MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Briton Johanna Konta said she was in shock after an abdominal injury abruptly ended her Australian Open challenge in the first-round on Tuesday even though she was leading Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan 6-4 0-2.
Konta, seeded 13th at Melbourne Park, left the court for a medical timeout to get treatment on her abdomen when serving at 5-4 in the opening set.
“I pulled my ab and that made it difficult for me to serve and that is why I had to retire,” Konta, 29, told reporters.
“I feel like I am in a bit of shock so I don’t fully know yet anything. I haven’t yet been able to check in with the physios.”
Konta, ranked 15th in the world, said she felt the injury for the first time during her second service game and then it started getting painful.
“I tried to just manage it the best I could but in the last service game of the first set, that is where I needed to intervene with the physios to try and offload it with tape and stuff like that,” added Konta.
Konta came back to serve out the set but continued to struggle and lost the first two games of the second set before deciding she was unable to continue.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar)