British No 1 Johanna Konta is a major doubt for Wimbledon after pulling out of her Aegon International semi-final with a thoracic spine injury yesterday.
Konta took a nasty fall in her quarter-final match on Thursday against Angelique Kerber that required almost 10 minutes of treatment, including an ice pack being applied to her head.
Konta managed to steel herself to take the next two points and win the match, but after a sleepless and painful night she decided to withdraw from her Eastbourne semi-final against Karolina Pliskova.
Though Konta insists she is not thinking about Wimbledon and is taking things 24 hours at a time, the prognosis does not look good. Sufferers from this type of injury - which affects the middle of the back - are recommended to rest for the next 72 hours. Konta's first match at Wimbledon is scheduled for Monday, four days after she suffered the fall. Her opponent will be the world No 112 Su-Wei Hsieh, who knocked Konta out of this year's French Open at the same stage.
The Centre for Health and Human Performance (CHHP) sports physio Rob Madden told Telegraph Sport that "the chances of her being 100% by Monday are slim."
Konta said yesterday: "I made the decision based on the fact I’m still quite sore through my thoracic spine and I’m looking to make sure I can recover in the best way possible. Next week is Wimbledon but I made this decision based on looking after my health, regardless of what tournament is coming up.
"I didn’t sleep too well but I think that’s normal after a fall. I just felt it wasn’t quite right."
By this morning Konta will have a better idea of whether she will have to withdraw from Wimbledon, which would be a bitter blow given her impressive grass-court form and seeding of sixth for a tournament that looks wide open.
Konta hastily left the Devonshire Park Tennis Club after addressing the media yesterday and headed for her parents' house in Eastbourne for some rest and recuperation. "We’re not 100% certain about it yet," she said. "The most important thing right now is that I rest very well.
"I’m not thinking about that [Wimbledon] right now, I just want to make sure that I get my health back to the best place possible.
"For the next 24 hours I will be resting at home. No books, no screens, just trying to sleep. I didn’t really sleep well last night, so I need to rest.
"The most important thing is my health, regardless of the tournament next week. Our seasons are very long. I’d like to think I have many years left in my career."
There was also disappointment yesterday for the British No 3 Heather Watson who narrowly lost her Eastbourne semi-final 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to the sixth seed and former champion Caroline Wozniacki.
But overall it has been a hugely encouraging week for Watson, who beat three top 25 players in a row to reach her first WTA semi-final since March last year.
She said yesterday: "I'm pleased. I'm feeling great about my game and got some great match wins under my belt this week. I'm feeling confident going into next week and I'm ready for Wimbledon."
Watson is expected to move up 24 places to No 102 when the revised world rankings are announced on Monday, and she has been handed a winnable Wimbledon first-round match against the Belgian world No 117 Maryna Zanevska.
The other British women in the Wimbledon draw will also face unseeded opponents, with Naomi Broady taking on Irina-Camelia Begu, and Laura Robson and Katie Boulter pitted against Beatriz Haddad Maia and Christina McHale respectively.
Novak Djokovic meanwhile advanced to the Eastbourne final with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev and will face either Richard Gasquet or Gael Monfils.