‘I make decisions for my health’
Konta withdraws from Eastbourne to avoid further damage to spine
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.