June 30, 2018
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel to be back 12 months on from that great run?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'm really excited. I'm really happy. I guess I'm fortunate enough that I get to come back here in between the Championships. I've been back since.
But it's nice to see Wimbledon having its fancy dress on. Yeah, no, I'm really excited to be back.
Q. Looking back at that run, what were your biggest takeaways from it? What did you learn from it the most?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think more than anything is to trust that when I'm playing at my highest level, the level I want to be playing at, I can really, really make an impact in big tournaments. I think that's a massive confidence boost for any player.
But I think also specifically to here, it was how well I was able to keep a good perspective. I really enjoyed last year's Championships for giving me the opportunity to be at home. I think I really took a lot of confidence in those home comforts. I think that took the edge off everything else that can go around any big tournament.
Q. Going into this one, is there extra pressure, considering you did do well last year? How do you see that?
JOHANNA KONTA: No. I see it in a way that, first of all, we're very fortunate in tennis. We get to have an opportunity almost every week if you really want to perform. I'm treating this week as another opportunity for me to perform and for me to keep building on what I feel is a better and better level that I've been playing over the last number of weeks.
I'm just looking forward to going out there, competing, doing the best that I can. At the end of the day I'm only accountable to myself. To make sure that I do myself justice in the effort that I put in. Yeah, then there's still a whole second half of the season to play, which I'm also looking forward to.
Q. You talked about doing yourself justice. What would be doing yourself justice over the next fortnight?
JOHANNA KONTA: Going out there, doing the best that I can. To me that means that I fight for every single point, that I'm clear on the way I want to play, I keep the attention on my side of the court. Yeah, that's what it means to me.
Q. More than seven million people watched you play that match against Simona last year. How many times have you watched it?
JOHANNA KONTA: I've watched highlights of it a number of times, different parts of it. I haven't watched the full match. It was quite a long match. I haven't watched the full match in one go.
I mean, quite a few times I would have watched little parts of it, yeah.
Q. What are some of the highlights of your work with Michael Joyce this year?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think Michael brings so much experience as a player, but then also as a coach who has worked with one of the great players. I think it's a great education process for me on his experience, on the stories he says of the things he went through as a player, kind of passing that wisdom on to me. For me to really be able to learn maybe from his mistakes or things he would have done differently. I think that's almost invaluable.
He's also someone who really understands all parts of the game, kind of from the on-court pressures to the off-court pressures, to things that can go through your mind as a player. I think he's very in tune to that. Yeah, that's quite valuable.
Q. Serena is coming in next into press conference. We're going to have to ask her about the anti-doping stuff which has come up regarding her this week. In an interview you gave to the New York Times, you talked about how you'd inadvertently missed a drugs test. To learn a little bit more about the circumstances of that, how arduous are the whereabouts rules for professional athletes?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't know what's happened, so I don't know. I don't know.
I mean, yeah, my story is that it was basically a mix-up of basically time zones more than anything. For me, I set my whereabouts. My whereabouts was for 6 a.m. on the Monday morning in London, but I flew on Sunday to Indian Wells. I arrived on Sunday at Indian Wells. When I got to the hotel, it was a little after 10 p.m., so I changed my whereabouts for the Monday morning. The testing officer came out on the Monday morning, which it was already Monday morning in London.
It was a bit of a tough one for me to swallow because, yeah, it was one of those -- I mean, it was a little bit out of my control. But since then, I've just been trying to be extra vigilant on changing it even more in advance to try and avoid those sorts of mistakes.
Unfortunately it's one of the things that comes along with being a professional athlete. It's not just specific to tennis, I don't believe. I think this is across all sports.
It's important to have integrity in this sport, but I do feel there's definitely room for improvement in the way athletes are sometimes treated. It's quite a violating process: People come to your home. You're in your pajamas. You get woken out of bed, pulled out of bed, told to take down your pants, give your arm, pee in a cup. It's an invasive process.
Again, it's something that comes with the territory, but again, I don't think it's something I will miss when I retire (laughter).
Q. It was down to sort of one strike, I think it's three before it's a violation. Does that make you more sort of nervy, something extra to think about? Also, do you now take sole responsibility for updating your information or do you have other people doing it?
JOHANNA KONTA: I've always taken sole responsibility for it. From the very beginning, since I've been part of the testing pool, I've done my own whereabouts. I've only called my agent or someone to help if I can't get onto it, if literally I've got no signal, I can't get on the wi-fi, I'm freaking out, then I will call. I'm always the one that updates it.
When that happened, I was super stressed. I was super stressed. I definitely felt hard done by because I've always tried so hard to be really vigilant with it. It felt like I got called out on a technicality more than anything. After those initial few days of being stressed about it, Oh, no, I'm down to two, I just kind of took responsibility for it, then just tried to adjust and make sure that I get it as far in advance as possible. Wait for that year to roll around, then I've got three.
Q. Recently Alize Cornet, there was a myth about a broken doorbell. Are you now sort of extra worried about your doorbell and things like that?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, at the end of the day, I can only control what I can. I do the best that I can. I'm a clean athlete. I basically just try to trust in the fact that I follow the rules. I fill it out, I try to fill it out further in advance. Basically I trust the process in that sense. I can't waste too much sleep on or worry on things that at the end of the day could be out of my control.
Q. What do you think about Serena being given the discretionary seeding? Do you think the women's draw should have a formula attached to it like the men's does?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't know what the formula is for the men, sorry.
Q. It's quite a complicated one, but because it's based on what your previous results have been over the last 12 months, then a little further, to give you extra points, therefore lift you up in the seedings.
JOHANNA KONTA: Okay.
Q. Whereas there's nothing like that in the women's draw. It's literally based on the ranking.
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, from my understanding, Grand Slams have always had the discretion of doing seeds how they see. It's basically at the discretion of where they place seeds. I think that's why they had the opportunity to seed Serena where she is. Is that wrong? I'm guessing I'm right there. I don't know. Is that right?
Q. Yes. They have discretion.
JOHANNA KONTA: They have discretion. I'm guessing that's why they had the opportunity to seed Serena. I mean, it was in the pipeline and spoken about for quite some time, so I don't think anyone was surprised. But, yeah, that's really all I know about the process. I don't know about the ins and outs.
Q. How do you feel about your game during Wimbledon, your first-round opponent? How well do you know her game?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't know her very well at all. I mean, I practiced with her once in Charleston. I know who she is. She's actually a really nice girl.
She's a player with a big game. I know she has big shots. Then in terms of me, I think I'm getting better and better. I feel like I'm playing more consistently at the level that I want to improve from and keep playing.
I'm looking forward to the opportunity to playing a great player. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play here again. I'll be working very hard to earn my way into the next round.
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