Johanna Konta: a trailblazer for women’s tennis bows out
Her impact on British tennis should not be underestimated
So, farewell Johanna Konta, said Molly McElwee in The Daily Telegraph. The former British No. 1 has retired from tennis at the relatively young age of 30, citing a long-standing knee problem. Hers was a “slow-burn” career: she laboured for many years on the ITF tour, before breaking through to the game’s higher echelons in her mid-20s.
British fans never truly warmed to her as they did to Tim Henman and Andy Murray. Yet her impact on British tennis should not be underestimated: Konta’s rise signalled the emergence of the women’s game from a long period of stagnation. In recent years, she has given British fans a “real contender to cheer for on the women’s tour”.
Before Konta came along, the last British woman to reach a grand slam semi-final had been Jo Durie, back in 1983, said Tumaini Carayol in The Guardian. Konta managed the feat three times – including once at Wimbledon, in 2017. Her success has “offered a reference point” for other, younger players beyond her – including, one suspects, Emma Raducanu.
One of the tour’s hardest workers, Konta “maximised her game”, and won’t end her career, as some athletes do, with lingering regrets and “nagging frustrations”. Instead, she “will sleep soundly in the knowledge that every step of her career was imbued with maximum effort, focus and professionalism”.