MIKE DICKSON: Johanna Konta was an outstanding athlete who maximized her abilities
MIKE DICKSON: Johanna Konta was an outstanding athlete who maximized her abilities and was almost unbeatable in full flow…she was Britain’s best female player since Jo Durie before the rise of Emma Raducanu
- Johanna Konta stopped playing tennis on Wednesday morning at the age of 30
- She was Britain’s best player since Jo Durie before the rise of Emma Raducanu
- What is undeniable is that she has used absolutely every inch of her assets
- A lack of a Plan B could hold her back, but in full swing she was almost unstoppable
- Konta has set her sights on a media career and she will be a very articulate analyst
Jo Konta is not destined to be one of those former players who lie awake at night wondering if they could have made more of their abilities.
After a long, and generally modest, tour stage, she surpassed expectations by climbing to number four in the world and reaching three Grand Slam semifinals.
Succumbing to shattered knees and a desire to turn her life around, she became Britain’s best player since Jo Durie before the surprising rise of Emma Raducanu.
Former British No. 1 Johanna Konta retired from tennis on Wednesday morning at the age of 30
As a player, she was an outstanding athlete who could compete with the very best in the sport
If there’s one moment that keeps her awake in the early hours, it’s the set point she had in the semifinals of the 2019 French Open.
On a horribly gray morning in Paris, she was in command of young Czech Marketa Vondrousova when she missed a drive volley that would have been dispatched under different circumstances.
Her opponent revived and the unlikely shot at glory on the clay evaporated.
By this time it was clear what a fine all-rounder she had become, and her quarter-final scrapping from Sloane Stephens at Roland Garros that year was especially memorable.
So did her 2017 Wimbledon quarter against Simona Halep, stirring the minds of a British winner, before her return from service was picked up by Venus Williams in the semi-final.
If there is one moment of regret, it will be the set point she had in the semifinals of the 2019 French Open
What’s indisputable is that Konta definitely made the most of her assets during her career
Homegrown would have been a stretch when she arrived in the UK from Australia at the age of 14. Of Hungarian descent, her parents took jobs in London and she established herself in the British system as a promising player rather than something exceptional.
Her relentless work ethic and a transformative coaching relationship with Spaniard Esteban Carill saw her rise in the rankings from 2015 and go on to capture the prestigious Miami Open. She proved that she was a lot better than the more high-profile Laura Robson and Heather Watson.
Konta is getting married to longtime partner Jackson Wade (right) this month and has openly said she’d like to have kids
Konta is set to wed his longtime partner Jackson Wade this month and has openly said she wants kids and doesn’t want to mix parenthood with the life of a traveling professional.
In the longer term, she has her sights set on a media career and given her obvious intelligence and knowledge, she will be an astute and articulate analyst. Probably better than as an interviewer herself, as her formal manner and desperation for admitting nothing could make it difficult for her to get hot.
As a player, she was an outstanding athlete who, when confident and aggressive, could compete with the very best. The lack of a Plan B sometimes held her back, but in full swing she was almost unstoppable.
What’s indisputable is that she absolutely pushed her to the limit, and no athlete could ask more of herself than that.