The WTA Tour’s reigning MIP (Most Improved Player) started 2016 ranked No. 48 in the world. By year’s end she’d become the first British woman in 33 years to finish inside the Top 10. Konta is off to another strong start in 2017, having reached the Australian Open quarterfinals and registered her second career title in Sydney. BNPParibasOpen.com caught up with the rising 26 year old only moments after her second-round Battle of Britain triumph (6-4, 6-4) over countrywoman and Fed Cup teammate Heather Watson. (Read Report)
Q: Being the top-ranked Brit, how much of an Andy Murray Effect is there for you as far as attention and pressure are concerned?
JK: It's nowhere near what Andy gets, I'm sure. But I think so far everyone has been more curious about my development and how I'm doing — generally quite good support. But I don't pay too much attention to necessarily the media that much. No offense.
Q: Go ahead, tell me how you really feel.
JK: I really try to keep myself within my own process and my own, I guess, bubble in a way, and just focus on my work. Because that in turn will enable me to do what I love to do the most, and that's compete.
Q: What's the Indian Wells experience?
JK: If you ask any player, outside of the Grand Glams — even with the Grand Slams — it’s probably the best tournament on the tour right now. Part of it has to do with the scenery — it’s absolutely beautiful here. And the weather, as well. But also just the effort that the tournament goes to — it significantly improves every year. It’s incredible.
Q: What it like to see an active player — Tommy Haas — take over as tournament director in Indian Wells?
JK: I wasn’t actively following who was going to take over, so when I saw him on court, I said, “I only found out three days ago!” I felt a bit ignorant, but I think he forgave me. I think it’s great because he’s still very much in touch with a player’s perspective, but he also has that bird’s-eye view as well in terms of fan engagement and things like that. I think he’ll do a great job.
Q: What music are you listening to these days?
JK: You know what? I’m currently in love with Fleetwood Mac. I’ve just rediscovered them. I have it on my iPod — “Gypsy.” I was at home packing to come here and Sky Arts was on and they do live concerts. It was Fleetwood Mac live in Boston in 2004. It was UNBELIEVABLE! Old school.