By Ros Satar – In Indian Wells
- Karolina Pliskova def. Johanna Konta 7-6(2) 3-6 6-3
- Will be in Miami for the first time
- Murray will be ‘dearly missed’
INDIAN WELLS, USA – As British No. 1 Johanna Konta bowed out in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, she shared her thoughts about Judy Murray as she stepped down as Fed Cup captain.
Despite a brave fight-back in the second set, Konta can at least take some solace that she is Britain’s highest ranked woman since Jo Durie in March 1987, and is looking likely to crack the Top 25 when the rankings come out next Monday.
But ever the perfectionist, Konta ruefully admitted that was a tough one to lose.
She told us: “I left it out all out there so right now I’m feeling a little disappointed, a little bruised.”
At times it looked as though she had Karolina Pliskova on the ropes, the Czech giving her racquet a hard time during one coaching time-put, but the final set got away from the Brit quickly. While she did well to fight back from a 1-4 deficit in the third, it was perhaps a little too far, as the Czech notched up her fourth straight win over her.
“I think there’s a lot of good things I can take, whether it’s things I can improve on or things that I did well, I think there’s a lot to a match, winning or losing. I’m happy with how I competed out there.”
With the UK seven hours ahead of the desert, by the time she read Murray’s email to the team to let them know the announcement was coming, it was already here!
“I wasn’t aware but she send us an email today, saying that she wanted to let us know before it came out, but then apparently it came out at home which I didn’t even know about I don’t know I’m not really in touch with anything but no she did send us all an email explaining.”
Murray, like her male equivalent Leon Smith, has worked hard to give the British team an identity, but it is more than just posing in designer dresses, as Konta explained.
“I really do think she did an exceptional job of bringing us together as a team. I don’t think that’s an easy task in an individual sport to bring a bunch of individuals together, so I think she did an amazing job with that. She’ll be dearly missed but, I’m sure she’s also looking forward to a break from us [laughing].”
Murray was extremely forthright in her views as to how the format should change, and Konta certainly found some logic to her suggestions.
She said: “I definitely think that in terms of the spectators and also in terms of our scheduling, I think it’s definitely would be a lot more advantageous for fans as well to have home and a way ties.
“I think fans can engage more that way. So, it would be nice to be able to make it similar to the Davis Cup. I think the guys do a really good job with that, being able to play those home and away ties, and also being over a weekend, instead of a full week, which I think also makes a big difference.
“This is what we’ve been dealt and this is what we shall deal with. So, if it changes, then we shall deal with that! [laughter].”
So what next for the British No. 1? Well unfortunately Miami is full to capacity with the Ultra festival nabbing all the hotel space, so Konta and her team can’t get there any earlier, so we suggested some sightseeing based on our visit last year – perhaps a stroll down the San Andreas Fault, or the beauty of the Joshua Tree National Park.
She mused: It would be nice to do something. It’s a beautiful area of the world so hopefully take advantage of it.”
One thing’s for sure – making her senior debut at Miami (she played as a junior), the only way is up as she continues to rack up points.
The Miami Open starts on 21 March.