Yoga is key to ease Konta’s nerves

Great Britain's Johanna Konta.
Great Britain's Johanna Konta.
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British No 1 Johanna Konta is hoping a combination of yoga and mindfulness can help her handle the pressure at Wimbledon.

Konta pulled out of her Eastbourne semi-final against Karolina Pliskova on Friday as she looks to recover from a spine injury in time for Monday’s first-round match at the All England Club.

She is up against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and, if fit and firing, will be a contender to win the tournament, with Serena Williams’s absence creating a wide open women’s draw at SW19.

But Konta has previously struggled with the weight of expectation at Wimbledon, where she has managed only one victory in five main draw appearances.

The world No 7, however, believes she may have found a way to stay calm under pressure.

“I do practise mindfulness, yes. I started practising yoga again recently which is something that I am really enjoying,” Konta said.

“It is to do with breathing techniques and things like that. I think I also enjoy doing all of these things for more than just my tennis career.

“My mum was really good at this mentioning to me a few years ago, and to this day, that everything that I do now, as well as also preparing me for what I do after tennis for my life in general.”

Andy Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion, has learned to thrive on the extra attention he receives at his home tournament and Konta admits she too must adjust.

“I think it is less about blocking it out and more just accepting the noise and accepting the things that come along with it,” Konta said.

“There is always room for improvement and I think a lot of it comes too comes with experience.”