Jo Konta, the 2017 Sydney International champion, suffered a neck injury whilst playing a qualifying match for this year’s, which with Hobart, are the final women’s warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open which starts tomorrow week.
The 27-year-old Sydney born, Eastbourne based player, ranked 37, was trailing 4-1 against Russia’s 12th seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova and was just 18-minutes into the second-round qualifying match when she decided to withdraw.
Later her team revealed she had merely ‘blocked her neck in the warm-up’, resulting in her being entered in the main draw at Sydney as a ‘lucky loser’ regardless of her ‘defeat’ and is set to face seventh seed Kiki Bertens in the opening round on Monday.
Her ‘placement’ into the draw will no doubt cause a debate in the tennis world as to the fairness of the decision following her withdrawal through injury being reversed with a ‘lucky loser’ ticket.
In her first match she beat the 277th ranked Miriam Kolodzejova 6-3 6-2 in 71-minutes.
Konta beat former US Open champion Sloane Stephens only to lose her second round match to Australia’s Alja Tomljanovic.