The Rise of Konta

In the last 18 months, Australian born yet proudly British, Johanna Konta was ranked 150 WTA. This week Konta has made her way into the top 10 WTA; only the 4th British women ever to do so alongside Virginia Wade, Sue Barker and Jo Durie. We have seen many British players over the years plateau between 100-300 ATP and WTA yet not as many break into and maintain their position in the top 100. Let us look at what has been uniquely successful for Johanna Konta.

By Konta’s own admission, the work she has been doing with her coach, Esteban Carril and her sports psychologist, Juan Coto has really begun to pay dividends. Konta has worked particularly hard in living in the moment, reject any negative thinking and not worrying about the past or thinking too heavily about future happenings. Konta, explains how she is, ‘continuously looking to get better – not just as a tennis player but also as a person dealing with new experiences.’ This is something that all players on the court will experience. Every shot we play and receive is slightly different, every opponent will be different and we have to be able to live in the present and react positively to all of these situations.

In responding to how Konta compares to Murray, she exclaimed, ‘I work differently, I enjoy creating a space around me and not getting too high or too low.’ This continues to show that Konta is very keen to ensure she does not lose her personality and her own image to try and force success just because another method has shown to be successful on the court. It is crucial that we all maintain our own personal identity on the court.

In previous years, Konta would be known well for breaking down emotionally and providing an easy insight into her mental state, which as a result would prevent her from pulling through tight matches. Some of the big female players who have this part of their game down to a tee, including Marion Bartoli, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams, all who have had great success at the top of the game-winning Grand Slams. This is something that Coto and Konta have worked hard at and is now very much a trump card for her, and is most definitely a pivotal reason why Konta has now broken into the WTA Top 10.

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