Former world No. 4 Johanna Konta has called on selected tennis journalists to ask her if her retirement was related to a possible pregnancy.
Konta made the shocking decision to retire at the age of 30 late last year, ending a career that has spanned three Grand Slam semi-finals and been the top-ranked British player for just six years.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Konta took issue with a tennis press “consisting mainly of middle-aged men” as she asked if her relatively early retirement could be to start a family with partner Jackson Wade, whom she met last month. married.
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“As a woman, you start reaching a certain age, reaching certain milestones and then it’s immediately adopted – ‘okay, when is the baby coming?'” she said.
Konta said the questions had “no malice” but that they were different from the questions that might be asked of male players.
“I don’t think any harm has been done, but it would be nice to talk about my career and things like that – like my male counterparts in sports,” she said.
“I’m not sure if they’ll ask Rafa Nadal when he’s finally going to marry his girlfriend before he did, or when he’s going to have kids.”
The Sydney-born star said it was “unfortunate” to be asked about plans for a family in the midst of her retirement announcement, which ended 13 years as a professional on the Tour.
“First, it’s a very personal decision and, you know, I think it can be a little insensitive, especially for people who may not want to [have children] or have other problems,” she said.
“You just don’t know. There’s a huge assumption that this is the way it’s done, but ever since women were let loose on the workforce, the order of things is a little different, and it’s not quite as cookie cutter. i think it was a shame [that she was asked about it]but I was not alone in this.
“And while our tennis press is mostly middle-aged men, I think that’s how the questions will be answered.”
Konta works as a co-commentator for Eurosport this Australian Open, which broadcasts from London.
Asked about the Novak Djokovic saga, Konta said that while she was not against vaccines, she would not reveal her vaccination status.
“It’s not really relevant to me anymore,” she said.
“Because I decided to stop playing and if I would have kept playing I would do whatever it takes to compete, travel and do my job.”