Konta is British No.1 after China success

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta will be confirmed as the new British No.1 following her latest victory against Victoria Azarenka at the Wuhan Open in China.

Konta, 24, recorded her 20th victory from 21 matches as Azarenka retired with a leg injury as Konta led 6-4, 1-0.

The world number 66, will replace Heather Watson as at the top of the charts in next week’s rankings.

Konta will play Romanian Simona Halep or Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round three of the Wuhan Open and victory would see her break into the world’s top 50. Konta said, “It’s obviously nice to hear but it’s not something that I actively think about or spend much time on to be honest,” said Konta, who could break the top 50 with another win on Wednesday.

“I’m still in this tournament, I’ve got my next match tomorrow and that’s my main focus right now. I am really just trying to stay very present. I’m in China right now. We’ll see what it’s like when I go home.”

Her success in China follows her fine form at the at last month’s US Open where she defeated Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza and world No. 17 Andrea Petkovic to reach the last 16 - she was eventually knocked out by two-time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova. The victory against Petkovic was her 16th consecutive win and was the longest winning streak by a British woman this millennium. No other British player male or female, aside from Murray, has shown such form in the last year.

Former British No.1 Laura Robson has recently returned from 18-months out with a wrist injury and has looked extremely shaky in her early matches.

Robson, who has never made it beyond the fourth round in a major, is still just 21-years-of-age but there must been genuine concern within British tennis as to whether she can find the form and desire to get anywhere near her highest world ranking of 27 which was back in the summer of 2013.

Watson, the World No.61, famously, came within two points of knocking Serena Williams out from Wimbledon during the summer.

Many thought that was her time to kick-start her career but since then the 23-year-old from Guernsey has lost to Louisa Chirico in Washington, lost to Andrea Petkovic in Toronto and was defeated by Timea Babos of Hungary in Cincinnati - all these players have been swatted away by Konta in straight sets during her recent win streak - Watson was also knookced out at the first round stage of the Wuhan Open by Jelena Jankovic.

Konta was born in Sydney and moved to the UK in 2005 with her Hungarian parents. Her father Gabor is a hotelier and Gabriella, her mother, a dentist. She is fluent in both Hungarian and English and became a UK citizen in May 2012 and switched her playing allegiance from Australia to Great Britain with immediate effect.

Judy Murray, Konta’s Federation Cup captain, said, “The thing she has always struggled with is anxiety. She suffers when she gets into a winning position. She has addressed that and is working with a sports psychologist. He’s had a very calming influence and I think he has helped her when she has been in anxious moments.”