Johanna Konta proud to emulate compatriots, ready to scale new heights

Johanna Konta applauding

Johanna Konta produced one of her “best performances” to reach a third Grand Slam semi-final, but she now wants “to go one or two steps further”.

The British No 1 blew away seventh seed and 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 11 minutes to reach the last four of the French Open.

The 28-year-old barely gave the American a sniff as she became the first British woman to reach the Roland Garros semis since Jo Durie in 1983.

If she wins her semi-final against Marketa Vondrousova on Thursday, she will be one win away from emulating Sue Barker, who won the French Open in 1973.

“It’s definitely one of my best performances. It’s hard to pinpoint what is the best performance, because you’re always dealing with different types of opponents or different types of conditions,” Konta said.

She added: “This is my third time in a Grand Slam semi-final. I’d like to go one and two steps further, though,” she said.

“It’s always nice to be in great company and to be among great players. Other than that, tennis is a global sport. There is a great sense of pride to be alongside my compatriots from years before.”

Konta also reached the semi-final of the Australian Open in 2017 and the last four at Wimbledon the following year and she is determined to learn from those two matches in order not to come up short again.

“I had a good quarter-final against Simona [Halep] at Wimbledon. It’s difficult to compare. There are so many things I want to experience this fortnight that are individual to this tournament. I am very pleased with the level I played,” she said.

“We have seen plenty of first-time semi-finalists go on and win Grand Slams. I will look to use the experience I have [of previous semi-finals, at Wimbledon and Melbourne] to deal with the challenges. I have never doubted myself, but I also have accepted I might never get back to the top 10.

“I did a lot of things well. More than anything, I thought it was a consistent performance. Sloane is a great player. I am proud and happy with how I am rolling and keeping the pressure on. I don’t believe in perfect tennis or perfect matches. I made plenty of mistakes. Some of the enjoyment is to keep trying and play the game.”

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