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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, December 1, 2021

 
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"I got to become what I wanted and said as a child. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be," Johanna Konta said in announcing her retirement.

Photo credit: Johanna Konta Instagram

Johanna Konta competed with grit and closed her career with gratitude.

The 30-year-old Konta announced her retirement from the pro circuit today, concluding a career that saw her reach a career-high ranking of No. 4, capture four WTA titles and contest major semifinals at three of the four Grand Slam tournaments: 2016 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon and 2019 Roland Garros.

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"Grateful—this is the word I have probably used the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end," Konta posted on social media. " My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be...

"Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be."




Born to Hungarian parents in Sydney, Australia, Konta began playing tennis at age eight in an afterschool program. She moved to the UK at 14 and began representing Great Britain internationally in 2012.

Widely respected as a fierce competitor with a bold two-handed backhand, Konta captured her biggest career championship at the Miami Open on April Fools Day 2017.



The then 25-year-old Konta lifted a rainbow lob wrapping a creative bow on a bang-up 6-4, 6-3 sweep of Caroline Wozniacki in the Miami Open final. One of the softest shots she struck all day landed with profound impact. Konta became the first British woman in Miami Open history to raise the title trophy.




A little more than four months after her Miami magic, Konta thrilled the faithful at Wimbledon. Konta roared back for a 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over Simona Halep becoming the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1978 to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals.



Wade was watching the match from the front row 39 years after her own Wimbledon run and looked entranced by what she witnessed.

"I guess to be in the semifinals of my home slam, and to do that in front of a full Centre Court, I mean, it's pretty, pretty special," Konta said. "I think the level of tennis that both of us played today, it was just a tremendous match.

"So I think just to be a part of a match like that again. I've been very fortunate this Championships, I've had two of those now, I feel very lucky."

Though assorted injuries took a toll on Konta in recent years, she won seven of the last eight matches she played, including claiming her fourth career title on the grass of Nottingham last June.

Facing the best, Konta often brought her best.

Konta, who took up baking as a hobby, blazed competitive fire scoring wins over several former world No. 1 players, including Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Halep, Wozniacki and current No. 1 Ash Barty. Konta's 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Serena Williams at the 2018 San Jose remains the 23-time Grand Slam champion's most lopsided loss.

In past press conferences, Konta shared she was pained by chronic right knee tendinitis, a condition that played a role in her ranking fall and may well have played a part in her decision to close the curtain on a glorious career.

Currently ranked No. 113, Konta, who has not played since her three-set loss to Karolina Muchova in her Cincinnati opener last August, concludes her career with a 395-243 career record earning more than $10 million in career prize money.

 

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