British No. 1 and home crowd favourite Johanna Konta had to withdraw on the morning of her semi-final at the Aegon Classic against Karolina Pliskova. As her compatriot Heather Watson was about to take to the court for the first semi-final, Konta came in to talk to the press.
She told reporters: “It’s the upper back. It’s through kind of — yeah, through the spine, basically.
“I think most importantly for me right now is just to look after my health in general. I obviously had a bit of a nasty fall yesterday, so I made the decision based on the fact that I’m quite sore through my thoracic spine and just basically looking to make sure that I recover in the best way possible.
“Obviously next week is Wimbledon, but I made this decision according to my health, regardless of what tournament is coming up next week.”
The announcement that she had withdrawn came in the media centre, just as the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles draw had been completed, Konta, who will be seeded No. 6 in the draw has been drawn against Su-Wei Hsieh, who stunned the Brit in the opening round of Roland Garros just a month ago.
However, as always Konta kept her cards close to her chest regarding Wimbledon.
She said: “I’m not thinking that far ahead right now. Right now I’m taking this next 24 hours, and I’m looking to rest well and to make sure that I get my health back to the best place possible.”
The schedule was packed on Thursday as the organisers had to clear a backlog of matches after Tuesday’s play was virtually wiped out, with just a handful of minutes of play.
Most of the women’s draw had to play twice, with former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska looking at potentially three matches in the same day – although she fell at the first hurdle.
Konta said of the scheduling: “It’s definitely not an ideal situation. I came through a very tough day yesterday. Like the other girls, played a lot of matches. It would have been nice to have competed today against Karolina. I played her in the same stage last year. It would be a nice battle again to have, but again, most importantly is my health regardless of the tournament next week, regardless of this week.
“Our seasons are very long. I’d like to think that I still have many years left in my career, so most importantly is just to look after my health.”
Her plan is to rest for 24 hours at her parents’ Eastbourne home having admitted she had not slept well on Thursday night, and see how her injury recovers.
Konta is in the bottom half of the draw and as such will be scheduled to open play on Monday at Wimbledon.
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