Jo Konta injury agony as she is forced to withdraw from US Open as Heather Watson and Harriet Dart both leave after losing first round matches
- Three out of five British women left the US Open on Monday evening
- Jo Konta withdrew just hours before her race due to an injury to her left thigh
- Heather Watson and Harriet Dart were defeated later in the day
And then there were two. Three of the five British women left the US Open last night when Johanna Konta withdrew for her opening match, while Heather Watson and Harriet Dart both lost.
Konta withdrew due to an injury to her left thigh, hours before the British No. 1 faced French Kristina Mladenovic in the opening round at Flushing Meadows.
As a result, she will lose her long-held status as Britain’s best woman.
Jo Konta had to withdraw hours before her race due to an injury to her left thigh
Britain’s No. 2 Watson is lining up to take over Konta despite extending her deplorable record at this tournament. The 29-year-old was a junior US Open champion in 2009 but never made it past the first round of the main draw in 10 tries, losing 6-1, 6-4 to Kaja Juvan.
Dart was unlucky as an apparent thigh injury midway through the second set hampered her chances of beating World No. 62 Caroline Garcia, who rallied and won 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.
It means Britain’s hopes for a long run at the US Open are pinned on teenage sensation Emma Raducanu and Katie Boulter, who are both playing on Tuesday.
Konta’s withdrawal is the latest blow to the 30-year-old, who previously contracted the coronavirus and missed Wimbledon and the Olympics. In June, it was also announced that Konta had split with coach Dimitri Zavialoff for the second time following her first-round departure from the French Open.
The British number 1 should face the French Kristina Mladenovic . in the opening round
After a difficult summer, Konta returned to Montreal three weeks ago and took an encouraging win over world number 5 Elina Svitolina. However, she had to withdraw the next day due to a left knee injury and gave a walkover to American teenager Coco Gaf.
Konta arrived at the US Open complaining about that knee problem and if she pulls out on Monday due to a new problem, she will be knocked out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since 2015.
Lucky loser Kamilla Rakhimova replaced Konta, while Watson will remain at Flushing Meadows to compete in the women’s doubles with Anna Blinkova.
After Dart, Boulter and Raducanu emerged from qualifying to join Konta and Watson in the main draw, Britain had five women competing in a non-Wimbledon Grand Slam for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Unfortunately, that quickly diminished, with world number 150 Raducanu and Boulter, ranked 190, leaving the flag.
Heather Watson lost her first round match on a day when three British women left
Raducanu, the 18-year-old who became a huge hit on SW19’s turf over the summer, faced World No. 14 Jennifer Brady on Tuesday at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the second-largest arena in Flushing Meadows.
Still, Brady withdrew injured, meaning Raducanu will instead face Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele, the world No. 128 who had lost in the final qualifying round. That will take place on Court 17. Boulter will face Liudmila Samsonova, 52 of the world.
Dart fought well in her opening round match against Garcia. There was a lot of back and forth in the 65-minute opening set, with Dart Garcia breaking three times and vice versa. It went to a tiebreak that the Briton, in place 151 in the world ranking, won 8-6.
In the second set, after breaking down and trailing 4-3, Dart needed a medical time-out. She came back with heavy bands around her left thigh and could be seen limping from then on.
The trainer had to return to the track before the end of the second set, which Dart lost 6-4. In the third, Garcia took a 4-0 lead before taking the lead 6-2.