Johanna Konta reaches new career high

August 2, 2016

Johanna Konta has reached a new career high ranking of 13th in the world, as she prepares to go to Rio for the Olympics.

The Briton, who had been as low as 147th in the world last year, rose one place after her run to the quarter-final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.  

Having beaten Venus Williams to win her first ATP tour title in Stanford last month, Konta was on course for a second successive trophy before she lost to qualifier Kristina Kucova. Had she won, she would have become the first British woman to reach the top ten in the rankings since Jo Durie in 1984.  

While her loss to the world number 121 may have brought her down to earth after her recent brilliant run, Konta's upward progress has been such it may be just a matter of time before she reaches the top ten - with more trophies on the way.

Fans making early bookings for corporate hospitality at The Championships, Wimbledon in 2017 will be watching Konta closely as hopes rise that Britain could end up with champions in both the men's and women's singles.

Now Andy Murray has laid the ghost of Fred Perry, the focus may increasingly be on Konta's bid to emulate Britain's last ladies' singles champion Virginia Wade, who triumphed in 1977. This will be even more so if she can win an Olympic medal and produce another strong challenge for a maiden Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in the weeks ahead. Having reached the Australian open semi-final in February, there is every chance a first Grand Slam final will not be far off for the Eastbourne-based star.

Fans looking forward to the next few weeks of action can also be excited about what is happening in the men's game just now. Recent injuries to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal might have denied fans the chance to see two of the greats in action, but the continued brilliance of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, plus the rise of younger stars like Milos Raonic, has given keen followers of the men's game plenty to be excited about.

The key issue now is whether Djokovic can reassert the dominance that saw him leave the French Open holding all four Grand Slam titles, or whether the return of Ivan Lendl to coach Murray and the Scot's subsequent Wimbledon triumph indicate that he will now emerge as top dog.

Djokovic himself has bounced back from his early Wimbledon exit with victory in the Rogers Cup, beating Kei Nishikori in the final. Having missed out on a medal in the London Olympics four years ago, he said afterwards: "I don't need to explain that every athlete dreams of being a part of the Olympic Games.

"I'm competing in singles and doubles. Hopefully I'll get at least one medal."

With Djokovic back in winning form, Murray about to defend his title and Konta aiming high, the next few weeks could be extremely exciting as two of the sport's biggest competitions get underway.

By Sam Coates

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