Johanna Konta: British number one wins most improved player award

Johanna Konta
Konta won her first WTA Tour title in June

British number one Johanna Konta has won the WTA's most improved player of the year award for 2016.

Konta, 25, reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January before going on to win her first WTA Tour title at Stanford in June.

Ranked world number 147 in June 2015, Konta climbed to a career-high position of ninth earlier this month and is currently in 10th place.

Germany's Angelique Kerber won the WTA player of the year award.

The world number one won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open, and went on to pick up a second at the US Open. She also won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and lost in the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams.

Konta's record of seven victories over a top-10 player this season is the second-most of any other player on tour.

She became the first British woman to reach the top 10 of the world rankings since Jo Durie achieved the feat in 1984.

Konta is currently leading the race for a place a the WTA Finals in Singapore, occupying the final qualification spot, but will be overtaken by Svetlana Kuznetsova if the Russian wins Saturday's Kremlin Cup final against Daria Gavrilova of Australia.


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller:

"At the start of the year, the question was not whether Konta could become a top 10 player, but whether she could consolidate her position in the top 50.

"Reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open was a fabulous achievement, but it has been her consistency throughout the year - and in many of the big tournaments - which has particularly impressed.

"She is a strong player, but by no means the most powerful: her success has stemmed from doing the basics to an exceptionally high level in highly pressurised situations.

"Her top 10 status is thoroughly deserved."

2016 WTA player award winners in full:

Player of the year: Angelique Kerber (Ger)

Doubles team of the year: Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic (Fra)

Most improved player of the year: Johanna Konta (GB)

Newcomer of the year: Naomi Osaka (Jpn)

Comeback player of the year: Dominika Cibulkova (Svk)

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