Johanna Konta stood her ground.
Johanna Konta stood her ground.

‘Don’t patronise me’: Tennis star hits back at journalist

Johanna Konta has slapped down a journalist for "picking" on her as she took offence to his line of questioning after a loss to Barbora Strycova in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

The last remaining British hope in the singles draw at the All England Club lost 7-6 6-1 on Centre Court and said her opponent was too good for her, but that didn't satisfy everyone.

After maintaining she tried her best and wouldn't do anything differently if given her time over, Konta copped a prickly query about whether she needs to accept flaws in her own game contributed to her fall.

The 28-year-old was taken aback by the reporter's initial question then interjected when she thought he went too far as he pursued the same theme.

 

Konta will have to wait another year to chase Wimbledon glory.
Konta will have to wait another year to chase Wimbledon glory.

Reporter: Looking at numbers, 33 unforced errors, then you had a smash at the net which you hit straight to her, then towards the end of the third set you had a double-fault, then missed a drive volley. Do you not have to look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points? It's all very well saying it's a lot to do with your opponent, but there were key points when you perhaps could have done better.

Johanna Konta: Is that in your professional tennis opinion?

Reporter: No, that's just as a watching spectator with everyone else on Centre Court willing you on. And the numbers are IBM's.

Konta: OK. I mean, I don't think you need to pick on me in a harsh way. I mean, I think I'm very open with you guys. I say how I feel out there. If you don't want to accept that answer or you don't agree with it, that's fine. I still believe in the tennis that I play. I still believe in the way I competed. Yeah, I don't have much else to say to your question.

R: I'm just asking you as somebody who presumably wants to go on from here, learn from this, win a grand slam one day. Is it not something …

Konta: Please don't patronise me.

R: I'm not patronising you.

Konta: No, no, you are. In the way you're asking your question, you're being quite disrespectful and you're patronising me. I'm a professional competitor who did her best today, and that's all there is to that.

The moderator then intervened and ushered the world No. 18 along to the next question.

 

 

 

Konta's relationship with the British press has always been frosty and it reached a tipping point at the 2018 French Open. After losing in straight sets to Yulia Putintseva - then ranked 93rd in the world - the Brit vented about the way she's treated by journalists from her homeland after being asked about her poor record on the Paris clay.

"Well, you guys can answer this for me, then. If every time you went in to work … let's say you went into work because, obviously, you travel, and let's say for a few years your pieces of writing have just been crap every time when you come into Roland Garros. Right? Just crap," Konta said.

"And then your colleagues start to say, 'You know, you really suck around that time'. And that happens, you know, for a few years.

"How would you guys digest that, and would you feel any sort of lingering kind of, 'Oh, you know what? I want to prove these b***ards wrong'. And it's just kind of lingering there.

"So it's not something I would like to buy into, and I don't think I do. However, you guys don't make it easy."

The large crowd that gathered to watch Konta on the big screen at Wimbledon left disappointed.
The large crowd that gathered to watch Konta on the big screen at Wimbledon left disappointed.

Konta remained upbeat about her Wimbledon campaign as a whole and maintained that despite entering as the 19th seed and losing to an unseeded player, her exit wasn't due to the weight of expectation she feels in her home country.

Konta also reiterated Strycova has to be credited with playing well rather than just focusing on what went wrong on her side of the net.

"What happened is that I have an opponent on the other side of the court who has everything to say in how the match goes, as well," Konta said when asked where she lost the match.

"I think she was playing very well. I think I couldn't quite find the level that I needed to make it difficult and challenging for the kind of player she is. She's a very difficult player to play on this surface, and in general. She's a very good player.

"My opponent equally earned her right to be in the quarter-finals, as well. And in the French Open equally earned her right to be in the semi-finals against me.

"I don't have any more of a right to winning these matches than my opponents. It's unfortunate that it's worked out like that in terms of how it looks on paper with the rankings. However, on court or how I feel in the match, no."

Strycova became emotional after sealing the win.
Strycova became emotional after sealing the win.

 

Konta was defiant until the very end of what was a tense face-off with the press, backing herself when asked if she may be concerned she'll never win a major because she regularly goes deep at grand slams without making finals.

"I think the best I can do is put myself in the positions, to give myself the opportunity to keep going further and further. I mean, it will either happen or it won't," she said.

"I'm no less of a person or a player if I don't get past this point. Equally so if I do. I think, yeah, I play this game with dignity, and I love the sport. I'm grateful for everything that it brings me."

 

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News Corp Australia


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