Johanna Konta announced her retirement from Tennis Wednesday. The former World #4 hung up her racquet at the age of 30.
The Brit has been plagued with injury this season. The Corona Virus pandemic effected scheduling. The Australian born player turned professional in 2008. Konta started her career under the Australian Flag. At the tender age of 14 the young player moved to Britain. Konta represented Australia under switching allegiances in 2012.
Prior to switching nations, Johanna Konta played mostly on the ITF lower tier circuit. As an Australian, Konta claimed the 25k title at Rancho Mirage in February 2012. Konta became a British citizen in May the same year. The young Brit was awarded a wild card at Wimbledon. Although losing in the first round, Konta forced a tight final set against Christina McHale.
The Brit made the final in Lexington and qualified for the US Open. Konta had started to build momentum and rose rapidly up the rankings to the top 150. The following season at the opening Slam of the year, Konta lost in qualifying.
Konta made her Fed Cup debut alongside Laura Robson in the doubles as Great Britain trounced Bosnia Herzegovina. Britain went on to defeat Portugal and Hungary to make the play offs.
Top 100 and rising
Konta continued to rise up the rankings. In 2014 the Brit broke into the top 100 for the first time. Following several events and the grass court season, Konta rose to world number 89. By the end of the same season however, the Brit had fallen back slightly on that spot.
The following season the Brit defeated several higher ranked players in different events. Konta made the quarter final in Nottingham and the second round in Birmingham. In Eastbourne the Brit made the quarter final again and defeated the world number eight on the way.
Another wild card for Wimbledon followed. Unfortunately Konta ran into Maria Sharapova and lost in the first round. Although the match was played on centre court.
WTA Tour Titles
Konta secured her first WTA tour level title in 2016. The Brit won the event at Stanford and made the final in Beijing. The Brit also made the semi final at the Australian Open. Konta could not progress beyond the semi, but the run itself was impressive. It was also a catalyst for the British #1, she would end the season in the top 10.
The following season the Brit was runner up in Nottingham on the grass. Konta however, did win the titles in Miami and Sydney that same year. At Wimbledon the Brit reached the semi-final of her home grand slam. Making Konta the first Brit female to advance that far in 39 years. Konta also surpassed her previously best ranking, reaching number 4 in the world.
Although 2018 did not provide any WTA tour level titles, Konta was impressing still. The Brit once again made the final in Nottingham, but was unable to cross that finishing line. Konta also dropped down the rankings and out of the top 20. The Brit ended the year just inside the top 40.
Konta regained form in 2019. The Brit made the finals in Rome and Rabat. Both events clay court tournaments. Clay tends to be a problem for British players. Although occasionally there are exceptions it is definitely not their preferred surface. The Brit made the semi final of the French Open, just to prove a point. Konta also reached the quarter final of the US Open, her best place finish at the event. The Brit ended the year at number 12.
2020 was an odd year. With most of the calender disrupted due to the Corona Virus pandemic, not many events were played. Konta had mixed results this season, but kept steady progress with ranking and ended the season at #14.
End of an era
The 2021 season, which would ultimately be her last, saw Konta win her fourth WTA tour title. After being runner up the Brit finally secured the win in Nottingham and was all set to make an assault on Wimbledon. Unfortunately, one of the team tested positive for COVID-19 and the Brit was forced to withdraw as a “close contact.”
Injury as well as the pandemic prevented the Brit from playing, as a result her ranking slipped down to 113 by the end of November 2021.
Johanna Konta can be proud of her achievements throughout her career. She will be missed on the tour.
Main Photo from Getty.