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June 4, 2019

Johanna Konta

Paris, France

J. KONTA/S. Stephens

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What's your emotions now, having reached the French Open semifinals?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think happy more than anything. I feel just really happy. Yeah, happy, I think, is the main word, main feeling.

I feel really pleased with just how I dealt with the conditions out there and just how I gave myself space to play. I thought I played the game, which I was just really pleased with. Just happy.

Q. I think you won something like 18 straight points on your serve at some stage. Was this one of the best performances of your career?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I wouldn't think so. However, I mean, it's definitely one of my best performances. I mean, it's hard to pinpoint what is the best performance, because you're always dealing with different types of opponents or different types of conditions. Or even if you're playing the same opponent, it's still going to be a different match.

I definitely thought I played well behind my serve more than anything, and kept a good variety in there, which I think made it also difficult for Sloane to find her rhythm in those games.

But, yeah, I think overall I just played a good match.

Q. I'm sure that Bono will agree with me, it's a beautiful day?

Q. Just wanted to ask how friends and family and all your supporters are reacting to this brilliant run that you're on.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I haven't really spoken to anyone at home. I called mum and dad just briefly. Their first question was, How's Bono? (Laughing.)

Yeah, I haven't really looked at too much what's going on. Obviously everybody who is close to me is going to be very pleased with where I've gotten so far and really excited for me to, you know, keep playing, keep doing the best that I can. Yeah.

Q. One thing Sloane said was the level of clay on the court was thin. You mentioned it was blustery. Did you have a sense of that? That can obviously react to how you serve, how you play.
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, it would make sense probably because it was very windy out there. So it probably was blowing quite a bit off. I'm sure I took half the clay in my eyes when I came off. It was pretty windy out there (smiling).

But I didn't think of it too much, so I didn't notice anything too much.

Q. Chris Evert said she was speechless at your performance today and said she thought no one would be able to beat you when you play like that. Do you have a feeling you can beat absolutely anyone on the tour on your day when you're playing like that? Is there a sense of invincibility about your level when you're on form?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I've always said that whenever I step out onto the court, I'm always going to have a chance. I'm always going to have a shot. I don't think any player on tour can go on court against me and feel like they've definitely got it.

I definitely back myself and my ability that way. But then I also accept a lot of things that, you know, it's not all on my racquet. I also accept that my opponent has a say in things out there, as well.

More than anything, I'm enjoying just playing that game out there, that, basically, game of tennis more than anything.

Q. Obviously it's not the first time you have had a great run at a Grand Slam. Do you feel like you're benefiting from that experience of having been here before?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, for sure there's got to be some benefit that I'll be feeling from being in this position before. But more than anything, I think, is also the different positions that I have been in so far this year. I mean, those were some tough situations during Fed Cup, as well, a lot of matches I played where I was down, as well.

So I think there are different experiences that you accumulate throughout the season. I have definitely had really had a lot of good ones this year, which can only help me in situations like these.

Q. You play either Martic or Vondrousova next. Both of them are players with a lot of different variety. Curious with how well you're playing on your serve and everything if you feel you can still play the same sort of game and be able to assert yourself and dictate, or how much you'll have to adjust to a player with a lot of variety in the next round.
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think there is always an adjustment period, always going to be things that you look to, you look to do it against a specific opponent. But keeping in mind that there's things that I do well which are effective against everyone and just finding that right balance of when I can do that and when I need to add something else.

Yeah, I mean, both of them are great players, and they're playing very good tennis. So whoever I play, I'm looking forward to it.

Q. I wonder if you can compare your run here with your two previous runs to semifinals at Grand Slams? In particular, I wonder if this gives you even more satisfaction, bearing in mind it's a slam you hadn't won a match in the main draw before and the fact you have had some ups and downs in the last couple of years.
JOHANNA KONTA: I wouldn't say it means more. It's slightly different. It's a different process getting here than when I got to the semifinal at Wimbledon or even when I got to the semifinal at Australia. I think it's a slightly different process.

But more than anything, I am just really pleased with how I am just training and working every day on something that I enjoy and that I believe in. I think that's probably the most satisfying feeling out of this whole thing right now.

Q. You have been working with a new coach for a few months. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship and how it helps you go forward?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I mean, Dimitri and I have been working together since October now, so it's been some time now. I mean, I think, like I have said a bunch of times before, I mean, he's been great in just encouraging me and inviting me and giving me the space to play the way I want to play and not putting too many restraints or restrictions on myself.

And just enjoying that almost self-discovery process of being the player who I want to be and trusting the decisions I make out there. And that's been a really nice journey to be on and continue to be on, because it makes what I do out there very self-satisfying, because I feel quite -- I feel a lot of ownership over it, which is a really nice place to be.

Q. Everyone has been trying to figure out why you're playing so well on clay, but you've consistently said that you feel like you have always been able to play well on clay. What do you think clay helps with your game specifically? It seems like you have more time on your return, for example.
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, yeah, I mean, I have said that a few times. I mean, I have never doubted my ability to play on the surface. I mean, you know, people can only say what happens results-wise in the last few years. It hasn't gone my way as much as I would have liked.

But I think the things that I'm working on, it can only help me on the surface, as well, although I strongly believe in the way we are working it translates to all the surfaces. But clay, being a bit slower, it automatically does invite you to play the game a bit more.

I think that's been actually a really great period for me to have now because it's only encouraging me to do that much more the things that we are working on anyway.

Q. Are you going to watch the other quarterfinal this evening?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm not sure if I'll catch any of it while I'm still here. But once I get back, there is no TV or anything. So once I get back, I won't be watching it. But, yeah, so we'll see how long I'm here for.

Q. Your support camp is pretty small here. Is anyone else coming over? Might your parents come over or will this be it?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm not too sure. There is no plans for anything really, but then I'm open to it if they want to come over. I think they're both working, though, until -- I think they go on holiday on Friday. So they're definitely working through the semis, so then we'll see.

Q. You've consistently said that you've always believed in the process even when the results haven't gone your way, even through criticism. Have you ever wavered in that self-belief, or is it something you have always known deep inside that you have that courage of your convictions?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think a combination. I think it's only human to sometimes doubt or waver in beliefs. But when I haven't had it, I have always been very fortunate with the people around me, as well.

I have honestly been incredibly lucky with the quality of people I have had around me and the kind of values they have, which really align with the values that I have, which is important when you go through times of struggle. It's only helped me in kind of reaffirming my own values and kind of giving that much more attention and belief in that.

Yeah, sometimes you do, but, I mean, that's also part of the process, isn't it, I guess.

Q. You're working with Dimitri now. His previous player he worked with, Timea, this was her best Grand Slam. She made it to the semifinals twice. And I'm curious if he's had particular insights about this place or about clay in general that have helped things click more for you more this time around?
JOHANNA KONTA: Not specifically. I think the way Dimitri approaches things, as well, it's very individual. I'm quite a different player to Timea. We're quite different people in that sense, as well.

I think he's done a great job in making things relevant for me where they are relevant. Obviously he's been in this position before, like you said, twice.

So I'm sure he has his own experiences, but he's been very generous in giving me the space to experience this on my terms, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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