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April 1, 2017

Johanna Konta

Miami, Florida

J. KONTA/C. Wozniacki


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Stupid question, but how does it feel to be the queen of the Miami Open?
JOHANNA KONTA: It's all kind of sinking in, I guess. Right now it's quite busy doing everything, so a little bit going through the motions. I think it'll mostly sink in once I get back to the hotel and have some time with my team and have some good food.

Q. You have a reputation as one of the more thoughtful, intelligent young players on the tour, yet it's taken you quite a while to break through, which is a little bit of a contradiction. You even said to Brad Gilbert that everybody's journey is different. Can you elaborate on that and tell us about that journey?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm not sure how it's a contradiction. My journey was just different, I guess, to everybody's -- like everyone's is compared to everyone else's.

I think for me, it was just about time and patience and also determination to really stick with the process, my process of focusing on my work.

Q. But were you too into your head, overthinking things? Did you have too many tools and have to figure all that out? Was it more a question of maturity and finding your game?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it was probably a combination of everything, but also a question of maturity. I needed to go through certain life experiences, not just on court, off court as well, to I think make me into the competitor that I am, and also the person off court.

I think a lot of things go very hand and hand when I it comes to sport. It's not just a job. It's your life. It's your lifestyle. I think you have to grow up in a lot of different areas for it to transfer on court as well.

Q. Talk a little bit about the background. I know the Hungarian parent and grew up in Australia and then became a British citizen as a teenager. Take us through that a little bit. Was that tennis driven? Was that family driven?
JOHANNA KONTA: It was life. It was just, yeah, life. It was not a thought-out, planned thing. It happened naturally. I was born in Australia; we left the U.K. -- sorry, Australia in 2005; went to the U.K.

I actually started training in Spain and my parents moved to the U.K. The original plan was they were going to go down to Spain, but then things changed and I went up to the U.K. with them and we stayed in the U.K.

Then me becoming a citizen was just a natural process. It happened over a period ever six, seven years maybe. Where are the Brits? How long was it? You guys have been here on this journey.

Is it five? Okay. You guys have been there from the beginning, so...

Yeah, that's home. So, yeah.

Q. I don't want to get the Brits mad at me, but in your heart are you Aussie or British?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm British. That's home. That's where my ties are. That's where my family is. That's where I bought my first place. Yeah, that's where I've spent my formative years. That's where I grew into who I am.

Q. Two questions. First one, how important was that start to the thing? You go out there in the biggest final you've played maybe and you go out and break straightaway in that fashion. Secondly, before the winner's ceremony the camera was on you for a while. You seemed very, very deep in thought, like you were having a real moment of contemplation there. Perhaps not. What was going through your mind there?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, for your first question, I think going into any match, but also against someone like Caroline who's such as athlete and can really stay out there as long as she needs to, it was really important for me to straightaway assert myself in the manner I wanted to play just so I had it clear in my head and give myself the best chance of executing what I wanted to tactically.

Actually, not much was going through my head. I think I was just sitting and staring off into space a little bit. So much also happens straight after that it's a bit of a whirlwind. Yeah, there wasn't much going through there. (Laughter.)

Q. Just wondering, following up on a little on Peter, 25, it's young. In the real world 25 a young, but in tennis people start so young, and especially on the women's side. What kept you going when you were 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and you haven't gotten the big titles yet? What made you keep going to get to this point?
JOHANNA KONTA: I guess if we look at tennis, obviously possibly the previous generation and a few years ago was more younger. I think as tennis is progressing and becoming more physical it has become later and later. I wouldn't say I'm the oldest on tour, although you're making me sound like I am. (Laughter.)

I mean, it wasn't that I was a bad tennis player before. I mean, for many people reaching 150, inside 200, 250, it's still an incredible accomplishment and something you can say that I was top 150 in the world for something. Not many people can say that in any discipline or any area of their job that they do.

So I think was equally proud of what I had achieved that age. I wasn't a bad junior either. I got to 11 in the world. I don't think it was that much of an anomaly. I think I just kept doing what I love, and that's working hard.

I was very fortunate that throughout the years I've managed to have some very, very good people around me. I think the more I was able to absorb from them, their knowledge and wisdom, and the more I was able to reinvest that into the matches that I played, and on a consistent basis, I think that's part of reason I'm here now.

Q. Following up on Michelle's question, you see the Kerbers of the world becoming No.1 at 29 and Serena still can do anything at 35.
JOHANNA KONTA: And Li Na, Francesca Schiavone when she won...

Q. Right. Kimiko Date.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, exactly. I mean, not to mention Serena and Venus who are still around.

Q. I said Serena. So you still have the full belief that -- you're a big hitter like them that you can be easily top 10 -- you're already top 10; you're 7. Excuse me. But slams are in the future in your mind, I would imagine.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think I've always had the belief of wanting to become a Grand Slam champion, wanting to become the best in the world. I think that stays throughout, with every player I imagine, their career. Without that, I don't think it makes it as --the victories as sweet and I think also the defeats as motivating. I think that stays.

And then it's about keeping things simple and working for me. I just want to work and try to really bring out in myself the most that I have. Wherever that gets me that's where it will get me, but hopefully the day I hang up my racquets I will be able to say that I really maximized my full ability and, my, yeah, everything inside me.

Q. Congratulations.

Q. You requested on-court coaching quite often, not only in today's match, but throughout this tournament. Normally what kind of stuff does he tell you? Besides that, what kind of elements do you think he brought into your game?
JOHANNA KONTA: Actually, this week I requested him probably the least. I think whenever he comes on court, for us it's more about bringing good perspective and more I think just him passing on the things that he sees from the outside.

As we know, being on court you're very emotionally invested in what you're doing, and sometimes it's not so easy to see things as clear as from the outside. Think it's also him more making me laugh, making me smile, and keeping things in good perspective and making sure that I'm enjoying competing out there.

Q. What do you feel was the key moment of the game? Do you feel like this is like the big moment for the tennis in Britain?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think quite honestly there wasn't any key moment in that match. Until the end that wasn't too much in it.

I think, yeah, I mean, I tried to not wish time away and to really stay out there as long as possible and really enjoy competing. I think even when it was finished I was expecting more points to come.

Then I hope at home the coverage has been good. Guys, did you guys do a good job? (Laughter.) Well, I hope so. Because if the coverage has been good then it's great for us. It's promoting tennis, and hopefully promoting more people to play.

Thank you.

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