Konta focused on Wozniacki test
Originally published on 20/01/17 00:00
Konta is in the form of her life after winning the second WTA title of her career in Sydney last week, but she now faces strong opposition if she is to match her semi-final run in Melbourne last year.
Should she successfully navigate her way past former world No.1 Wozniacki, Konta could face WTA Finals champion and No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round, with Serena Williams a likely quarter-final opponent.
Konta recently told tennishead she would “love to share the court” with 22-time Grand Slam champion Williams, but for now she is focused on the task in hand.
“There is still a lot of tennis to be played between now and the fourth round,” she said when pressed on the prospect of playing the six-time Australian Open champion.
On paper, No.9 seed Konta will be the favourite against Wozniacki, but in what will be the first meeting between the pair, Konta is expecting a difficult match against the two-time US Open runner-up.
“I think my next opponent will be an incredibly tough one,” she said. “Every round so far has been. I think my first round and also today, they were incredibly competent opponents. I think rarely do we get any easy rounds.
“But I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm looking forward to trying. I'm looking forward to being out on court, competing, and ultimately I'm just trying to make my stay here in Melbourne as long as possible.”
Wozniacki is undoubtedly the more experienced of the two, despite only being a year older than the British No.1. When Wozniacki first climbed to world No.1 in October 2010, Konta was ranked No.271 in the world and Wozniacki dismissed suggestions that Konta's breakthrough had been a rapid one.
"She's been around for years, you know, trying to break through," said Wozniacki. "She's always had the game. I think she had a great last year, and it's nice to see. But I think if you ask her, she'll say it's been a long, hard ride. It's paying off for her now, which is great.
"She plays really well; big forehand, big serve. But I'm ready. I'm playing well. I'm excited for the challenge. I'm here to do my best, and try and win the match."
While Konta's recent successes are clearly down to the hard yards she has put in, both on and off the court, the British No.1 admits that when it comes to winning a Grand Slam, luck would also play its part.
“I believe that if I continue to keep my priorities straight, really take care of the work, take care of my body, then I will continuously be able to have the opportunity to improve, to get better, to experience more matches, to experience more situations,” Konta said.
“I don't know what it is, about fate or being in the right place at the right time [but] I think some things need to come together."