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Post Info TOPIC: Johanna Says She Is Becoming British.


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Johanna Says She Is Becoming British.


She confirmed it in a paper yesterday. smile.gif


In the junior events, Britain's original representation of six in fact turned out to be seven, sort of, with one of them playing under the Australian flag against her wishes.

Johanna Konta, born in Sydney to Hungarian parents, is soon to be given British citizenship having just turned 17 . When that happens, she is likely to become Britain's leading female junior.

The granddaughter of Attila Kertesz, who played in Hungary's football team of the Fifties that starred Ferenc Puskas, she has divided her time between London and Spain since the age of 13 and her Australian accent has almost disappeared.

She is now based at Roehampton's National Tennis Centre and explained: 'I'm only playing as Australian now under a technicality as my passport is coming through this year. I am definitely becoming British. There is no going back.


http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/sport/article-23489515-details/Moody+Sharapova+slides+out+on+tide+of+jeers+at+French+Open/article.do

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Seems a bit strange to me. How can you just "choose to become" British. Born in Australia to Hungarian parents. I know there are many other instances of this happening, but it's almost like we have some sort of transfer system in place. Is this going to become like premier league football or maybe some kind of situation where tennis associations scout the best juniors and poach them to become their nationality rather than their own.

I know that some people have dual nationalitys, ie born in one country, brought up in another, parents from 2 altogether different countries and I think they should really be allowed to choose which of those countries to represent. But someone choosing to become British because they've trained in the country for a couple of years just seems absolutely ridiculous to me.

I'm sure some will come on and tell me that as she's getting her passport she has British nationality and therefore should be able to play under Britain. A few of my friends recently got British passports after moving here from Poland, but I still think they should represent Poland in any sporting event and they thoroughly agree. They consider themselves Polish but with a British passport.

Interested to hear other's thoughts on this.

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Well argued, John! Normally when people talk about this ever so touchy topic of nationality, they reply with derogatory one liners.



Personally I see no problem with it. After all, those who are "British" didn't earn it by some right - it's just that they were born there. So there is no reason as to why someone who was born elsewhere can't become British. Nationality (at least to me), is something that has got more to do with someone's own choice than with what your passport says or what others think of you.

If Konta wants to play for Britain, that's good enough - she wants to be British and values it (for whatever the reason - love or money or anything), which I'm sure cannot be said for loads of people who are originally from there (without intending offence to anyone and it's obviously not directed to this board's members).

I remember a brilliant post by a member out here - "...when people come here for a reason, they actually often value the place more than those who were born here. And they often give more too." I am not saying that all people in Britain don't value it (most contrary!).




It is very strange, but British women's tennis is absolutely dominated by people whose ancestors have come from outside within the last two or three  generations!

Keothavong - Laos
Baltacha - Ukraine
Robson - Australia
Rens - China
Moore - Hong Kong
Konta - Australia/Hungary

 

-- Edited by Greenleaf at 17:05, 2008-06-03

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Fair enough Arks, I suppose there are simply two very different points of view on this.

For example, if I moved to the US, I assume within a certain amount of time I'd be entitled to a US passport. Would that make me American? I may be able to call myself a US citizen, a US national etc., but I still wouldn't be an American, no matter how much I wanted to be imo. I'd still be British. I'm British now and will be for the rest of my life, no matter how many passports I tried to collect.

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Yes, of course. That is because you want to be British - and nothing in the world can change that.

Now will you be considered American by most people out there in case you wanted to - nope, not instantly. But give it three years, and your current accent will be replaced with an American one. And no one will ever call you British unless you tell them to, because your skin colour and surname matches with theirs. Things unfortunately aren't so easy for the so called "coloured" people or people with surnames like 'Rusedski' or 'Bogdanovic', who have to tolerate many things throughout their lives, no matter what they do for their adopted country.




-- Edited by Greenleaf at 16:13, 2008-06-03

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true john, but if you moved to america at a pretty young age and grew up there what would you be, probably some kinda weird hybrid i guess, your culture strongly being formed by the amercan influcne but also retinaing some britishness, like the stiff upper lip, afternoon tea, and of course the most britsh of all wimbledonmaniaitis

i cant say any specifics in this case, but as she seems older it could be a finanical thing, but can i blame her? not really, what would i do if i was in her shoes if i was offered more money.


what would you say in a situation like boggo's? moved here at a young age, although both parents are serbian and has no enlish ancestry to claim but still represenst britian. i wonder if at some point serbia tried to nab him back (and dont anyone say they can have him biggrin.gif) as at one point he was very promising.



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It's good to see a civilised discussion on this issue for a change. smile.gif (not a change for this board, but a change from almost everywhere else)

The men's side has quite a few players with roots elsewhere too, e.g. Boggo (Serbia), Slabba (Ukraine), Rusedski (Canada, Ukraine, etc), Del (Spain), Bloomers & Aucks (Norfolk Island - oops, sorry!) ...

I think you'll find nationality is getting more and more fluid, with increased long-term migration (helped by the open border policy of the EU), increased mobility generally and more and more people getting together with people from other countries.
 
I've spent the last 15-20 years with a Pole and a German (NOT simultaneously, I hasten to add, before Sheddie gets too insanely curious wink) and plenty of people I knew while I was at uni have got together with people from other countries (Belgium, Latvia, Italy, Austria, Senegal, Albania, the US, etc), with some of them and some others now living long-term in a different country from those either is from and having children there.

It would be hard to deny the children mentioned above the right to choose as their nationality that of their father, their mother, where they were born or where they spent most of their childhood growing up. I have nothing against people choosing to represent the country they feel the most affinity with, like John playing for GB even if he became a US citizen (though I wouldn't go as far as letting someone play for France because they like eating garlic and malingering - N.B. just a silly pick 'em reference there wink) as long as once they've made a choice, they don't keep changing every few years.

I would, however, be against tennis associations effectively being able to bribe people with no connection to the country at all to play for them for their own PR purposes, though I realise that financial issues often dictate why people settle in a country in the first place and it would be hard to draw an exact line between where financial considerations end and direct inducement/'bribery' starts.

Btw I think you'll find Anne K's parents were Laotian, not Vietnamese.


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Oh, okay. I was told 'Keothavong' is a Vietnamese surname, didn't research on it.

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Another piece from This Is London:

 

Johanna Konta was born in Australia but now lives in London and showed her commitment to her adopted by country by asking to have GB next to her name at Wimbledon. 

Sadly for the tenth seed, it was pointed out by officials that until her new British passport arrives, Konta has to have AUS after her name on the All England Club's scoreboards. 


Her favourite surface is clay, which will set her apart from the rest of youngsters being looked after by the LTA under the watchful eye of the head of women's tennis Carl Maes - Kim Clijsters' former coach.

A right-hander, Konta started playing tennis at the age of seven and idolises Roger Federer and Steffi Graf. 

She first started training at Sutton, then moved to Bisham Abbey and from there on to the new National Tennis Centre at Roehampton. 

Her arrival could allow the women's game to replicate the Tim Henman/Greg Rusedski era when homegrown Henman was joined in the world's top 10 by Rusedski, a product of the Canadian tennis system who opted to cross the Atlantic and represent Britain.


 

I think Johanna will now play a clay 10K in Italy from 28th July, followed by a clay 25K there for which she has a wild card.



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Johanna should concentrate on seniors now. Maybe play US open and Orange Bowl for experience but otherwise seniors. She should be top 500 pretty soon.

Has anyone seen her play? I saw her at wrexham about 3 years ago but don't remember anything except she seemed quite tall and thin.

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Agree with you, but she'll probably play AO next year. She should do Osaka Mayor's as then she will have a good shot at the JEs.



She's probably a very late maturer as her record before 2007 was shocking - she actually struggled in Grade 4/5 qualies. ashamed.gif But last year she played and won a Junior tournament in Finland after qualifying and hasn't looked back since then. She improved about ten times in something like fourteen months!

I believe she has a personal coach now, which is clearly paying off. The ITF says she is coached by Vladislav Kis (sounds Hungarian? She has Hungarian roots, of course), and I don't think he's with the LTA??

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mjd


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Good covereage as usual in The Times


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article4370486.ece

Does this mean that these imported players get LTA support in preference to 'true' British players? Why else would they want to come here?

-- Edited by mjd at 15:40, 2008-07-21

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Both Laura Robson and Johanna Konta have lived in this country for several years. Laura left Australia as a baby and came to the UK at the age of 6. She perfectly reasonably considers herself British. If someone has a British passport they are British.

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Plus their commitment levels are as much as most and often more than 'true Brits' (whatever that means - I doubt that Henman's family was present in Britain when monkeys evolutionised themselves into humans).


-- Edited by Kung Fu Panda at 16:45, 2008-07-21

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There is a good message on the times about player choosing to represnt the USA. Navratilova and Seles were American and accepted as.

I think the fact that no 'home grown' talent has done amazing in the UK is whats hurting BUT both Laura and Johanna have learnt their trade in the UK which makes them british tennis players.

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