Britain’s Konta suffers heart scare in Lexington exit

LEXINGTON • Britain’s Jo Konta suffered a health scare as she crashed out of the opening round of the WTA Top Seed Open in Lexington on Monday with a straight-sets defeat to the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.

Third seed Konta (picture) requested medical attention just a few minutes into her 6-4, 6-4 first-round loss to the unseeded Bouzkova.

The 29-year-old Briton looked uncomfortable and kept holding two fingers to her neck to check her pulse before eventually resuming play.

Konta later explained that she is prone to sudden palpitations that can send her heart rate soaring.

Konta said it was the fourth time she had been affected by the problem during tournament play or practice.

Konta, the world No 15, was the highest-profile casualty on Monday in the opening round of the inaugural Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event in Kentucky.

Other seeded players in action made it safely into the second round, with Polish sixth seed Magda Linette beating the US’ Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-2, and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, seeded eight, downing another American, Caty McNally, 6-2, 6-4.

This week’s event is the first WTA tournament to be held in the US following a five-month hiatus caused by the pandemic.

Former world No 1 Serena Williams played her opening match of the tournament yesterday against Bernarda Pera. — AFP