2017 Season Review: Johanna Konta

The Brit reached new heights in 2017, cracking the top-five and reaching the semifinal of her home Slam. However, struggles at the end of the year hampered what could have been a dream season

2017 Season Review: Johanna Konta
Konta captured the biggest title of her career in Miami, a Premier Mandatory (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

British number one Johanna Konta was looking to improve upon a breakthrough 2016 season where he finished at year-end number 10. 2017 was just that for the former Australia native as she claimed the biggest title of her career in Miami and reached a career-high ranking of world number four.

Despite the highs of Konta's season, it all ended on a sour note as a foot injury and a string of losses from Cincinnati onward left her out of the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Win-Loss

A record of 36-16 meant Konta just won under 70 percent of her matches on the year. The 26-year-old went 2-1 in finals this year, with her only loss coming in her coming in Nottingham to Donna Vekic.

High Points

The start of the new tennis season brought Konta great joy, just like it did last year when she reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open. She kicked off her season by reaching the semifinal in Shenzhen, losing to Katerina Siniakova in three sets. She followed that up with a title in Sydney over Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Brit did not drop a set en route to taking home the title and that gave her momentum for another second week run at the Australian Open where she reached the quarterfinals. Her run ended at the hands of eventual champion Serena Williams but there was no shame in that as she downed Caroline Wozniacki and Ekaterina Makarova in her two previous matches.

Konta kicked off her season with a semifinal, a quarterfinal, and a title in Sydney (
Konta kicked off her season with a semifinal, a quarterfinal, and a title in Sydney (Matt King/Getty images)

The biggest moment of Konta's career came during the Miami Open, the second half of the Sunshine Double. She went three sets in her opener against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. On the way to the title, she defeated Simona Halep, Venus Williams, and Wozniacki in her final three matches to capture the Premier Mandatory title, the biggest of her career.

Headed back home to England provided much better results after a horrid clay season which saw her the Brit win two of six matches. She kicked off her grass season with a final in Nottingham, losing to Donna Vekic in three sets. She followed that up with a semifinal in Eastbourne where she withdrew from her match after an injury scare but did defeat the likes of Jelena Ostapenko and Angelique Kerber

She capped off her homecoming with a first-ever Wimbledon semifinal showing. Konta became the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1978 to make it that far at the All-England Club. Her magical run came to an end at the hands of Venus who took her out in straight sets. 

Some notable matches the Brit had in her semifinal run were in the second round against Vekic where she won a topsy-turvy match, taking it 10-8 in the decider. She also eliminated Caroline Garcia and Halep in the round of 16 and quarterfinals respectively by taking the final set 6-4.

Johanna Konta was overcome with emotion after reaching her first ever semifinal at her home Slam (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Johanna Konta was overcome with emotion after reaching her first ever semifinal at her home Slam (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Low Points

As mentioned earlier, the European clay season did not provide any amazing results for Konta at all. The Brit went a horrid 2-4, winning a match each in Stuttgart (Naomi Osaka) and Rome (Yulia Putintseva) respectively. The terrible clay season ended at the French Open where she was downed by Su-Wei Hsieh in the first round.

A winning percentage of 33 percent was not what Konta wanted on the clay (Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
A winning percentage of 33 percent was not what Konta wanted on the clay (Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The grass season provided much happier for times for Konta than what was to come after Wimbledon. She crashed out early in her opening match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto to Ekaterina Makarova but followed that up with a decent showing at the Western and Southern Open, losing to Simona Halep after winning a couple of matches.

It all came crashing down at the US Open where she was one of eight women who were in contention to potentially finish the tournament at world number one. That possibility was shot down in her opening match as she was upset by Aleksandra Krunic in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. 

Konta was shocked in the opening round of the US Open to Aleksandra Krunic (Elsa/Getty Images)
Konta was shocked in the opening round of the US Open to Aleksandra Krunic (Elsa/Getty Images)

Despite the upset, the 26-year-old was still in control of her own fate to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore, an achievement she would have done for the first time in her career. However, the losing streak compounded with losses in her opening matches in Tokyo (Barbora Strycova), Wuhan (Ashleigh Barty), and Beijing (Monica Niculescu). Three early losses plus the magical Asian swing of Caroline Garcia, winning titles in Wuhan and Beijing vaulted the Frenchwoman over the Brit in the Race to Singapore standings.

A foot injury kept Konta out of a last chance effort to claim the last spot in Singapore at the Kremlin Cup. That foot injury ultimately denied her a realistic chance at competing at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai as well. 

Grade: B

The Brit captured two titles, including the biggest one of her career in Miami, as well as another final and a Wimbledon semifinal, it was a season to remember for Konta. Despite those great achievements, the heartbreak of missing out on Singapore after ending the season on a five-match losing streak had to be bitter for the world number nine.