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June 7, 2019

Johanna Konta

Paris, France


7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seemed to be hitting the ball, your ground strokes, a little flatter today. Was that because of the conditions and did that contribute to the number of unforced errors?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I don't know how many unforced errors I hit. I actually didn't think I was hitting the ball flatter.

The conditions out there were quite tricky. My opponent also makes things tricky out there. She's a tricky player. That's what she does well.

I just thought I tried to do the best that I could with the conditions and with my opponent. And, yeah, that's what I did.

Q. What are your emotions now? It's not long after the match, but how do you feel about it?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, it's always tough to lose a match, any match. It's also tough to lose matches where you do have opportunities, you do have chances.

However, I feel very, very comfortable and very assured in the fact that I did do the best that I can, the best that I could out there.

To be honest, yeah, I mean, it's hard to lose any match like this, but, yeah, no, I think my opponent played really well. I'm proud in how I tried to find a way out there. I'm proud in how I tried to work the points, how I tried to play out there against her. It just didn't go my way.

Q. You mentioned having chances there. I mean, 5-3 up the first set, two set points. You run in, hit a drive volley. I mean, that moment must have been kind of tough to get over. Seemed like a glorious opportunity to win the first set.
JOHANNA KONTA: It's actually not that difficult, because I did the right thing. There were certain things that also had a say in how those balls went. It was incredibly blustery out there.

I took the opportunity to come in and take it out of the air, and that's what I would do nine times out of ten, and probably nine times out of ten it probably would go in, as well.

But, yeah, no, I definitely don't regret anything I did out there. And even the following point I think I hit a slice that maybe hit the tape.

To be honest, I, again, I feel very comfortable with how I played and what I tried to do out there. Yeah, I don't think I have any regrets, really.

Q. She's a young player with a lot of variety. What in particular makes Vondrousova such a challenge?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I think she reads the game really well, so she would get a lot of balls back. With her being a lefty, she has that added variety with the way the ball comes back, is going to be different than 95% of the time that we play matches out there.

Because she reads the game well and I think she generally enjoys playing the game, that's how it feels out there. I think she competes really well, as well. There is very few drop-offs from how she plays. So she's consistently there asking questions. She asks you a lot of questions out there, and I think that's a real gift of hers.

Yeah, I mean, you know, yeah, I think that's what she does well.

Q. You have played really well here at Roland Garros over the last couple of weeks. I'm going to celebrate your success by attempting a variation of a tray bake called a clay bake. I hope you can give me top tips on that. And also, do you think you have proved more to yourself or more to other people with how well you've played over the last couple of weeks?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don't feel like I came into this week trying to prove anything to anybody, including myself. I have been playing every tournament this season and even the past season for me and for my own enjoyment and development and belief in how I can get better. And I definitely felt I continued on that process, on that journey this fortnight in trying to be better, trying to play better, trying to just improve. I felt I did that.

Q. Can you sum up your whole clay court season? It's been quite a season for you. How does this set you up for the rest of the season, especially going straight onto the grass?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, you know, I think usually what's most pleasing is to play a lot of matches, and I definitely did in this month. I'm really pleased with how many tough matches I was able to come through. And even the tough matches that I lost, I really felt that I took a lot forward from each of those, and that would be including today. And overall just pleased that I just felt like I kept improving with every day.

I mean, moving forward, I mean, you know, it's not all an upward trajectory, so we will see how it keeps going. I start afresh every tournament I play. But I'm looking forward to the grass. I'm looking forward to going home.

And, yeah, and then, I mean, the season is long. I mean, we're just halfway, to be fair.

Q. Andy Murray famously lost several finals before he made the Grand Slam breakthrough. Do you take inspiration from that? Do you still believe you can become a major winner in your career?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, there is no reason why I cannot. I'm putting myself into positions to try to make that extra step and making into a final. It's either going to happen or it's not.

I still have a lot to be proud of. Even if I were to stop playing tomorrow, I have done a lot of great things in my career so far. So I'm not at all disappointed in the player that I am or things that I have achieved.

But equally, I'm just as hungry and just as motivated to keep going forward and to one day be in a position to be winning a major. But I definitely believe in my ability to do that, and we'll see if it happens or not.

Q. Any sense of disappointment that such a significant match was scheduled away from the showcourts?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, to be honest, I think the way it looks probably speaks for itself more than anything. So I don't really have much else to say on it.

The court that we played on is a beautiful court, no doubt about it. I played my third round on there. So it's nice to be on a nice court.

However, yeah, I think the way it looks probably speaks for itself.

Q. Did it feel like you were playing a Grand Slam semifinal?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, in terms of the surrounding and the occasion, probably not. But then obviously I'm aware in what match I'm playing and what round (smiling).

But, yeah, in terms of where we were, probably not. But in terms of the match itself, probably, yeah.

Q. What was your reaction when you saw the schedule that you'd be playing out there?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, to be honest, surprise probably more than anything. Surprise. And then, you know, I have a job to do. I have a job to get on with it and to go out there on court and give my best performance. That's where I put my energy into.

Q. Steve Simon was quite critical about the scheduling here. Were you at all involved, were you asked about the scheduling, or are you aware of what the perhaps alternative ideas that he alluded to might have been?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, I didn't -- no one asked me before the schedule came out, saying, Are you okay with this? Or anything like that.

But from my understanding, the schedule was released without the approval of multiple parties, so that's all I understand from it.

Yeah, I mean, people are put in positions to make certain decisions but that's nothing to do with me. I'm here to play.

Q. As Steve called it "inappropriate," the scheduling, it felt a little bit like the tournament were hamstrung by this idea they had sold tickets for each men's match. But in itself, you've been quite strong on kind of sexism in sport as a whole. Did that feel almost sexist that they are selling tickets for both men's matches and not doing the same for the women's semifinals, not prioritizing that in the same sort of way?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think you answered your own question with your question.

Again, I think it speaks for itself.

Q. There is a very short turnaround. What do the next days look for you? Obviously you're due to head up to Nottingham.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yes, that's the plan. I'm going to assess now, see where my body is, kind of see where I am and just how I want to map out my leadup into Wimbledon, see what I want to play, how I want to play.

I am down for three, but obviously I need to make sure I give my body enough rest to prepare, for sure. We will see how I manage it.

Q. Just looking forward a bit further to kind of Wimbledon and stuff, obviously, although it's been a good tournament for you overall, today was a disappointment. How important is it going to be for you to kind of not let this kind of linger or fester in you because there is big stuff coming up in the next few weeks?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I'm not sure what there is to linger or fester. I wouldn't say I had a good tournament. I had a great tournament. I think I had a lot of really amazing experiences this fortnight.

There is nothing for me to be disappointed in or upset about. I mean, I lost a tennis match, but I also won five. I can only take the good things from that. Because even today, I lost the match, but like I said when I sat down, I did the best that I could and I'm proud of that effort. I'm proud of that achievement in itself.

So I can only look forward to playing at Wimbledon and the tournaments before that.

Q. One more on the scheduling. Amélie Mauresmo called it a disgrace. Do you agree?
JOHANNA KONTA: I mean, I know you guys want headlines on this and you want me to say something really juicy. I'm not oblivious to that (smiling).

But I think more than anything, what is tiring and what is really unfortunate in this more than anything is that women have to sit -- you know, athletes, female athletes, have to sit in different positions and have to justify their scheduling or their involvement in an event or their salary or their opportunities. And I think to give time to that is even more of a sad situation than what we found ourselves in today in terms of the scheduling.

I think -- I don't want to sit here and justify where I'm scheduled. That's not my job. My job is to come here and entertain people, and I feel I did that. And I feel I gave people who paid tickets every opportunity to enjoy their French Open experience.

And if the organizers do not feel that that is something that can be promoted and celebrated, then I think it's the organizers you need to have a conversation with, not me, because I did my job and I did my job well.

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