In an exclusive interview with HELLO! magazine, tennis star Johanna Konta has spoken of her determination to win Wimbledon, despite it being cancelled this year.
"I love playing at Wimbledon and it has been my goal to win ever since I was a little girl," Britain's No. 1 female tennis star Johanna tells HELLO! as she shares pictures taken by her boyfriend, 27-year-old photographer Jackson Wade. "I feel sad that I won't be competing this year, but it hasn’t altered my determination to be a Grand Slam champion. I'll never stop striving for that."
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Johanna Konta is Britain's No. 1 female tennis star
And she is also still hopeful about her chances at the Olympics, which has also been put back a year. "As for the Olympics being postponed, I've put my disappointment aside now," continues Jo, who's ranked 14th in the world. "How I feel pales in comparison to the athletes who train for it in a four-year cycle. It must be especially hard for them to have to wait another year. Tennis players are in a more fortunate position because we have four big annual events."
But she admits that she found it hard to keep her spirits up when tennis courts were declared out of bounds at the beginning of lockdown. "Luckily, my boyfriend Jackson and our two dachshunds – Bono and Gizmo – were there to comfort me," continues Jo, who also tells how her fellow tennis stars – including Heather Watson, Katie Swan, Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and their GB Fed Cup team captain Anne Keothavong – have supported each other throughout the coronavirus crisis. "I dried my tears, adapted to a new routine and decided to crack on."
The tennis player has revealed she has no plans to marry boyfriend Jackson just yet
Speaking about her boyfriend, she adds: "Jackson means everything to me. There are no wedding plans yet but we're very happy and look forward to a happy future together."
And she says that getting back on the court recently was an incredible feeling "I was so excited that I felt like a kid on Christmas morning," says Jo. "It was the longest time I hadn't touched my racquet and it gave me a sense of relief and pure joy to be outside in the sunshine, enjoying what I love most: playing tennis."
She adds: "I feel very lucky. I have my family, my boyfriend and my dogs, and I practise being grateful on a daily basis. And my dream of winning Wimbledon is as strong as ever. I want to be the best player ever."