Johanna Konta: British number one hopes to be 'better equipped'

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta began coaching sessions with Dimitri Zavialoff in October

British number one Johanna Konta hopes she will be "better equipped to deal with challenges on court" after linking up with new coach Dimitri Zavialoff.

Konta hired Zavialoff on a permanent basis after reaching the Kremlin Cup semi-finals in October while working with him on a trial.

She says they have had a "very strong pre-season" which leaves her positive about her chances in 2019.

"He is teaching me to be quite self-sufficient on court," said Konta, 27.

"It is much more of a partnership than I have had in previous coaching relationships."

Konta, who parted company with American coach Michael Joyce in October, reached a career-high ranking of fourth in 2017 but goes into the new year 37th.

"I think last season I didn't have many quarter-final or semi-final opportunities so getting to the end of a tournament was definitely a good feeling to have in the last tournament of the year," she said.

"We've been in this place many times, and it doesn't always guarantee that it kicks off well, but I definitely feel I've had a very strong pre-season so that has given me a good chance to have a good overall 2019."

Frenchman Zavialoff was Stan Wawrinka's first coach, and also helped Timea Bacsinszky break into the world's top 10.

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