Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the third seed, won the China Open yesterday with a 6-4 6-2 defeat of Konta in one hour 35 minutes.
Konta, the 11th seed, became the fourth British woman to make the world’s top ten since the WTA rankings began in 1975. “It’s pretty cool,” Konta said on wtatennis.com. “I’m very pleased with my progress over the past few years and hopefully many more places to climb.
“I’m just working hard towards playing matches like these, against players like Agnieszka.
“She was definitely a woman on a mission. Whenever I felt I could have got a little bit of a foothold in the match, she took it away from me.
“She hardly missed a ball. When she is so consistent and she moves the ball around as well as that, she’s very, very difficult to beat. I definitely fought til the very end. I tried to exhaust all avenues possible. It just didn’t go my way. But, again, a lot of good things to take from this week.”
Konta was ranked 146th in the world as recently as June 2015, but she climbed into the top ten by winning her semi-final.
The 25-year-old defeated Madison Keys 7-6 (7/1) 4-6 6-4, to become the first British female since Jo Durie in 1984 to make the top ten.
Virginia Wade and Sue Barker are the other British females to have been ranked in the world’s top ten. By reaching the China Open final Konta also moved into the top eight of the Road to Singapore – the race to reach the WTA Finals later this month.
Radwanska was thrilled to win in Beijing for a second time.
She said: “Every title means a lot, but especially here when you play against the best players in the world, in one of the biggest tournaments.
“It’s top players from the first round and I’ve been playing my best tennis all week so of course I’m very happy.”