Brisbane - British number one Johanna Konta became the
latest casualty ahead of the Australian Open when she retired during her
Brisbane International quarter-final against Elina Svitolina on Thursday.
Konta called for treatment to her right hip at the beginning
of the third set but decided she could not continue and handed Svitolina the
match 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 3-2.
The retirement disappointed the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena,
who had witnessed a fascinating match where Konta stormed through the first set
before Svitolina regrouped and edged a high-quality second in a tiebreaker.
Konta joins top seed Garbine Muguruza (cramping) and
fourth-ranked Caroline Garcia (lower back) as high-profile casualties at the
She is due to defend her Sydney International title next
week ahead of the Australian Open but said she was unsure whether or not she
would risk further damage before the year's first Grand Slam.
"I need to wait until tomorrow morning (before
deciding)," she said.
"I don't feel comfortable going on gut feeling,
especially to do with stuff like this.
"The most important thing is to listen to my body,
listen to how I'm feeling in the morning, and really taking it kind of step by
Konta said she felt something give in her first service game
of the third set.
"I'm not too sure actually what happened. I have never
had issues kind of in this area," she said.
"More on the left side and not for a few years. And it
Konta's withdrawal follows that of fellow Briton Andy
Murray, who pulled out of the men's draw before his opening match, also with a
hip injury, and who confirmed Thursday that he would not be fit to play at the
World number one Rafael Nadal withdrew from Brisbane with
knee problems at the weekend and is a doubt for Melbourne.
"Hips take a massive beating. Obviously, our game is
becoming more and more physical and the demands of the tour as well, week in
and week out, is becoming more demanding just because of the level of play
match in and match out," Konta said.
"So I think hips definitely take a beating, but so do
knees, so do shoulders, so do ankles, wrists. Take your pick. Back, lower back.
And everything in between."