Johanna Konta retirement: Former British no1 quits tennis aged 30 after injury struggle

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Johanna Konta retirement: Former British no1 quits tennis aged 30 after injury struggle
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Former British No1 Johanna Konta has retired from tennis at the age of 30.

The three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist has been beset by a knee injury, which had already ruled her out of next month's Australian Open.

While she made no mention of the injury in her retirement statement, it was clearly central in her decision making having played just two tournaments since her fourth and final career title back in June.

In a statement entitled ‘Grateful’, Konta said: “This is the word that I’ve probably used the most during my career and is the word that explains it best at the end. My playing career has come to an end and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be.

“All the evidence pointed towards me not making it in this profession. However, my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis.

“I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are. 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. How grateful I am.”

Born in Sydney, Konta relocated to England with her family at the age of 14 and became British No1 for the first time in 2015, a run that only ended when she withdrew injured from this year’s US Open.

It was while playing in the US back in August that she said she came to the conclusion to hang up her racket, which she likened to both an amicable break-up and a period of mourning.

Konta’s Grand Slam breakthrough came at the Australian Open in 2016 where she reached the semi-finals, the same year in which she won her first WTA Tour title in Stanford, the most high-profile tournament victory by a British female player for 33 years.

Her biggest tournament win followed at the Miami Open the following year, when she also won a title in Sydney and reached the last four of Wimbledon. It was the best result there by a British woman since Virginia Wade in 1978.

 (AP)
(AP)

Having not won a single match at the French Open previously, she qualified for the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2019.

The past two seasons have proved injury plagued but Konta clinched a fourth WTA Tour title at the Nottingham Open earlier this summer, and also got engaged earlier this year.

Speaking to the WTA following her retirement, she said how after returning from playing in the US that, “I held my racket because I was putting it away and I started crying”.

She added: “I wanted to… give myself time in coming to the decision. That process has also given me some peace with it. I miss playing. I miss that life because it’s the only life I’ve known.”

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd led the tributes. He said: “To reach the semi-finals of three slams and spend more time at British No1 than any other woman since the WTA ranking began, shows the level of her achievements.”

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