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French Open 2017: Johanna Konta - Paris shows women's tennis is wide open

Johanna Konta: French Open shows women's tennis is wide open
By PA Sport

11/06/2017 at 16:21Updated 11/06/2017 at 16:40

British number one Johanna Konta believes Jelena Ostapenko's shock win at the French Open shows the strength in depth of the women's game.

The unseeded Latvian, ranked 47 in the world, defied all expectations to claim glory at Roland Garros and win a maiden title by beating Simona Halep in three sets.

Her victory highlights a curious landscape in women's tennis as, with Serena Williams out of action due to her pregnancy and world number one Angelique Kerber having a dreadful time, tournaments are more open than they ever have been.

While Konta's own campaign in Paris was far more modest, as she went out in the first round, the Briton says the quality is beginning to shine through.

"There is a lot of depth in women's tennis and she is the perfect example of that," Konta told Press Association Sport.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain hits a backhand during the first round match against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei on day three of the 2017 French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2017 in Paris, France.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain hits a backhand during the first round match against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei on day three of the 2017 French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2017 in Paris, France.Getty Images

"She is a very, very good player and someone that has done well on the tour for a couple of years. She is not unknown to us and she has always been a very dangerous player.

"Her winning a slam is incredibly special for her and I am sure she is enjoying it.

"It shows the depth, it shows how many good quality players we have. It is exciting to see so much variety and it makes it an exciting time for the tour."

Konta's early exit from the French Open, where she has never won a main draw match, did at least give her extra preparation for the grass-court season, which starts for her at next week's Aegon Open in Nottingham.

Britain's Johanna Konta

Britain's Johanna KontaGetty Images

The top seed in the tournament, Konta plays fellow Brit Tara Moore in the first round and, on paper at least, has a realistic chance of winning her first WTA title on home soil.

Despite all of her success over the past two years, which culminated in her winning the Miami Open in April, her profile in this country will not soar on a wider scale until she does significantly well at Wimbledon.

She is not letting any pressure of hopes for a deep run at SW19 get to her, though.

"I definitely would have liked to stay at Roland Garros for longer," she added. "I felt that I improved with every game on the surface and felt I was getting better and better.

"But it gave me the opportunity to spend some time at home and get some good time on the grass. You get a different ball and you have to adjust differently.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain plays shot during her first round match against Yulia Putinseva of Kazakhstan in The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 at Foro Italico on May 16, 2017 in Rome, Italy

Johanna Konta of Great Britain plays shot during her first round match against Yulia Putinseva of Kazakhstan in The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 at Foro Italico on May 16, 2017 in Rome, ItalyGetty Images

"It is a little special being at home, I don't get too much time here.

"I am not feeling any more expectation than previous years. My own expectations in terms of how I want to do have stayed the same. I can only ever do my best so where my best on the day will take me will take me. I try to approach every game the same."

On her match-up with British number four Moore, who reached the quarter-finals at Nottingham last year, Konta added: " She loves playing on the grass, she has had some impressive results.

"I know I will be coming up against an inspired Tara, I have played her a couple of times and never had an easy match against her, so I am sure that will be the case again.

"I am looking forward to getting started on the grass and getting that first match."

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