Australian Open: Johanna Konta praises family and coaches for remarkable rise

Australian Open: Johanna Konta praises family and coaches for remarkable rise

British number one Johanna Konta has credited her scintillating rise to the support she has received from her family and coaches.

CraigVickers
Craig Vickers

Britain’s Johanna Konta has attributed the support from her loved ones and coaches for her outstanding surge up the WTA rankings.

The 25-year-old narrowly missed out on the year-end WTA finals in Singapore last year and marched into the fourth round at the Australian Open with an emphatic straight sets victory over Caroline Wozniacki.

Her recent success’ becomes even more impressive after the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) in Britain slashed funding for emerging stars in 2015.

Hails family and coaches

“My family, my support system, also my coaches at the time did a tremendous job in pulling together around me and making sure that our focus remained on the work and not on external situations,” said Konta when quizzed about the topic of LTA funding.

The world number nine says tennis is not “a cheap sport” and that no player will get far without support from their respective tennis association.

Konta is yet to drop a set through three rounds in Melbourne and sent out a statement of intent with her 6-3, 6-1 triumph over the 19th seeded Wozniacki.

Konta continues to rise up the WTA rankings (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Asia Pac)
Konta continues to rise up the WTA rankings (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Asia Pac)

Raring for the next round

The British No.1 will face Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, who she dispatched 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 in her quest last year, in the last 16 on Monday.

The Russian overcame Dominika Cibulkova in three closely-fought sets and Konta has not forgotten their epic encounter from 2016.

“I remember that match last year because it was a high-level match from both of us,” said the 25-year-old.

She added that Makarova is playing “great” tennis down under but was quick to emphasize her excitement for another “battle.”

Serena Williams, who has never faced the Brit, is likely to await in the quarter-finals should she navigate her way past Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova.

Konta has been tipped by several to challenge the supremacy of Angelique Kerber and Williams.

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