Former World No.4 Johanna Konta on Wednesday announced her retirement from professional tennis.
"Grateful: This is the word that I've probably used the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end," she wrote on social media.
"My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be. All the evidence pointed towards me not 'making' it in this profession. However my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis. I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are.
"Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am."
A little update from me 👋 pic.twitter.com/L1tpjDHW1o— Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) December 1, 2021
The Briton was a four-time WTA champion, with her biggest title coming at the Miami Open in 2017, where she defeated Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki in the last three rounds.
Konta, 30, also lifted the trophies at Stanford 2016, Sydney 2017 and Nottingham 2021 - the latter her first title on home soil at a tournament where she had lost two previous finals. In addition, she was twice a WTA 1000 runner-up, at Beijing 2016 and Rome 2019.
WTA Insider Interview: How Johanna Konta found peace in the decision to retire
Konta was also a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist on three different surfaces - at the Australian Open 2016, Wimbledon 2017 and Roland Garros 2019. She also reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open 2017, Wimbledon 2019 and the US Open 2019. Her 2017 run at SW19 made Konta the first British woman to reach the last four of The Championships since Virginia Wade in 1978.
She scored 22 Top 10 wins over the course of her career, as well as inflicting the most lopsided defeat of Serena Williams' career - a 6-1, 6-0 victory in the first round of San Jose 2018.
Throughout the ebbs and flows of Konta's career, she remained sanguine by consistently emphasising a process-driven approach to tennis. Trusting in her work behind the scenes enabled her to develop a big-hitting game based around a formidable serve that, at its best, could take the game out of her opponents' hands.
Off court, Konta was also known for her baking prowess. In 2020, she appeared on The Great Celebrity Bake Off TV show, a charity spin-off from "The Great British Bake Off."
Konta also owned a pair of dachshunds, Bono and Gizmo. Bono was memorably introduced to the press as a puppy at Birmingham 2019.
Konta made her pro debut in 2006 and won her first pro title in her fourth tournament, an ITF W10 event in Mostar in 2008. Born in Australia to Hungarian parents but resident in the United Kingdom from the age of 14, Konta represented Australia until her British citizenship was granted in 2012. In 2016, she joked she was a "tri-citizen," and that she was "the female version of Jason Bourne."
She began to serve notice of her potential in 2011, qualifying for her first WTA main draw in Copenhagen and stretching Lucie Safarova all the way in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 first-round loss - Konta's first meeting with a Top 50 player. The following year, Copenhagen was also the site of her first WTA main-draw win and Top 50 victory over Ksenia Pervak.
After gaining British citizenship, Konta continued hitting career milestones, including a Grand Slam debut as a wildcard at Wimbledon 2012, where she fell to Christina McHale in a 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-8 thriller, a Grand Slam main-draw win over Timea Babos as a qualifier at the US Open 2012 and a first WTA quarterfinal at Guangzhou 2013.
But it was in 2015 that Konta's career started to soar. She entered the grass-court swing ranked World No.147. Just over two months later, she cracked the Top 100 and just over a month after that, she broke the Top 50.
Her 30-8 record between June and October that year included quarterfinal runs in Birmingham, Eastbourne and Wuhan, as well as her debut in the fourth round of a major as a qualifier at the US Open. At Eastbourne, Konta scored her first Top 10 win over Ekaterina Makarova in the second round 6-2, 6-4, and immediately backed it up with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 upset of Garbiñe Muguruza - a week before the Spaniard made her first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon. At the US Open, Konta reprised her defeat of Muguruza 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-2 in the second round for her second Top 10 win.
Konta became a fixture at the top of the game over the next two years, cracking the Top 20 in June 2016, the Top 10 in October that year and the Top 5 in July 2017. However, a subsequent slump saw her fall to World No.50 by July 2018.
"I found myself in quite a low place at the end of 2017," she told The Guardian in 2019. "So it was quite a big hole for me to climb out of. Although 2018 wasn't that good results-wise, it probably gave me the best gift I could have had which was to start enjoying the sport again. Without 2018 I wouldn't have 2019."
Unexpectedly, Konta's resurgence in 2019 was jumpstarted on clay, a surface on which she had previously compiled a meagre 7-15 record in WTA main draws. Showing off a much-improved drop shot, Konta reached finals in Rabat and Rome before making her third and last Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros - a tournament where she had not hitherto won a main-draw match. Her renaissance would lift her back to World No.11 by October.
Despite her home-soil triumph in Nottingham, Konta's final season has otherwise been marred by a litany of injuries and illness. She retired against Kaja Juvan in the first round of the Australian Open due to an abdominal injury. Just as she seemed to be returning to form after Nottingham, she was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case, and then from the Tokyo Olympic Games after catching Covid-19 herself.
A knee injury forced her to withdraw from Montréal after reaching the third round, and she pulled out of the US Open with a thigh injury. Konta's final match was a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 loss to Karolina Muchova in the first round of Cincinnati.