In recent years, Jo Konta has undergone one of the most remarkable transformations in tennis. At the end of 2014 she was ranked 150. After the last ball was struck in 2016, she was No.10 and part of the game’s elite. Her ascent began on grass in the summer of 2015 with a good run at Eastbourne, and she followed it up by qualifying for the US Open and advancing to the fourth round. She was on the map. But it wasn’t until January 2016 that Konta really began to turn heads. By reaching the last four at the Australian Open, she became the first British woman to reach a grand slam singles semi-final since Jo Durie in 1983 and her ranking shot up. From there, she’s gone from strength to strength. A first title – at the prestigious Stanford Classic – came in July 2016, and at the end of the year she received the WTA’s most improved player award. The key to her success? Previously consumed by nerves in close matches, Konta has become calm and poised. Her newfound mental stability has allowed the rest of her game to flourish. She no longer blinks at the big moments, and wins over the likes of Garbiñe Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwanska, Venus Williams and Simona Halep show she belongs at the top. The headlines of her rise are impressive. And still only 25, there is plenty more to come.
TIE BREAK STRENGTHS
Konta focuses on the present, stays positive and rarely gets flustered. She would probably make an excellent poker player. Useful in a tie-break.
A methodical motion that produces a world-class delivery. Konta was fourth on the WTA ace count in 2016.
Konta has a strong all-round game. She can serve accurately and volley well, but her steady groundstrokes, hit with unerring depth, are her biggest weapon.