Konta wins maiden title in Stanford
Originally published on 25/07/16 00:00
The British No.1 moved up to No.14 after defeating Venus Williams 7-5 5-7 6-2 at Stanford University in California.
“It’s quite an incredibly humbling experience,” said Konta. “It’s a validation of all the hard work you’ve already put in and a motivator on the things you want to keep improving on, and the lengths you might go to in order to become that much better at your discipline.”
It has been a remarkable 12 months for Konta, who was ranked outside the world’s top 100 a year ago. Last summer she won back-to-back ITF titles in Canada (Granby and Vancouver) before qualifying for the US Open and embarking on a giantkilling run in New York, upsetting Garbine Muguruza and Andrea Petkovic before falling to Petra Kvitova in the fourth round.
Konta, who upset Williams in the first round at the Australian Open, where she became the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 1983, clinched the opening set before rushing to a 4-1 lead in the second, only for Williams to battle back to force a decider.
"Quite honestly, you'd expect nothing less from a champion," said Konta after sealing victory in three sets. "They don't give away any match, much less a final. It was her 80th, so you could only imagine the number of different situations that she's already been in. It was about keeping things in perspective, and understanding there'd be ebbs and flows in the match.
"Every single point was a battle, and I tried to win as many battles as possible. The simpler you keep things, the more clarity you have, and the less dumb you play.”