Emma Raducanu: Johanna Konta reveals star had 'no bearing' on retirement

Johanna Konta has revealed Emma Raducanu’s success at the US Open did not have 'any bearing' on her decision to retire

Johanna Konta has revealed Emma Raducanu’s success at the US Open did not have “any bearing” on her decision to retire.

Konta announced her retirement from professional tennis in December, having struggled with a persistent knee injury.

The 30-year-old, who reached a career high of world number four in 2017, had slipped to 113 in the rankings.

Konta earned four WTA titles during her career, and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2016, Wimbledon in 2017, and the French Open in 2019.

She never won a Grand Slam, however, unlike her compatriot Raducanu. The 19-year-old stunned the world by triumphing at the US Open in September.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Konta revealed she did not decide to hang up her tennis racket to make room for Raducanu, who had taken her status as British number one.

“There was no view of any changing of the guard moment, because Emma’s success was so sudden,” she said.

“It was something that happened very quickly, there wasn’t any sort of build-up to seeing her coming through – she came through and she was there.

“I wouldn’t say that it had any bearing on my decision, just because all those decisions were being made long before she was a presence on the WTA. it didn’t have anything to do with me, really.”

Raducanu looks set to rise to world number 13 after her debut at the Australian Open this month.

She will reach a career high in the WTA rankings, despite exiting the ongoing Grand Slam in the second round.

Raducanu had overcome Sloane Stephens on her debut appearance at the tournament, defeating the American 6-0, 2-6, 6-1.

She then came up against Danka Kovinić of Montenegro, but was hampered by a painful blister for the majority of the match.

Due to her injury, Raducanu was restricted to backhands and sliced forehands for the most part of the fixture. Miraculously, she was able to take the match to a deciding set, but eventually lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Emma Raducanu won the US Open in September

Her participation at the Australian Open took place just four months after her improbable victory at the US Open.

Raducanu became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows – winning 10 games in a row without dropping a set during the tournament.

It was the first time a female British tennis player had won a major since Virginia Wade in 1977.

Raducanu will now decide whether she wants to travel to the Middle East or Mexico in order to compete in upcoming WTA events, before moving onto Indian Wells in March.

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