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April 29, 2021

Johanna Konta

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference

J. KONTA/Y. Putintseva

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did that go, given you played relatively little tennis this year, and your first go on clay since September?

JOHANNA KONTA: I was really pleased with it. I thought I put in a solid performance. I thought overall it was quite a solid match. It wasn't easy, but I thought I was able to create momentums in different parts.

Overall I thought I played well. I thought I was overall adapting to maybe how she was changing and what she was trying to do.

Overall just pleased of being able to win that match. It's always nice to get a win. But I'm more pleased in I thought the way I was playing. It is continually improving.

Q. How do you approach the next few weeks? As we're already at this stage of the season, you're in Madrid, you haven't gotten much in the way of a warmup. You have a sequence of really important tournaments right through until September.

JOHANNA KONTA: What do you mean? Sorry. I don't get the question part.

Q. I wonder how patient you need to be because you are starting with Madrid, then Rome, then three Grand Slams in the space of three or four months. You don't have a great deal of time to ease your way back in again.

JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I don't really feel any way about it really. I'm grateful to be here. I'm grateful to be playing. I'm grateful to be healthy enough to compete. Knock on wood, long may that continue.

I'm not really looking much further ahead than having just finished this match and kind of who my next opponent may be. I haven't even looked at that. You guys will probably tell me. I won't think of that come later today or even tomorrow.

In terms of the tournaments that are coming, at least we're in a position that we have tournaments coming. Whether they're big or small, it's just nice to have them.

Q. The couple of events you pulled out of, is that because you had fears about COVID? Was that fear of contracting the virus or with the mentally draining aspect of being in the bubble?

JOHANNA KONTA: I think it's more of a combination. I think it's more the logistical side of it. It's the feeling of kind of how much stress of it am I willing to take on, how I feel about the environment I'm going in. I think it's a combination.

It's very different playing under these circumstances compared to what our old normal used to be. I think it's just about for me managing kind of where I feel like I'm able to really put myself out there to perform the best that I can.

Q. On the restrictions, how do you feel about having to stay in a hotel for Wimbledon rather than being allowed to stay at home?

JOHANNA KONTA: Sorry, I didn't hear the end of your question.

Q. How do you feel about having to stay in a hotel for Wimbledon rather than being allowed to stay at home?

JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I'm still very hopeful that that might shift and change. As of now I'm just holding onto that hope.

Q. What would that be like if you did have to stay in a hotel?

JOHANNA KONTA: I don't know. We'll see.

Q. Can you give us an update on your fitness, in particular your knee?

JOHANNA KONTA: I think overall physically I'm getting in better and better shape. I think I'm getting stronger. My knee is definitely becoming more and more robust, which is really good.

Overall I'm pleased with especially where we start at the beginning of the year to where we are now with the amount of load we're doing on court. Definitely in an upward trajectory what I'm able to handle during training. Hopefully that will translate being able to play back-to-back tough matches.

Q. With the knee issue you've had, has it been more of an issue on hard courts than on clay, for example?

JOHANNA KONTA: No, it's a combination. Actually I was really struggling with it last year during Rome and French Open. So, no, it's usually to do with change of surface that can be tricky.

Again, because of all the work that I'm putting in, all the necessary steps that I'm taking to adapt well to each change that might come, it's been holding up quite well.

Q. I imagine the whole debate about the restrictions, you're not the only person who has been asked this, I'm sure it's been a topic of conversation, but you live in southwest London, surely it would be quite a strange new feeling for you, given that you've always been kind of based at home since you owned a house, for Wimbledon. I'm wondering also, with regard to your answer, have you had any kind of indication possibly this policy might be reconsidered?

JOHANNA KONTA: No, I haven't. All I know is whenever there's any announcements made, they always say it's subject to change according to what the local government guidelines are at the time. Until we get closer to the event and we know how the All England will be aligning themselves with what the government is saying and what things they're putting in place, we won't know.

For now we're going according to a set of guidelines according to what the guidelines are at home, but things are changing. Whether that means All England will change what policies their implementing, not necessarily but maybe.

For now I'm holding out hope that I don't have to stay in a hotel, but I'm fully prepared for that eventuality, as well.

Q. On the theme of Wimbledon, what do you make of play on the middle Sunday from next year?

JOHANNA KONTA: Oh, I didn't know that. So from 2022 they'll be playing the middle Sunday?

Q. Yes.

JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I mean, we do it at every other slam, so I don't know. Hopefully the grass will be able to cope with that. It's a nice little day off in the middle there.

But, yeah, I think it will be -- I don't think there will be much of a feeling of any difference.

Q. Another Wimbledon question. What effect do you think the French Open moving back a week will have? Obviously just goes back to the situation we were at a few years ago. Had you been enjoying the fact you had an extra week to prepare on grass?

JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, for sure. I definitely don't think it's ideal that the buildup before Wimbledon has obviously lost that week, hopefully just for this year. But, yeah, no, that's definitely not ideal.

However, I think everyone is just trying to do what's I guess best for themselves but overall best for the events being put on.

Yeah, not ideal, but it is what it is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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