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Exclusive: Johanna Konta shares details of surprise engagement ahead of Wimbledon return

The tennis star announced her engagement to Jackson Wade last week

Sharnaz Shahid

Johanna Konta is on cloud nine! The tennis star has expressed her joy following her surprise proposal from boyfriend Jackson Wade on her 30th birthday in May.

In her first interview since their engagement, the British professional tennis player - who is set to compete in Wimbledon this month - has gushed about the romantic proposal.

MORE: Johanna Konta opens up about her relationship with Jackson Wade

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"I'm happy, I mean obviously we got engaged on my birthday which was about a month ago so it's been some time since we got engaged," she exclusively told HELLO!. "I've gotten used to it already - it's been really nice."

READ: Johanna Konta talks about her determination to win Wimbledon

SEE: Game Set Match - The Wimbledon wives and partners we'll see courtside this summer

The sports star added: "The proposal was kind of a surprise but at the same time it wasn't."

Asked how she celebrated the news, Johanna revealed: "To be honest, we didn't really keep this a secret by any means. It's so interesting as it's not until you put it on social media that it becomes well-known. It's so funny. Celebrations-wise, we haven't done anything massive really. We've just stayed us."

The tennis player and her photographer partner live together in south-west London, and have been a couple for several years.

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Johanna has curated a contemporary collection with Radley

During lockdown, while many across the UK were learning new skills or picking up a hobby, Johanna, Jackson and their dachshund Bono welcomed a new addition to their family - a puppy called Gizmo.

"We were busy toilet training him and getting used to being a family of four," she remarked. "So, I think it was mainly the dogs that kept us busy, to be honest. I wasn't one of those people who was just able to learn a new language. I kind of continued with what I usually do, I was busy in the kitchen. I enjoy being in the kitchen doing the cooking and baking."

READ: Who is Johanna Konta? Everything you need to know about the Wimbledon star

MORE: Top 10 richest players in Wimbledon

Sports may be her remit, but Johanna also has a knack for whipping up a culinary delight. "It is mainly me in the kitchen," she explained. "Although, my fiancé sometimes does unleash himself in the kitchen and he's not too bad. He's better than I gave him credit for but I do the majority of the cooking and I think that's mainly because I enjoy it more than he does.

"Baking wise, I do enjoy baking cakes and sweet things. But the problem with that is my fiancé doesn't really enjoy a lot of sweet things. I end up baking a cake and then not really being able to finish it off. I had to stop baking because I didn't enjoy the waste of it. It wasn't like I could just pop out and kind of give the rest of the cake to people I know."

The sporting ace continued: "I generally was just cooking. I've really enjoyed cooking from the Waitrose magazine. I absolutely love the recipes in there so I've been using that a lot. I kind of also got into cooking from my own imagination - some simple things but trying to just use whatever is in the fridge."

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The tennis star pictured with fiance Jackson Wade

Johanna has more than just an engagement to be excited about these days. In the interview, the world No. 30 - who is Radley London's Woman of Spirit - is gearing up for this year's Wimbledon.

READ: Johanna Konta on being at the top of her game and why family will always rank as No.1

"I'm looking forward to it, I have no idea what it will be like yet," she said of returning to the All England Club this month. "It will be a very different championship for us because I won't be staying at home which I have done over the last number of years. I'll definitely be missing out on that.

"However, just to be able to be back for Wimbledon - it's such a big part of our sporting summer. I'm really excited that the tournament is back. I'm really looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd. Again, the fact that we are going to have a crowd and that crowd should hopefully increase in numbers. So there's definitely a lot more positive than anything else."

When quizzed about training during the past year, Johanna explained: "I think like with everyone else, the beginning was very dramatic and it was a drastic change during the initial lockdown period.

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The sports star got engaged on her 30th birthday

"From about May onwards last year, our governing body had set up all the protocols and government-approved COVID safety measures, so we were able to start training.

"I wouldn't say we trained normally but at least we were able to start going on court and using the gym during that March-April period of last year. That was very difficult because I was in the same boat as everybody else when it came to trying to keep fit as it's part of my job - and to do that in your living room was a bit challenging."

Meanwhile, Johanna has curated a contemporary collection of recycled nylon backpacks, cross body bags, bum bags and shoulder bags. She also has a bespoke one-off racket bag that she uses on court at major tournaments.

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Johanna's large shoulder bag, £169, Radley London

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"For me the line is about bringing that active personality through the pieces," she shared. "For anyone using them to feel like that they can be both stylish and sophisticated but also active is important. You can be on the move or be busy because that's kind of what women are."

Of her role with the brand, Johanna stated: "I'm humbled, moved and motivated by Women of Spirit in all walks of life, but I think it's important to remember that you don't have to achieve incredible results to have spirit, it's more of an approach to life, which can be seen in the smallest gestures, through to the biggest successes."

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