Konta suffers palpitations and defeat on return
British No 1 is beaten in humid conditions by Bouzkova Watson also loses to Brady in Lexington tournament
Johanna Konta suffered a heart palpitation on her return to the match court yesterday, forcing her to stop play at an early stage of her straightsets defeat against the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.
The tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, was being played in extremely humid conditions after earlier rain, and Konta called the doctor to the court after only a few minutes of play. She kept holding two fingers to her throat to check her pulse.
“I sometimes have heart palpitations,” explained Konta, who was able to resume after a few minutes and eventually went down to a 6-4, 6-4 defeat. “My heart rate shoots up for no reason, we didn’t have a long point, I wasn’t gassing in any way in my lungs. It makes me a bit lightheaded, I just had to see the doctor and the physio.
“I was having all the checks. I am as fit as a fiddle but it can happen. It took a while to settle down until about 4-3 in the first set, but then it did settle down and I was able to concentrate on the tennis.
“This was the fourth time it’s ever happened. The first time was in Birmingham in 2017, the second time in Beijing in 2018 in an evening match that I played. The third time was two months ago, in a training block on the clay. I wouldn’t say there’s a massive common denominator.
“We don’t know why it happens, it’s in stressful situations, in nonstressful situations.
“I am worried. It’s not ideal. I am going to have another test, and hopefully measure it.”
In the tennis itself, Konta played a surprisingly high level for a woman who was suffering such alarming physical symptoms but could not overcome a fast and mobile opponent. This was her first match since lockdown, and ironically her last match before lockdown was also a straight-sets defeat to Bouzkova.
At the same tournament, Heather Watson began her own post-lockdown season with a straight-sets defeat by America’s Jennifer Brady. And several more women joined the list of US Open refuseniks yesterday, including two-time slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Meanwhile, when stalwart Liam Broady described Andy Murray yesterday as a great champion of the game, he was not referring to Murray’s 46 ATP titles. This was more of a character reference. Speaking on the Behind the
Racquet podcast, Broady stressed that Murray uses his position of influence to champion the sport in this country, where a more selfish player might look the other way.
For an example, Broady picked the team instalment of the recent Battle of the Brits event.
“Andy is recovering from a hip injury,” Broady told interviewer Mike Cation, “and he risked his body to play these events knowing that it would help the other British players. The Battle of the Brits was probably not ideal preparation for the US Open, but he was still out there from dawn till dusk watching every single player play.”
Struggle: Johanna Konta attempts a volley during her defeat by Marie Bouzkova