Johanna Konta: Miami Open winner is targeting world number one spot

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Miami Open: Johanna Konta's winning moment against Caroline Wozniacki

Britain's Johanna Konta is targeting the world number one ranking after claiming the biggest title of her career at the Miami Open.

The 25-year-old British number one beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 to claim £940,000 in prize money and is set to climb to seventh in the world.

Konta was the world number 146 in June 2015, but she believes a Grand Slam title and further progress is possible.

"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 needed a little more time and a little more experience to accumulate the knowledge that I have and re-use it in my matches.

"I play smart tennis and calmer tennis I think. It just took time. On paper it looks like a quick turnaround but it's been a long time coming."

Former Fed Cup captain Judy Murray - mother of Andy - has previously suggested the turnaround began with a heavy defeat in a match against Belarus in February 2015.

Murray put that down to Konta's "really bad performance anxiety", describing the result as "a bit of a horror".

Johanna Konta celebrates with her team
Konta celebrated her Miami Open victory with her team on the court

But her skill at handling the pressure of elite-level sport is now one of her biggest assets.

Konta herself has credited the influence of former mental coach Juan Coto, who died in December.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live following his death, Konta said: "Everything that I do, he will be a part of. He left me with some incredible tools to deal with my profession and also life. He is still very much a part of my journey."

She is working with a new coach this season - having made a surprise decision to replace Spaniard Esteban Carril towards the end of 2016, the most successful year of her career so far.

Under the guidance of Wim Fissette, Konta won January's Sydney International without dropping a set, before now claiming her first success at a higher level - the top 'Premier Mandatory' rung of the WTA Tour - in Miami.

"She has big ground strokes, not many weaknesses, and I also saw her as somebody who is very hard-working and very disciplined," Fissette told BBC Sport during the Australian Open, where Konta made the quarter-finals.

"I started working with her because I really believe she can win a Grand Slam if she keeps getting better like this."

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.

"I think it was probably a combination of everything, but also a question of maturity," Konta said of her rise on Saturday.

"I was very fortunate that throughout the years I've managed to have some very, very good people around me.

"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, that's the reason I'm here now."


BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Only one other player has gathered more ranking points in 2017 than Johanna Konta, but more importantly the new world number seven has now successfully negotiated the perfect dress rehearsal for a Grand Slam.

Six victories over 10 days against the very best in the world in one of the WTA's Big Four tournaments is the perfect stepping stone to Grand Slam success.

Wimbledon should provide Konta with as good an opportunity as the Australian and US Opens - where she has already had so much joy - but now it is time for the clay: a surface on which Konta is still to prove herself.

Reaction - a Grand Slam to come?

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BBC Sport's Piers Newbery: Konta continues to amaze. Last year was the first time she was ranked high enough to even play in Miami. And not at her best this week.

BBC tennis commentator David Law: Hope Konta can crack it at Wimbledon where she would fully enter the general public's consciousness. Can be a powerful positive role-model.

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