Johanna Konta

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Johanna Konta
Konta US16 (48) (29236562133).jpg
Konta at the 2016 US Open
Country (sports)  Great Britain
Residence Eastbourne, England, UK
Born (1991-05-17) 17 May 1991 (age 25)
Sydney, Australia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 2008
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach(es)
  • Esteban Carril (2014–2016)
  • José-Manuel García (2015–2016)
  • Wim Fissette (2016–present)[1]
  • Andrew Fitzpatrick (2017-present)
Prize money $ 4,628,819 [2]
Singles
Career record 297–174 (63.06%)
Career titles 3 WTA, 11 ITF
Highest ranking No. 7 (3 April 2017)
Current ranking No. 7 (17 April 2017)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (2016)
French Open 1R (2015, 2016)
Wimbledon 2R (2016)
US Open 4R (2015, 2016)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games QF (2016)
Doubles
Career record 63–62
Career titles 0 WTA, 4 ITF
Highest ranking No. 88 (1 August 2016)
Current ranking No. 139 (17 April 2017)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (2016)
French Open 1R (2016)
Wimbledon 3R (2016)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games 2R (2016)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon 2R (2013, 2014, 2015)
Other mixed doubles tournaments
Olympic Games 1R (2016)
Team competitions
Fed Cup 8–8
Last updated on: 17 April 2017.

Johanna "Jo" Konta (/ˈkɒntə/; born 17 May 1991) is a British tennis player who represented Australia until 2012. She has won three singles titles on the WTA tour, as well as 11 singles and four doubles titles on the ITF circuit in her career. Konta reached her best singles ranking of World number seven on 3 April 2017. She is the current British number one. Her doubles ranking peaked at No. 88 on 1 August 2016.

Konta achieved a steep rise in her ranking from the spring of 2015 to late 2016, climbing from 150 to inside the World's top ten,[3] thereby becoming the first Briton to be ranked amongst the WTA's top ten since Jo Durie over 30 years previously.[4] This period included her best Grand Slam result to date as she reached the semifinal of the 2016 Australian Open,[5] a quarterfinal appearance at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics[6] and her maiden WTA title.[7]

Born to Hungarian parents in Sydney, Australia, Konta moved to the UK when she was 14. She switched her sporting allegiance from Australia to Great Britain after she became a British citizen in May 2012.[8]

Early and personal life[edit]

Johanna Konta was born in Sydney, Australia on 17 May 1991, the daughter of Hungarian parents Gábor, a hotel manager, and Gabriella, a dentist.[9] Her parents had emigrated separately from Hungary and met in Australia.[9] One of Konta's grandfathers, Tamás Kertész (1929—1989), played football for Ferencvárosi TC, won two international caps for Hungary in the 1950s and later coached the Ghana national team.[10] Konta has an elder sister, Eva Emese, from her father's previous marriage.[10]

Konta's childhood was spent in Collaroy on Sydney's Northern Beaches,[9] where she was introduced to tennis at an after-school programme at the age of eight.[2] When she was 14, she began attending the Sanchez Casal academy in Barcelona, spending 15 months there in an attempt to further her development. While she was in Spain her parents moved to England,[11] where the family settled in Eastbourne, East Sussex.[12]

Konta became a British citizen in May 2012 and concurrently switched her sporting allegiance from Australia to Britain.[8] When her nationality became the subject of debate at the 2016 Australian Open, Konta said it was "a compliment for you guys to be interested in my Australian roots", but that she was "very pleased to be representing Great Britain ... where I grew up essentially".[13]

Konta's sister, Eva, is married to professional Australian rules footballer Shane Mumford, who plays for Greater Western Sydney in the Australian Football League.[14][15]

Career[edit]

2008: $10,000 title[edit]

Konta won her first ITF singles title at a $10,000 tournament in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina shortly before her 17th birthday in May 2008.

2009: $25,000 title[edit]

A significant breakthrough was achieved at the $25,000 tournament at Sutton, UK in February 2009. Entering as a wild card, Konta defeated the top seed, Corinna Dentoni, who was ranked 153 at the time and two other top 250 players to reach the final where she lost in three sets to Katie O'Brien. Konta backed this performance up by winning a $25,000 tournament in June at the W.O.W. Challenger in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada over Heidi El Tabakh.[16]

Konta then went through a difficult time in the second half of the year, losing her first match in eight of the nine tournaments entered, six of these losses going to three sets. However, with the help of the earlier results, she rose from 668 to 360 in the world rankings during the year.

2010: $50,000 title[edit]

Konta regained some form at the start of 2010, though her progress was largely unspectacular until May when she reached the quarterfinal of the $50,000 tournament at Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. The following week she took the title on the green clay courts of Raleigh, North Carolina, another $50,000 tournament, where, in a close encounter, she defeated Lindsay Lee-Waters in the final on the day before her (Konta's) 19th birthday.[17]

Highlights later in the year included another $50,000 quarterfinal appearance, two semifinal appearances in $25,000 tournaments and her second ITF singles title of the year at a $10,000 tournament in Westende, Belgium, where, in the final, she defeated Nicky Van Dyck for the loss of just one game.[18] Konta also played her first WTA Tour event when she entered the qualifying for Copenhagen, winning a match before exiting the event.[19]

2011: Drop in ranking[edit]

In April 2011, Konta lost in 3 sets in the qualifying draw of Charleston to Sania Mirza. She also fell in qualifying at Fes and Strasbourg. Konta reached the main draw of a WTA tour event for her first time when she qualified at Copenhagen in June, falling in the first-round to fourth seed Lucie Šafářová, who was ranked 38 at the time, in a match that lasted over two and half hours.[20]

Konta won her fifth ITF singles title at the Aegon GB Pro-Series event in Woking in July. In the final against Laura Robson, Konta was a set up when her opponent retired.[21]

After a patchy couple of months interrupted by injury, Konta got back to her winning ways at the $10,000 event in Madrid, beating Lucy Brown in the final.[22] However, her year ended during a second meeting with Robson in the first-round at Barnstaple in October, with Konta having to retire this time. Konta slipped from 248 to 305 in the world rankings over the course of the season, and showed an improvement of only 55 places over the previous two years.[2]

2012: First match wins in WTA and Grand Slam events[edit]

Konta during her first-round match at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships

Konta had some decent results in the first half of 2012, including a $25,000 title at Rancho Mirage in February. She then qualified for the WTA Tour event in Copenhagen for the second successive year, recording her first match win in a full tour main draw over seventh seed Ksenia Pervak (then ranked 38) in the opening round, before exiting to Petra Martić at the next stage. By the end of April, Konta had risen nearly 100 places to No. 211 in the world rankings.

Having been granted British citizenship in May, Konta received a main draw wildcard to Wimbledon; she faced 28th seed Christina McHale in the opening round, being beaten 10–8 in the deciding set by as she came close to causing an upset on her debut appearance.[23]

A $50,000 final appearance at Lexington in July helped to maintain momentum, and the following month Konta qualified for the US Open, bridging a gap of almost 150 places in the rankings to upset world No. 59 Tímea Babos in the first-round,[24] saving ten set points in the second set as she recorded her first career win at Grand Slam level. In the second-round, Konta let a 5–2 final set lead slip against Olga Govortsova and lost to the Belarusian.[25] This run propelled her into the world's top 150 for the first time in her career, slipping a few places to end the year with a ranking of 153.[26]

2013: $100,000 title[edit]

At the 2013 Australian Open, Konta failed to build on her good form from the US Open, losing in the second qualifying round to Zhou Yimiao of China in three sets.

In February, Konta made her Fed Cup debut for Great Britain in Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 Pool B. Konta and Laura Robson won their doubles match as Britain opened with a whitewash against Bosnia-Herzegovina.[27] Konta was then rested as Britain beat Portgual, before teaming up again with Robson in a losing doubles effort against Hungary, though Britain ultimately won this tie 2-1.[28] Konta was left out once more as Britain beat Bulgaria to advanced to the World Group II play-offs.[29]

In April, Konta played in the Fed Cup World Group II play-off against Argentina. Konta was initially nominated to represent Britain in two of the singles rubbers.[30] However after losing her opening match against Paula Ormaechea, Great Britain captain Judy Murray decided that Elena Baltacha would replace Konta in the Sunday reverse singles.[31]

Konta's next tournament was the Portugal Open in Oeiras, where she beat top 100 player Yulia Putintseva in the first qualifying round but was than forced to retire in the second qualifying round against Stéphanie Foretz Gacon. Konta also reached the second qualifying round at the 2013 French Open, losing to Galina Voskoboeva in three sets.

In June, Konta entered the 2013 Aegon Trophy, a $75,000 ITF tour tournament, reaching the semifinals after victories over An-Sophie Mestach, fifth seed Misaki Doi and Alison Riske. In the semifinals, Konta lost a tough battle against third seed Karolína Plíšková, going down in three sets. Following the event, she was handed a wildcard for the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. In the first-round Konta defeated qualifier Kurumi Nara to set up a meeting with French player Kristina Mladenovic, the 12th seed at the tournament, who beat her in straight sets.

Konta also received a wildcard for the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, where she was drawn against 16th seed Jelena Janković in the first-round. She lost in straight sets against the Serbian former world number one.[32]

Following Wimbledon, Konta started her build-up to the US Open by winning an ITF $25,000 event in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where she defeated fellow British player Samantha Murray in the final. She then kept up her form by winning the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open, a $100,000 ITF event, where she defeated Sharon Fichman in the final after eliminating top seed (and world No. 41) Su-Wei Hsieh along the way. This propelled Konta to a then career high ranking of 115.

At the Guangzhou International Open, Konta won through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw. In the first-round, she beat fellow qualifier Richèl Hogenkamp in straight sets,[33] before upsetting fourth seed and world No. 38 Peng Shuai, equaling her best career win in terms of ranking to this point. However, her run was stopped in the quarterfinals, losing to wildcard Zhang Shuai in straight sets.[34] A week later, at the Ningbo International Open, Konta made the quarterfinals again, but was forced to retire in her match against Johanna Larsson, suffering from an abdominal strain.[35]

She officially became the British number two behind Laura Robson after Heather Watson failed to defend her title in Osaka and ended the year ranked 112.[36]

2014: Top 100[edit]

Konta began 2014 at the Shenzhen Open, losing to 15-year-old wildcard Xu Shilin in the first qualifying round.[37] Together with her Austrian partner Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, she reached the semifinals in doubles, losing to the Ukrainian sisters Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok in straight sets.[38] The following week, seeded third in Australian Open qualifying, Konta won her first match against Grace Min,[39] but lost for the second year in succession in the second qualifying round, in straight sets to Ukrainian Olga Savchuk.[40]

After retiring in her first-round match at a $25,000 ITF event in Sunderland and losing in qualifying for the 2014 Open GDF Suez in Paris, Konta helped Great Britain to a 2–1 win over Latvia in their first round robin match at the Fed Cup as she battled to victory over Diāna Marcinkēviča.[41] However, she later lost singles rubbers to Romania's world number ten Simona Halep[42] and Hungary's Tímea Babos as Britain were eliminated at the pool stage.[43]

In May, Konta reached the final qualifying round of Roland Garros for the first time, defeating Sachia Vickery,[44] and Paula Kania,[45] before losing to Yuliya Beygelzimer.[46]

Konta then moved into the grass-court season by playing at the 2014 Aegon Classic as a wild card. She beat 14th seed Kurumi Nara in straight sets,[47] before losing to Aleksandra Wozniak in the second-round.[48]

Konta was awarded another wild card to compete at the 2014 Aegon International in Eastbourne, where she defeated 2013 Wimbledon junior champion Belinda Bencic in straight sets.[49] This set up a meeting with world No. 42 Camila Giorgi, who had stunned fourth seed Victoria Azarenka in the first-round.[49] Despite holding a match point at 5–4 up in the final set, Konta lost to the Italian.[50] Nevertheless, her first-round success was enough to propel Konta into the top 100 as she reached a career high of 89 in July, before falling back as she failed to replenish the ranking points won from her successes in the second half of the previous year.

Konta gained direct entry into the Wimbledon main draw, losing a tight three-set match to Peng Shuai in the first-round.[51]

Konta's next tournament was the Istanbul Cup, where she won through qualifying as the top seed. She was again drawn with Kurumi Nara in the first-round, losing to the sixth-seeded Japanese in straight sets.[52] She then moved across to North America to play the Connecticut Open; she also encountered a recent opponent here as she faced top seed Peng Shuai in the second qualifying round and was eliminated.

Konta's ranking gave her a second consecutive direct entry to a Grand Slam main draw as she played the US Open, but she suffered a 'wasted opportunity' as she was beaten in the opening round by Shahar Pe'er.[53]

Following the US Open, Konta suffered an opening round defeat at Quebec City, and in the opening round of qualifying in Luxembourg. She also played on the ITF Circuit, reaching the semifinals at Albuquerque and the second-round at Nantes. She ended the year ranked 150.[54]

2015: U.S. Open run and top 50[edit]

Konta began the year by entering the qualifying of the WTA Tour events at Shenzhen and Sydney, but did not manage to progress to either of the main draws. She was also eliminated in qualifying at the Australian Open. Konta returned to Europe to join up with the British team for the Fed Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group I.[55] She went 2–2 in singles play as Britain topped their round robin pool,[56] before losing a play-off to Belarus.[57] In the play off, Konta suffered a heavy defeat against Olga Govortsova, a match that team captain Judy Murray would be reported as feeling ‘was a catalyst for change’ for Konta’s success in the later part of the season.[58]

Konta's sole WTA event between the Australian and French Opens was the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where she again entered the qualifying competition, winning her opening match against tenth seed Misaki Doi, but being beaten in the final round of qualifying by Kateryna Kozlova. During this period she focused instead on the ITF Circuit, winning her first-round match in each tournament she entered,[59] reaching three quarterfinals, one semifinal and the final of the event in Jackson, MS (lost to Anhelina Kalinina).[60]

Konta made her debut in the main draw at the French Open against Denisa Allertová[61] after she won her way through qualifying without losing a set. Konta narrowly lost to Allertová in a match that included the longest tie-break in French Open history.[62] Konta then returned to the UK, where she was granted wild cards to the WTA Tour grass court events in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne. At Nottingham, Konta recorded her first top 100 win of 2015[63] in the opening round as she beat World No. 59 and seventh seed for the event Magdaléna Rybáriková. Konta would also beat Monica Puig before exiting in the quarterfinals to eventual tournament runner-up Monica Niculescu.[64][65] Konta then played the WTA Premier event in Birmingham. She beat Jarmila Gajdošová in the first-round before running into sixth seed Karolína Plíšková; Konta took the opening set off Plíšková, then ranked 13 in the world, but would eventually lose in three sets in a match played over two days.[66] Konta's conqueror ended the tournament as the runner-up for the second week in a row.[67]

Konta's next event was in her hometown of Eastbourne.[68] In the opening round, she upset Zarina Diyas,[69] before claiming a 'major scalp' by beating World number eight and recent Grand Slam semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova, who was the fourth seed for the event, in the second-round.[70] Konta would continue her run by beating 14th seed Garbiñe Muguruza,[71] before losing to Belinda Bencic in a three-set quarterfinal.[72] Bencic became the third consecutive player to beat Konta en route to the final of an event, as the rising Swiss star took the Eastbourne title.[73]

The draw for Wimbledon paired Konta, who entered via a wild card, with former champion Maria Sharapova.[74] The match was scheduled for Centre Court,[75] with Sharapova winning efficiently.[76] After Wimbledon, Konta returned to action at the ITF event in Granby, QC; she entered as the top seed, and took the title without dropping a set.[77] Konta's next event saw her reclaim the Vancouver singles crown, beating Kirsten Flipkens in the final, and also secure the doubles title (w/ Maria Sanchez).[78]

The Vancouver singles victory moved Konta back into the world top 100 players ahead of the US Open,[79] which she entered at the qualifying stage as the third seed. She progressed to the main draw with wins against Réka-Luca Jani,[80] Naomi Osaka[81] and Tamira Paszek.[82] Prior to this, Konta had won just one Grand Slam main draw match in her career, but now added victories over Louisa Chirico,[83] ninth seed Garbiñe Muguruza, and eighteenth seed Andrea Petkovic, extending her winning streak to 16 matches and setting up a last-16 meeting with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová.[84] The match against Muguruza lasted 3 hours and 23 minutes, the longest women's match at the US Open since the tie-break was introduced in 1970.[85] It was also Konta's second top 10 win, and increased her head-to-head record against the Spaniard to 2–0. Kvitová ended Konta's run as the Czech fifth seed won in two tight sets.[86] The points accrued during the North American swing lifted Konta to a new career high singles ranking of World No. 58.[87]

Konta's first event after the US Open was the Wuhan Open, a WTA Premier 5 event, the second highest level on the WTA Tour. Having won through qualifying,[88] Konta was drawn against Andrea Petkovic in the opening round, a rematch of their New York meeting. She won once again[89] to advance to a second-round encounter with Grand Slam champion and former World number one Victoria Azarenka, who retired after losing the first set.[90] In the third-round, Konta faced top seed and World number two Simona Halep, who came into the match leading the WTA in hardcourt victories.[91] Halep established a 5–1 lead in the deciding set, only for Konta to take six consecutive games as she came back to win.[92] She exited in the quarterfinals after a three-set battle with Venus Williams,[93] who would go on to win the tournament.[94] Konta's run in Wuhan saw her break into the top 50 for the first time, as her ranking reached another new career high at World No. 49. She also took over from Heather Watson as the British number one.[95]

Konta's final event of the season was the Linz Open. She entered in qualifying, where she was the top seed, but lost to Klára Koukalová in the final round, her first defeat against a lower ranked player since May.[96] However, Konta received an entry to the main draw despite the loss, as she was awarded a Lucky loser spot after Anna Karolína Schmiedlová withdrew due to illness.[97] She eased past Annika Beck in the opening round, but went out at the next stage to Madison Brengle.[98] Her year-end ranking was 47.[99] Konta's successful year was recognized by being nominated at the annual WTA Awards. She was a finalist in the Most Improved Player category,[100] but missed out on the award to French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky.[101]

2016: First Grand Slam semifinal, Top 10 debut, First WTA title[edit]

Konta had a slow start to 2016 as she was eliminated in the first-round at Shenzhen, where she was the fifth seed (her first seeding at WTA Tour level) and also at Hobart.

Konta's next event saw her make her main draw debut at the Australian Open. In the opening round, she faced world number ten Venus Williams, who was seeded eighth. The match was played on Rod Laver Arena, with Konta winning in straight sets.[102] Konta backed up her win by beating Zheng Saisai[103] and Denisa Allertová,[104] setting up a fourth-round clash with twenty-first seed Ekaterina Makarova. Konta recovered from a set behind to defeat the Russian and reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.[105] Konta defeated qualifier Zhang Shuai in the last-eight[106] before her run ultimately came to an end in the semifinals, where she lost to eventual champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets.[5] Nonetheless, she became the first British female player to reach a Grand Slam singles semifinal in 32 years.[107] Konta also teamed up with countrywoman Heather Watson to play the doubles. They beat a seeded pair in the opening round before exiting at the next stage. Konta was at new career highs in the post-tournament rankings, moving up to World No. 28 for singles[108] and breaking into the top 100 for the first time in doubles, at World No. 95. She also passed the $1 million mark for career earnings.[109]

Konta took a brief break due to illness following the Australian Open,[110] returning to action for the spring North American hard court swing. She was the fourth seed for the Mexican Open in Acapulco, where she exited in the second-round, and also for the Monterrey Open, where she reached the quarterfinals and lost to Kirsten Flipkens. Konta then moved to the United States to participate in the Premier Mandatory events, the highest level on the WTA Tour, at Indian Wells and Miami. She was seeded 25th at Indian Wells, which gave her a bye into the second-round where she defeated American Madison Brengle. Konta then beat Denisa Allertová, before exiting in the fourth-round to 18th seed Karolína Plíšková.[111] Konta moved on to Miami, where she was seeded 24th, which again saw her benefit from a bye to the second-round. Wins over Danka Kovinić and Elena Vesnina took Konta to the last-16, where she beat 32nd seed Monica Niculescu.[112] She lost in the quarterfinals to Victoria Azarenka,[113] who was en route to completing the Indian Wells/Miami double.[114] Konta's form in North America saw her rise to a new career-high world ranking of 21.[115]

The WTA Tour then made its spring switch to clay. Konta had a disappointing start on the surface as she lost her opening match in Stuttgart, before retiring with illness during the 1st round in Madrid.[116] Her form improved in Rome as she beat Johanna Larsson and then upset world number seven Roberta Vinci,[117] before exiting in the third-round to Misaki Doi. Konta moved on to Paris for the French Open. She was 20th seed, the first time she had been seeded at a Grand Slam, but was eliminated in the opening round by Julia Görges.[118]

Konta entered the grass court season as World No. 18 as her ranking climbed to a new high despite her opening round loss at Roland Garros.[119] After early losses at the Nottingham Open and the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, Konta reached the semifinal in Eastbourne, the site of her breakout performance in 2015. Her run included a victory over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová in the third-round,[120] but was ended in the last-four by Karolína Plíšková.[121]

Konta was the first home player to be seeded in the Ladies singles at Wimbledon in over 30 years as she took the No. 16 spot.[122] She recorded her first ever win at the venue by beating Monica Puig in a rain-affected opening round match,[123] but went out at the next stage to former finalist Eugenie Bouchard.[124] Following Wimbledon, Konta changed surface to hard courts to play the Stanford Classic. In the semifinals she beat Dominika Cibulková,[125] who had led the WTA in match wins at the time.[126] Konta then defeated two-time former champion Venus Williams in the final to claim her first WTA title.[7] Konta continued her good form in the following week as she reached the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open,[127] the Women's portion of which was held in Montreal. She was within one victory of breaking into the top ten, but missed out on the landmark after suffering a surprise defeat to Kristína Kučová.[128]

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics was Konta's next event, as she represented Britain in singles and women's doubles and mixed doubles. She was seeded tenth in singles, easing past Stephanie Vogt (Liechtenstein) and Caroline Garcia (France) in the first- and second-rounds respectively. Konta reached the quarterfinals after she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) in the third-round,[129] but was knocked out in the last-eight by Angelique Kerber (Germany).[6] Konta partnered Heather Watson in doubles, reaching the second-round before exiting to Chinese Taipei (Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan).[130] She teamed up with Jamie Murray in the mixed, losing in the opening round to the eventual gold medallists (the United States pairing of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock).[131]

After Rio, the WTA Tour resumed with the Cincinnati Open. Konta reached the third-round before going out to Agnieszka Radwańska.[132] She moved on to the US Open recording victories in the opening two rounds over Bethanie Mattek-Sands[133] and Tsvetana Pironkova. The win over Pironkova came despite a health scare towards the end of the second set, Konta collapsing on court and requiring medical attention before she could continue.[134] Konta took just 52 minutes to beat 24th seed Belinda Bencic in the third-round,[135] matching her run to the last-16 from the previous year. She was eliminated at that stage by Anastasija Sevastova.[136]

The final weeks of the season saw Konta with the opportunity of breaking into the top ten and qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first time.[137] Her first event on the Far Eastern leg of the WTA Tour was the Wuhan Open. A repeat of her Australian Open quarterfinal victory over Zhang Shuai[138] took Konta to the third-round. There she defeated Carla Suárez Navarro[139] to record her fifth top ten win of 2016 and set up a last-eight meeting with Petra Kvitová,[140] where she was knocked out of the competition.[141] The following week saw Konta in Beijing for the China Open. She was drawn to face Anastasija Sevastova in the opening round in a re-match of their US Open meeting of a few weeks prior, Konta gaining revenge for the defeat in New York.[142] Victory over Tímea Babos at the next stage set up a third-round clash with Karolína Plíšková,[143] which Konta won,[144] reversing a previous 0-5 head-to-head record against the Czech.[145] Konta progressed to the semifinal by beating Chinese number one Zhang Shuai for the second successive week.[146] She defeated Madison Keys in the last-four to reach her first WTA Premier Mandatory final. Victory over Keys saw Konta enter the top ten for the first time in her career, making her the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1984 to be ranked amongst the elite of the WTA. It also lifted her into a qualifying place for the WTA Finals.[4] Konta was beaten in the final by Agnieszka Radwańska.[147]

Konta attempted to consolidate her Tour Finals place in Hong Kong, but an abdominal strain forced her to pull out of her second-round match.[148] She slipped outside the qualifying spots when Dominika Cibulková won the tournament in Linz, which secured the last place for the Slovak.[149] However the subsequent withdrawal of Serena Williams gave Konta another chance.[150] She had already travelled to Singapore to practice,[151] only to be pipped for the final place less than 24 hours before the start of the event when Svetlana Kuznetsova won the title in Moscow.[152] Konta remained at the venue as an alternate,[153] but was unused. Following her eventual absence from the WTA Finals' lineup, Konta entered the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, China. She was placed in the Azalea Group alongside Sam Stosur and Caroline Garcia. Konta opened with a win over Stosur that guaranteed she would finish the season ranked inside the WTA's top ten, the first Briton to achieve this since 1983.[154] She then beat Garcia to top the group and progress to a semifinal against Elina Svitolina,[155] which Svitolina won to end Konta's season.[156]

Konta led the 2016 WTA Tour in points won behind second serve, and sat third for top ten wins, Hardcourt match wins and tie-breaks won. She also featured in the top ten of a number of other statistical categories.[157] Konta was nominated as one of the WTA's Most Improved Players for the second successive year,[158] winning the award comfortably on this occasion with over 80% of the vote.[159] Her end-of-season ranking was number ten.[160]

After the conclusion of the season Konta announced that she was parting company with her coaching team of Esteban Carril and Jose-Manuel Garcia, despite her 'stellar year'.[161]

2017: Miami Open champion[edit]

Konta started working with Belgian coach Wim Fissette during pre-season training.[162] Their professional relationship began positively as Konta reached the semifinals of her first event of the new campaign in Shenzhen, before being beaten in the last-four by eventual champion, Kateřina Siniaková.[163] Her good form continued the following week in Sydney as she claimed her second WTA title, beating world number three Agnieszka Radwańska in the final. Konta did not lose a set in the entire tournament.[164]

Ahead of the Australian Open Konta was widely regarded as a contender for the title.[165][166][167][168] She recorded victories over Kirsten Flipkens,[169] Naomi Osaka,[170] former world number one Caroline Wozniacki,[171] where she hit 31 winners to six and did not face a single break point on serve,[172] and 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova to reach the quarterfinals without dropping a set.[173] Konta was then beaten in the last-eight by the eventual champion, Serena Williams.[174]

Her next action was in the Fed Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group I. Konta won her three singles matches in the round robin pool as Britain reached a promotion play-off against Croatia. In the play-off Konta suffered a surprise singles defeat against Ana Konjuh, but then teamed up with Heather Watson to beat Konjuh and Darija Jurak in the decisive doubles and send Britain forward to a World Group II play-off later in the year.[175]

Watson went from teammate to opponent as Konta won an all-British clash in the second-round at Indian Wells,[176] before exiting at the next stage against Caroline Garcia.[177] The WTA Tour then traversed the United States to Miami, where Konta progressed to a quarterfinal meeting with third seed Simona Halep. Halep was twice two points from victory, when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set and again in the subsequent tie-break, but both times Konta recovered and eventually won in three sets.[178] She then defeated Venus Williams in the semifinal to progress through to her second Premier Mandatory final.[179] There, she defeated Caroline Wozniacki to win the biggest title of her career to date, ensuring her re-entry into the WTA's top ten at a new career-high ranking of number seven.[180] With WTA Premier Mandatory events second only to Grand Slams in terms prestige, some commentators rated Konta's Miami triumph as the most notable title for a British women since Virginia Wade had won Wimbledon 40 years previously.[181]

Playing style and endorsements[edit]

Konta has an emphasis on offensive baseline play, but is equipped with an all-court game. Her serve is her biggest weapon, and is one of the best in the game. According to WTA match stats in 2016, she was fourth in ace counts, won 62% of her service points, 74.8% of service games and won most of the second serve points at 52.7%. Her forehand is hit with a semi-western grip and is hit with lots of power and topspin, while her backhand is very flat and aggressive. Both her forehand and backhand penetrate the court deeply. While her volleys are solid, they are probably the weakest part of her game. She is very adept at defending, and is very athletic and runs round the court well. Her movement and footwork are very good as well. Hard is her favourite surface and the majority of her success has come on hard courts.

Her clothing sponsor is Asics and her racquet sponsor is Babolat. She endorses the Babolat Pure Aero range of racquets. She is also the brand embassador of Remeo Gelato.

Coaching[edit]

Konta initially trained at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, before her parents decided to settle in Britain in 2005,[182] and at the Roddick Lavalle Academy in Texas.[183] In January 2011, she started training at the Weybridge Tennis Academy in England under the guidance of coach Justin Sherring.[184]

She trained at the National Tennis Academy in Roehampton with LTA-supplied coaches Louis Cayer and, from mid-2012, Julien Picot.[185][186] In December 2012, the Lawn Tennis Association announced that Konta was one of 21 players set to receive the LTA’s funding next season, which is supported through Team Aegon.[187]

At the start of 2014, she split from Picot for personal reasons.[188]

In August 2014, at the time when the LTA decided to close the National Tennis Centre as a base for elite players, Konta began working with Spanish coach Esteban Carril.[188]

At the end of 2014, Konta began receiving help from mental coach Juan Coto, a friend of Carril's based in London.[189][190]

A dramatic cut in her LTA funding for 2015 encouraged Konta to move her training base to Gijon in northern Spain, where Esteban Carril and Jose-Manuel Garcia oversaw at first a steady, and then spectacular, rise up the rankings. Supporters of the LTA's austerity drive argued this was a benefit of their tough love policy,[191][192] though Konta disagreed that that was the case.[193]

After mental coach Coto died suddenly in November 2016,[194] Konta maintained that she would continue to benefit from his influence: "He’s still very much a part of everything that I do, everything that I will continue to do in this sport and this career .. He has gifted me with an incredible amount of tools and habits".[195]

Konta split with Carril and Garcia in December 2016.[161]

Prior to the 2017 season, Konta recruited Belgian Wim Fissette to be her main coach.[1] She also appointed Andrew Fitzpatrick as her hitting partner, and as a deputy coach when Fissette is absent.[196]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit]

Singles[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won tournament; reached (F) final, (SF) semifinal, (QF) quarterfinal; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a (RR) round-robin stage; reached a (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; played in a (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; won a (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; or (NH) tournament not held.
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.
Tournament 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open A Q2 Q2 Q1 SF QF 0 / 2 9–2 82%
French Open A Q2 Q3 1R 1R 0 / 2 0–2 0%
Wimbledon 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 0 / 5 1–5 17%
US Open 2R Q1 1R 4R 4R 0 / 4 7–4 64%
Win–loss 1–2 0–1 0–2 3–3 9–4 4–1 0 / 13 17–13 57%

Doubles[edit]

Tournament 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 W–L Win %
Australian Open A A A A 2R A 1–1 50%
French Open A A A A 1R 0–1 0%
Wimbledon 1R 1R 1R 1R 3R 3–5 38%
US Open A A A A A 0–0
Win–loss 0–1 0–1 0–1 1–1 3–3 0–0 4–7 36%

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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Heather Watson
British Tennis number one
5 October 2015
Succeeded by
incumbent
Awards
Preceded by
Switzerland Timea Bacsinszky
WTA Most Improved Player
2016
Succeeded by
Incumbent