01 December 2021

A look at some of Johanna Konta’s best matches as she retires from tennis

01 December 2021

With Johanna Konta’s retirement, the career of Britain’s best female player of the last 30 years comes to an end.

Konta reached three grand slam semi-finals, including at Wimbledon in 2017, and peaked at a high of number four in the world rankings.

Here, the PA news agency picks out six of the 30-year-old’s best matches.

Karolina Pliskova – US Open, 2019

In the last really big moment of her career, Konta fought back from a set and 3-1 down to upset third seed Pliskova 6-7 (1) 6-3 7-5 and become the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals in New York since Jo Durie in 1983. Striking her trademark groundstrokes fiercely, Konta fired 45 winners against her Czech opponent and kept her composure during the big points. Her run was ended by Elina Svitolina in the last eight.

Sloane Stephens – French Open, 2019

Arguably the most impressive achievement of Konta’s career was reaching the French Open semi-finals having never previously won a main-draw match at Roland-Garros. Her quarter-final victory over Sloane Stephens was peak Konta, the British number one hitting the ball with unerring power and accuracy and demolishing former finalist Stephens 6-1 6-4. A semi-final against Marketa Vondrousova represented her best chance of reaching a grand slam final but she could not replicate the performance.

Serena Williams – Silicon Valley Classic, 2018

Williams succumbed to the biggest defeat of her professional career when being blown away 6-1 6-0 in less than an hour by Konta in San Jose. Williams, who had returned to the women’s tour earlier that year after giving birth, was way below her best but it was nevertheless a remarkable scoreline. The American later revealed she had been affected by learning just before the match that the man convicted of killing her half-sister Yetunde Price had been released from prison.

Simona Halep – Wimbledon, 2017

Konta was inspired in her victory at Wimbledon against Halep (Adam Davy/PA)

Konta, seeded sixth at Wimbledon in the best season of her career, prevailed in a thrilling quarter-final against world number two Halep, winning 6-7 (2) 7-6 (5) 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes. Underpinned by an impressive serving display, Konta showed guts by sticking to her attacking game-plan and produced 48 winners. Not since Virginia Wade, who won the tournament in 1977, had a British woman reached the last four at Wimbledon. Konta lost to Venus Williams in the last four.

Caroline Wozniacki – Miami Open, 2017

By far the biggest of Konta’s four career titles came in Florida, where she defeated Halep, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki back to back to lift the trophy. Konta overpowered former world number one Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 in the final, breaking serve six times and clinching match point with a perfect lob. The victory took her to a then career-high ranking of seventh.

Ekaterina Makarova – Australian Open, 2016

Konta broke into the world’s top 30 after the 2016 Australian Open (Steve Paston/PA)

Playing in the Australian Open’s main draw for the first time, Konta, then 24, came through a marathon fourth-round match against Russian Makarova to win 4-6 6-4 8-6 in just over three hours. Konta went on to become the first British woman in 33 years to reach a grand slam semi-final. She was beaten in straights sets by eventual champion Angelique Kerber but climbed to 28 in the world rankings.

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