‘Pragmatic’ Johanna Konta lifts lid on Wimbledon and Olympics heartbreak after difficult Covid battle

Johanna Konta leaves the court

Missing Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic was gut-wrenching for Johanna Konta and the British No 1 has opened up about her struggles with the “worst illness”.

Konta was forced to pull out of Wimbledon on the eve of the grass-court Grand Slam after a member of her team contracted Covid-19 and then a few weeks later she withdrew from the Tokyo Games after testing positive herself.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the world No 41 revealed it was a mental and physical struggle.

“Definitely the worst illness I’ve experienced for a very long time,” she said. “It was very heartbreaking and it was very difficult. There was nothing good and nothing fun about having Covid and having to miss Wimbledon and the Olympics.”

Konta added: “However, I consider myself quite a happy person, quite a positive person, and definitely a pragmatic person, and I like to practice perspective in all the good things I do have in my life. So I had to definitely utilise those tools. And at the end of the day, I looked at my life and everything’s OK.

“I just tried to draw energy from there and looked forward to when I could start training and get back out onto the match court.”

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The 30-year-old made her return to competitive tennis on Tuesday at the National Bank Open in Montreal, advancing after China’s Shuai Zhang retired midway through the second set.

Konta, whose fiancé also tested positive for coronavirus, admits they have been taking it day-by-day.

“We took it very, very slowly. Then I got my full check, in terms of my heart, my lungs, everything, and everything came back all okay.

“Then we started doing a little more and here we are,” she said.