot day on Stanford's campus. She won 27 of 29 first-serve points - 93 percent - and 73 percent of her second-serve points.

She will face the winner of Saturday's night second semifinal featuring top-seeded Venus Williams against fellow American Alison Riske.

Konta stunned Williams with the straight-set victory in the first round at this year's Australian Open.

''I'm really happy to have come through that and to be into my first final,'' Konta said. ''I'm really happy it's here in California, where the weather is unbelievable.''