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Who is the British star?: Johanna Konta favourite to win Wimbledon


Source: SKY NEWS- Johanna Konta is today bidding to become Britain's first women's semi-finalist in almost 40 years. But who is this star of British women's tennis?

Konta, 26, found herself the bookies' pick for Wimbledon as the tournament entered its second week.

And it's looking good for her so far at SW19 - she sailed through to the quarter-finals on Monday, beating world number 22 Caroline Garcia.

:: Murray and Konta through to Wimbledon quarter-finals

If she beats world number two Simona Halep on Tuesday afternoon, she will be the first British woman to make it to the final four since Virginia Wade in 1978.

Wade was also the last British woman to lift the Wimbledon trophy in 1977.

But Konta's status as a Wimbledon favourite is a far cry from her first outing at the world-famous tournament five years ago.

Then ranked 212 in the world, she appeared on Court 17 as a wildcard and lost to American Christina McHale in the first round.

Now ranked number seven, Konta has become one the game's elite. Her best result so far is reaching the semis of the Australian Open last year.

The tennis ace says the serve is her favourite shot

Konta was born to Hungarian migrant parents in Sydney, Australia.

Her father Gabor, a hotelier, and her mother Gabriella, a dentist, emigrated to the country separately and most of her extended family still live in Hungary. She can also speak the language.

Her parents introduced her to tennis at the age of eight and she started to play at an after-school club.

Her skill on the court was spotted at the age of 11 by Pete McCraw, the women's coach for Tennis Australia, who selected her for the squad.

However, her tennis career almost ended before it began after she lost her financial support when the team had its funding cut.

Konta says her best tennis memory is playing at the 2016 Olympics

Determined to nurture their daughter's talent, the family left Australia and arrived in Britain when she was 14, eventually settling in Eastbourne, East Sussex, which is home of the annual women's pre-Wimbledon tournament.

Having trained at prestigious tennis academies in Barcelona and Texas, she also spent time at a number of coaching schools in the UK, including the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

Konta was granted British citizenship in 2012 and went on to post a photo of her UK passport online.

She counts her best tennis memory so far as representing Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics.

Coached by Belgian Wim Fissette, she counts the serve as her favourite weapon on the court.

Konta can also draw on sporting pedigree in her family, with one of her grandfathers having played football for Hungary during the 1950s. He was later coach of the Ghana international team.

Konta is a big U2 fan and intends on seeing the band after Wimbledon

Her older sister, who still lives in Australia, is married to Australian rules footballer Shane Mumford.

A big music fan, she says on her Twitter bio that she "would love to go to concerts most nights".

She once joked that she would remortgage her house to see U2 and plans to see the band once Wimbledon is over.

While guarded about her private life, she admits to enjoying the "watching movies, reading and the occasional shopping spree" while also taking gelato "very seriously".