Johanna Konta is ‘living the dream’ after booking Australian Open semis spot

Published: Wednesday 27th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Johanna Konta admits she is living her childhood dream after her fairytale run at the Australian Open extended to a place in the semi-finals.

Konta had never even made the main draw in Melbourne before this event but now she stands just two victories away from winning the title after beating Chinese qualifier Shuai Zhang 6-4 6-1.

The British number one, who last year went out in qualifying, will play Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Thursday for a place in the final.

“I’m incredibly humble and grateful for the position that I’m in,” Konta said.

“I understand how much this means to my family, to the people that have stuck by me through years and years and years of ups and downs.

“In terms of what it means to me, I’m just so happy that I’m enjoying what I’m doing. That is me living my dream.

“When I was a little girl I dreamt of winning Grand Slams and being number one in the world.

“That dream stays the same I think as long as you’re doing the career that you’re on. I think it would be silly for that to change.

“That’s why I started this sport, that’s why I’m still in this sport.”

Kerber, ranked sixth in the world, will represent Konta’s toughest test so far but after beating seven top-20 opponents since last summer, including Venus Williams here in round one, anything is possible.

After taking down her latest foe, Konta was asked about her switch from Australian to British nationality in 2012.

“Actually I am a tri-citizen,” she said. “I’ve got a Hungarian passport as well. Just add that into the mix – I’m pretty much the female version of Jason Bourne.”

She will need the CIA assassin’s nerves of steel against Kerber, who arrives in the last four on a high following a momentous win over Victoria Azarenka.

“She’s just an incredibly good player,” Konta said.

“She’s an amazing competitor. She’s showed that time and time again over the last numerous years.

“I’m going to go out there really enjoy it and enjoy the battle, hopefully play a good level and give the crowd a good match.”

Konta is the first British female in a grand slam semi-final since Jo Durie at the 1983 US Open and the first at the Australian Open since Sue Barker in 1977.

She joins Andy Murray in the last four of the singles while in the doubles Jamie Murray has made the semis alongside Brazilian Bruno Soares.

“The UK is a number of thousands of miles away and a completely different time zone, which in this case it might be quite nice,” Konta said.

“Whatever pressure or whatever buzz there is outside, it only affects me as much as I let it.”

Published: Wednesday 27th January 2016 by The News Editor

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