LONDON — Johanna Konta didn’t appreciate having her performance questioned after losing in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
As the last British player remaining in the tournament, Konta was the crowd favorite against Barbora Strycova on Centre Court, but she lost 7-6 (5), 6-1 despite holding a 4-1 lead in the first set.
Konta attributed Strycova’s comeback solely to her opponent’s good play — and bristled at the notion that it was her own mistakes that were at fault.
Asked by a reporter whether she should “look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points,” Konta shot back: “Is that in your professional tennis opinion?”
A testy exchange followed, with the reporter saying that if Konta wants to win a Grand Slam tournament someday, she should be willing to learn from matches like this one.
Konta interrupted him to say, “Please don’t patronize me.”
“In the way you’re asking your question, you’re being quite disrespectful and you’re patronizing me,” she said. “I’m a professional competitor who did her best today, and that’s all there is to that.”
After Andy Murray ended a 77-year wait for a British men’s champion at Wimbledon, the country’s tennis fans — and media — have become increasingly hopeful that Konta could become the first homegrown female champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.
But Konta, who reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2017, insisted it wasn’t the pressure that got to her when she was leading.
“I guess what happened is that I have an opponent on the other side of the court who has everything to say in how the match goes, as well,” Konta said. “I don’t think you need to pick on me in a harsh way.
“I mean, I think I’m very open with you guys [in the media]. I say how I feel out there. If you don’t want to accept that answer or you don’t agree with it, that’s fine. I still believe in the tennis that I play. I still believe in the way I competed.”