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CHAMPIONS CORNER: BRITAIN’S JOHANNA KONTA CROWNED QUEEN OF MIAMI

WTA Insider David Kane | Making British tennis history is just another day at the office for Johanna Konta. Here's how she characterizes the biggest win of her career at the Miami Open.

MIAMI, FL, USA - Making British tennis history is just another day at the office for Johanna Konta.

After putting together an emphatic performance to take down former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the Miami Open final - where she became the first British woman to win a Premier Mandatory title and to take home the Miami crown - Konta has sealed her return to the WTA's Top 10 in commanding style.

The Brit is set to rise to a career-high ranking of No.7 following her third career WTA title; more impressively, she'll move up to No.2 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard in the hopes of making her debut at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Fresh off the courts at Crandon Park, WTA Insider caught up with Konta on her way to the champion's photoshoot - here's how the always level-headed Brit characterizes the biggest achievement of her career.

WTA Insider: We're heading to the post-win photoshoot, where a throng of photographers are waiting. Do you enjoy this part of being a top athlete in tennis, and what do you make of the spectacle of it all?
Konta: Well, I don't know what to expect quite yet and we'll get there and see what it is about exactly. Right now it's a bit of a whirlwind, there's a lot of stuff to be done. It's not exactly a bad problem to have, is it?

WTA Insider: I'd like to take you back, all the way back to the first time you played in Miami. It was only last year, so I'm going to assume you remember.
Konta: It wasn't that long ago, was it? (laughs).

WTA Insider: What were your first impressions of this event, and what kept you from playing here in the past, because you'd played qualies at Indian Wells for a couple of years?
Konta: For a couple of years, it was obviously the ranking. Other than that, I was injured or didn't quite make it here before last year. But once I did get here, I made a lot of great memories. I made it to the quarters here, and played a great match against Victoria Azarenka, who, of course, went on to win the Sunshine Double, which was an incredible achievement for her. It was a great event for me last year, but obviously this year, I topped it a bit!

WTA Insider: …and now playing with Vika's old coach, Wim Fissette.
Konta: Small world, huh? (laughs).

WTA Insider: What do you like about this tournament and the conditions, and when did you start to feel you could make a run at this title?
Konta: I think you've got to go into every event with the ambition and the desire and obviously the vision that you can stay there until the very end. As I always usually say I'm just looking to be involved in the event until the very last day. The opportunities that I get to do that are always special and today was no different. It was a great match to be a part of, it was great final, not much in it -- for me to be able to come through that and also from the get go, I really felt I was able to really assert myself to what I wanted to achieve out there, how I wanted to play against Caroline and very happy to have executed that.

WTA Insider: What did you do to prepare for a very physical match at the end of two weeks, and how did you feel on the court?
Konta: It was actually really tough today, it was a lot hotter and more humid than I felt previously. At the back of two weeks you've got more miles in the legs and in the mind as well so I think it was just important to have good enjoyment of the situation, good enjoyment of the scenario and then just really enjoy competing and focus on the game plan that I had.

WTA Insider: There's a certain lack of the kind of drama in your matches WTA fans have almost come to expect. It was a tough one against Aliaksandra Sasnovich to start, but otherwise pretty efficient matches. What do you chalk that up to and do you surprise yourself at how straight-forward your matches are?
Konta: Quite honestly, even if the scoreline suggests it's straightforward, there is never really a straight forward match. There are so many ebbs and flows and the opponent always has something to say about the outcome of the match. So I think I just go in with a clear head and knowing what I bring to a match and what I bring to a court and what I want to achieve out there and also thinking on my toes a little bit and being adaptable because they will also throw everything and the kitchen sink at you to come through.

WTA Insider: Clay is coming up in fairly short order for you as you're headed to Charleston. What sort of adjustments are you going to have to make on that surface?
Konta: It's obviously a very quick turnaround for me headed to Charleston but I think it's also a positive, it's a great opportunity to hit the ground running a little bit -- not too much time to fuff around before getting on the clay. I played it once before and I remember it was a great event, but I've heard so many good things about the event and I'm just looking forward to getting there and otherwise enjoy this win and this accomplishment today and for the next couple of days and then get back to work.

WTA Insider: Being in your press conference today, and throughout the tournament, it's clear that some people are still getting to know you as one of the top forces in the game -- do you feel that you're heading to a point that people are going to know you before you step on the court or into the press room?
Konta: I think that comes with time and that is also something that comes along with if you get the opportunity to do well in the sport that you do or whatever you do. I think then you get more 'known' and I do it -- I play because I love competing. As long as I keep the opportunities to compete on the big stages and also on the small ones, that's what I love to do and I'm just looking forward to doing that.

WTA Insider: Besides the trophy, what will you take with you from these two weeks in Miami?
Konta: Another bucket-load of experience. I came through some really tough matches -- my match against Venus I felt was one of the best matches I played this year mentally and also tactically -- I felt I struck really true to what I wanted to achieve out there and even in my first round to come through such tough conditions and also a tough opponent. I'm just very happy with some of the new experiences and re-strengthening some other ones that I was able to do this week.

Hear more from Konta and her coach, Wim Fissette, in the latest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast:

 

Get on the Road to Singapore to see who are amongst the top 8 in the first Leaderboard update!

This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.




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