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Exclusive: GB's last Grand Slam quarter-finalist Jo Durie on Johanna Konta's run to the last eight

GB's last Grand Slam quarter-finalist Jo Durie on Johanna Konta

26/01/2016 at 06:26

Johanna Konta has become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since 1984 - and the person she has emulated, Jo Durie, says it has made her as excited as she can remember about British tennis.

Durie - now a Eurosport commentator - reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1984 and has been marvelling at Konta's progress at Melbourne Park.

Is this the most excited you have been following British female players over the last 20 years?

“Yes it is, because although Laura Robson has had some big wins in the Grand Slams, Jo is doing it consistently and she is really believable out there on court," Durie told Eurosport.

“Obviously seeing Robson when she was winning matches and Heather Watson [was exciting], but this is just a bit above that.

" To get to the quarter-finals of a Slam, which hasn’t been done for so long, is something quite special."

“She is soon to be in the world’s top 30 and seeded in the Slams, and I can now see her getting wins week-after-week, which is a very nice thing to see."

Can she win a Grand Slam?

“To win a Grand Slam, you never know: it takes a lot. I won’t say that she could never do it, but it would be an extreme thing to accomplish.

“I’m sure it would be one of her goals, but I think at the moment she is just working through her goals and trying to get further into Grand Slams.

“Let’s not put any pressure on her and let her take it one Grand Slam at a time."

Britain's Johanna Konta celebrates after victory in her women's singles match against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova

Britain's Johanna Konta celebrates after victory in her women's singles match against Russia's Ekaterina MakarovaAFP

How has she mastered the mental side of her game?

“I think mentally she has really turned herself around. She really believes in herself and you can see that on court.

“Her composure on court in situations when she is under pressure, she seems able to cope with it all.

“She has become so consistent over the last year that she really doesn’t miss stuff – she’s very, very solid and keeps a good pace on the ball too."

What next for her?

“Her next match will be very difficult and Zhang Shuai is herself on a road to discovery.

“Anybody who gets to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is clearly playing very well, so you cannot underestimate her.

“Jo is very clear-headed and she trusts herself. When you work so hard you begin to trust yourself under pressure, and that really does help mentally.

" She has got to come down from this win and then get ready for the quarter-finals where of course she has got a chance."

“But I don’t think she has got to look too far ahead because she has been so composed so far."

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