Close Panel
Wimbledon Channel

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July


Menu uses cookies.
We use simple text files called cookies, saved on your computer, to help us deliver the best experience for you. Click continue to acknowledge that you are happy to receive cookies from
CONTINUE > Find out more
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
20:53 PM BST

Johanna Konta: Quarter-final

Johanna Konta speaks to the media after the 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4 win against Simona Halep

Q. How will you be celebrating your success so far?
JOHANNA KONTA: Actually, nothing planned. It's still obviously -- still obviously involved in the tournament. It's looking after the body, preparing well for my next round. I mean, immediately now it's more just getting home and getting to bed.

Q. You mentioned the next round. Looking to the next round, what are your thoughts on Venus Williams' legacy as a player and facing her?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think what Venus and her sister have given our sport is absolutely tremendous. The way they've elevated women's tennis is truly inspiring. So I feel very excited and very humbled to be sharing the court with her again.

We've had a few battles in the past. She's got the better of me the last time we played, so I'm really looking forward to playing her.

Q. What do you think the keys to the match are?
JOHANNA KONTA: To be honest, I think I haven't actually quite digested my match today. I'm definitely going to be speaking with my team and preparing well for the match.

I played her twice this year already, so I have been on court with her. But I've never played her on grass, so that will be a new challenge for me.

Q. Where does that win and that occasion rank in your tennis career?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I guess to be in the semifinals of my home slam, and to do that in front of a full Centre Court, I mean, it's pretty, pretty special. I think the level of tennis that both of us played today, it was just a tremendous match.

So I think just to be a part of a match like that again. I've been very fortunate this Championships, I've had two of those now, I feel very lucky.

Q. Have you noticed when you're out and about in the last week and a half as you're on this run, more people are noticing you now in the street?
JOHANNA KONTA: I haven't been out and about, so I don't know. I don't know (smiling).

Q. How much did you draw on that match in Miami, which was similar? Was that in your head?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think there's definitely an element of knowing your opponent slightly more if you've played against her before. We played each other twice this year. I guess I was prepared to see her on the other side of the court again.

But I definitely looked to treat today's match on its own because she's also in magnificent form. I think I was very prepared for her to really, really challenge me and make it very difficult for me, which she did.

I feel very pleased with how I was able to, I guess, stick so closely to what I was wanting to achieve out there, and really just stuck with that from the first ball till the very last ball.

Q. You've had some pretty hefty encounters in terms of how long you've been on court, how tense they've been. How much confidence does that give you that you can take on all comers, Venus or whoever?
JOHANNA KONTA: I've spoken about this in every match I've played. I don't underestimate any opponents. I think I respect each and every opponent that I'm playing because I'm fully aware of the challenges that they will bring my way. That's no different to the next match that I'm playing.

I'm preparing for that like I am for every other match that I've played.

Q. Halep said it was very much a case of you winning the match rather than her losing it. How difficult is that to do? How pleasing is it to achieve it?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, that's a massive compliment from her, as well. I think, again, someone like Simona, you do have to win it against someone like her. She gives you so little, so few chances. So I really felt the chances I created, yeah, there weren't very many that I got the chance to have.

I feel very happy with how I was able to maintain my level throughout the whole match, and really just tried to stick very closely to how I felt I wanted to play out there, and did that kind of through the thick and thin.

Q. Can I ask you about your former mind coach? What do you think was the most important thing that he instilled in you? What did you change that made you a better mental player?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I mean, Juan was a tremendous influence on me. That went beyond my tennis career. He was someone who approached his work with me in a very holistic manner. It was more about me as a human being than necessarily a tennis player.

I think he did a tremendous job with me in working on my happiness as a person, as a human being, as dealing with life in general. In turn, looked to help me enjoy something that I've loved since I was a little girl, and to try to be the best at that.

Q. Do you think you would have been here now without him, in this position, if you never met him?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't know. I'd like to think that my success is my own, and it's something that -- and actually that's what he said, as well. The work, I do the work. I bear the consequences of everything that I do, the wins and the losses.

I truly believe that I've been very fortunate with the people that I've been surrounded by. But my success is my own.

Q. Can you describe how you perceived the last point. There appeared to be some confusion because of the crowd's noise.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, so I heard a scream, I think it was off my side of the court, towards the left. But I think the crowd, there were some overenthusiastic moments, which happens I think with every match where it comes to a tense moment. I think it's a part of sport, the crowd getting excited and getting sometimes a little too involved.

But, again, I was just playing the next ball. I think we experienced it a couple of times in the match. All of us players have experienced that throughout our careers.

But, yeah, then I wasn't too sure. Then, yeah, I kind of followed lead of what was happening.

Q. You gave a fascinating answer about your mental work. What was the process in terms of achieving your own happiness? Was it focusing on your self-worth, setting aside the tennis side of you, overcoming family problems?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think as any professional athlete, there's always a massive amount of sacrifice that comes along with trying to reach the pinnacle of your sport, trying to really make it, yeah, to the highest levels of what you do.

So it was more of a fact of dissociating myself from that, I guess - what's the word for it? I mean, I don't even know how to describe it. I guess it was more of not associating myself with where I was ranked or what my result was, but truly just seeing my career as being the best that I can be, what that was going to bring me ranking-wise, results-wise, that's what it was going to bring me. It was more enjoying the fact that I get to try actually every day to be better. I get to, yeah, do that.

I think that was more -- I don't know if I explained that well, but I tried.

Q. Obviously you're getting massive crowd support, you mentioned overenthusiastic. Is it distracting for you on the court? Does it add pressure to you knowing there's 15,000 people pulling for you to do something that hasn't been done in 40 years?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, just to clarify, I think there were a few points here and there where they got overenthusiastic, but I don't think that's necessarily specific to my match. I'm pretty sure you had moments of that in epic battles that have happened throughout this Championships so far, and in every tournament.

In terms of the home support I feel, I feel very excited and very humbled by it. I mean, I don't know if you were out on Centre Court, any of you, but when you get a massive crowd of people cheering, making that sort of noise in a stadium, you do get goosebumps.

Q. Growing up, how much of a role model, how much did you aspire to be like Venus? Do you remember watching any of her matches in person? Ask for autographs? Posters on your wall or anything like that?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, actually I didn't. But I think more as I've gotten older and actually played against her, played against my fellow competitors, that I actually have more and more respect for and more and more awareness for their achievements, and for what they've done for the sport.

It's actually more now that I fully understand the weight of what Venus and her sister have given our sport. I think my appreciation for them I guess gets bigger now.

Q. You looked sort of shellshocked the moment that you won. What went through your head the moment you won that match?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, tennis is a funny thing. You're playing a point one second, then the next it's over, then the next you're walking off court. Things happen very quickly in tennis.

It was just one of those moments where, again, I kind of was like, Oh, okay, we're finished. Okay, I'm walking off the court.

I kind of was in the moment of doing, I guess, where you're meant to go, what you're meant to do. But my brain just kept on catching up five minutes later.

Q. You said you dreamed of Wimbledon success since you were a young girl. How has the reality thus far compared to what you dreamed of?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I've dreamed of success in every slam. I think it makes it more special because it is home. I do get that home support, which I don't get anywhere else. In that sense, I guess it makes it that much sweeter.

But more importantly actually, I feel very, very happy and very excited for the battles that I've got to have so far in these Championships. I've been involved in some pretty great matches, actually both of them were on Centre Court, the more epic ones.

In that sense, in the way I feel my opponents have pushed me, and I in turn them, and to create such a, I guess, sporting excitement for the crowd, that makes it I think very special.

Q. You've had Grand Slam semifinal experience. How much did you take from that contest that you can take into Thursday's match, what you learnt from that experience?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'd like to think actually that all the matches I played, I know this will be my second slam semifinal, but I do think nerves and excitement and those sorts of emotions that come along with big matches aren't necessarily specific to Grand Slam moments. I've been a part of some great moments and exciting moments in other events, as well.

I'd like to think that I'll be using all that experience come Thursday. Obviously I've been on court with Venus before, so I'm fully aware of the challenge that I'm facing.

Purchase Towels