Johanna Konta: BBC Sports Personality 2017 contender

Johanna Konta
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017
Date: Sunday, 17 December Time: 18:45 GMT Venue: Echo Arena, Liverpool Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website

We are showcasing each of the 12 contenders in the run-up to the Sports Personality of the Year award on 17 December. Today - Johanna Konta.

Age: 26 Sport: Tennis

Year in a nutshell

Continued her remarkable rise by becoming the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-finals since Virginia Wade in 1978.

She lost to five-time champion Venus Williams, but rose to number four in the world, having been 150th in the rankings at the start of 2015.

Konta, who was born in Australia and moved to England as a teenager, made the last eight of the Australian Open and won the Miami Open in April, beating Caroline Wozniacki in the final.

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Sports Personality 2017: Johanna Konta has a year to remember - Virginia Wade

Virginia Wade, former Wimbledon champion and 1977 Sports Personality of the Year, on Konta:

"It was a tremendous year, maybe even better than she anticipated. To win a big tournament like Miami, get to the semi-finals of Wimbledon and do well at Australia is a year to remember.

"Johanna is very, very methodical in everything she does so her game is very well grooved.

"Her technique is excellent, everything got better and she has a good head on her shoulders. Her tennis was superb. She was brilliant at Wimbledon. As long as she can stay fit, she has as much chance as anyone else."

How did she get here?

Johanna Konta
Konta began playing tennis aged eight and her idol was Steffi Graf, who won 22 Grand Slam titles (1/5)

Konta was pretty serious about tennis and her fitness from the age of nine and used to drag her father out of bed at five in the morning to go for a run.

She had to separate herself from her Hungarian parents for four months as a 14-year-old to attend a tennis academy in Barcelona, before she moved with her family to England.

Konta rose through the rankings in 2015 and made the Australian Open semi-finals the following year.

She reached the last four at Wimbledon a thrilling victory over Romanian second seed Simona Halep - a match watched by a peak of 7.4 million viewers, the BBC's best TV figures for the tournament.

What she said: "I'm constantly looking to be more mentally strong and technically sound. I'm trying to leave no stone unturned."

What you say

James Andrews: Jo Konta for SPOTY for me. Had an amazing year, surprised everyone and got the whole nation behind her.

Arlene Woollard: My vote is going to Johanna Konta. Let's have a woman winner for a change and she has done so much for women's tennis in Britain.

Alix B‏: Congratulations. You're a credit to the sport and a role model for girls

Sports Personality record: first nomination. British men's number one Andy Murray has won the award three times in the past four years but is not shortlisted after an injury-hit year.

Get Inspired

Schemes such as 'Tennis for Free' have made the sport much more accessible.

Visit the Get Inspired website to find out more on how to get into tennis.

This article was originally published on 10 December, 2017.

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