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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 30, 2017


Johanna Konta


Miami, Florida

J. KONTA/V. Williams

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Really tense win today. Curious what your thoughts are sort of immediately after and what got are you through today or tonight or this morning?
JOHANNA KONTA: This morning. Good morning. Well, to be honest, there was so little in that going either way. Both of us had a lot of momentum shifts, and I think there was a lot of 40-Love games and deuce games.

So there really was hardly anything in that, and I'm just very happy that I was able to, with that, keep it in good perspective. I still took the good things. Even with those games that I lost where I had chances, I think I still saw that I was playing the right way and it was still going to be the way that was going to bring me the best chance of coming through.

Q. At the start of the match somebody tweeted out a photo from a few years ago of Venus at one of your slam quallies matches because you were wearing her clothing line at the time. I know you try stay grounded, but I am serious if there is an surreal element at all to playing Venus these days?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think the first time I played her was in Wuhan. Definitely going in court then it was, but I've been lucky enough to have played her a few times since then as well.

Every time you get to go on court against such a champion I think you've always got to take it as such a privilege. And also for it to be on such a great stage like here, semifinal of a premier mandatory, I think, yeah, we work very hard for these sorts of opportunities.

I think I still look at it as a great honor. Yeah, I think I've gotten a bit better also with experience of just focusing on my end of the work.

Q. So you must have been thinking, aware of her age and what she's trying to accomplish here. Were you wondering how long she can keep it up? The rallies were intense. You're hitting the ball hard. Were you surprised at the age of 36 she's still able to do that? Were you expecting she might sort of fold and trying and work that aspect of it, trying to break her down physically?
JOHANNA KONTA: To be honest, both Venus and her sister I think defy all odds in every sense, so I was not surprised in the slightest.

She's also been playing such a high level so far this year. I think she's very fit, and so I had no doubt that she was going to be there until the very, very end. I was not counting on her dropping off her level. I was just really working very hard to maintain mine.

Q. You have a 3-1 head-to-head record now against Venus Williams, which is quite impressive to have. One of the greats of the game, of course. Even the match lost to her, you pushed her close in that match. Do you feel you match up well with her?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think every time we've played I believe I have been able to raise my level. I can't speak for her so I don't know how she felt she played, but today I thought we did play quite a high-quality match.

I think there was so little in that to go either way, so I'm just very pleased that I was able to really I guess capitalize on a few more opportunities than her. Yeah, every time I get to play her, yeah, I always look forward to the battle.

Q. Caroline in the final, yeah? Will there be a contrast of styles in some way? What do you think the fans are going to get, what kind of game?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, no, I believe definitely I think they are slightly different players; however, both of them are equally competitive and equally difficult to come through against.

Against Caroline, I'm definitely going to be looking forward to playing a lot of balls and a lot of tough points. She's one of the best athletes in the game. She ran a marathon for goodness sake. I'm sure it'll be a match where I'll be running for a lot of balls. Hopefully we'll give a great match for the final.

Q. Wondering how much pressure you feel. I know how British tennis players, there is so much attention and spotlight. How are you dealing with that, with the growing popularity, I'm assuming?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think the fortunate position that I'm in is we have someone called Andy Murray who, bless him, has I think carried most of that weight on his shoulders.

But it's also a great thing we promote tennis there. If it's talked about, circulated, it's only good for our sport. If it grows at home, that's a good thing.

Q. Obviously made the final of Beijing in the autumn. Do you feel like this is an even bigger stage than that?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, according to the calendar it's on par. I guess Miami may have a certain just more history possibly. I believe it's been around longer. Don't count me on that. Obviously it's always talked about Indian Wells/Miami.

In terms of who I'm playing and what we're playing for, that's quite equal. I played Radwanska in that final and now I am playing Wozniacki in the final here. I think it's a great finals to be a part of.

Yeah, I'm just looking forward to playing another match. Yay. I made it to the end. Woo!

Q. You haven't played much, only two matches in six weeks I think before you came here. I know you're someone who very much takes one match at a time. Did you feel in practice that things were coming together nicely and you could do well here?
JOHANNA KONTA: Quite honestly, I think the least I think about how I'm feeling in practice and how that would transfer into matches the better. There are so many moving factors and variables. I'm also playing an opponent.

The most clearheaded and just very I guess work-focused that I come into match the better for me. If I focus on the plan that I want to execute out there and just basically how I want to behave and what I want to bring to the court, then that's always in my best interest.

Not necessarily thinking of how I practiced.

Q. What about the match with Caroline in Australia?
JOHANNA KONTA: I remember I played very well that match. I did play very well. I do remember that.

Yeah, and also until the very end I knew that it was never for certain. I think that's the thing with Caroline: she never goes away. She's there until the very, very last ball.

I know that will be my challenge on Saturday. Yeah, looking forward to it.

Q. Talk about the first premier mandatory final in Beijing. You like to talk about experience. What do you remember of that first final, and what experience will you take from that one into the next one?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think I will try to enjoy this final a little bit more. I think I may have just, yeah, not enjoyed the whole experience as much as I would've liked I think possibly.

Yeah, I mean, it's also different setting, different continents, different cities, obviously. Yeah, I mean to be honest, I don't really know. It's so past my bedtime. (Laughter.) Way past.

Q. Can you just characterize what makes Venus such a tough opponent and particularly about playing her what brings out the best in you?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think when you up against her you don't just go up against Venus Williams, the tennis player. You go up against so many other things, the Grand Slam champion, just the years and years and decades literally of experience. She comes with so much experience.

You know there is not one situation probably out there she has not been in a hundred times before. When I play someone like that I think you automatically want to bring the best out of yourself because you know you're playing up against someone who has such a massive repertoire that you've got to use what you have to the best of your ability.

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