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June 17, 2019

Johanna Konta

Birmingham, England

J. KONTA/A. Kontaveit

6-4, 6-2

Q. That seemed very smooth for a first match on the grass. How was it for you?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think I'm obviously pleased with my performance in general. I thought it was a consistent performance throughout the match and nothing about it was easy, that's for sure (smiling).

But I definitely was pleased even when there were some tight moments in certain games, or certain points, I just enjoyed myself being out there, being on the grass, and just thought I competed, yeah.

Q. It must be pleasing how quickly you adapt to grass having had a limited grass court build-up?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I wouldn't say like I'm fully adapted (laughing) by any means. But I think that will come with time and come with matches, but it's a step in the right direction. It was nice to get some court time on the grass because the girls that maybe have had more time maybe haven't played as much on the grass because the weather hasn't been too kind so the fact to be able to play on the grass and play a match, just really happy with that.

Q. Did last week look for you like a well-earned break after the French Open. What did you do? How long did it take you to get back into practice?
JOHANNA KONTA: I took about four days off. I started training again on the Wednesday I think, it was the Wednesday, Wednesday or Thursday. And yeah, I mean, it's always a good problem to have, to have a quick turnaround, so I think I look at it from that perspective more than anything (smiling).

I enjoyed those few days off. I got to see my dog who I haven't seen before, till before Madrid actually. So I hadn't seen him in a little while. So, yeah, it was just enjoying that, enjoying being home, doing washing, things like that (laughing).

Q. You mentioned your dog. Is he here with you this week?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, he isn't yet. Hopefully, he will come up at some point in the week.

Q. Have you made any more cakes because you like baking?
JOHANNA KONTA: I actually made a chocolate cake a couple of days ago because my fitness trainer came in to spend two days with us at the NTC and she loves chocolate cake, so I made her a chocolate cake.

Q. If you win the next round, will you treat us press folk to a slice?
JOHANNA KONTA: Probably not because I don't have my kitchen here (laughing).

Q. Sorry to return to tennis. Can I just ask, were you particularly pleased with your use of the drop shot today because it seemed to be on point, your decision-making of when to use it. You won every point behind that?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think more than anything I was just keen to just play the game out here. It is slightly different than the clay obviously and the grass asks different things of you. There's a lot more points which can be a little bit out of your control because it's a much faster surface and sometimes you are surviving in the point.

But I was happy that I was able to just find a way to keep playing, to keep trying to ask questions of my opponent.

Q. So much happened in Paris, so many great wins, a dramatic defeat, the tournament has to end somewhere. So when you come out of that, is there a digesting process that you go through, how does it work? It is more dramatic than many tournaments, probably?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think because it's also longer, it's a longer period to be in an event. So, in that sense, it can be a bit more draining, emotionally, not necessarily as much physically because you have more time to rest.

So, obviously, there's going to be a bit of a drop-off after and I was quite tired last week and just catching up on just rest and then sleep, really. But, yeah, I think that's normal more than anything.

Q. Do you find you're replaying things in your head, or do you kind of just don't remember what happens in a tournament before?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't think have really spent any time replaying anything about the last match or really any of the other matches. I think -- yeah, I mean, I didn't spend too much time thinking about what ifs, or things like that.

I thought I did a good job at digesting the good things that I did and learning from the things I want to do more of, or differently next time, and more than anything, I think I came away just really looking forward to keep going and keep enjoying playing the tennis that I'm playing.

Q. You really are flying the flag for British women's tennis at the moment. I know you are also following what the Lionesses are doing for women's sport. Does that inspire you as a female sports person as well to see the success of them and carry that through into your own play?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it's always good to see women in sport being celebrated. I think there's -- it's expected and everyone knows about the men in sport and the sport they, how well they do, how well they don't do. Everyone is a lot more acquainted with that.

So it's kind of nice to see just the good things and sometimes the hardships that come also with the female athletes because I think it's just as entertaining, it's just as raw and it is just as easy to get behind.

So yeah, I mean, I'm enjoying seeing them play and I watched their game the other day so yeah, I'm enjoying it.

Q. With Bono, your blue dachshund, you have so much fun with him, having your own account and messing around with him in the kitchen. I was reading Andy Murray talk about when he loses, psychologically how important it is to have his dogs with him. So do you find similarly with the psychological way of the one-on-ones of having a pet who literally has got no idea what is going on with you helps a lot?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think with the dog, just the pet in general, I think, they bring a lot of perspective to your life because I mean there's only space for one emotion and that is usually you want to make them happy.

So, yeah, I mean, regardless of how you do when you go home, they are just so excited to see you, it's -- I actually took him to practice on Saturday and he went on the grass and he was running laps. But, honestly, the happiest dog you have ever seen. I mean, just full sprinting, chasing balls and it automatically puts you in a good mood. It is hard not to be happy when you see a dog being happy.

Q. Greg James before he did his first Radio One Breakfast Show said he was getting too big for his head but then had to clean some dog mess up off his kitchen floor? JOHANNA KONTA: Well, it's a good thing Bono has been house trained for a little while so we haven't had to do that. But it can happen still (smiling).
Q. That question about the Women's World Cup jogged my memory, it is not coming back, but you tweeted something about you got quite emotional watching...
JOHANNA KONTA: That was on the news prior to that, it was a piece on, it was on BBC Breakfast, a piece on the -- I can't remember the year, but it was when the first English football team, the first women's football team went to Argentina for the World Cup and how they actually got banned when they came back, they got banned from playing because that was against the rules doing that at the time.

And yeah, it was just really emotional seeing that because sport is my whole life. It's been, it is something I have grown up with and through. And although it's a different sport, I mean I can't help but just being so grateful for the contribution to women's sport more than anything.

Q. You talk a lot about staying in the moment. I am curious if you allow yourself to dream and think about what you can do or can that be too dangerous when you are in competition?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, for sure, I definitely think about lifting the big trophies and I dream about winning Slams or making it. No, I think about that all the time. It's a part of it. It is just when you are in the competition, it's -- your energy, or for me personally my energy is best used in taking care of things that are going to make me happy and make me prepare to compete the best I can in that moment.

But of course, no, I think -- I started playing when I was a little girl because I dreamt of being No. 1 in the world and winning Grand Slams and that is still why I play.

Q. Going back to women in sport and supporting the Lionesses. Do you think the success of the Fed Cup has highlighted the fact that we've got a lot of very decent up-and-coming young players in this country and how rosy does the future look for women's tennis at this moment in time?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think we've actually had, we've always had women at the top of the sport in tennis to be fair. I think it's now that there is more conversation around it, there's more attention being brought to it and I think people are more enthusiastic and open to getting behind it.

Even when I was young, we still had Anne Keothavong, Elena Baltacha, even Mel South, Katie O'Brien, these women were in the top 100, top 50. I mean that is a pretty impressive achievement.

So, we have always -- as long as I have been here, I have always had women to see at the Grand Slam level at that stage. So I think it's just more of a topic of conversation now, so it's nice to see the girls who are coming through getting more credit and more support on their journey.

Q. That looked a strong performance out there today. Does that give you more optimism ahead of this grass court season than perhaps other years, particularly on the back of doing so well in France?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, no single match guarantees anything, that's for sure. But I really enjoyed being on the grass playing the match I played today and I had a very tough opponent out there and I had to really make sure that I didn't have too many dips in my level because she was always going to be right there. So, overall, I'm pleased with the level that I played and can only look forward to the next match I have.

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