Konta proud after SW19 debut
Johanna Konta thinks she has won over the doubters who branded her a 'Plastic Brit' after a spirited, yet unsuccessful Wimbledon debut.
Konta is ranked 187 places below Christina McHale but she put up a hugely impressive fight against the 28th seed in a marathon first-round match which she lost 6-7 (7/4) 6-2 10-8.
Konta was born in Sydney to Hungarian parents, but she moved to England in 2005 and started representing Great Britain last month after being awarded citizenship.
There has been controversy, most notably in athletics and wrestling, about the idea of foreign-born athletes representing Britain, and Konta's citizenship has been the source of debate in tennis.
The 21-year-old received huge support on Court 17 during her defeat to McHale, which spanned two days and lasted three hours and 10 minutes, and she hopes that is a sign she has been welcomed into the hearts of the British public.
"I had good support, it was good to hear them and from what I heard I think they embraced me," Konta said.
"I've heard of (the Plastic Brit debate), but I have lived here for seven years so it's not a new thing.
"I feel British and I am happy to finally have GBR next to my name.
"People who are in touch with tennis will have seen my name around for the last few years. I very much hope that I have been accepted now."
Konta raced into a one-set lead after a tight tie-break in the first but she lost the second after a fightback from her American opponent.
Konta saved match point at 5-4 down in the third set, then play was halted at 7-7 last night due to bad light.
Eventually Konta wilted in the 17th game of the final set, offering McHale five break points.
She took the final one when Konta netted. The Briton had three chances to break back immediately, but she squandered them and McHale went on to claim the win.
Konta, ranked fifth in Britain, was disappointed at her failure to take the break points on offer, but was pleased with her overall performance given it was her first grand slam.
"I am happy with the level I played," Konta added.
"Of course it is painful to lose these matches, but I am now looking forward to bouncing back.
"I had those chances (to break) on paper but she played quite well in those points so I won't read too much into it.
"Overall it was a great experience. I'm very privileged to have played."