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May 11, 2016

Johanna Konta

Rome, Italy

J. KONTA/R. Vinci

6-0, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had quite a few good wins this year, but what does that one rank?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm really happy with, I guess, the game itself. I felt I dealt with the conditions and the situation out there. It wasn't easy. It felt more like Fed Cup than anything.

So I'm just really happy with the level I was able to play, and also to stay really calm when she did raise her level, which was inevitable that was going to happen. And I was just really happy I was able to stay really tough and calm and come through some really close games.

Q. You said before the match if it was played on that court you thought it might be a bit like a football match.
JOHANNA KONTA: It definitely felt a little bit like a football match.

Q. In those circumstances, a lot of football teams go out there thinking we'll get an early goal and we'll keep the crowd quiet. Was it in your thinking at all to really go out strong and try and quieten the crowd?
JOHANNA KONTA: I always try my best to go out strongly in every match. This was very different, I think. I definitely started out with really good momentum, and I think that helped me and carried me through that first set. I think it took her a bit of time to find her rhythm, so I tried to capitalize on that the best I could.

Definitely the crowd did play a part in it. You know, I did try to make sure it didn't become an emotional match, because then that definitely feeds the atmosphere.

But I was really happy to be a part of such an amazing experience. I mean, I never have -- besides playing once against an Argentine in Argentina -- I have never experienced anything like that. I think it's another great lesson to have under my belt. I'm sure I'll be looking back on it and then taking good things from it in the future.

Q. Were you at all aware that you were probably going to have to win that last service game or go off the court and come back later? Because it was beginning to sort of rain harder and harder as that service game was going on. Did you manage to shut that distraction out?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, it wasn't actually raining out in that last service game. I'm not a meteorologist, so I didn't actually really know what was to come. Obviously it was getting darker. That's always in the cards.

But it's really important to always stay very present and very much focus on things that I can't control, and the weather is definitely not one of them.

Q. If someone had said to you at the start of Eastbourne last year that by now you had beaten five -- that was your fifth top 10 victory -- would you have struggled to kind of believe them if people had said that? Or did you kind of see this, you know, what is now a very consistent upward trajectory?
JOHANNA KONTA: Quite honestly, neither here nor there. I would have dismissed it and been like, All I can do is my best on a daily basis. It is a great feeling to be rewarded with some really strong wins on paper.

However, it's not something I measure myself by. I take just as many good things from this match as I do the match the day before, and I think every single time I step out on to the court, it's an opportunity for me to learn and for me to improve no matter the opponent.

Q. I don't wish you to speculate on your own chances, but having spoken to a number of people over the next couple of weeks who know quite a lot about women's tennis, they all say that the French Open is absolutely wide open and somebody could come through on the blind side and have a run. Do you subscribe to that point of view?
JOHANNA KONTA: I have never heard that, to be honest. Again, honestly I've got nothing to say to that, just because it's not -- it wouldn't be helpful nor relevant to my way of thinking.

Q. I'm not asking you to speculate and say how you are going to do.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, anyone else, I don't know how anyone else -- I think it's another event, and I think everyone works incredibly hard to do their best at every single event that we play. I honestly don't know how to answer to that.

Q. Roberta is obviously a very talented net player, but you both played and won more points there than she did. Was that deliberate on your side to sort of counter her, or is this just part of your game plan generally?
JOHANNA KONTA: I definitely put in a lot of effort to try and dictate the play as much as I could. I knew the more time she had and the more rhythm she got on both sides the more dangerous she became. She's got one of the best slices, backhand slices on the tour. So I knew that it was definitely a tricky shot to try to stay in with.

And again, like you said, she's an incredibly good net player. She's a wonderful doubles player, as well. I was very much aware that she was dangerous from any part of the court, so I really just tried to take my game to her and tried to dictate things on my terms as much as possible.

Q. I haven't looked it up, but your next opponent will either be Safarova or Doi, and I'm wondering if you've encountered those players before?
JOHANNA KONTA: I have. I have played both of them. I've played Saki a few times, never on clay, so if I do play her that will be a new experience. And I played Lucie once quite a few years ago now on hard, as well, indoor hard, against her. I haven't played her on clay. Either way, it will be a new experience against either of them.

Q. After such a good year, do you set goals for yourself? Do you kind of set goals on where you want to be the next month or two, or will you just take it the proverbial game and week of tournaments as it comes?
JOHANNA KONTA: I definitely have my personal goals, and I have my process goals. In terms of ranking goals or tournament goals, I don't set anything like that for myself.

I do my best to always keep myself in a frame of mind that I know brings me peace and calm and also creates the best environment for myself to be able to compete the way I want to compete.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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