JO KONTA’S coach once suggested she should break a racket or two to let out her tension.
But after only seven months of working with Konta, Wim Fissette has got inside her head enough to know that he is dealing with a very different kind of athlete.
Fissette, whose previous clients include Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep, said: “Everybody thinks differently. We all know that Johanna is focused on her mental state.
“You will never see her very negative or very positive on the court. It will be more like neutral. That’s her.
“We have spoken about that. In Miami, I asked her: ‘You always stay quite neutral, even when things are going not really well.
“Maybe it’s better to break a racket once in a while and get the frustrations out and then you can continue. You don’t have to do it all the time but maybe once’.
“And she said, ‘I have experience in the past that it’s something that is not helping me’.
“But using more positive body language is for sure something that is helping her, like screaming after a really good point or showing her fists.”
Like Konta did after winning her marathon second-round clash with Donna Vekic, the match in which she came of age in the eyes of the Wimbledon-watching British public.
Belgian Fissette believes Konta can do more to harness the support of the home crowd.
He said: “I’m very proud of how she handled that situation. There was so much pressure on her and she stayed so calm.
“Using the support of the fans? She can still do that more. But for her it’s difficult. It’s still new.
“I think she has to learn how to appreciate it more and use it more as a positive energy to her.
“I think she’s growing also in that way, of feeling the energy of the fans, because before she was just trying to be in herself.
“But I’m 100 per cent sure that using the fans in the right way can help you in difficult moments.”
SUN, SEX AND SUSPICIOUS STOMACHS
Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez shows off ‘growing baby bump’ on holiday in Ibiza as pregnancy rumours continue to gather pace
EAGLES LAND LOFT
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to have Crystal Palace medical ahead of season-long loan
Former Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann splits with agent after failed move to Old Trafford
Chelsea to be beaten by Man Utd to ANOTHER target as they stall on Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko
Antonio Conte relaxes on beach with stunning wife on last day of break before returning for Chelsea crunch talks
mor to come
Chelsea to make £70m bid for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata this week after missing out on Romelu Lukaku
The only time Fissette has seen Konta lose control of her emotions to the extent that it cost her a match was in Indian Wells in March.
Unfortunately, her opponent that day, France’s Caroline Garcia, will be across the net from her again this afternoon on No 1 Court in the last 16 of Wimbledon.
Fissette and Konta will try to combat any hangover by sticking to a pre-match routine in which he makes her learn her tactics off by heart.
Fissette said: “What we do at Wimbledon is I text her the game plan the night before and she reads it.
“There are tactical messages and some mental messages of what I feel is important that day.
“Twenty minutes before the match she starts to warm up, which is intense, but five minutes before she goes out on court she repeats the messages back to me.
“That is when it gets tough.”
Staying calm and focused as the expectation and pressure increase will be key for Konta.
Former Wimbledon champion Martina Hingis said: “I really like her game and I told her that three years ago when she was at Eastbourne making a breakthrough.
“I said, ‘What are you doing ranked 150 or whatever?’
Her game was so much better than the ranking she had then. Having made the semis in Australia, for Jo it is more about the mental side.
“She definitely has the game but can she mentally handle the pressure and be capable of putting it all together?
“I think she can take advantage of having the crowd giving her so much support.
“She can thrive on that momentum and I really believe she has the game and there is no reason she cannot win it.
“The only fear I have for Jo is the mental part.”
Fissette said: “I’m very interested how she is going to deal with this situation in the next few days.”
He clearly finds Konta fascinating and it is fascinating to discuss her with him.
Keep up to date with ALL the latest TENNIS news, gossip and rumours