Tuesday 20 February 2018

Venus to pick Serena's brain after ending Konta run

Venus Williams celebrates beating Johanna Konta on day ten of the Wimbledon Championships. Photo: PA
Venus Williams celebrates beating Johanna Konta on day ten of the Wimbledon Championships. Photo: PA

Paul Newman

Johanna Konta's disappointment at losing her Wimbledon semi-final to Venus Williams is tempered by the fact that her performances over the last 11 days have strengthened her belief that she can win a Grand Slam title.

"I definitely have a lot more to improve on," Konta said. "There's a lot of exciting things that I can still get better at, which is exciting for me and exciting for my team and my own development. But I definitely feel like there's no reason why I would not be able to be in a position to win a title like this one day."

This was Konta's second loss in a Grand Slam semi-final following her defeat to Angelique Kerber at last year's Australian Open, but it was her best run at Wimbledon.

The 26-year-old Briton had arrived here a fortnight ago with only one win from her five previous appearances in the tournament.

"I think that only strengthens my belief that if I'm ever in a position to be involved in a Slam for the full fortnight, that I will be able to keep myself in that mental and physical state to be able to deal with playing for a title," Konta said.

Williams will now play Garbine Muguruza tomorrow after she crushed Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1 6-1 in just 65 minutes. It will be the Spaniard's second appearance in the final following her loss to Serena Williams two years ago.

"We both play really well on grass," Venus said. "The last time she played Serena, so I'll have to ask her for some pointers.

"Serena's always in my corner and it's usually her in these finals. I'm trying to represent the Williams family the best that I can.

"I've never played her on grass, so that definitely becomes a different factor."

Serena is not here because she is expecting her first child. "I miss her so much," Venus (left) said. "Even more yesterday and today. I try to take the same courage on the court that she would have.

"I did think of that. I tried to do the things she would do. I don't know that I play exactly the same way she does, but I really tried to be inspired by it." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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