Britain`s Johanna Konta stays humble after US Open breakthrough
British qualifier Johanna Konta has made a shock run to the fourth round of the US Open, but she has not let success change her humble outlook.
New York: British qualifier Johanna Konta has made a shock run to the fourth round of the US Open, but she has not let success change her humble outlook.
The Australian-born 24-year-old became only the second British woman in 24 years to reach the last 16 on the New York hardcourts Saturday by downing German 18th seed Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.
"I feel just as I did two weeks ago. I haven`t exactly grown wings or anything," Konta said.
"I`m happy with how I`ve been playing this week but my feet are firmly on the ground. I haven`t cured cancer or anything."
Konta, who became a British citizen in 2012, is one win shy of equaling American Barbara Gerken`s 1981 quarter-final run as the best in US Open history by a women`s qualifier.
Next up for Konta is Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova, who routed Slovakia`s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 6-1.
"I`m really looking forward to the challenge," Konta said of facing the double Wimbledon winner.
"Two-time Grand Slam champion. I`m feeling pretty lucky that I get an opportunity to play against such a player."
After almost two hours, 97th-ranked Konta reached the fourth round for the first time at any Grand Slam.
It was her 16th win in a row, although many of those were in sub-WTA level events and three came in Open qualifying.
"I`m just happy to win it," Konta said. "It was definitely tough."
Konta joined Laura Robson from 2012 as the only British women in the fourth round on the New York hardcourts since Jo Durie in 1991.
No British woman has reached the US Open final since Virginia Wade defeated Billie Jean King in the 1968 final.
Konta dominated the first-set tiebreaker and rolled to a 3-0 lead in the second set before Petkovic took a medical timeout for cooling and treatment for fatigue in the withering heat.
"I was born in Australia, so I guess I have experienced heat to a certain extent," Konta said.
"I`m just as tired as everyone out there. But I also try not to pay attention to that because who cares if you`re tired? You get to play at the US Open. I can deal with a bit of tiredness."
Revived, Petkovic swung momentum her way in a 10-minute seventh game, saving three match points and breaking on her fifth chance to pull within 5-2.
"I felt there was a lot of tension," Konta said.
Serving in the ninth game, Konta squandered her fourth and fifth match points before breaking through on her sixth opportunity when Petkovic sent a forehand long.
"Even if she`s not feeling at her best, she`s one of the best competitors on the tour," Konta said of Petkovic.
"She didn`t give it to me, as you can tell by the last three games."
Konta, whose father is a hotel owner and mother is a dentist, improved to 4-3 all-time against top-20 foes, including a victory over Russian number eight Ekaterina Makarova on a run to the Eastbourne quarter-finals.
"It has been a progression throughout the year," Konta said. "It`s always a confidence boost to get to play against the best players in the world."
Konta reached a career high of 89th in the world rankings after Wimbledon last year.