sports

"Don't patronise me." A Wimbledon player tore into a reporter and she was right to do so.

After Johanna Konta lost to unseeded Barbora Strycova in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, a male reporter told the professional tennis player she “could have done better”.

The reporter proceeded to list off statistics concerning her unforced errors in the match, before suggesting to the British tennis player that she should focus on her own mistakes, rather than crediting her opponent’s performance.

The Sydney-born and former Australian tennis player did not hesitate to defend herself against the male reporter’s “disrespectful” remarks.

It was not just the initial question that caused tension, but also the journalist’s insistence to pursue the question after Konta demonstrated she was uncomfortable.

The full exchange went as follows:

Reporter: Looking at numbers, 33 unforced errors, then you had a smash at the net which you hit straight to her, then towards the end of the third set you had a double-fault, then missed a drive volley. Do you not have to look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points? It’s all very well saying it’s a lot to do with your opponent, but there were key points when you perhaps could have done better.

Johanna Konta: Is that in your professional tennis opinion?

Reporter: No, that’s just as a watching spectator with everyone else on Centre Court willing you on. And the numbers are IBM’s.

Johanna Konta: OK. I mean, I don’t think you need to pick on me in a harsh way. I mean, I think I’m very open with you guys. I say how I feel out there. If you don’t want to accept that answer or you don’t agree with it, that’s fine. I still believe in the tennis that I play. I still believe in the way I competed. Yeah, I don’t have much else to say to your question.

Reporter: I’m just asking you as somebody who presumably wants to go on from here, learn from this, win a grand slam one day. Is it not something …

Johanna Konta: Please don’t patronise me.

Reporter: I’m not patronising you.

Johanna Konta: No, no, you are. In the way you’re asking your question, you’re being quite disrespectful and you’re patronising me. I’m a professional competitor who did her best today, and that’s all there is to that.

The moderator then moved the press conference along, asking for the next question.

You can watch the press conference here. Post continues after video. 

Video by Wimbledon
ADVERTISEMENT

Konta, 28, has received a great deal of support from tennis fans, with many posting to social media agreeing that the reporter was “out of line”.

ADVERTISEMENT

However there were also a few who insisted the journalist was right to criticise Konta’s performance.

The press continued to ask tough questions to Konta after she hit back at the journalist, with another reporter questioning Konta on whether she is worried she will not ever win a Grand Slam.

“I think the best I can do is put myself in the positions, to give myself the opportunity to keep going further and further. I mean, it will either happen or it won’t,” she responded.

“I’m no less of a person or a player if I don’t get past this point. Equally so if I do. I think, yeah, I play this game with dignity, and I love the sport. I’m grateful for everything that it brings me.”

Cleary, Konta – win or lose – has a positive attitude. And that should be celebrated, not criticised.

00:00 / ???