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October 7, 2016
J. KONTA/Zhang Shuai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. From an outsider looking in, it seemed a funny old match. 4-Love down, then next 12 games.
JOHANNA KONTA: I guess in that way, yeah, it probably does look a bit funny from the outside. But I promise you, I guess the final outcome of the score wasn't I think a great reflection of the match itself.
I think we played a good quality, high-level match. Even in that third set, yeah, I thought we played some pretty great tennis. There wasn't much in it for the scoreline to be different.
So, yeah, no, I think overall it was pretty good.
Q. In the first four games, falling behind so quickly, what adjustments did you make to kind of reel things back?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it was a combination of she started well and I didn't. So when things are a bit at the two extremes, things can go quite quickly.
I think I just really tried to stay calm, first of all, and not see it as a threat or not see it as anything but, you know, just part of the challenge of the day. Yeah, really just tried to hone in my focus on working, yeah, running down every ball, then try to play myself into the match really.
Q. Did you feel yourself maybe slipping into that panic mode? It's her home crowd, everybody is getting into it. Did you feel yourself at that Love-4 segment panicking or did you not even broach that?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, not really, to be honest. I think I had still quite good awareness of the situation. I didn't feel too upset by it or anything.
I knew going into the match that she's a great player. I've played her quite a few times. Although the scorelines might suggest differently, every single time has been a really tough battle. So I was under no false pretenses going into it. I knew that I really had to fight my way through. I really did.
Again, yeah, the scoreline doesn't really reflect it, but I really had to be there every single point to be able to come through that.
Q. Do you think the slow start might have had something to do from going outdoors to going indoors? Andy was in here earlier and he said the two conditions played very, very differently.
JOHANNA KONTA: Who knows. Maybe I needed a little bit of time to adjust to the court. It was my first time playing on center court. But actually I had a hit indoors earlier at a different club. So I think in that perspective, I was fine.
Actually, the court in Wuhan was a little bit similar, as well. In terms of how the court looked inside - it's actually a beautiful court - so, yeah, quite honestly I try not to think of it really. Those were the conditions I had to play with and adapt to as quick as possible, and my opponent as well. That's how it turned out today.
Q. You have beat her three times this year. Could you tell us what is your secret, which part you did the best in this match?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't think there's really a secret. I think, quite honestly, things have just come together a little bit more on my end than they have on her end. During the match I do my best to really try to impose myself on her because she definitely looks to dictate when she can. When she's able to, she's very dangerous.
So I think, yeah, I do my best to try to I guess make her uncomfortable, to get myself in there. I've just been, yeah, able to do that a little better than her so far.
But it's no reflection on any future meetings, and I promise you there hasn't been much in every match that we've played.
Q. Zhang Shuai said you two have a great respect for each other and your teams have good relationships. Could you talk about that.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, very much so. Actually, the first time I played her it was in 2012 US Open, so I've known her for a little while. I think you always find maybe certain similarities I guess with other players, maybe a journey. I think we've had not in everything, everybody has their own journeys, but I think we've had some similarities. So I think that's why we have quite a bit of respect for each other.
Yeah, I think she's an incredibly nice person off court, and I respect her just as much on court for the competitor she is. She just really puts her head down and just fights and gives her best. I think that's something that I aspire to do. Yeah, so equally her coach and her team are very nice.
Q. I know you've answered this kind of question before. I know what answer you've given.
JOHANNA KONTA: Then why are you asking it again (laughter)?
Q. Because things might have changed in a couple weeks. Is Singapore on your mind?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, it's not.
Q. Really? You don't even think about it?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, because there's so many variables that are part of it. It depends on how other players do. It depends on the next few weeks. No, I'm not thinking about Singapore.
Q. If you did it, what sort of accomplishment would it be?
JOHANNA KONTA: It would be a great one. It would be an incredible one. But even if I didn't, I still feel pretty proud of my year.
So, yeah, I'm not thinking of it (laughter).
Q. But I did get a different answer.
JOHANNA KONTA: (Laughter).
Q. Tomorrow you're going to face Madison Keys. You haven't met since 2010, and didn't actually play a full match.
JOHANNA KONTA: We played each other?
Q. ITF, 2010.
JOHANNA KONTA: Where?
Q. Puerto Rico.
JOHANNA KONTA: Oh, my goodness. I don't even remember that. Wow, okay.
Q. You'll be approaching her as a new opponent then. What are you thinking going into the match? Have you been watching her through the tournament?
JOHANNA KONTA: I watched her a little bit today because the match she played against Petra, I thought that was a really good match. It obviously went the distance. It looked really entertaining.
I think she's an incredibly good ball-striker. What she has I feel has improved so much throughout the years as she's become more consistent. She's played loads of three-setters, so you can tell she's tough in the way she's able to keep coming back or, yeah, keep fighting.
Yeah, I'm going to be anticipating, having to really keep myself in points when possible, then again, just looking to take my chances when they arise.
Q. A question about Zhang Shuai. You defeated her three times this year. Did you feel some difference about her in these three matches?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think I kind of answered that question already a little bit.
She's an incredible athlete and a really great competitor and a great player. I think we played each other for the first time in a little while in Australia. I think both of us since then have continued to improve. Hopefully both of us will continue to do so.
I think whenever we play each other, it will be a 50/50 match. Then I'll just do my best to try to edge things in my favor. But, yeah, I don't know if that answers your question.
Q. You were close to doing this before earlier in the summer, but what would it mean for you to crack the top 10? If somebody at the start of the season were to tell you that this might be something that could happen in 2016, what would your reaction have been then?
JOHANNA KONTA: Actually, I probably would have gone, Oh, that's nice, then forgot about it probably. I really do my best to not think far ahead and really not try to crave those sort of things. I think if you live yourself into that, really bring your head out of your bubble, things become a bit more sticky, a bit more difficult to keep manage of.
If it's in the cards for me, great. If it's not, it's not. That's okay, too. I'm really grateful for the journey that I'm having. However it pans out, it's mine. Yeah, I'm just enjoying playing.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports