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January 18, 2018

Johanna Konta

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

B. PERA/J. Konta

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where do you think it got away from you?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it was kind of two parts of the match in the sense that I think she played very inspired throughout the whole way, and I think I didn't do enough at the beginning when I had little windows of kind of putting kind of my stamp on the match. I felt I didn't quite get enough into the match to be able to, yeah, to be able to get going a little bit.

Yeah, so I think that was kind of the theme throughout the whole match. I think she played well. I do think so. And I didn't quite do as much as I wanted. I think in the points I did okay, and I think I stayed quite strong. But I don't think I did enough with my service games, and I don't think I did enough with my returns, as well. I don't think I adapted well enough.

It's a bit frustrating, but also I think I'm still taking good stuff from this. I don't feel, by any means, it's a massive catastrophe. I play every event to be there till the end, so I definitely don't want to be going home this early.

But I think in terms of building myself back up again and then playing the way I want to play, I think I keep moving forward.

Q. The stats were showing that I think you were down 9Ks on your average first serve speed from previous matches. No aces. Any reason why it wasn't a good serving day?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, I mean, I don't actually specifically know. I think that's another part to do with playing lots of matches and getting that match fitness, match confidence there kind of back to back in, and that's not easy to do for anyone. But I think it is especially tricky in the ranking bracket that I'm in, because you will come up against girls on a consistent basis who are inspired to be playing you.

So I think it's a really great problem to have (smiling), but it is also something that I'm looking to take it in my stride and keep working on it.

Yeah, I think my serve definitely let me down a little bit today. More so than necessarily the Ks. I think when I'm not serving the way I want to, I don't think I'm putting as much pressure on them in their service games, as well.

Q. How hard is it when you're playing a lucky loser who has nothing to lose anymore, going to hit freely, and you're expected to find a way where you have plenty to lose in terms of expectations on you?
JOHANNA KONTA: What's it like to play?

Q. Yeah, how difficult is it to play someone who hits freely, they didn't even expect to be playing.
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think I did a good job of just dealing with the difficulty of the match. I didn't really play with any external things.

I think I stayed very much in the match, and I tried to find a way. I battled, and I competed. I just didn't play well enough, to be honest. I didn't play well enough to be able to kind of earn that third set and try to earn my way out of the match.

Q. There were a few odd moments, as well, a couple of slips and a couple of overheads and a bizarre sort of second serve. Were they just all unfortunate things or does that reflect kind of lack of match confidence you have been talking about?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it's just not -- I mean, I think I just didn't play great (smiling). I mean, I think it's a part of tennis. It's a part of everyone's career.

I mean, there is always going to be days like this, and I think when you have the match fitness and when you have that sort of kind of routine within the matches, even when you aren't having great days like necessarily I did today -- I mean, I think it's also a little bit harsh. It's not that I had a bad day. There are things that I did well today. So it wasn't like I wasn't out on court. I competed and my opponent beat me. So there is credit due to her.

But I think when you have that kind of match fitness, you are able to come through those necessarily difficulties that you find in every match, every day that you play.

I mean, there is only -- I think you can count on one hand how many perfect matches you have. I'd like to think as the season goes on and as I keep putting the work in, that I'll just keep trying to find a way.

Q. You often talk about the strength and depth in the women's game. Do you think your experience today, Caroline's Wozniacki's difficulties yesterday, Venus and Sloane going out, is that all evidence of that?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think so. I think players rarely play the reputation anymore. I don't think there has been enough predecessors to these players now who are coming through who understand that, you know, it's anyone's game on any day.

The rankings reflect a player's consistency and how well they are able to come in week in, week out, and play at that level. But it doesn't guarantee that level every single day, and there is a lot of things at play.

So, yeah, I think players come out to play inspired, as they should. I mean, I think I did the same. I do the same.

I think there is always a psychology and a kind of feeling to every match that you play, and that kind of differs with the circumstances.

Q. How do you research playing someone like Pera, who you just haven't seen probably in many tournaments? I don't know if she's ever been on TV before.
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I was playing challengers at the same time as her, so I do know who she is. I didn't know the face. I did know who she is. I knew she was a lefty.

I think Michael knew who she was, so we were able to go through a game plan, as with every other player. I was prepared for her to be playing loose and playing freely.

She did that in her last match, and that was only going to increase with the match today. So I did not go on court underestimating or expecting anything to come easy.

Q. She has risen pretty quickly in the rankings the last 12 months. What do you think is her potential or what do you make of her game?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think she's a great player. I think she hits very clean. I think she kind of -- yeah, hits clean and quite big off both sides. Obviously I think she uses her leftiness quite well.

But, yeah, I think a credit to her. I think she also stayed calm and was very methodical in getting her end of the job done. So I think she did well with the circumstances that she had.

Q. You talked about match confidence. How much can you kind of work on that away from the court, or is there just no substitute for just winning matches?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, there is no substitute. I think you obviously look to keep improving your game through training and your physicality through, you know, training, but to being match fit and having that feel in points and feel in the way match flows and kind of that almost not thinking about kind of belief in, you know, what you do in certain points, that comes with matches. That comes with volume of matches. Yeah. And also coming through tough matches.

Q. It was a very hot day, obviously. I imagine there is a lot of glare out there. Was that connected with problems with the overheads?
JOHANNA KONTA: No. No. Well, I mean, possibly. I mean, but no, I wouldn't say that -- it wasn't that I didn't see the ball. It was windy out there, so it was tricky to time, and I just didn't do enough good job of timing it.

Q. Your schedule from here?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm going home and then planning on Fed Cup and then Doha.

Q. To build this match confidence that's very important to you, do you feel like you'll be quite looking forward to maybe getting to tread the boards a bit in between the slams and maybe getting away from the attention of the Australian Open?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, to be honest, I actually felt very comfortable being here. I think in terms of kind of off-court commitments and talking to you lot and all that, I don't necessarily take it too hardly. I don't feel like it necessarily affects me in how I go about my matches and my training.

I'm definitely looking forward to Fed Cup. I'm looking forward to our playing matches there. I'm actually looking forward to just continuing to play. I mean, I didn't play very much in the last six months of last year, so I think I'm where I'm meant to be right now in my level, and then I think it is, whether you guys can tell or not, but I feel it is getting better with each match that I'm playing.

Yeah, I'm figuring things out and enjoying doing it.

Q. Nadal was talking yesterday about potentially closing the roof in the hot weather. What do you think about that when the temperatures start climbing?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, that's quite nice for the people who are under the roof. Not so nice with people who are not. But again, that's a tournament decision, and I don't know. I don't know. I think you deal with whatever, yeah, comes then.

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