WTA

Konta feeling 'lucky and fortunate' after ending four-year wait for a title

By Sports Desk June 13, 2021

Johanna Konta says she will not take her first WTA singles title in four years for granted after beating Zhang Shuai in Sunday's Nottingham Open final.

The top seed made it third time lucky by avenging her 2017 and 2018 final defeats to Donna Vekic and Ashleigh Barty with a straight-sets win against Zhang.

Konta prevailed 6-2 6-1 for her fourth singles title – and a first on grass – as she became the first British woman to win a WTA singles title on home soil since Sue Barker at the Daihatsu Challenge event in Brighton in 1981.

It is her first trophy since winning the Miami Open in 2017 and leaves the world number 20, who last week split with coach Dimitri Zavialoff, in good shape ahead of Wimbledon in two weeks' time.

 

"I didn't take this win for granted. I've lost quite a few finals and it's hard to win a tournament so I know how lucky and fortunate I am to be standing here winning trophies," she said in her post-match interview.

"I'm grateful I've been able to put five matches together and I'm proud of myself and my team. I'm enjoying my tennis and doing the best I can.

"I've not done a winning speech in a long time and it's very nice. I love Nottingham and this centre court is a beautiful court to play on."

Konta made light work of seeing off world number 46 Zhang in a little under an hour.

The British number one held her serve throughout the contest, faced just a single break point and finished with 25 winners to four unforced errors.

Konta has now won six of the pair's seven previous meetings, including the past five in a row.

Related items

  • French Open: Swiatek not keeping track of outstanding 30-match winning run French Open: Swiatek not keeping track of outstanding 30-match winning run

    Only the understandable media attention is allowing Iga Swiatek to keep count of her incredible winning run that reached 30 matches on Thursday.

    The world number one sealed her place in the third round of the French Open after a dominant 6-0 6-2 win against Alison Riske.

    That victory made her just the fourth WTA Tour player this century to win 30 or more consecutive matches. She has also taken 46 of the past 47 sets she has played.

    Speaking at a news conference following her milestone win, Swiatek insisted she does not follow the numbers – although she has no need to while her streak remains the focus of journalists.

    "I know how many matches I have won in a row because you keep reminding me, basically," she said. "But I don't keep track.

    "I'm not like noting or something. I just try to come back to these matches to get experience from them. But that's the only reason why I come back to them."

    Swiatek was asked to explain what had inspired her imperious form, with her 39 match victories in 2022 already three more than she managed in the whole of 2021.

    "I think basically I changed some things, like I started being more aggressive and trying to be more proactive on court," she replied. "That's something that my coach really helped me to do.

    "But also, I think all the work we have been doing, even last season, it finally clicked somehow.

    "You know, last season it was a year for me where I really gained so much experience. This year I feel like I'm using it the right way. I have this experience already, and I can just move forward.

    "So I think it's the physical work I have been doing but also with my psychologist, I think it's the work of the whole team as well. I'm pretty glad that it clicks right now."

    The 20-year-old conceded her form will not last forever, but she is determined to enjoy it while it lasts.

    "I was saying from the beginning that for sure I'm going to reach a point where I'm going to lose a match, and it's pretty normal, you know," Swiatek said. "I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time.

    "For sure, the things we are doing right now are pretty extraordinary, but I know in tennis that only one person wins at the end. I will be okay with that.

    "For sure, it's not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn't be different than any other loss that I had in my career."

  • French Open: Medvedev determined he won't be trapped in web of tennis fears French Open: Medvedev determined he won't be trapped in web of tennis fears

    Daniil Medvedev is outgrowing his phobia of spiders while learning how to handle his tennis fears as he targets a long run at the French Open.

    The popular Russian made pain-free progress past Serbian Laslo Djere on Thursday, winning 6-3 6-4 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with Miomir Kecmanovic.

    He spoke afterwards about the difficulties of staying informed about off-court matters, particularly whether there could be twists to come surrounding Wimbledon's ban of Russian and Belarusian players this year.

    Medvedev is keen to keep his focus on what happens on court, and while tennis may stoke up emotions, such as when the world number two was cut up by his defeat to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final, he is determined to develop mechanisms to deal with trauma.

    "I think fear is one of the toughest emotions in people's lives, because a lot of mistakes we do in life are because we are scared of something," Medvedev said.

    "That's how I think. And yeah, I'm a little bit scared of spiders, but I need to say I was much more scared when I was 10 or 12.

    "When you grow up you need to sometimes face your fears. I never saw a tarantula, so I think I'm going to be scared if I see one. I'm not scared any more of small spiders.

    "Fear is actually what we can feel every day in tennis. You're scared to lose. Sometimes you are scared what people are going to think about you.

    "For example, I was number one in the world for two weeks, if I'm not mistaken. I'm not scared if people are going to say, 'Well, yeah, it doesn't matter, you were only two weeks'.

    "But you can be scared of this. I think in every sport, especially the higher you get, the more you can have this situation.

    "I try to work hard on not being scared of anything and just learning, even if I do mistakes, not being scared to repeat them but try not to repeat them.

    "To be honest, I'm not scared of much right now in my life."

  • French Open: Halep crashes out after impressive Zheng comeback French Open: Halep crashes out after impressive Zheng comeback

    Former world number one Simona Halep is out of the French Open after crumbling from a one-set lead against Zheng Qinwen in the second round on Thursday.

    The 2018 Roland Garros champion, the most experienced player in the draw at this year's competition, fell to a 2-6 6-2 6-1 loss against her unseeded opponent.

    Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, is the latest big name to suffer an early exit on clay this year.

    The 30-year-old, who fought off a comeback from lucky loser Nastasja Schunk on Tuesday, looked to be cruising after the first set.

    But Halep failed to navigate a fiery response from Zheng, who blazed through the second set to tie things up before an impressive rout in the third in her first appearance in Paris.

    It marks revenge for the teenager as well, having fallen to Halep at the semi-final stage of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 earlier this year.

    It continues a mixed 2022 for the Romanian so far, whose best finishes were victory in Victoria, followed by reaching the final four at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Indian Wells Masters.

    Zheng will now face either 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko or France's Alize Cornet in the third round, with the pair set to play later on Thursday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.