Melbourne - Johanna Konta said playing Serena Williams was a
highlight of her life and she learned a lot from being on the other side of the
net to the tennis great.
The Briton had been on a nine-match win streak and in
impeccable form heading into her Australian Open quarter-final with Williams on
Wednesday, making her a genuine title contender.
But, like so many others before her, found getting past the
35-year-old American is no easy task.
Williams was at her thundering best in the first set and
while ninth seed Konta was able to get more of a look in during the second, the
22-time Grand Slam champion was an unstoppable 6-2, 6-3 winner.
"I think it was probably one of the best experiences of
my life," Konta, 25, said of facing someone she idolised as a young girl
"I think there's so many things I can learn from that,
so many things I can look to improve on, also acknowledge some things that I
"Credit to her, she played an almost perfect first set.
I felt she really did incredibly well. I mean she just showed and shows why she
is who she is.
"And also she obviously has tremendous power, force,
Konta has been in scintillating form over the past 12
months, crashing inside the top 10 with some brilliant performances and
results, including making the Melbourne semi-finals last year.
After beating her, Williams said Konta would be a future
The Briton said: "I will do my best. I will try",
adding that she would take on board what she had learned.
"I definitely would have liked to have done a bit
better. But I'm also really grateful and feel very good that I had this
opportunity," she said.
"Hopefully I'll get another chance to play her, but not
just her, but in other matches and other players who are able to make you feel
that similar kind of time pressure within the points.
"But also just the way that they're able to impose
themselves. I think I'll be able to use a lot of things that I learnt from
today in other matches as well."