Johanna Konta announces retirement from tennis

“I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am.”

Jo Konta
Jo Konta (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

Former world No4 Johanna Konta has announced her retirement from professional tennis. In a post on Twitter beginning “A little update from me”, she went on:

“Grateful: This is the word that I’ve probably used the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end.

“My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be. All the evidence pointed towards me not ‘making’ it in this profession. However my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis. I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are.

“Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am.”

Konta won her biggest title in Miami in 2017 and three months later, she went on to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals—the first British woman to do so in 39 years. And it took her to a career-high No4 in the world.

She also reached the semis at the 2016 Australian Open and the 2019 French Open, and made the quarters at the US Open, also in 2019.

The Miami trophy, one of the biggest on the WTA Tour, was one of four titles, which also included Stanford in 2016, Sydney in 2017 and Nottingham in 2021. The last was one of her most emotional, her only WTA title on home soil after reaching two finals there, and her first trophy in four years.

But 2021 was marred by injury and a loss in form. She had won only one Major match, at last year’s US Open, in four appearances, and aside from Nottingham, had won just four matches this year as she wrestled first with an abdominal strain and then knee tendonitis. To cap it all, she was forced to pull out of Wimbledon when a member of her team tested positive for Covid.

Now age 30, and ranked 113, she has revealed much more of the reasoning for her decision, in a wide-ranging interview for the WTA. Konta has always been careful and considered in her thinking processes and self-analysis, a sensitive woman who learned to believe in herself with the help of sports psychologists and hard work.

She told the WTA:

“This has not been a decision that has been made in the last half an hour and it’s not something even that’s been made in the last two months. This is something that took some time to get to. I wanted to give it time to see if this is actually what I want to do or if it’s just a tough period…

“I wanted to sit with my feelings and emotions and give myself time in coming to the decision. That process has also given me some peace with it because by no means does my retiring mean that I don’t like the sport anymore or that I can’t see myself play anymore. Even sitting here, I miss playing. I miss that life because it’s the only life I’ve known since I have memory.”

She will be missed, too, by her many, many admirers.

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