sport news The Johanna Konta reboot: How Brit bounce back to sensational form 

Back in October Jo Konta had no form, no coach, just one sponsor paying a paltry four-figure sum and a ranking that had sunk into the mid-forties.

The latter figure was hardly a disgrace, especially by British standards, but it was all a very long way from the summer of 2017. That was when the nation tuned in to watch her play Venus Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals, having propelled herself into the top 10.

The pace of the turnaround from the autumnal low point was gradual at first, but has become a gallop after her remarkable run on the European clay.

Jo Konta (left) reached the heights of a Wimbledon semi-final against Venus Williams in 2017

Jo Konta (left) reached the heights of a Wimbledon semi-final against Venus Williams in 2017

Last year the British No 1's form dipped badly and she only had one sponsor on board

Last year the British No 1's form dipped badly and she only had one sponsor on board

Konta is back in the top 20 and one step away from becoming the first British player to make the French Open final since Sue Barker in 1976. Barker's feat was hugely admirable, but it was at a time when some top players stayed away to play team tennis in America, so Konta is attempting something of greater weight.

Nine months ago her career looked in danger of withering on the vine. On the court she was viewed as someone who, on her day, could do damage with her aggressive ballstriking but had no Plan B for opponents and a tendency to panic when her one strategy was not working.

She had been under the tutelage of Michael Joyce, an American coach with a decent pedigree but whose direct style never looked a good match for someone who — hardly uniquely in the professional game — has often sought assurance, and responded to a more cerebral approach.

The 28-year-old has powered to the semi-final of the French Open and is back on top form

The 28-year-old has powered to the semi-final of the French Open and is back on top form

As she has admitted, Konta found the whirlwind of attention at Wimbledon difficult to handle, and had gone into a downward tailspin towards the end of 2017. She lost in the first round of her last four tournaments and, from seeming certain to qualify, ended up missing out on the season-end WTA Finals for the world's top eight players. 

Part of the issue is that for most of her career she had never looked destined for stardom, and struggled to believe she belonged at the rarefied elite level. She only broke into the top 100 at the time of her 24th birthday, with Heather Watson and Laura Robson regarded as the brighter prospects.

The pairing with Joyce had not worked, so a complete reboot was deemed necessary when she switched

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