British tennis star Johanna Konta has said that she is looking forward to playing in front of a crowd at the upcoming Australian Open. Coming off a long lay-off on account of an injury and the pandemic, the 14th-ranked Konta said that she has set her hopes on a decent turnout during the tournament.
Johanna Konta says she missed playing before a crowd for many months
The Briton added she has sorely missed the experience of playing in front of a full house “for many months” and has been informed by tournament officials that there is an “opportunity” of “having a decent crowd” at Melbourne Park this year.
She said that the return of spectators would bring an element of familiarity to the whole experience of playing Grand Slam tennis and she simply can’t wait for the “treat”.
All those competing in the year’s first Grand Slam are bound by a strict quarantine rule, which will require them to restrict their movement to their hotel rooms and practice facilities for the first couple of weeks.
On her experience of the hard quarantine so far, Konta said she was “feeling really good being in this situation of the limited amount of training and quarantine.”
“Very lucky and very healthy”: Konta on her quarantine experience ahead of Australian Open
The Briton said that though largely confined indoors, she feels “very lucky and very healthy.”
She added that her knees, which have given her good grief in the recent past, also seem to be holding up well ahead of the Australian Open.
“With my knees it is an ongoing process that I continue to manage, as an athlete you manage a lot of things with your body. Overall I am feeling good,” Konta told British daily The Guardian.
The Briton struggled with knee problems for the better part of 2019, and it impaired her quest for titles in the calendar year as well. Her return to Melbourne Park last year was brutally cut short as she lost in the opening round to Tunisian Ons Jabeur.
She fared no better in the French Open, going down in straight sets to American teen Coco Gauff in the first round as well.
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Konta did make it past the opening round at the US Open but went out in the second after losing to Romanian Sorana Cirstea.