Konta up to fourth in rankings, Murray still number one

From BBC - July 16, 2017

Britain's Johanna Konta has risen to a career-high fourth in the women's rankings after Wimbledon, while Andy Murray remains men's world number one.

Konta, 26, is the fourth British woman to break into the top five, following her run to the Wimbledon semi-finals.

She matches the achievement of Virginia Wade, Sue Barker and Jo Durie, the last British woman in the top five in 1984.

Murray, 30, lost in the Wimbledon quarter-finals but retains top spot ahead of Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard could overtake Murray at the pair's next tournament, the men's Rogers Cup in Montreal, which begins on 7 August.

However, the Scot's Wimbledon campaign was hampered by a hip injury and he has yet to confirm whether the recovery process will alter his plans for the rest of 2017.

Major goals in sight for Konta

Konta further established her credentials as a Grand Slam title contender by reaching her second major semi-final at Wimbledon, and she now heads to the United States and her best surface - hard courts.

The British number one is next due on court at the women's Rogers Cup, which starts in Toronto on 7 August, having chosen not to defend her title at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California.

Konta beat Venus Williams to win her first WTA title in Stanford last year, and could suffer a dip in her ranking as a result.

The world rankings work on a 52-week rolling system, which means success in one year can mean pressure 12 months later as those points are defended.

Konta enjoyed a strong second half to 2016, narrowly missing out on a place at the WTA Finals for the top eight players, and that will be a major goal in the months to come.

Another tilt at a Grand Slam title will begin on 28 August at the US Open, where Konta has reached the fourth round for the past two years.

'Jo has learned so much, and will apply it'

Konta will pick up her racquet and get back on the practice court having finished Wimbledon at the top of the aces charts and fourth for first-serve returns.

But, while the foundations of her game are strong, Williams exposed some areas for improvement in their semi-final.

"Jo's got a great game," said former British number one Sam Smith.

"She's an excellent athlete and mentally she's a top, top player. If I know anything about Jo, she is going to learn so much from that match against Venus, and apply it."

Konta failed to break into the top 100 in the early years of her career, with a fragile mentality and unreliable forehand two of the major factors.

Her work with both mental and tennis coaches in recent years has proved remarkably effective, and she held up under huge pressure as her Wimbledon run garnered nationwide attention.

Konta's forehand stood up well during tense three-set wins over Donna Vekic, Caroline Garcia and Simona Halep, before Williams broke it down and drew 16 errors in the semi-final.

It was notable both Williams and Garbine Muguruza also struggled with their forehands at key moments in the final, but the Spaniard managed to cut the errors from six in the first set to one in the second.

Williams also dismantled the Konta second serve, making her intentions clear from the opening moments when she stood inside the baseline and dispatched a second-serve return, while the Briton missed service returns at key times in both her semi and quarter-finals.

'I'd say the US Open would be 50/50'


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