Johanna Konta Sheds Light On When She May Quit Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Johanna Konta Sheds Light On When She May Quit Tennis

The 29-year-old could be walking away from the sport sooner than some expect.

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Johanna Konta (@the_LTA on Twitter)

British No.1 Johanna Konta has insisted that she is still committed to her professional career but admits that the end could be approaching.

The three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist has opened up about her hopes for the future during an interview with The Telegraph earlier in the week. Konta has experienced a mixed 2020 season where she has recorded eight wins against nine losses. Her best results occurred at the Monterrey Open in Mexico and Western and Southern Open in New York where she reached the last four of both events. On the other hand, she has only won one match across all three major tournaments where she reached the second round of the US Open.

Next year the Brit will reach a milestone in her life when she turns 30 on May 17th. Despite a growing trend in players playing later into their careers, Konta admits that it is possible that she may only have two more years left to play before retiring.

“I know it’s a big day. In terms of longevity, I am definitely motivated, inspired and excited to play. I am 100 per cent not looking to stop in the next couple of years,” she told The Telegraph.
“However, I am open also to what life throws at you. I am training now into next season, I am looking forward to competing and see myself definitely playing another season after that. Then I am going to listen to my body, listen to my heart and soul, see where I am in my life. I would like to have children so obviously that will be a considering factor in how long I play, how I do things. But yeah, let’s look forward to 2021, and then hopefully 2022, and then let’s see where we are!”

Many of Konta’s peers have managed to balance motherhood with professional tennis without having to pull the plug on their careers. At this year’s US Open, three out of the four women’s semi-finalists were mothers – Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Tsvetana Pironkova. Although the world No.14 admits she is yet to see herself following in their footsteps.

“It’s definitely a pathway that is becoming more walked and more stabilised and trailblazed by some really incredible women,” said Konta.“I don’t know if that is a path for me. I can’t say I ever imagine myself playing on tour as a mother. I am not closed to the idea. One thing I have worked very hard on my career is to stay quite open to things around me. But probably I’d see myself retire and then start a family.”

Last Month Konta reunited with former coach Dimitri Zavialoff who guided her on the Tour in 2019. Zavialoff was the first coach of Stan Wawrinka. One of their aims for 2021 will be the Tokyo Olympic Games, which has been postponed by 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Konta will be bidding to become the first British female player to win a medal at the Games since 1924.

“It would mean so much to me to be part of Team GB again. I remember going to Rio in 2016. I was feeling tired and thinking ‘There is no prize money, there are no points, what’s the point?’ I was being a bit of a brat for sure. But I remember getting off the plane with Heather (Watson), seeing buses full of athletes in their national tracksuits, and I got completely sucked in. I was on cloud nine for those two weeks,” she commented.

Konta has won three WTA titles so far in her career with her most recent triumph occurring at the 2017 Miami Open. She has made just over $9.7 million in prize money.

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing

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Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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