I never doubted my ability: Johanna Konta happy to be back chasing titles after tough year

Johanna Konta backhand

Johanna Konta said she has never doubted her ability despite coming through a tough year to earn a place in the Italian Open final.

The British number one will face Karolina Pliskova on Sunday for the title, and she certainly isn’t underestimating the significance.

“I’m very pleased to be in the final here,” Konta said. “It’s my second biggest final behind Miami. That’s a big achievement in my career so far.

“I’m definitely very conscious and appreciative of this opportunity, of this situation.

“I’ve never really doubted my ability on the surface. I don’t necessarily feel like this is massively out of the blue or super wow. I’m definitely pleased.”

On her 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 semi-final win over Kiki Bertens, Konta added: “I knew going into the match that playing against Kiki, I mean, she’s playing some of her best tennis right now in her career.

“She came off of winning Madrid. She’s definitely in amazing form. She’s No.4 in the world. She’s one of the best players right now.

“I knew going out there that there wasn’t going to be one solution.

“It wasn’t going to be one answer or one specific game plan that was going to be, yeah, like: Wow, that’s okay, I’ve cracked it.

“It was going to be a continuous adjustment, a continuous openness to figure it out within the match. I thought I did that well.

“I stayed very open in trying to find a solution in each point, in each ball. I just trusted that.

“I kind of accepted both ways. I mean, after I lost the first set, I mean, I didn’t do much wrong.

“It was a very good set of tennis. Equally the second set, as well. There wasn’t anybody putting a bad foot out of line.

“In the third, I definitely felt that I was able to maintain my level a bit better than her.

“I think that gave me the upper hand in stringing some more points together. I’m just very happy to have come through.”

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