WATCHING Wimbledon this week made me even more convinced that there is little value in press conferences held minutes after a match in any sport.

These strange rituals usually fall into one of three categories: bland and anodyne; brief, polite and curt; or spiky with barbed exchanges between interviewer and interviewee.

Firmly falling into the latter camp was the press conference involving British tennis player Johanna Konta on Tuesday.

Konta – our last singles hope in the tournament – had just been knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Czech Barbora Strycova, who is ranked 54th in the world.

Upsets are part and parcel of sport and there have been than a few at Wimbledon this year, but what disappointed fans so much was the manner in which Konta lost.

Having initially bossed the first set and gone 4-1 games ahead, she lost it 7-5. Then she capitulated to lose the second set 6-1 and crash out of the championship.

She was obviously hugely disappointed, so it must have been tough to then face questions about her poor performance, when all she probably wanted to do was slope off on her own to reflect on what might have been.

Whether they like it or not, part of being a professional sportsman or woman nowadays is facing the media straight after a match, during which many of them look like they would rather eat their own feet than answer questions at a press conference.

Opinion has been sharply divided as to whether the reporter was out of order for the questions he asked and in particular the way he did so, or if Konta was too quick to snap back.

The reporter pointed out the 30-odd unforced errors she had made in the match and said: “… do you not have to look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points … it’s all very well saying it’s a lot to do with your opponent but there were key points when you perhaps could have done better?”

Konta replied: “Is that in your professional tennis opinion?”

She said a little later: “I don’t think you need to pick on me in a harsh way. I think I’m very open with you guys. I say how I feel out there. If you don’t want to accept that answer or you don’t agree with it, that’s fine.”

In my view, neither covered themselves in glory.

The reporter was right to question her performance, but his phraseology was clumsy and goading rather than straight down the line.

However, Konta’s response was childish. It’s ridiculous to imply that because a reporter hasn’t played a particular sport professionally, they don’t have the right to ask tough questions.

Those difficult questions invariably come when someone has lost or played badly and as press conferences are held straight after the match, what do we really expect from players who are often furious with their own performance?

Perhaps it’s time to do away with post-match press conferences, or at least hold them a little while afterwards to give players time to calm down and gather their thoughts?