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Now I know I can win a Grand Slam, says Johanna Konta

By Paul Newman

Johanna Konta's disappointment at losing her Wimbledon semi-final to Venus Williams is tempered by the fact that her performances have strengthened her belief that she can win a Grand Slam title.

"I definitely have a lot more to improve on," Konta said. "There's a lot of exciting things that I can still get better at, which is exciting for me and exciting for my team and my own development. But I definitely feel like there's no reason why I would not be able to be in a position to win a title like this one day."

This was Konta's second loss in a Grand Slam semi-final following her defeat to Angelique Kerber at last year's Australian Open, but it was her best run at Wimbledon. The 26-year-old Briton had arrived a fortnight ago with only one win to show from her five previous appearances in the tournament.

"That only strengthens my belief that if I'm ever in a position to be involved in a Slam for the full fortnight, that I will be able to keep myself in that mental and physical state to be able to deal with hopefully one day playing for a title," Konta said.

"I'm very happy with how I was physically and mentally able to hold up this past grass-court season. I did play every week. I stayed healthy and I stayed mentally fresh and ready to keep getting challenged and embracing those challenges along the way."

Konta said she had been pleased with how she had handled the occasion against Williams.

"She came into the match with a lot more experience than I did, but in terms of how comfortable I felt out there and how focused I was on what I wanted to try and achieve, I felt really comfortable," Konta said. "I would sum up my Wimbledon experience as memorable. It was very special to be playing all my matches on great courts with massive support."

Next week, Konta will become only the fourth female British player - after Virginia Wade, Sue Barker and Jo Durie - to be ranked in the world's top five.

"It's a nice club to be a part of, but I'm looking to keep getting better," she said. "I'm not satisfied with where I am. I do want to keep improving. I definitely do want to keep pushing myself to be the best that I can be."

Wade, meanwhile, said Konta should be proud of her run.

"I don't think she needs to be discouraged at all," the 1977 champion said. "She needs a little more experience because, unless you're young and so good and so have nothing in your head, it's very difficult.

"You have to build up, get some experience, get to the final, win a few more tournaments. She's won Miami, but she hasn't won that many tournaments. It's very different at the end of the week. This will be hugely important for her. She played a remarkably good tournament."

Wade said she found it hard to believe how well Williams has been playing this year.

"She had a couple of years where she was hitting shots all over the show," Wade said. "She seems to have eliminated errors. She plays with more margin, which I think was a big key in this match and I think that's something that Jo will add to her repertoire, putting a little more safety margin on the balls."

Williams will now play Garbine Muguruza tomorrow. It will be the Spaniard's second appearance in the final following her loss to Serena Williams two years ago.

"We both play really well on grass," Venus said. "The last time she played Serena, so I'll have to ask her for some pointers. I'm trying to represent the Williams family the best that I can."

She added: "I've never played her on grass, so that definitely becomes a different factor.

"I'll have to see what's working. I'll want to try to continue to play like I have in all these matches that I've played in so far."

Asked about the prospect of facing Williams, Muguruza said: "She's won here five times, so she knows how to play Wimbledon finals especially."

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