Johanna Konta lifts lid on Covid hell after being forced out of Wimbledon and Olympics

Johanna Konta wins Viking Open Nottingham title

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Johanna Konta has opened up about her ordeal with Covid after being forced out of Wimbledon and the Olympics. The British No 1 returned to the tour in Montreal yesterday (August 10) after spending two months away as she battled what she described the “worst illness” she has experienced.

The world No 41 was withdrawn from Wimbledon after being identified as a ‘close contact’ of a member of her team who tested positive for coronavirus, and forced to self-isolate for ten days.

With Konta’s sights set firmly on Tokyo 2020 after her disappointment at the All England Club, she herself tested positive for Covid and was left unable to train for two weeks, forcing her out of the Olympics.

The three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist has now finally returned to action and won her first match at the Omnium Banque Nationale by retirement while being a set down but a break up in the second.

She has now lifted the lid on her struggles with the illness in an interview with the Associated Press, saying she experienced a “massive range of symptoms”.

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“Definitely the worst illness I’ve experienced for a very long time,” the British tennis star said.

While Konta and her fiancé Jackson Wade didn’t need to be hospitalised, she said they were “quite ill”.

Speaking about the devastation of missing two of the year’s most important events, the recent Nottingham title winner said: “It was very heartbreaking and it was very difficult. There was nothing good and nothing fun about having Covid and having to miss Wimbledon and the Olympics. There’s just no way around that.

“However, I consider myself quite a happy person, quite a positive person, and definitely a pragmatic person, and I like to practice perspective in all the good things I do have in my life. So I had to definitely utilize those tools.”

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She continued: “And at the end of the day, I looked at my life and everything’s OK. … And I just tried to draw energy from there and looked forward to when I could start training and get back out onto the match court.”

It took around two and a half weeks for the former world No 4 to return to the practice court and start preparing for the North American hard court swing.

“We took it very, very slowly. Then I got my full check, in terms of my heart, my lungs, everything, and everything came back all OK. Then we started doing a little more and here we are,” Konta said.

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist hasn’t received her Covid vaccine yet and says she will take time to decide if and when to get it, being required to wait four weeks after having the virus.

The top British player said: “I’m definitely not against it, by no means. I think, obviously, now I’m not advised to get vaccinated quite yet.

“I think it’ll give me a little bit of time to also see where the world is, how everything is going and then I’ll make a personal choice on kind of when and how and where and all those things.”

Meanwhile, Konta faces a tough test on the match court in Montreal as she takes on third seed Elina Svitolina later today (August 11).

The Ukrainian is undefeated against Konta, having won all five of their previous encounters.
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