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Konta enjoying Paris buzz

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Originally published on 28/05/17

Konta, the world No.8, is seeded No.7 at Roland Garros owing to the absence of Serena Williams, and still gets a buzz from walking in to the seeded players’ locker room beneath Court Philippe Chatrier.

“It's actually my second time here in Chatrier, the locker rooms here,” said the 26-year-old. “Last year was my first I was accepted into the main draw here – the previous year that I had qualified but I was still under [Court] Suzanne Lenglen.

“I still had to go around the locker room and just remind myself where everything was, because I had only ever experienced it once before. But, no, I don't think the novelty has worn off. I don't think it really ever will. We've got four slams, and they are pinnacles of our tour and our careers as players so everyone looks to do their best at those events. I think what makes this event special stays like that forever. That doesn't really change with time.”

This is Konta’s third French Open main draw campaign, and she goes in search of her first match win in Paris against Chinese Taipei’s Su-Wei Hsieh on Tuesday – a Grand Slam anomaly that the former Australian Open semi-finalist is keen to set right on the Parisian clay.

“I guess it's a situation that's slightly unique to me and something that I have experienced over the last two years as I have been playing a lot of tournaments,” Konta said. “I’ve been fortunate to be winning, as well, and obviously I found myself in the situation I am now. But I think it's a very nice problem to have. I feel very lucky and very fortunate with that. I'm not complaining.

“I'm really enjoying this part of the season,” she added. “I think it's giving me a lot of opportunity to grow as a player, as my game style on this surface, but also, as a competitor, as a person. I think it's given me a great opportunity to mature. It gives me different challenges, and I think like I have said previously, the work that I'm putting in now will transfer into the grass and also the hard courts.”

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