Johanna Konta became Great Britain’s new tennis heroine at this year’s Australian Open, whilst becoming the first British woman to reach the semi-final of a grand slam since Jo Durie in 1983.
Last summer, Konta was ranked at 147 going in to the English grass-court season, with the best win of her career coming against the world No. 38. Then she defeated Ekatrina Makarova at Eastbourne before suddenly shifting through the gears. Konta defeated Venus Williams in the first round match at this year’s Australian Open, before going on to claim victory over Makarova again in round 4.
On Thursday 28 January Great Britain were represented in two men’s and women’s singles semi-finals of a grand slam for the first time since 1977, after Andy Murray and Johanna Konta’s success against David Ferrer and Zhang Shuai, respectively, in the quarter finals.
In her semi-final 24-year-old Konta was defeated by 7th seed Angelique Kerber in straight sets, however she has achieved a rise to 28 in the world rankings after the inroads she made in the tournament. Andy Murray’s sixth Melbourne semi-final saw him defeat big serving Canadian Milos Raonic in a five set thriller, although the world No.2 was not able to dislodge world No.1 Novak Djokovic as the shining light of the men’s game on this occasion.
Djokovic claimed the 2016 Australian Open title after completing a three-set to love victory as Kerber stunned Serena Williams, beating her 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in an exhilarating contest.
TNT Sport Billy Rooney