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Thursday, 13 July 2017
18:15 PM BST

Johanna Konta: Semi-final

Johanna Konta talks to the media after the 4-6, 2-6 defeat by Venus Williams

Q. How did she make life so difficult for you this afternoon, in what way?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think she did what she does well. She dictated the match from the very first ball till the very last one. I think she just showed her true qualities and why she's a five-time champion here, just a true champion that she is.

It was very difficult for me to get a good foothold in the match. The few opportunities that I did get, she did incredibly well to take them away from me.

I don't think I did too much wrong out there. I think it was all credit to her.

Q. On Henman Hill earlier, there were people wearing T-shirts with your name on it, saying what a role model you are. How has it been being the subject of Konta Mania?
JOHANNA KONTA: Konta Mania, I didn't hear that before (laughter).

Well, I guess it's just incredibly humbling. It's something that is greater than me and obviously just my focus on my match and my performance, and trying to improve. It does bring it slightly out of context and, I guess, makes me realize how special that is and how much people do enjoy being a part of my journey.

Q. Breakpoint, second serve, Venus fires an 160 mile-per-hour serve.
JOHANNA KONTA: 106. 160 I would have been in the back fence (laughter).

Q. That was a very brave move on her account. It seemed to change the course of that set and probably the match.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I don't necessarily think it was the be-all-end-all. But it definitely took my breakpoint chance away. Her being able to do that is why she is a five-time champion here, and why she is the champion that she is.

Again, those were one of a few opportunities that I had, and she took them away.

Q. Venus said after the match she thought experience maybe was a bit of a factor in those crucial moments. Do you think that had any kind of influence at all?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm sure to a certain extent. Definitely. This was my second Grand Slam semifinal. It was her 202nd, I bet. So she definitely came into the match with a lot more experience than I did.

But in terms of how comfortable I felt out there and how focused I was on what I wanted to try and achieve out there, I felt really comfortable. I felt good in that.

In terms of that, I'm definitely happy with how I dealt with today.

Q. I think I'm right in saying that your father watched all but one of your matches here. I don't think your mother came to any of them. Is that because she was too nervous?
JOHANNA KONTA: My mum is here. She's just not in the stadium. She just gets too nervous watching me live. She likes to walk around and keep busy. She generally kind of walks, yeah. She just walks around (smiling).

So, yeah, but she's here, though.

Q. Hiding behind the sofa or something?
JOHANNA KONTA: She just gets a bit nervous, so she likes to keep busy.

Q. You described Venus as kind of a true champion. What do you see yourself needing to do to make that step to win this sort of tournament? You look very capable of doing it throughout. What do you need to do to go beyond that level?
JOHANNA KONTA: Quite honestly, I think I was in just as much of a shot of winning this tournament here. I think today it came down on the day, and Venus played better than me. That's really all I can say.

I mean, I think I definitely have a lot more to improve on. There's a lot of exciting things that I can still get better at, which is exciting for me and exciting for my team, and my own development. But I definitely feel like there's no reason why I would not be able to be in a position to win a title like this one day.

Q. You come up against extraordinary attention as a great hope for the final, beyond Andy Murray even. How has this Wimbledon changed you, developed you as a player?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think I was incredibly happy with the level I was able to produce kind of day in, day out. It's a long two weeks. I would have liked to have made it a full two weeks, but it's okay (smiling).

I think the way I was able to stay true to my own values and to my own focus and what I feel works for me, stay also very happy and very much enjoying the journey. I think that itself has made me better.

Q. You said earlier what Venus does so well. Explain a little bit about what is it about her and her game that makes her so difficult to play.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, she looks to dictate from the very first ball. When she puts herself in a position to do that, she plays with a lot of depth, a lot of speed, and you don't get much of a chance to get your, I guess, grip into the points.

So when she is on the offensive, that's where she's her best. If she makes it difficult for you to dictate, then you are a lot of the times at her mercy.

Q. The way you've progressed this fortnight, also the way you played the whole grass court season, does it increase your belief that you will one day return and win this title?
JOHANNA KONTA: It definitely helps my case, I think. I'm very happy with how I was physically and mentally able to hold up this past grass court season. I did play every week. I stayed healthy and I stayed actually mentally quite fresh and ready to keep getting challenged and embracing those challenges along the way.

I think that only strengthens my belief that if I'm ever in a position to be involved in a slam for the full fortnight, that I will be able to keep myself in that mental and physical state to be able to deal with hopefully one day playing for a title.

Q. You don't seem too down, if you don't mind me saying so. Is that because you realize you have a great tournament, you actually played as well as you could today, and there wasn't much you could have done against someone playing like that?
JOHANNA KONTA: Don't get me wrong. I would like to be sitting here enjoying the fact that I would be playing here on Saturday. That is my preference. But I think I've also got to acknowledge the level of how my opponent played today. She was just, quite frankly, better than me today.

I need to take the good things that I did, but I'm also very aware of the things I can do better. I'm more than anything looking forward to working on those.

Q. There's talk by some people like Virginia Wade about what reaching this advanced stage of the tournament might do for inspiring a new generation of young female players, who obviously have a role model now to look to. I wondered what you're kind of hoping reaching this kind of advanced stage might do in terms of inspiring a new generation of young female players, for raising the profile of the women's game?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think it can only be a positive thing at home. But I'd like to think that Andy has inspired both girls and boys to play. I'd like to think that I'm doing the same, both girls and boys.

But I'm definitely happy that there's more attention and more, I guess, yeah, good feelings towards tennis and being involved in this great sport. I will only ever try to do that in a positive way.

Q. In years to come when you look back on this tournament, this run you've had, which moments do you think will stick out in your memory?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, in years to come, hopefully I've gone further, as well (smiling). How about we talk about that in years to come?

But in terms of now, and then how I did this fortnight, these Championships, I'm happy with the matches I played, the way I rose to each challenge. I fell at this hurdle, unfortunately. Hopefully next time I will be able to go a step further.

Q. Does this hurt more than losing the semifinal in Australia, or do you feel like you're able to deal with it a little bit better now?
JOHANNA KONTA: It's different. It's a different match, a different continent. So I'm actually just taking this on today. I'm not really comparing it to Australia.

Q. In the immediate aftermath of the match when it was over and you were walking off, what was going through your head?
JOHANNA KONTA: Damn, I'm done (laughter). Then it was like, Oh, okay, well, I'm done. And then it was, Oh, thank you to everyone. It was truly magnificent, the support that I had. I wanted to acknowledge the crowd.

Yeah, it was nice to be in their embrace a little bit.

Q. Do you consider this tournament alone a success, considering you have much further than you've ever done here before, or not?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, it's definitely moved in a positive direction. Obviously I think just alone on the matches that I played here, not even counting the previous three grass tournaments coming into here where I had a lot of great matches and actually a lot of positive things that helped me get to this stage in this event.

But these matches here, uhm, there's definitely a lot of good things from quite a few of the matches that I will be able to take and I know I will be able to use for further challenges that I will face during the season.

Q. You'll crack the top five after this tournament. Not a lot of British women have done that. It's a short list. Thoughts about checking off that milestone, how it sets you up for the summer hard courts.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, it's a nice achievement. I guess it's a nice club to be a part of. But, again, I'm looking to keep getting better. I'm not, I guess, satisfied with where I am now. I do want to keep improving. I definitely do want to keep pushing myself to be the best that I can be.

Q. Do you have any plans to wind down next couple of days, anything you've been longing to do that you haven't been able to do?
JOHANNA KONTA: Everyone knows I'm going to see U2. I'm going to go do that (smiling).

Q. How would you sum up your whole Wimbledon experience? How do you see the final going?
JOHANNA KONTA: I would sum up my whole Wimbledon experience as memorable. It was very special to be playing all my matches on such great courts with such massive support.

In terms of the final, well, I think the two best women of the Championships this year are playing. So I'm sure it will be a great match.

Q. Who is going to win?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't know who's going to win. Do you know (smiling)?

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