On this day in tennis history: Johanna Konta ends long wait for top-10 British woman
Johanna Konta ended a 32-year wait on October 8, 2016 by ensuring she would break into the top 10.
Konta was the first British woman to achieve the feat since Jo Durie in 1984, with Virginia Wade and Sue Barker the only others to be ranked in the top 10 at that point.
Konta’s breakthrough moment came with victory over American Madison Keys to send her through to the final of the China Open in Beijing.
Congrats to @JoKonta91 a fantastic year & thoroughly deserves the Top Ten ranking. More to come I'm sure.
— Jo Durie (@Jodurie) October 8, 2016
“It’s pretty cool,” said the then 25-year-old. “I’m very pleased with my progress over the past few years and hopefully many more places to climb.”
Konta was a late developer and was ranked well outside the top 100 the previous summer before embarking on a swift ascent that saw her reach the Australian Open semi-finals in 2016 and win her first WTA Tour title in Stanford.
Arguably her best year came in 2017 when she won the biggest title of her career at the Miami Open and reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and semi-finals at Wimbledon while peaking at world number four.
The smile of a Top.10 player! 😀😀😀🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧👍👍👍🎾🎾🎾 pic.twitter.com/wkS3NzdYDd
— LTA (@the_LTA) October 8, 2016
After a slump in 2018, Konta was resurgent the following year, producing by far her best result on clay with a run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros and then making the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
Her form tailed off after that as injuries began to take their toll, with Konta winning one more title, in Nottingham in 2021, before retiring at the end of last year.
Emma Raducanu emulated Konta earlier this year by breaking into the top 10 for the first time having ended her six-year reign as British number one.
Konta and her husband Jackson Wade welcomed their first child in September of this year.
Their daughter, Emmeline Wade, was born on 12 September 2022.
British Women to reach the Top ten of WTA Rankings
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