‘I make de­ci­sions for my health’

Konta with­draws from East­bourne to avoid fur­ther dam­age to spine

The National - News - Sport - - TENNIS -

LON­DON // Jo­hanna Konta, who suf­fered a nasty fall in Thurs­day’s win over world No 1 An­gelique Ker­ber at East­bourne, with­drew from yes­ter­day’s semi-fi­nal at the Wim­ble­don warm-up event. Sev­enth-ranked Konta banged her head and back af­ter a hor­ror tum­ble dur­ing her quar­ter-fi­nal vic­tory over Ker­ber and has been di­ag­nosed with a tho­racic spine in­jury.

Konta, 26, is Bri­tain’s best hope of end­ing a long wait for a women’s grand slam cham­pion that dates back to Vir­ginia Wade win­ning the 1977 Wim­ble­don sin­gles ti­tle.

Konta, who won the pres­ti­gious Mi­ami tour­na­ment ear­lier this sea­son, had orig­i­nally been passed fit to play against Karolina Pliskova yes­ter­day but de­cided to pull out to avoid risk­ing fur­ther dam­age.

“The most im­por­tant thing for me is to look af­ter my health in gen­eral,” said Konta, who be­cause of the back­log of matches at East­bourne had to play twice on Thurs­day.

“We made the de­ci­sion based on the fact I’m still quite sore through my tho­racic spine. Next week is Wim­ble­don but I make de­ci­sions for my health.

“I didn’t sleep too well but I heard that’s nor­mal. It just didn’t feel quite right. The most im­por­tant thing is I rest well for the next 24 hours and then we’ll see.”

Konta will hope the pain di­min­ishes over the week­end as she is due to play Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, who she lost to in her Roland Gar­ros opener, in the first round at Wim­ble­don on Mon­day.

Mean­while, Novak Djokovic beat Rus­sian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 to reach the fi­nal on a rain-dis­rupted day in East­bourne. The world No 4 saved three break points at 4-4, and broke his ri­val’s serve in the next game to win the first set.

Medvedev con­ceded an­other break in the ninth game of the sec­ond as Djokovic sealed the vic­tory in 82 min­utes.

PA

Jo­hanna Konta.

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