image

Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open

Top 10 in sight: ‘quality’ Johanna Konta at home among the elite, says Petra Kvitova after Wuhan Open win

Double Wimbledon champion says Briton has the quality and consistency to become a fixture in the women’s top 10

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 4:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 4:42pm

Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said Johanna Konta has the quality and consistency to become a fixture in the women’s top 10, despite putting her rise on hold at the Wuhan Open.

Kvitova ended the 13th-ranked Briton’s chances of joining the top 10 this week when she knocked her out of the Chinese tournament’s quarter-finals 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday.

But the former world number two – who has ended the last five years in the top 10 – was full of praise for the big-serving 25-year-old.

“She doesn’t really have any weakness, which is always kind of tricky,” she said.

“She has the quality, for sure. I mean, she’s a very consistent player ... I think that she really has a quality to be one of the top 10 players.”

Guess who’s back? Hong Kong Open-bound Caroline Wozniacki to face teenager Naomi Osaka in Tokyo final

A strong run at next week’s China Open in Beijing could see Konta, who is due in Hong Kong for the October 8-16 Prudential Hong Kong Open, become the first British woman to break into the top 10 since Jo Durie reached world number five in 1984.

At the beginning of 2015, Konta was ranked 146th but she made it to three quarter-finals and reached the last 16 at the US Open as a qualifier to end the year inside the top 50.

Reaching out: WTA clinic gives Hong Kong youngsters a taste of tennis

This year, she reached her first grand slam semi-final at the Australian Open, won her maiden WTA title in Stanford in July and was a quarter-finalist at the Rio Olympics.

But level-headed Konta said she’s not concerned about whether or not she reaches the top 10.

“I’m not thinking about what will come. A lot of those things are actually not all under my control. It also depends on how other players do,” she told reporters after the quarter final loss in Wuhan.

“So now I’m going to be in Beijing and I’m going to try to do the best that I can in Beijing.”