Great Britain’s Johanna Konta has become the first British woman to reach the top ten in the WTA rankings for 32 years after reaching the final of the China Open, despite missing out to Agnieszka Radwanska.
It’s been a meteoric rise for Konta, who was ranked 146th in the world just 18 months ago, but now becomes just the fourth British woman to make the top ten since the rankings began in 1975, after Jo Durie, Virginia Wade and Sue Barker.
The 25-year-old was beaten in Sunday’s final by Poland’s world number three Radwanska in a battling performance. It would have been Konta’s biggest career win to date, however, she was outclassed by Radwanska 6-4 6-2.
Konta, who switched her sporting allegiance from Australia to Great Britain in May 2012, has come from relative obscurity to become one of the form players in 2016. She reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open, the fourth round of the US Open, and made the quarter finals at the Olympics in Rio.
Konta is comfortably Britain’s highest ranked women’s tennis player, ahead of 75th-placed Heather Watson. Her performance also means that Britain have players ranked in the world top ten in both the men’s and women’s games, after Andy Murray.
After the final, Konta said: “I’m very pleased with this week, it was pretty spectacular. I’m really enjoying my journey and looking forward to matches like this against players like Agnieszka.”
Jo Durie, the last British woman to make reach the top 10 of the world rankings, tweeted “Congrats to Jo Konta a fantastic year & thoroughly deserves the Top Ten ranking. More to come I’m sure.”
Fellow Brit Andy Murray made it an extra sweet Sunday for British tennis by beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6 in the men’s singles final.