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May 30, 2017

Johanna Konta

Paris, France

SW. HSIEH/J. Konta

1-6, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Jo, the first set went so well. What happened after that, did you feel? Was it more her raising her level or what changed?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think -- I think possibly a combination. I do think she played even better. I don't think she played badly in the first set. I think I probably came out of the blocks a bit quicker than she did. And then, like with every match, things usually level off and both players kind of find their -- yeah, their rhythm or their level for the match, which you always keep trying to do better throughout the match.

I think I definitely created some opportunities. I think I didn't do well enough in necessarily converting them. But then there were times where I felt that she did play incredibly well. And, I mean, there were some points there where I didn't do much wrong, and she really was -- she surprised me with actually how well she moved on the clay and also how solid she was.

You know, everyone knows she's a very talented player and she's got great feel, but she was incredibly solid today, so that made it very tough to play her.

Q. Will you welcome getting back onto grass where your results have been better than on clay so far?
JOHANNA KONTA: Quite honestly, actually, I know results-wise it doesn't reflect it necessarily, but the conversations I have with my coach and the way I feel, I've actually made a lot of improvements on this surface with every match that I played. I really felt that growth-wise and even level-wise I did improve with every single point, game, and set, and match that I played throughout the season. It's unfortunate that I didn't get the chance to play another match here, because I definitely was enjoying my time on the surface and I wanted the season to continue on the clay.

But in terms of heading onto the grass, I, obviously, am looking forward to it, more so because I'll be at home. I think that will be something that's very special, too, not just me but all the Brits. So I'm looking forward to that and, you know, driving to the tournaments and -- yeah, I'm looking forward to that.

Q. How difficult is it starting your first match here against someone that has quite an unconventional game? I mean, her two-handed forehand and lots of slice all around. Do you feel you would have been more comfortable against even a high- ranked player perhaps to start with?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think there's always -- regardless of ranking, there's always going to be more difficult match-ups and maybe more easier match-ups with every player just depending on game style. She's definitely an unorthodox player, but she -- I think she uses the best of her ability to her advantage.

And I think with the conditions out there, it was quite windy and she definitely used that to her advantage quite well.

I still felt that I moved better, and I felt I adjusted better to the balls than I had previously, and that's actually quite a positive for me. Because she also was very difficult, and so I had to do even more today.

Again, I think moving forward and if I would have got another chance to play her, I think a lot of what was also maybe just some confidence, some feeling assertive in certain periods of the match, which you only get with match play on the surface and time.

So I'm definitely taking all the good things from this period, because I think there are quite a lot. And I do think the things that I built through these last few weeks I will be able to transform to the grass and then onto the hard.

Q. You seemed to make more mistakes in that final set than we would expect to see you make on a hard court or a grass court. How much do you attribute that to the fact that this match was taking place on clay?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't think that necessarily had to do anything with the surface.

I think I definitely would have liked to have done better also with a little bit my frustration. I felt I got a little bit frustrated in that third set, and I felt I could have done better with just having a bit more perspective. I think she played very well and consistently well, especially those last two sets. So I think moving forward, for the next time, I definitely want to do that a bit better.

But then again, I mean, your level of play, it never is just in an upward trajectory. You are going to have periods of a match where it's not as good as it maybe was two games ago, or maybe it will be better in two games' time.

But I think I kept fighting. I fought to the best that I could today. I definitely did not give up at any stage of that match until the very, very last point. So, in that sense, I did everything I could.

Q. You talked the other day about the expectations you had coming in. So does this feel like a big blow to go out in the first round?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, the thing is that my expectations are never results-orientated. In that sense, whether I've lost first round or third round or quarters, I do my best to not judge myself on that aspect. Obviously, I like to be involved in a tournament for as long as possible, and I would have liked to have been involved here longer.

But in terms of the match that I played and the improvements that I feel I've made and that I have spoken to my team about, and we all seem to be on the same page, I do feel I'm a better player at the end of this last few weeks on the surface than I was at the beginning and that is the most I can ask of myself: to keep improving.

If that doesn't always come through in results, that's part of sport. I played a player who was -- who played incredibly well today who was inspired, and that's also something that I'm also very happy to be a part of because it gave me another opportunity to learn about myself, also see the things that I can do better, and just do what I do, and what all of us do, and just try to do better next time.

Q. You've only just come off court, but what are your plans over the next few weeks now?
JOHANNA KONTA: I will head home probably as soon as I can and probably go home to Eastbourne for a couple days. I know my parents have missed me. And then I will head up to London and get ready for Nottingham.

Q. I know your expectations aren't results-orientated, but those of the British public perhaps are. Does it feel differently going to a grass court season as the 8th best player in the world where people at home expect you to win rather than just hope that you'll win?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, the thing is, I most importantly play tennis for myself and I play tennis for my own enjoyment. And I'm a very lucky person in the sense that I get to do something that I love on a daily basis.

I think if I were to approach every match and every tournament according to external expectations, I think that would be quite a difficult existence to live.

All I can promise whenever I go out on court is that I will always do my best. Whether that comes away with a win or a loss, I don't know. That depends a lot on the day, a lot on the level that I can produce, and also what my opponent can produce on the day. And that's really all I can do with that.

Q. Jo, following on from that, in the buildup to Wimbledon, there will be a lot of added focus on all the Brits from the media, from the public. How do you deal with that off the court?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I don't necessarily change my tactics specifically for the grass court season. I still focus on the work. I focus on the training, on getting better, on spending time with my fitness trainer, on spending time with my family, on spending time with my team in general. I think that's where my enjoyment lies in what I do, and then that's where my focus lies also.

So that necessarily won't change much for that period of the season. And I think also those people around me will do their best in also keeping me in that space, in that bubble, as much as possible.

Q. Just to check, Jo, the plan is still to play all three weeks leading up to Wimbledon?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, that's the plan. Obviously, we'll see how I physically am, but that's definitely my intention. I enjoy this period of the season and getting to be at home. So I would like to play as much as I can.

Q. What is the sort of physical adjustment that you need to make now from the clay to the grass? Obviously, they're very different surfaces and also quite a short season in Europe.
JOHANNA KONTA: My arse is definitely going to be sore for the first couple of days. You generally get pretty sore getting low down to balls on a consistent basis. But then again, today my opponent made me get very low for balls. So I think maybe that's a good preparation for my clay court training. I mean, sorry. Grass training.

But, yeah, I think doing all the necessary adjustments also physically off court to be prepared for the on-court demands. And like with any surface change, you adapt and you focus a little more in certain areas. But, otherwise, with the first few days, it's always being also really tolerant with yourself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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