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Johanna Konta’s scorching Venus victory forged on tough, tearful midwinter nights

The tough extra yards in the gym in the close-season are rewarded for British No1 and the draw is suddenly looking full of possibility for her in Melbourne

The measure of Johanna Konta’s greatest victory to date – a quick, clinical win over Venus Williams on her debut in the main draw of the Australian Open – is there to see in the statistics and the performance. But that is just the visible tip of a story far from finished.

It might have taken the world No47 only an hour and 19 minutes to dismiss the oldest player in the women’s draw on a warm afternoon – and there could be no downplaying the emphatic 6-4, 6-2 scoreline – but hers was a triumph fashioned in midwinter, on cold, wet London nights when she was reduced to tears on the practice court through the grinding effort of repeated drills, yet begging for more hard yards to refine her excellent tennis.

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