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'Don't patronise me': Konta defends herself in press conference against 'disrespectful' journalist after losing Wimbledon quarterfinal to Strycova

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 9 Jul 2019
  • Johanna Konta told journalist 'Don't patronise me' in post-defeat press conference
  • Konta was speaking to the media after losing to Barbora Strycova in the Wimbledon quarterfinals
  • Strycova came back from 1-4 down to beat Konta 7-6(5), 6-1
Johanna Konta shows her frustration during her Wimbledon quarterfinal defeat to Barbora Strycova (PA Sports)

Johanna Konta defends herself against 'disrespectful' journalist after Wimbledon quarterfinal defeat to Barbora Strycova.

Great Britain's Johanna Konta hit back a member of the media during her press conference after losing in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, telling the journalist: 'Don't patronise me.'

Konta led 4-1 in her quarterfinal but ended up losing to Barbora Strycova 6-7(5), 1-6.

Konta looks dejected as she trails Barbora Strycova (PA Sports)
The Czech veteran, playing in her second Wimbledon quarterfinal, made a slow start but quickly started showing the kind of form that saw her beat fourth seed Kiki Bertens and 21st seed Elise Mertens. Not a power player like Konta but one whose all-court game shows to its best advantage on this surface, Strycova took the initiative in constantly mixing up the play, changing the rhythm, pace and depth of her balls to throw Konta off-balance and elicit unforced errors. 

It completely threw Konta, who like to dictate play with her serve and forehand and who can struggle to adapt when things aren't going her way, off her rhythm and she ended up committing 34 unforced errors. She also hit 28 winners, but the majority of both came in the first set (19 winners, 22 unforced errors) while in the second set she mainly struggled to react to Strycova's varied play, which constantly tested her movement.

It was a brilliant performance from Strycova and while Konta did not swing as freely as she had done against former opponents like Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova, her failure to do so could clearly be attributed at least partly to how difficult her opponent was making it for her to hit a clean ball.

Some elements of the media clearly did not feel that way, especially on the heels of Konta's French Open semifinal defeat to another lower-ranked player, also a Czech who enjoys disrupting her opponent's rhythm, Marketa Vondrousova.

Konta was asked about a few key points, particularly in the second set, with a journalist asking: 'Do you not have to look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points? It’s all very well saying it’s a lot to do with your opponent, but there were key points when you perhaps could have done better.'

Konta responded 'Is that your professional opinion?' before going on to say: 

'I mean, I don’t think you need to pick on me in a harsh way. I mean, I think I’m very open with you guys. I say how I feel out there. If you don’t want to accept that answer or you don’t agree with it, that’s fine. I still believe in the tennis that I play. I still believe in the way I competed. Yeah, I don’t have much else to say to your question.'

The same journalist responded: 'I’m just asking you as somebody who presumably wants to go on from here, learn from this, win a Grand Slam one day. Is it not something -' 

Konta interrupted to ask: 'Please don’t patronise me.' The journalist denied patronising her, but Konta stood her ground: 'No, no, you are. In the way you’re asking your question, you’re being quite disrespectful and you’re patronising me. I’m a professional competitor who did her best today, and that’s all there is to that.'

It's worth watching the video of the exchange, in which the unpleasant tone of the journalist is very evident. It's difficult to imagine Andy Murray or Kyle Edmund being hectored in that way, or a journalist imagining that it's part of their job to publicly lecture either of those players.

Earlier in the press conference, Konta had paid tribute to Strycova's tennis, saying: 'I think she was playing very well. I couldn't quite find the level that I needed to make it difficult and challenging for the kind of player she is.'

She added:

'I went out there, I did my best. My best today just wasn't good enough. But every decision that I made, every thought process, every opportunity that I gave myself, everything, I have no regrets in doing.'

Strycova, who was talking earlier in the tournament about needing to take a decision at some point about retirement, will face Serena Williams in the semifinals after Williams came through in a gritty battle against Alison Riske, prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. 

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'Don't patronise me': Konta defends herself in press conference against 'disrespectful' journalist after losing Wimbledon quarterfinal to Strycova

Johanna Konta took exception to the 'patronizing' question of a journalist after losing to Barbora Strycova in the Wimbledon quarterfinals: 'I'm a professional competitor who did her best today, and that's all there is to that.'

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