Following the conclusion of the Australian Open in Melbourne, the dust is settling on Johanna Konta’s record breaking achievement in the tournament.
But how much do you know about the 24 year-old, and how her record breaking tournament happened?
Born in Sydney,Australia, Konta moved to England in 2005 and became a British Citizen in 2012. Since turning professional in 2008 Konta currently has a singles record of 232-151, having won 11 ITF (International Tennis Federation) tournaments.
Grand Slams had proved to be a struggle for Konta up until her most recent exploits; she has never progressed past the first round at the French Open or Wimbledon, but did make it to the 4th round of the US Open last year.
Currently England’s Number 1 woman, the Eastbourne-resident has come into the form of her career over the last year and has beaten four top 10 players; Ekaterina Makarova, Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and former World Number 1 Venus Williams.
With the success of Andy Murray, who reached the final of the Australian Open, Konta made sure history was made in Australia; it was the first time since 1977 that Britain had two Grand Slam semi-finalists.
Here’s a look at how Konta managed to progress so far and how she achieved her highest ever career ranking of 28;
The Round 1 match-up with 7-time grand slam winner Venus Williams would’ve been enough to faze many players but Konta shone against the 35 year-old, taking the match 6-4, 6-2. Konta had previously stated that Williams was one of her tennis idols when growing up.
Her first round exploits were rewarded with a game against Chinese youngster Zheng Sasai who was, at the time, ranked 36 places below the Brit. A straight forward 6-2, 6-3 win booked her a place in the 3rd round.
Round 3 saw Konta faced with 22 year-old Denisa Allertova. Allertova was struggling with injury during the game and had a heavily strapped thigh; Konta managed to win 6-2, 6-2 in just 64 minutes of play.
Konta’s toughest game in the tournament came against World Number 14 Ekaterina Makarova and it took the Australian-born player three hours to see off the Russian and become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 1984. After losing the first set 4-6, Konta rallied to win the next two sets 6-4, 8-6.
The quarter-final stage of the competition saw a match against China’s Zhang Shuai – who prior to this tournament had never been past the first round at any Grand Slam. A comfortable game for Konta, who dispatched the lowly ranked 27 year-old 6-4, 6-1, saw her reach her first ever Grand Slam semi-final.
Konta would go on to lose in the semi-final to the eventual tournament winner Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-2. Kerber was no stranger to the last four of Grand Slams having been to the semi-finals at both the US Open and Wimbledon and proved to have too much on the day for Konta.
So, what next now for one of the most talked about Sportswomen over the last few weeks?
Sadly, she has had to pull out of Britain’s Fed Cup team due to illness, but with the French Open coming in May the expectation will be there for Konta to repeat her history-making Grand Slam run…
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Cathrine is a graduate from University of Brighton where she studied International Events Management for four years, including a year placement within the voluntary sector. Cathrine has been working with...