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Sport'Don't': beaten Wimbledon star rips reporter

05:05  10 july  2019
05:05  10 july  2019 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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'Don't': beaten Wimbledon star rips reporter© Supplied Johanna Konta blows up at a reporter during her Wimbledon quarter-final press conference. Johanna Konta's often tetchy relationship with Britain's tennis media corps turned sour again as she accused them of "picking on me" after her quarter-final loss to Czech Barbora Strycova at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The Sydney-born 28-year-old raised home hopes when she powered into a 4-1 lead against the unseeded Strycova but things turned ugly as she slumped to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 Centre Court defeat.

While the 33-year-old Strycova played impressively to outsmart the 18th seed, Konta was the architect of her own downfall as she blazed 34 unforced errors against an opponent who simply had too much guile.

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The outcome ended Britain's hopes of a first women's singles champion here since Virginia Wade in 1977.

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"Konta was looking good enough to win the tournament and she froze today a little bit," triple Wimbledon winner and 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert said on the BBC.

'Don't': beaten Wimbledon star rips reporter© AP Johanna Konta during her Wimbledon quarter-final loss.

Considering Konta is a three-time grand slam semi-finalist with a career-high ranking of four and was a clear favourite for Tuesday's match, it did not seem unreasonable for her to be asked whether she could have performed better.

Perhaps the pressure of being Britain's big hope in the absence of Andy Murray from the singles had gotten to her, but Konta was in no mood for negativity (read the full exchange at the bottom of the page).

"Is that in your professional tennis opinion?" she snapped during a post-match news conference.

"OK. I mean, I don't think you need to pick on me in a harsh way. I think I'm very open with you guys. I say how I feel out there. If you don't want to accept that answer or you don't agree with it, that's fine.

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"I still believe in the tennis I play. I believe in the way I competed. I don't have much else to say to your question."

'Don't': beaten Wimbledon star rips reporter© Supplied 'Don't patronise me.' Pushed further, she said: "Please don't patronise me...

"No, no, you are. In the way you're asking your question, you're being quite disrespectful and you're patronising me.

"I'm a professional competitor who did her best today, and that's all there is to that."

Konta had reached her second Wimbledon quarter-final with impressive victories over former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Despite losing her only previous match with Strycova it still seemed an inviting route to a semi-final date with Serena Williams but for the second grand slam in a row an unseeded Czech proved her undoing.

With a first grand slam final beckoning in the French Open semi-finals last month, Konta lost 7-5 7-6 to teenager Marketa Vondrousova, blowing 5-3 leads in both sets.

'Don't': beaten Wimbledon star rips reporter© PA AAP Johanna Konta hugs Barbora Strycova.

Konta remains convinced, however, that she will end Britain's long wait for a successor to Wade.

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"I think the best I can do is put myself in the positions, to give myself the opportunity to keep going further and further. I mean, it will either happen or it won't," she said.

"I'm no less of a person or a player if I don't get past this point. Equally so if I do.

"I play this game with dignity, and I love the sport. I'm grateful for everything that it brings me."

'Don't': beaten Wimbledon star rips reporter© PA AAP Barbora Strycova celebrates her Wimbledon quarter-final win.

Konta has fallen out with the British media before.

After her fourth successive French Open first-round defeat last year, she appeared to blame the loss on reporters.

"If every time you went in to work, let's say you went into work because ... and let's say for a few years your pieces of writing have just been crap every time when you come into Roland Garros. Right? Just crap.

"Then your colleagues start to say, 'You know, you really suck around that time.' And that happens, you know, for a few years. How would you guys digest that?"

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Reporter: Looking at numbers, 33 unforced errors, then you had a smash at the net which you hit straight to her, then towards the end of the third set you had a double-fault, then missed a drive volley. Do you not have to look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points? It’s all very well saying it’s a lot to do with your opponent, but there were key points when you perhaps could have done better.

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Konta: Is that in your professional tennis opinion?

Reporter: No, that’s just as a watching spectator with everyone else on Centre Court willing you on. And the numbers are IBM’s.

Konta: OK. I mean, I don’t think you need to pick on me in a harsh way. I mean, I think I’m very open with you guys. I say how I feel out there. If you don’t want to accept that answer or you don’t agree with it, that’s fine. I still believe in the tennis that I play. I still believe in the way I competed. Yeah, I don’t have much else to say to your question.

Reporter: I’m just asking you as somebody who presumably wants to go on from here, learn from this, win a grand slam one day. Is it not something …

Konta: Please don’t patronise me.

Reporter: I’m not patronising you.

Konta: No, no, you are. In the way you’re asking your question, you’re being quite disrespectful and you’re patronising me. I’m a professional competitor who did her best today, and that’s all there is to that.

Moderator: Let's move on to the next question.

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