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June 24, 2015

Johanna Konta


J. KONTA/G. Muguruza
6‑4, 4‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Are you now a little bit excited?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ I'm just happy about today, to be honest.テつ It was a really tough match.テつ She really raised her level.
I think I started maybe a little bit better than she did, so that gave me a little bit of advantage at the beginning.テつ But otherwise, I really felt in danger of her running away with it because she started playing at a very high level.
I'm just happy that I was able to hang tough and just, you know, just keep being there in every point possible.テつ Yeah, somehow I won in the end.

Q.テつ What went through your mind when you dropped serve when you were serving for the match?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Not much.テつ You know, I felt I maybe was going for or just trying to finish the points a bit earlier but nothing to do with it was 5‑1.テつ Credit to her, I don't think she missed a return in that game, and every return she hit back was with good length.
To be honest, you know, she played a pretty tough last three games.テつ It wasn't easy for me to finish it.

Q.テつ How did this performance compare to your other two this week?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ To be honest, I'm just happy I dealt with the situations that were presented to me out there.テつ I felt that I handled each situation to the best of my ability, and I'm just happy that there was some reward to show for that.

Q.テつ Can you tell us what's been the difference in the last couple of weeks to your form?テつ What's made a difference for you?テつ Anything off the court or anything you're doing on the court?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ To be honest, I'm thinking and working on the same things with my coach since we have started in New Haven, so that's almost a year now.
Everything is a progression.テつ Things don't happen from one day to the next.テつ You know, everything I have done in my career so far has led me to here, to be honest.
You know, all I can do is do my best every day and just hope for wonderful moments like these today.

Q.テつ Did you feel anything click though at any stage this week, a couple weeks ago, that actually lifted you to a point where you can win matches like this?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ To be honest, nothing has theoretically "clicked," but I feel it has been a nice progression.テつ I have been given the opportunity from the LTA with the wildcards I have been given.テつ That's given me a chance to play against these players.
Obviously I'm very grateful for that.テつ I'm happy I have been able to perform on such a great stage here in Birmingham and in Nottingham, as well.
But, you know, there is a whole series of things leading into the grass court season.テつ There is a whole season before and there is a whole last season as well.テつ I'm just happy I have been healthy and playing a lot of matches.テつ I feel that's the momentum I'm carrying throughout this season.

Q.テつ People talk about staying healthy, and for them that's often the turning point where they get stronger in the right places to be able to have the ability to play.テつ Has anything changed since New Haven that's helped with that?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, I think it's also, you know, a state of mind.テつ For me, it's been a lot of work on being more relaxed and being more stress‑free, and obviously that has an effect on how my muscles react.テつ I'm not as tense.
And obviously the more fluid you are, the looser you are, the less likely you're going to get injuries from stress‑related things.
You know, I'm just really happy with the place I'm in and I'm just enjoying every situation, good or bad.テつ Out there it wasn't all roses.テつ I mean, there was a lot of ups and downs.テつ I feel that I'm doing a really good job with enjoying every situation I'm in.

Q.テつ What was your thinking behind the coaching changes?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ There was no thinking.テつ Unfortunately, my coaching situation changed at the beginning of that year, and I was in between coaches so I was looking for a new team.テつ I was lucky enough to find such a good team.

Q.テつ Do you feel in the past you put too much stress or pressure on yourself?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ I think I'm naturally quite a highly strung person in some areas.テつ My family and my boyfriend would definitely say so (smiling).
So it's hard to perform well when you are highly strung.テつ You need to have a certain relaxed state of being, and for me, anyway, I feel that's the main thing that we have been working on.
I'm just happy that I'm enjoying what I'm doing, where I am and the good and bad, because there is a lot of bad with the good, as well.

Q. テつWhat would your family or your boyfriend say if we asked you how your highly strung nature manifests itself at home?テつ What do you do?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Oh, God, don't ask them, please.テつ (Laughter.)
Well, let's just say that I'm usually right with arguments.テつ Let's just say that.テつ (Laughter.)
Q.Is this a breakthrough then for you?テつ Is this week particularly a breakthrough?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, on paper it definitely is.テつ But for me in terms of how I feel with my wins, it's something ‑‑I don't value these wins any more than I value my wins from a few months ago or from a few years ago, to be honest.テつ That is the complete, honest truth from me.
There is no easy match, so I'm just happy that I keep dealing well with whatever presents itself out there.

Q. テつYou have a momentum, don't you, this week?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ I feel I have been building on my momentum for a few months coming up to a year now.テつ I'm just enjoying every day that I get the chance to go out there to practice or to compete and to give my best.

Q.テつ Does it give you any confidence to know you beat Bencic last year on grass?テつ You often say it's a completely different year.
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Exactly.テつ You answered it.

Q.テつ But really, you know, you have beaten her and you know you have a lot of experience behind you.
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, that is the past.テつ I believe we played each other twice last year.テつ She won the first one and I won the second one here.テつ I remember that match.
She has improved a lot since then.テつ Since then she's made quarterfinals of US Open.テつ Since then she's been 30 in the world or so, I'm not entirely sure.テつ But she's there for a reason.
So, to be honest, you know, I'm going out there with a very level head and going to see what my best can produce on the day.

Q.テつ Do you think you are producing the best, the best you have ever done, this week?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, on paper it definitely looks like that.テつ In terms of if I'm playing my best tennis?テつ In some parts I'm playing a very high level tennis.テつ Obviously I'm competing with some of the best players on the tour.
But, you know, I always believe I can do better here and there, and that's what keeps me hungry to continue to improve and to continue to specialize in the field that I'm working in.

Q.テつ Great time for it, going into Wimbledon with a lot of confidence?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Yeah, I guess so, but remember there is also a very long season after Wimbledon.テつ So I'm just happy with every opportunity I'm getting to go out there and compete.
Right now I'm here this week in Eastbourne, and this is where my head and my attention is.テつ Once I'm finished here, whenever that may be, then I will look forward to the next one.

Q.テつ You are the first British woman to win three matches in the main draw here since 1983.
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ I don't think that's true.テつ Didn't Heather...that's still a win.テつ It's not her fault that the other person...(Laughter.)
Well, then me.テつ Yay.テつ (Laughter).テつ To be honest, I'm just enjoying every match, every opportunity I get to go out there and compete.テつ This is what I love, and I'm a lucky person that I get to do for a living what I love.
If I can go out there tomorrow and give my best again, we will see how good that is on the day.

Q.テつ When you won earlier, somebody working here said it was the biggest cheer they'd heard from the crowd.
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ I mean, it's a pleasure, to be honest.テつ I can't describe it in any other way.テつ To be honest, my parents are watching in the crowd, and obviously it's been a long journey.テつ And for them I'm really happy that they get to experience something like that.
So I'm just very happy that I'm so lucky to be in such a situation, to be honest.

Q.テつ Heather was pretty choked yesterday when she won and with the crowd behind her and it lifted her.テつ Just watching your face now, do you feel that emotion when you are trying to serve it out?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Not so much when you're playing, but I think after it's very humbling.テつ I mean, who am I, do you know what I mean, for so many people to be giving me an ovation.
It's a very humbling experience, and I'm very grateful for that.テつ I just ‑‑ you know, I hope I can be in these situations for the rest of my career.テつ So I will just do my best to try for that.

Q.テつ It's great you talk about the whole season, but we get fixated on this time of year, of course.テつ A lot of players talk about the matches they may play in a godforsaken place with four men and a dog as a sort of buildup to something like this.テつ But you seem to be putting it at almost the same level.
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, because for me it is.テつ Obviously not in terms of prize money and points.テつ Obviously there is a difference.テつ But the importance that each match has is the same for me.テつ The size of the court is the same, the lines are in the same place, the net is the same height.
To be honest, obviously not maybe these last two matches I have played, but you play a lot of the same players.テつ You know, there isn't a huge amount of tournaments on the women's tour, so you do run into a lot of the players that you see the same from the 50s all the way up to the WTAs.
You may be in the middle of nowhere in Alabama, but the competition is just as tough.

Q.テつ But is this then not the kind of thing you spend all those weeks for?テつ Is this not the reward for all that?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, in a way obviously it's very humbling I get to play on such a stage.テつ I mean, I'm not comparing the size of the arena here to middle of nowhere in Alabama, but in terms of‑‑ yes, it's great.テつ It's great to be here.テつ But, you know, there is also something humbling about playing at a 50k in the middle of nowhere in Alabama.テつ You meet a lot of great people and you get to experience things there that you don't experience here.テつ So this whole journey for me is one big experience.

Q.テつ Going back to saying you're highly strung...
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Oh, yay.テつ Sometimes highly strung.

Q.テつ You're very different on court.テつ Has that always been the case?テつ When you were younger, would they say you're always right at home?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Oh, no.テつ They don't say I'm always right.テつ I say I'm always right.テつ There is a difference.

Q.テつ Did you used to argue with umpires when you were younger?テつ Have you changed in that sense?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, obviously I have gotten older.テつ I definitely got a long way to mature still.テつ But I do believe I have got a bit of a cooler head on my shoulders than I did a few years ago, and, you know, I aim to learn every day.
I'm very fortunate that I have got a team around me that is very ‑‑(phone ringing).テつ So to be honest‑‑ I have lost my train of thought now.

Q.テつ Can you remember the angriest you have been on court?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Never been a complete head case.テつ You're trying to make me look like a head case now.
But obviously, you know, I was young.テつ I'm still young, I like to think, but I was younger.テつ You know, I may not have knocked out with situations with quite as much calmness as I'm doing right now, and I believe what brings a lot of good things to me right now is that I'm able to move on from things.テつ I can roll with the punches more, because there is a lot of punches out there, you know.
I'm competing against another competitor who wants to win just as much as I do.テつ So it's a lot of back and forth.テつ The best chance I give myself is, you know, that I be my own best friend.

Q.テつ You said you have been working with your team a lot on that, so is there any particular methods or to make sure you keep that attitude on court?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ A lot of stern looks.テつ To be honest, it's constant reminders.テつ In the end, it's up to me to make the changes.テつ It's up to me to take responsibility for my own actions and to take responsibility to whatever happens out on the court.
All my team can do around me is give me the tools to use them, but it's up to me to, in the end, actually use them.

Q.テつ What happened with the new coaching team you have had for more or less a year?テつ So with the previous situation, did that just reach a natural conclusion?テつ What was the reason for that change?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Well, I finished with a coach who I had done a lot of good work with at the beginning of last year.テつ That was for personal reasons.テつ You know, then it was a sudden thing.
It's something that took a while for me to then kind of find my feet again.テつ I have been very fortunate that I have such good people around me right now.

Q.テつ Was that your personal reasons or the coach's?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ No, his personal situation.

Q.テつ Have you tried transcendental meditation?
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Transcendental?テつ No.
I just heard "dental," and I thought of my mum because my mum is a dentist.テつ I'm like, dental what?
No, I haven't heard of that.テつ Is it a good method?

Q.テつ Supposed to work.
JOHANNA KONTA:テつ Okay.テつ Do you do it?

Q.テつ No.テつ I'm always agitated.テつ (Laughter.)

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