WTA

Former British number one Konta retires from tennis aged 30

By Sports Desk December 01, 2021

Former British number one Johanna Konta has announced her retirement from tennis after a continuous battle with a knee injury.

Konta, who is a three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, has not featured on the WTA Tour since August and decided to step away aged 30.

She became the first British woman in 39 years to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017, while also making the last four at the Australia Open a year earlier and at the French Open in 2019.

Australia-born Konta, a former world number four, collected four titles on the WTA Tour and represented Great Britain in the Fed Cup.

In a statement posted on social media on Wednesday, Konta said: "Grateful. This is the word that I've probably been used to the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end.

"My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be.

"All the evidence pointed towards me not 'making' it in this profession. However, my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis.

"I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are."

Konta made her last tour-level appearance at the Cincinnati Open on August 18 when she lost in the first round to Karolina Muchova.

The Briton had only one win in her last five majors since reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in 2019 and dropped to 113th in the rankings but remains thankful for the opportunities she has been granted.

"Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams," she added. "I got to become what I wanted and said as a child.

"How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am."

Related items

  • Australian Open: Nadal disappointed by Djokovic absence but 'will never be against what justice says' Australian Open: Nadal disappointed by Djokovic absence but 'will never be against what justice says'

    Rafael Nadal believes it would be "better for everybody" if Novak Djokovic was competing at the Australian Open, while declaring the situation a "mess".

    Nadal sits level on 20 grand slam titles with Djokovic and Roger Federer but is the only one of tennis' 'Big Three' featuring in Melbourne.

    Federer was ruled out due to ongoing knee injury problems, while Djokovic saw his visa cancelled for a second time on Sunday as he appealed Australia's refusal to let him into the country.

    That ruling owed to Djokovic's unvaccinated status and Australia's coronavirus guidelines, leaving the Serbian unable to defend his Melbourne Park crown and seek a record-extending 21st grand slam.

    Nadal has previously said he was "tired" of talking about the Djokovic saga, but the Spaniard again offered his thoughts after defeating Marcos Giron in the first round on Monday.

    "Almost one week ago when he won in the first instance, the case, he was able to get back his visa and practising. I said the justice has spoken," Nadal told reporters.

    "If the justice says his visa is valid and he's able to play here, the justice has spoken, so that's the fairest thing, that he deserves to play here. Yesterday the justice said another thing. I will never be against what the justice says.

    "Another thing is what I believe personally and what I believe is the ideal situation personally, no?

    "The ideal situation in the world of sport is that the best players are on court and playing the most important events. That's better for the sport without a doubt.

    "If Novak Djokovic is playing here, it's better for everybody, no doubt about that. Another thing is what happened. As I said in the beginning, I can't say another thing because I believe that the situation is very clear now."

    Pressed for an answer on his relationship with the 34-year-old world number one, Nadal wished his fellow competitor all the best.

    "He's not the only one that did bad things in that case," Nadal added.

    "Of course, there are more responsibilities on all for this terrible situation that we faced for the last two weeks. But of course, he is one of those responsible, too.

    "So on a personal level, yes, I would like to see him playing here. If it is fair or not that he's playing here is another discussion that I don't want to talk anymore about that."

    Nadal advanced to the second round in Melbourne with a cruising 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over American Giron, who is ranked 66th in the world.

    That was Nadal's fourth win of the year after triumphing at the Melbourne Summer Set and he appears to have battled through his foot injury, though he still expressed concerns over his fitness.

    "It's been a very challenging few months… tough moments with a lot of doubts – there still are doubts," he said.

    "But I am here and I can't be happier to be back in Australia in this amazing stadium.

    "You never know when you come back from injury, which unfortunately I have a lot of experience with, how things will be, so you have to take it day by day. You have to forgive yourself if things aren't going the proper way."

    Awaiting Nadal in the second round of the tournament will be either Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis or Yannick Hanfmann of Germany.

  • Djokovic has 'opportunity in right circumstances' for early return to Australia, says prime minister Djokovic has 'opportunity in right circumstances' for early return to Australia, says prime minister

    Novak Djokovic could make an earlier-than-expected return to Australia despite the Serb facing a three-year ban from the country, according to prime minister Scott Morrison.

    The world's number-one ranked player, who is level on 20 grand slam titles with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, saw his visa cancelled for a second time on public health grounds on Sunday.

    Djokovic was attempting to overturn the original decision to refuse his entry into Australia, which was due to his unvaccinated status and the country's coronavirus rules.

    That leaves the 34-year-old unable to defend his Australian Open title at Melbourne Park, while he was also handed an automatic three-year ban from the country under immigration law, unless Australia's immigration minister overrules the judgement.

    Compelling or compassionate reasons would be needed to do so, but Morrison refused to rule out the possibility of Djokovic making an early return.

    "I'm not going to precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls he has to make," Morrison said to 2GB Radio on Monday.

    "It does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for [a person] to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered at the time."

    Morrison then insisted that Djokovic, who has already expressed his disappointment with the ruling, and any other entrant to Australia must comply with their rules.

    "If you're someone coming from overseas, and there are conditions for you to enter this country, then you have to comply with them," he continued.

    "This is about someone who sought to come to Australia and not comply with the entry rules at our border."

    The Australian Open started on Monday, with Nadal advancing past Marcos Giron in his first-round match.

  • Australian Open: Osaka unaffected by Djokovic saga Australian Open: Osaka unaffected by Djokovic saga

    Naomi Osaka insisted she was unaffected by the saga surrounding Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open.

    Osaka opened her title defence at Melbourne Park with a 6-3 6-3 win over Colombian Camila Osorio on Monday.

    The lead up to the year's first grand slam was overshadowed by the visa saga around Djokovic, who was deported from Australia on Sunday.

    But Osaka, a four-time major winner, said the Serbian world number one's situation had no impact on her.

    "I mean, to be completely honest, it didn't really affect me. I saw that it affected the men's draw a little bit so you might have to ask a men's player," she said.

    "For me, my goal even before this whole situation is to just focus on myself more, what I need to do to become better.

    "I wasn't really, I guess, looking at the news too often."

    Osaka was unwilling to be drawn on whether Djokovic, whose visa was cancelled by immigration minister Alex Hawke, should be competing in the tournament.

    A two-time champion in Melbourne, Osaka said her focus was on herself – with a second-round clash against Madison Brengle awaiting her.

    "I feel like people focus on whatever they want to focus on. It's more like an individual question," Osaka said.

    "Me, I'm a tennis player. I'll focus on my matches. You, as I guess an audience, focus on whatever is in the news, no?"

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.