Roland Garros

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Paris, France

Johanna Konta

Press Conference

C. GAUFF/J. Konta

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously difficult conditions out there. Just talk about how you feel about the match from your perspective.

JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I mean I think it was difficult for everyone all day, so that wasn't specific to me. I think it's going to be probably a difficult fortnight just with the forecast.

But in terms of the match itself, unfortunately I just didn't play very well (laughing.) So it is what it is. It's unfortunate that it happened here but, yeah, I just didn't play too well.

Q. Was it just a case of trying to sort of hit through the ball, it was pretty heavy, or just nothing was working today?

JOHANNA KONTA: I think nothing was working consistently enough. I think I was trying to do good things, and I think I had kind of semi opportunities to try and kind of get something going, but I just didn't find a good enough level to be able to kind of, I guess, get where I wanted today. So I don't think it was anything specific.

Q. Have you found it hard kind of because the clay court season is where it is? And I know it's the same for all the players, but given that it's where it is so soon after the US Open, has it been difficult to sort of play yourself into form in the way you would have liked?

JOHANNA KONTA: Definitely. I think like you said, it's the same for everyone, but for sure in an ideal world we would have had some more tournaments and would continue to have some more tournaments.

But it is what it is. Everyone's pretty much in the same situation, obviously depending if they played in the U.S. or not. Kind of, yeah, so I mean obviously would have liked to have had more, but these were the circumstances that we had to play under.

Q. You were so consistent in the slams last year, and obviously this has been a crazy year for everybody. But how would you sum up your Grand Slam record this year?

JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I lost first round of the Australian, second round of the US, and first round of the French, so that's kind of how that went.

Q. Is there any explanation for that? You lost three times to players outside the top-50 in those three matches. Do you think there's any particular concern for you there?


Q. So this is what we should expect or I mean...

JOHANNA KONTA: I would like to think not. I'm doing my best to do better, but that's just the way it happened this year.

Q. Where are you physically? Are you still making improvements on the knee issue?

JOHANNA KONTA: That's an ongoing thing. I mean, you know, obviously the quick change from the hard to the clay is not easy on it. But I think it's all under good management. It's just one of those kind of things that you keep managing and hopefully with time it gets better.

Q. Sort of on the theme of your results at Grand Slams this year. Dan Evans was in earlier and he was very open in saying that his results were pretty poor, to be honest. I wonder maybe you're not going to tell us, but privately would you be disappointed with maybe your performances at major tournaments this year?

JOHANNA KONTA: I come to the tournaments to do well, to go deep into the second week, to hopefully one day win one. That's why I show up to every tournament that I play.

So I don't think any player, including myself, will sit here after an early-round loss and be pleased with the result. So, no, I'm not pleased. I would like to do better, but I'm not exactly going to hate myself.

Q. You said you weren't pleased with the way you played, and I'm just wondering if you could sort of offer an assessment of Coco Gauff. First time you've competed against her. Just wondering what maybe struck you about her? And was there anything particularly that troubled you out there from her side today?

JOHANNA KONTA: I think credit to Coco, she got the job done against the level that I brought. So she played the tennis that she needed to get through that match today. So that is a credit to her.

And, yeah, so I mean in terms of her, she's obviously a very talented athlete. She moves very well, and she's a very, she's very mature physically and mentally out there. She can definitely compete very well. So yeah.

Q. The lack of tennis you will have for the rest of the year. I know you entered Ostrava which is the only WTA event left and where are we now, end of September. That's going to be it until Australia. That doesn't give you the matches, I would imagine, that you would need to get ready for next season, does it?

JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously taking the season as a whole it hasn't been a lot of tournaments, a lot of matches, but that's just the circumstance again. So I'm not going to sit here and say the season's been ideal, because it hasn't. But I'm doing the best that I can and so is everyone in trying to look after the body, play as much as possible, and play as much as opportunity allows.

It is what it is. Hopefully we'll get a nice, healthy season next year. But obviously everything remains to be seen in how things develop in the world.

Q. Playing a 16-year-old specifically, does that at all factor into your game plan? Do you feel that on court, her sort of youth, because there's not a lot of players around her age who's been doing what she's been doing lately, so it's a pretty unique circumstance for her. I'm just wondering how much at all that arrives on your side as an opponent?

JOHANNA KONTA: To be honest, I actually feel completely fine with it. Like I said, I think in the pre-match press conference, I'm going out there to play another tennis player, another tennis player who deserves to be here because she has the ranking and results to be here. So I'm playing against another professional who is doing very well and who is obviously playing very good tennis. It doesn't really matter how old she is.

I think the age and those things, I think that's a factor for you guys and for public interest and for sponsors and for things like that. But as a fellow competitor, that's got nothing to do with us competing out on court.

Q. We heard a couple of times the BBC's television correspondent described this year's Roland Garros a bit like visiting a British seaside resort out of season. I was just wondering off the back of that how you would compare an out-of-season Roland Garros to an out-of-season Eastbourne and what you're most looking forward to get back home?

JOHANNA KONTA: I love your questions (laughing.)

To be honest, obviously it's not in the normal period, the French Open right now like we're used to in May, so the weather is slightly different. Although, like I even said before, I don't think necessarily the French Open gets -- it kind of gets the short end of the stick I think when it comes to their slot even in May, the weather can be quite unpredictable.

In terms of kind of, I mean, yeah, I mean I guess it was kind of as rainy and windy and rubbish weather like it is at home right now in the off-season (laughing.)

But, yeah, I mean obviously I would have liked to have stayed here for another two weeks, but at least I get to go home, see my family, see my dogs, and that's always something to look forward to.

Q. Am I right in saying you've entered Ostrava?


Q. Venus might be able to push for a wildcard. She's basically said there's nowhere to go for a lot of female players on the tour because so few playing opportunities. As someone on the council, is that disappointing, considering obviously on the ATP side they managed to somehow string a lot of tournaments together for the rest of the year, which as for the WTA with the cancellation of all the Chinese events it seems to have decimated the calendar.

JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, I mean I think we obviously are not in a fortunate position as the men in terms of the tournaments they have available to them. As soon as China got cancelled and the Asia swing essentially got cancelled, it was going to put us in a very, very difficult situation because that is where our season is based essentially from September onwards.

So I think they have tried to, for example, the Ostrava tournament that's been moved over. It's originally the Zhengzhou tournament in China, so that's come over for one year. But in the current economic climate and just world climate I think it's always -- it was always going to be an uphill battle to try and fit all or save more tournaments and actually move them from Asia to Europe.

I think the men are obviously in a much more fortunate position in that sense just because they have in their normal season quite a heavily European-based stint post US Open.

Q. During lockdown the number of drug tests were dramatically reduced if not nonexistent. Andy Murray said he's only been tested once since March. How many times have you been drug tested and is that a concern that because of the COVID 19 pandemic the drug testers have not been able to see tennis stars as much over the past six months?

JOHANNA KONTA: I wasn't tested during the lockdown, when it was lockdown lockdown. I got tested. I've been tested maybe twice, maybe twice since March. So obviously a very dramatic decrease.

I think it was to be expected. I don't think I would have felt comfortable with anybody coming into my home and even now I don't necessarily feel comfortable. Obviously if they come that's just what it is and I'll keep all the obvious precautions to keep myself safe.

I think, I mean, for me personally, I'm not worried, I'm only taking vitamin C's really (laughing.) So, but obviously the integrity of the sport and any sport is essential. So hopefully there is away to make sure that that stays intact while keeping people safe during this period.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
101880-1-1004 2020-09-27 18:52:00 GMT

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