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January 10, 2017

Johanna Konta

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

J. KONTA/D. Gavrilova

6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was that today?
JOHANNA KONTA: It was good fun. I knew going into the match that Dasha wasn't going to give it to me. She's famous for being an incredibly tough competitor.

I knew that going into the match until the very last point I was going to have to work very hard.

Q. She seemed to save all of her best tennis for the break points, didn't she?
JOHANNA KONTA: Definitely, but I think that's signs of a great competitor. She raises her level when she needs to, and she definitely made it very difficult in those last two games. I'm very happy to have closed it out when I did.

Q. How do you feel like you're traveling at this stage with the first Grand Slam starting next week?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm just happy I have accumulated already a few matches under my belt in the first few weeks of the season. I feel quite pleased about that.

I'm not really thinking too far ahead. Melbourne is still a little way away, and I'm right here in Sydney, enjoying my time here, trying to enjoy my involvement in the tournament as much as possible.

Q. Your half of the draw has opened up. You're the only seed left. I guess there is opportunity going forward?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think historically, and every single year, it's the same. Sydney is an incredibly tough lineup. I think 6 out of the top 10 were here, I think, before Karolina pulled out, but I think the cut is usually, like, 20-something.

I think just because there is no seeds necessarily left in my part, every single player that's involved in the tournament is there for a reason.

Q. How are you feeling like you can go 2017? What are your ambitions this year?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't really have any outcome goals. That's not how I operate. That's not how I play.

I look to maintain my health. I look to maintain my enjoyment in the sport and my desire to keep improving. That combination of those things will always be the things that give me the best opportunity to perform well. So I'm looking to just play as much as I'm able to this year.

Q. What do you think the secret was putting together such a great year last year? What were the things that helped you rise to a new level?
JOHANNA KONTA: Exactly what I just said. (Laughter.)

I focused on my desire to just get better every single day. I think the fact that I was hungry to continuously improve off the back of every single match, whether I won or lost, I think, enabled me to really absorb the experiences and the lessons that I was learning along the way, and therefore, I was able to reinvest it into each match that I was playing.

I think that's what I did exceptionally well, and hopefully I'll be able to do the same this year and every time I play.

Q. Does coming back to Sydney still feel like a bit of a homecoming all these years later?
JOHANNA KONTA: Oh, for sure. I was born here. I lived here until I was 13, and, yeah, my sister is here. It's definitely not like any other tournament for me. It is special in that way.

Yeah, I haven't gone to where I grew up or anything, so it's still like every other tournament in the sense that I'm here or at the hotel. I have gone to my sister's place, though, so that's nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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