Johanna Konta pulls out of Eastbourne semi-final

JOHANNA KONTA is racing a race to be fit for Wimbledon after pulling out of her Eastbourne semi-final with a back injury.

The 26-year-old British player's win was her first victory over a World No. 1, and it pads her Wimbledon resume.

Johanna Konta made her third consecutive quarterfinal at the Aegon International in her hometown of Eastbourne, battling past French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 in a thrilling third round contest. "I slipped and hit my head so have a bit of a sore head but we'll see".

"I made this decision according to my health, regardless of what tournament is coming up next week", she said as she withdrew from her scheduled match against Karolina Pliskova.

"I didn't sleep too well but that's normal after a fall". It just didn't feel quite right. "I think this is the most important thing".

Konta, who will play her first match on Monday, is in what appears to be the stronger half of the draw.

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. "She'll definitely be feeling fresh tomorrow compared to me, but at the same time, I'm pleased to have gotten a great match in today". She is the first British woman ranked in the world's top 10 at Wimbledon since 1984.

World No 1 Kerber will face a qualifier in the first round at Wimbledon as will Simona Halep. However, despite a slight drop in her level, the Latvian was still competitive, with the two closely matched through until 5-5, where Konta took another step up, dictating play and breaking on her third set point to take the first set 7-5. "At the end of the match I was focusing point-by-point and go for it if I had the chance, and I'm happy I'm through". "I'm looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to playing against her".

"But there are a lot of players who are taking that spot and it is going to be just another tough tournament, even though maybe the major names are not here this year".

She said: "Caroline is obviously a great player and a great athlete".

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