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January 9, 2018

Johanna Konta

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So how did your hip pull up today after last week?
JOHANNA KONTA: Actually, it was good. So that was a really positive thing for me today, that it held up fine and I recovered well from that. So that's a good thing.

Q. Must be quite a frustrating ending to that match for you, because obviously you really fought your way back into it. That incident happened at 5-All. Can you explain exactly what happened there? Did you hear a noise?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, I hit a let but the umpire didn't hear it. But to me it was a clear let, so that's why I stopped. It was a bit frustrating, but when you don't have a net machine, it can happen.

Q. Did someone call a let?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, I heard the tape. I heard the tape.

Q. The officials didn't hear it?
JOHANNA KONTA: Because it's up to the chair umpire. She didn't hear it. Yeah. I mean, it's a part of it when there is no net machine. That can happen. So it was just an unfortunate time.

Q. Did it sort of stop your momentum dead at that point? It was obviously a very crucial time.
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, it was an unfortunate time, but, no, I think I did a good enough job of moving on from it, as you have to.

But, yeah, I think there wasn't too much in it at the end. It was a little unfortunate that I couldn't quite turn around the match sooner, and it took a little bit of time for me to really try to figure out myself on court and then find a good balance and a clear mindset. So it was a bit tricky.

But to be fair to Aga, that's the kind of game she plays. She asks that of her opponents. It's what she's made her living on, how she's able to make her opponents feel frustrated and look pretty bad sometimes.

Q. I guess it does give you some confidence that you found that in the second set and...
JOHANNA KONTA: I think the positives that I'm taking from the match is that, well, one, my hip was good and I was healthy. I'm definitely taking from it that I was, although a little too late, I still was able to find a way to start playing more the way I wanted to play and still dig myself into the match, yeah.

And also I think coming off the back of last season, there is still a lot of challenges that I will be facing these next few weeks, few tournaments, and to really try and find the way that I want to play.

I think I'm also actually looking forward to that. You can never really run away from challenges. They always wait for you. So I'm prepared to work through that and -- yeah, I think overall I'm still happy that I got to have this match here. It was a good learning curve for me. It was good for me to experience some of the frustrations that come with any match but particularly with a player like Aga.

So I think it's only a positive thing for me to have, again, such a challenging and different match already at the beginning of the season.

Q. This was the final here last year, so it's pretty unlucky to face her in the first round?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think this tournament is incredibly strong, anyway. So there really wasn't going to be an easy first round. I was looking at some of the first rounds that were played yesterday like between Angie and Lucie, and, I mean, the winner of that match played Venus, so, I mean, it's an incredibly strong field. And also last week I played Keys first round, so I was right in the norm.

But, yeah, I think again it was just a great opportunity to play a great match. Again, you know, there's things I would have liked to have done better, like what I said, but I have also taken some good things. It's just a shame I couldn't play a few more.

Q. You appeared to look across to Michael two or three times when you were having a bad patch. Was that sort of frustration, you weren't finding your range, or what?
JOHANNA KONTA: Definitely. Yeah, I think one thing I would like to do better next time is panic less. But again, that is a little bit to do with Aga, as well. You know, she does ask those questions of her opponents and of me, and I think the more matches I get to play and then the more clear I am on methodically what I'm doing out there on court, I think the better I will be able to handle those kind of situations.

So, yeah, definitely going to be working on panicking less.

Q. Did Michael play any part in that revival you had in the second set?
JOHANNA KONTA: 100%. He reminded me of the things that work for me, making sure that I stay strong through my legs, strong through my body, really trying to bring it back to basics, simplify things. I think I'm the kind of player, the simpler I can make things, the easier I'm able to execute that. And he knows that.

So he definitely channeled my thoughts into a very process-oriented, very simple, methodical way. Yeah, it was just unfortunate I couldn't quite squeeze out that second set and give myself a shot in the third. But again, next time just definitely would like to do that a little sooner.

Q. At the moment there are four or five really top players ranked outside the top 20, like Aga, Angie, Petra, and are you guys going to have to get used to that you're going to get these early-round unlucky draws over the next few months as that sort of straightens itself out, some of those players coming back to top form?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think it's been the case with women's tennis for the last couple of years now, as we have seen even in the slams last year, particularly because there is more focus on the rounds there, but there is no really easy matches. Some of the battles the women are having right now in the first few rounds of tournaments is actually incredibly impressive.

I mean, even just speaking from my own experience, I mean, I remember I played Caroline in the third round of the Australian Open last year, and even my matches in Wimbledon, I mean, my second round against Donna, so I don't think it's that much of a surprise. I think everyone expects it just because it's become a very regular theme now with every tournament that we play. There really is no easy matches anymore.

Q. Overall, where do you feel at just in terms of your body and your game six days out from the Aussie Open? What do you need to work on the next few days?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think I'm right where I should be. I think coming off of end of last year I'm happy, again, with the different kind of players that I have played already in these four matches that I've gotten, so I actually feel good going into Melbourne, as good as I can feel, I think, and I think it's important for me to still keep a good perspective.

I'm rebuilding myself also as a player a little bit, taking a bit of time out end of last year. And also just the challenges I faced on court end of last year, I think I'm still working through that and working to find the best version of myself again on court, but I'm definitely in that direction.

So I feel excited to play Melbourne. Body-wise, again, I'm good. The hip felt fine. So that's a positive.

What we will be working on is -- I mean, I'll ask Michael (smiling). But again, it will be on just reconfirming the things I want to be doing out there, making sure that I'm moving with intensity, I'm taking time away, I'm moving forward. I definitely play my best tennis when I move forward, when I look to take control of points and then really trust in my own shots. So I'm sure we are going to be working on that. Yeah.

Q. The foot issue you had, that's all under control, is it?
JOHANNA KONTA: Under control so far. Again, it's nowhere near what I had end of last year, but it's something that I continue to manage to make sure that it doesn't go back to that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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