As well as natural talent, sheer determination and a team of top coaches to propel her into the Wimbledon semi-final, Johanna Konta has a secret weapon in her locker – a teddy bear.
The British number one, who made history on Tuesday by becoming the first woman from this country to make the last four since 1978, has revealed she has kept the good luck mascot with her since she was a child.
Konta, who faces five-times Wimbledon winner Venus Williams on Thursday for a place in Saturday's women's final, says she keeps the teddy with her whenever she plays.
The 26-year-old, who moved to Britain from Australia with her Hungarian parents when she was 14, said: “I have had a teddy bear in my tennis bag since I was 11 or 12, so it has been in there for a good 15 years. It has a Hungarian name and doesn’t really translate to English.”
Konta celebrated her thrilling triumph over the Romanian Simona Halep by posting a photograph of herself taken after the match with the former ballet star Darcey Bussell and pop singer Ellie Goulding, with the caption “post-match smiles”.
Konta has been inundated with messages of support since her historic triumph.
Rolling Stones singer Sir Mick Jagger posted a photograph of himself playing tennis in the Seventies on Twitter, saying: “Great to see Johanna Konta make the semi-finals at Wimbledon. First British woman in 39 years.”
The 73-year-old rock star added: “I never quite made it to a Grand Slam!”