JO SEEKING FINAL... AND LAST WORD
JO KONTA wants to be top banana at Wimbledon after becoming hooked on a fruity new word game.
But the British No.1 admitted she has to stop playing ‘Bananagram’ long before going on court – because the competition with her team is so serious.
The world No.19 is entering her home Grand Slam as one of a bunch of outsiders for the title after reaching the French Open semi-final.
And she revealed that her best ever clay-court season coincided with a new addiction to the Scrabble-style game.
Konta said: “I’ve been playing a lot of Bananagram with my team. We have to leave enough time before I play and the last Bananagram because things get intense. I need to calm down after that.
“It’s kind of like Scrabble. Once you’ve used up your tiles, you say ‘peel’.
“We started playing in Rome – it was Dan’s idea [coach Dan Smethurst]. Dan brought it, he taught me, then I beat him!”
Konta defeated her first-round opponent Ana Bogdan – the world No.134 from Romania – on her way to her first clay-court final in Rabat in May.
“I don’t think a fresh memory of beating anyone necessarily helps in any way,” said No.19 seed Konta.
“I think what is good is that because I’ve been on court against her, I can remember the kind of ball she plays.”
Konta is in the mix after reaching three Grand Slam semi-finals, including here in 2017 against Serena Williams.
She said: “I think probably what stands out is I remember just really enjoying the routine of being able to come here, play my match, then go home.
“I felt really lucky that I got to play one of the biggest tournaments in the world, then go home at the end of the day.”
DRIVEN BANANAS: Jo Konta