Wimbledon: Johanna Konta hoping to inspire new generation

Johanna Konta celebrates beating Donna Vekic on day three of Wimbledon. Picture: John Walton/PA
Johanna Konta celebrates beating Donna Vekic on day three of Wimbledon. Picture: John Walton/PA
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Johanna Konta believes she and Andy Murray can form a dream team to inspire a new generation of British tennis stars.

Murray will retain his place at the top of the world rankings on Monday despite his loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon while Konta will climb at least to fifth.

It will be the first time since 1975, when women joined the men in having a rankings system, that a British man and woman have sat in the top five concurrently.

Konta will even rise from number seven to four if Garbine Muguruza wins the title on Saturday, after she reached the semi-finals for the first time before running into an inspired Venus Williams.

Her success, however, revealed the scarcity of elite British women in tennis in recent years.

Konta was only the third female player from these shores to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Jo Durie in 1985 and the first to make the last four since Virginia Wade in 1978.

I’d like to think that Andy has inspired both girls and boys to play. I’d like to think that I’m doing the same, both girls and boys.

Johanna Konta

“I think it can only be a positive thing at home,” Konta said. “But I’d like to think that Andy has inspired both girls and boys to play. I’d like to think that I’m doing the same, both girls and boys.

“But I’m definitely happy that there’s more attention and more, I guess, good feelings towards tennis and being involved in this great sport. I will only ever try to do that in a positive way.”

As well as inspiring the next crop of aspiring young players, Konta caught the imagination of the British public with her pulsating victories and courageous style of play.

Some fans at the All England Club were even seen wearing ‘Konta Mania’ T-shirts as they cheered her on against Williams.

“Konta Mania, I didn’t hear that before,” Konta said, laughing.

“It’s just incredibly humbling. It’s something that is greater than me and obviously just my focus on my match and my performance, and trying to improve.”