Johanna Konta hits back after quarter-final loss to Barbora Strycova at Wimbledon

Tuesday 9th July 2019 22:45 BST

Strycova plays a similar game to her fellow Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who was Konta's conqueror at the French Open, and there was an all-too familiar feeling as the 28-year-old let an early lead slip away before going down 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

In a tense press conference, Konta admitted she did not play her best but bit back at the suggestion she fluffed her lines at the big moments.

"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," said the Briton.

"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."

Pressed further by the reporter, Konta added: "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 began very well, opening up a 4-1 lead, but from there her forehand misfired badly and she was never able to regain her control with a final tally of 33 unforced errors telling its own story

"I think she was playing very well. I couldn't quite find the level that I needed to make it difficult and challenging for the kind of player she is," noted Konta.

The similarity to her loss to Vondrousova was unmistakable, right down to a costly drive volley blazed over the baseline, this time to go a double break down in the second set.

But Konta denied the weight of expectation against a lower-ranked opponent had been a factor

"Both the players that I lost to, I'd lost to previously. They're very capable," noted the British No 1. "Also my opponent equally earned her right to be in the quarter-finals, as well. And in the French Open equally earned her right to be in the semi-finals against me.

"I don't have any more of a right to winning these matches than my opponents. It's unfortunate that it's worked out like that in terms of how it looks on paper with the rankings.

"Player-wise, they're probably a little similar. But actually I thought I played better there than in this match."

This was Konta's fifth Grand Slam quarter-final, and she will climb again in the rankings to 15th, but a first Slam final remains elusive.

"I think I've played a great tournament," she said. "Obviously I would have liked to have won three more matches. But I really feel that, even including today, I can take a lot away from these 10 days.

"The players that I've played and beaten, also lost to today, I think overall there's a lot I can be proud of and take from it.

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

"I'm no less of a person or a player if I don't get past this point. Equally so if I do. I think I play this game with dignity, and I love the sport. I'm grateful for everything that it brings me."

Strycova, who is ranked 54 in the world, said earlier this week that this may be her final Wimbledon, and she now moves through to face Serena Williams in her first Grand slam singles semi-final.

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