Britain's Johanna Konta reacts during a news conference ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su
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Johanna Konta did her best to downplay expectations Sunday but there was no quieting the chatter around Melbourne Park that, for the first time in decades, Britain has a genuine contender for the Australian Open women's crown.A surprise run to the semi-finals at last year's tournament was followed by a season where Konta won her maiden title at Stanford and moved into the top 10 for the first time, just missing out on a spot at the season-ending WTA Finals.The chatter reached fever pitch last Friday, however, when Konta simply demolished world number three Agnieszka Radwanska in the city of her birth to claim her second tour title.Konta's huge improvement over the last year has come on the back of intensive work on the mental side of her game, so it was no surprise that she was not buying into talk of grand slam titles Sunday.
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