Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Interviewer questioning Johanna Konta's nationality draws criticism

Wimbledon semi-finalist pressed about her Hungarian roots and Australian upbringing.

Johanna Konta has been a British citizen since 2012. Tim Ireland / AP Photo
Johanna Konta has been a British citizen since 2012. Tim Ireland / AP Photo

Tennis star Johanna Konta has insisted she is a British athlete after her nationality was questioned by BBC presenter John Humphrys.

On BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the veteran interviewer asked Konta: "So, what are you?" after he got the country of her birth wrong.

"We talk about you as being British, but you were born in Hungary, Australian citizenship, and I seem to remember that the Australian high commissioner, when you won the quarter-final, said: 'Great to see an Aussie win', and we were saying: 'Great to see a Brit win' - so, what are you?", Humphrys said.

Ms Konta laughed before replying: "I was actually born in Australia to Hungarian parents, but I have lived half my life here now, almost. So, I'm a British citizen, and I'm incredibly proud to represent Great Britain. I have done so officially since 2012.

"But, definitely, I have personally since 2005 when I moved here. I have also represented Great Britain at the Olympics, so I'm definitely a British athlete."

Also read: Preparation and memory secret to Konta's flying starts at Wimbledon

Konta was knocked out of Wimbledon by Venus Williams after becoming the first British woman to reach the semi-finals for 39 years.

Humphrys's tone in the interview drew some sharp criticism on social media.

Age 26

Born May 17, 1991

Height 1.80 metres

Birthplace Sydney, Australia

Residence Eastbourne, England

Plays Right-handed

WTA titles 3

Prize money US$5,761,870 (Dh21,162,343.75)

Wins / losses 312 / 181