WTA

On this day in 2021: Johanna Konta retires from tennis

By Sports Desk December 01, 2023

Former British number one Johanna Konta announced her retirement from tennis on this day in 2021.

Konta, then 30, had struggled with a persistent knee problem and slipped to 113th in the rankings.

She made the announcement on social media with a post headed ‘Grateful’.

She wrote: “This is the word that I’ve probably used the most during my career and is the word that I feel explains it best in the end.

“My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be. All the evidence pointed towards me not ‘making’ it in this profession.

“However my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis.

“I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are. Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child.

“How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am.”

Born in Australia to Hungarian parents, Konta moved to Europe to pursue her tennis career as a teenager, settling with her family in Eastbourne and becoming a British citizen in 2012.

A relatively late developer, Konta’s emergence at the top of the game began in 2015, and the following year she reached her first grand slam semi-final at the Australian Open and climbed into the top 10.

Her best season was arguably in 2017, when she became the first British player since Virginia Wade to make the semi-finals at Wimbledon, won the biggest of her four career titles at the Miami Open, and peaked at fourth in the rankings.

Konta slipped down the rankings in 2018 but was resurgent the following year, making another grand slam semi-final at the French Open as well as quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.

Her final match was a three-set loss to Karolina Muchova at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

She made no secret of her desire to start a family – something she did not want to do alongside her career – and gave birth to daughter Emmeline the following September.

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