5 things you should know about Johanna Konta

31 March 2017 04:40

Johanna Konta can seal the most prestigious title of her career on Saturday by beating Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Miami Open.

Konta is the first British woman ever to make the final of the tournament and will climb to seventh in the world if she overcomes the Dane.

Here, we list five things you might not have known about Britain's emerging tennis star.

1. Konta was born in Sydney to Hungarian parents. Her dad, Gabor, is a hotelier and her mum, Gabriella, a dentist. Aged 14, Konta began practising in Spain at the Sanchez Casal academy in Barcelona where Andy Murray had also trained, although they had little contact with each other. While she was there, Konta's parents moved to Eastbourne and she joined them in 2006, before qualifying as a British citizen in 2012.

2. Konta reached the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time in 2015 when - ranked 97 in the world - she knocked out the seeded Garbine Muguruza en route to the fourth round of the US Open. Her progress was no fluke. She has since reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the fourth round again at Flushing Meadows, before making the last eight in Melbourne this year.

3. Central to Konta's rise has been a new-found mental toughness, which was in part due to her Spanish sports psychologist Juan Coto. Coto died suddenly at the end of last year but his influence has continued, with Konta now considered one of the steeliest players on the tour. She split with Spanish coach Esteban Carril in November and is now working with Belgian Wim Fissette, previously coach of Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka.

4. Konta was home-schooled from the age of 12 and her favourite subjects were maths and history. Off court, she often celebrates by indulging in her love of gelato. The 25-year-old is renowned for her bubbly personality and once pretended her boyfriend was her tournament hitting partner as she was unsure what box to tick when listing the members of her team.

5. Konta's success is yet to be witnessed at Wimbledon, where she has managed only one singles victory in the main draw in five years. It means she is yet to go past the second round at the All England Club, where her powerful serve and thundering groundshots should represent potent weapons. Last year, she was beaten in three sets by Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.

Source: PA