Australian Open tennis 2022: Sexist question infuriates tennis star Johanna Konta

Former tennis star Johanna Konta has called out the sexist line of questioning from a media box “mainly made up of middle-aged men”.

Former world no. 4 Johanna Konta has called out the sexist line of questioning she copped throughout her professional career from journalists.

In December last year, Konta announced her retirement from the sport after suffering a long-term knee injury.

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The 30-year-old, who was born in Sydney and recently married her long-term partner, finished her career with four titles and three grand slam semi-finals appearances, most notably at the 2016 Australian Open.

She was the top-ranked British player for almost six years.

But speaking to The TelegraphKonta took issue with tennis media — which is “mainly made up of middle-aged men” — asking whether her retirement was due to pregnancy.

She pointed out that such questions not only prove that outdated stereotypes still exist within the sport, but are also incredibly insensitive to women who may not be capable of having children.

“As a woman, you start getting to a certain age, hitting certain milestones and then it is straightaway assumed, ‘Okay, well, when’s the baby coming?’” she said.

“I don’t think it’s done with any harm, but it would be nice to talk about my career and things like that – like my male counterparts in the sport.

“I’m not sure they’re asking Rafa Nadal when he was finally going to marry his girlfriend before he did, or when he is going to have kids.

“I think it can be a bit insensitive, especially for people who maybe don’t want to (have children) or have other difficulties. You just don’t know.

“While our tennis press is mainly made up of middle-aged men, I think the questions are going to be catered so.”

In July 2019, Konta slapped down a journalist for “picking” on her as she took offense to his line of questioning after a loss to Barbora Strycova in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Konta’s relationship with the British press has always been frosty and it reached a tipping point at the 2018 French Open. After losing in straight sets to Yulia Putintseva — then ranked 93rd in the world — the Brit vented about the way she’s treated by journalists from her homeland after being asked about her poor record on the Paris clay.

“Well, you guys can answer this for me, then. If every time you went in to work … let’s say you went into work because, obviously, you travel, and let’s say for a few years your pieces of writing have just been crap every time when you come into Roland Garros. right? Just crap,” Konta said.

“And then your colleagues start to say, ‘You know, you really suck around that time’. And that happens, you know, for a few years.

“How would you guys digest that, and would you feel any sort of lingering kind of, ‘Oh, you know what? I want to prove these b***ards wrong’. And it’s just kind of lingering there.

“So it’s not something I would like to buy into, and I don’t think I do. However, you guys don’t make it easy.”

Konta is currently working as a co-commentator for Eurosport this Australian Open, broadcasting from London.


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