Johanna Konta Withdraws from Eastbourne Semi-Final with Spine Injury

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

Konta will now take on Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, who beat Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 6-4, today for a place in the final after being cleared to continue playing after hitting her head.

Konta, 26, suffered a heavy fall against the world number one on Thursday, needing lengthy treatment before recovering to win 6-3 6-4. "I've just got a bit of a sore head, hope to have a chilled evening and I'm sure I'll pull up well".

"Next week is Wimbledon but I made this decision based on looking after my health, regardless of what tournament is coming up".

"I'm just happy that I was able to make it two out of two". "What happens in the following 24 hours and the following 24 hours after that, I'll see once this 24 hours is up".

Konta will be a player to watch throughout Wimbledon, as she's expected to enter as a top-10 player. "We had played twice before and they were close matches so I knew it would be hard today".

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With both players serving out in the opening eight games of the first set Pliskova found the break through when she broke Kerber, reading the German's forehand to return excellently.

The third-round victory sets up a clash on Thursday with French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia.

Caroline Wozniacki's victory over second-ranked Simona Halep means Kerber will retain her world No. 1 ranking.

Following a courteous handshake after the 72-minute, one-sided contest, Konta said referring back to that Fed Cup episode: "I did the best I could to put that incident behind me. (But) as far as my performance goes, I'm pleased with how I fought back and got myself back into the match". Just to try to sleep, I didn't really sleep well last night, so I need to rest.

"It's going to be a tough match. I've played her many times and it's always an incredible battle".

Asked for a recovery time, with Wimbledon in three days, Konta said: 'We're not 100 per cent certain yet. "Wherever she plays she's kind of on edge", said Shriver, speaking on behalf of ESPN.

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