Britain’s Johanna Konta has played down her status as Britain’s most credible female grand slam contender since Virginia Wade as she prepares to begin her Australian Open campaign on Tuesday.
Konta goes into the year’s first major tournament at a career-high ranking of ninth in the world and buoyed by a string of fine performances already this month.
The 25-year-old reached the last four in Shenzhen and then topped that in Sydney last week, winning the title without dropping a set and blitzing world No3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the final.
“I’m definitely very pleased with the level I played but we all know that it’s not a given. It doesn’t decide how you will do in the next event,” said Konta.
“I’m taking it as a positive from the week itself, but I’m looking to work hard here again and really try to do the best that I can.”
Konta, who was born in Sydney and moved to Eastbourne as a teenager, starts her tournament in the early hours of Tuesday against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, who won their only previous clash.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play her again,” she added. “She is a great player. She’s a Wimbledon semi-finalist. She’s been around the tour for a long time and that’s no accident.”
Wade was the last British woman to win a grand slam singles title, in 1977 at Wimbledon. She also won the Australian Open in 1972.
World No1 Sir Andy Murray is due to play his first round match against Ukrainian Illya Marchenko early on Monday morning.