By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta withdraws from the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open with an abdominal injury
  • Singapore qualification now at risk
HONG KONG – British No. 1 Johanna Konta has pulled out of the Hong Kong Tennis Open, and Heather Watson bowed out to fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki.

 

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The British No. 1 withdraw shortly before she was due to take the court in the second round of the WTA International tournament as the Road to Singapore hots up with many of the key players in action around the world.

As reported by BBC Sport, she told reporters in Hong Kong: “I was really looking forward to making this week last as long as possible. It wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but I need to look after my body first. I need to make sure I make the right decisions for my health.”

This week had great significance after her run to the Beijing final last week, which put her into the Top 10 – the first time for a British woman since Jo Durie in 1984. Her nearest rivals are still going in WTA Linz.

Dominika Cibulkova could overtake her if she reaches the final at least this week, and the Slovakian is also entered into the premier event in Moscow next week. Both Moscow and Luxembourg count next week but as a Premier, the Russian tournament carries more points, but perhaps it is too early to speculate.

BBC Sport’s Russell Fuller later tweeted:

Later in the day British No. 2 Watson was beaten by Wozniacki, despite putting up a spirited defence in the second set. In fact it had been a quick start by the Brit who broke for a 2-0 lead before Wozniacki took the set by the scruff of the net, winning five out of the next six games to take the first set comfortably.

The second set seemed to be a little more competitive this time with Wozniacki going 2-0 up only to be pegged back. A mammoth game for Watson saw her broken, only for the Brit to break Wozniacki straight back for love. However the Dane hit back once more before serving out a straight sets win.

As it stands Watson closes down her season here, as does Konta unless she feels strong enough to ask a wildcard into either Moscow or Luxembourg to strike out for Singapore, or to rest up and focus on Zhuhai. However under the current rules, Moscow has already allocated their two standard wildcards and have two in reserve for Top 20 designated players, but based on last year’s closing ranking – Konta was just inside the Top 50 at the end of 2015.

The wild-cards will be confirmed at 4pm on Friday for Moscow.

 

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