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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 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.