“I Never Thought I’d Get to Play Kim Clijsters” – Johanna Konta

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March 5, 2020 2:18 am

World Number 16 Johanna Konta lodged her first victory of the season with a triumph over the Belgian veteran Kim Clijsters at Abierto GNP Seguros 2020. It was a straight-set 6-3, 7-5 victory of the Brit. While grouping up she never really imagined playing Clijsters on the other side of the net.

Konta turned a professional in the year 2008, and by that time Clijsters had won a Slam and attained the World Number one ranking. The Brit came across her first match-win on the WTA Tour in the year 2012. And that year, Clijsters retired from tennis for the second time.

“As a young player, I never thought I’d get to play Kim Clijsters in my career,” Johanna Konta said after her victory. “I feel truly privileged and honored to share the court with such a champion. It’s nice to have her back.”

“It was very tough. She’s an incredible ball-striker. Her ability to do things with the ball is what made her a multiple Grand Slam champion.”

Kim Clijsters and Johanna Konta

The second-seed Konta continued to rave about Clijsters. In Monterrey, it was just her second match since the US Open 2012, and the Belgian played challenging tennis against the 28-year-old Konta. 

“That why she was able to come back and play, in her second match back after seven years, at a level like this. That’s not exactly an everyday thing, that’s for sure. I feel so honored to have played her, and really happy with my performance.”

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Johanna Konta in 2020

After the US Open 2019, Britain’s number one tennis player Konta disappeared from the WTA Tour to treat her knee. The knee pain was intimidating her appearance at the Australian summer this year, nevertheless, she traveled to Australia but won no matches.  

“This is my first win of the year, so it’s something that’s always going to be special in any season,” Konta said after beating Clijsters.

Johanna Konta

“But first of all, I’m really pleased to come through such a tough match. I feel very fortunate with my performance tonight, just to come through and get into the second round.”

In 2019, Konta reached the semifinals of French Open and quarterfinals of Wimbledon. And consequently, she resurged in top-20 rankings after struggling with her form in 2018.

In Monterrey, Mexico, Johanna Konta will play next play Tatjana Maria in the second-round of Abierto GNP Seguros 2020.

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