02 April, 2017
But Konta broke back immediately and again for a 5-4 lead that allowed her to serve for the match.
"The belief has been there since I was a little girl", she said. "I'd like to be the best player in the world but there's a lot of work to be done between now and then".
"Everybody's journey is different". I'm hoping third time lucky [against Konta]. It just took time. I think, yeah, I mean, I tried to not wish time away and to really stay out there as long as possible and really enjoy competing.
For Konta it signifies not only her second hardware of the year, but her biggest title to date, after perhaps failing to embrace the last occasion (the Beijing final, where she lost in straight sets to Agnieszka Radwanska). The Briton saw off Venus Williams in the semi-finals 6-4, 7-5 - it was Konta's third straight victory over the former world number one.
After her victory, Konta praised the crowd who had supported her during the matches.
"I don't have anything against her, and if I play her I will prepare the same - I won't feel pushed to win any more than I normally do".
In October, Konta became only the fourth British woman to make the top 10 since the WTA rankings began in 1975 - after Jo Durie, Virginia Wade and Sue Barker.
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"I think a lot of things go very hand and hand when I it comes to sport".
"I was very fortunate that throughout the years I've managed to have some very, very good people around me".
"I think the more I was able to absorb from them, their knowledge and wisdom, and the more I was able to reinvest that into the matches that I played, and on a consistent basis, I think that's part of reason I'm here now". In the quarterfinals, Konta was up against an exhausted Simona Halep, as the world number 11 battled past the Romanian 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals.
Six victories over 10 days against the very best in the world in one of the WTA's Big Four tournaments is the ideal stepping stone to Grand Slam success.
"Caroline's one of the best athletes on tour, so I know I am going to be running for a lot of balls", Konta said after Thursday's match.