Konta retires injured from Brisbane quarter-final

Johanna Konta joins a list of high-profile players who have been hit with injuries ahead of the first major of the year.

Johanna Konta walks off the court after conceding the match to Elina Svitolina because of a hip injury.   -  AFP

British number one Johanna Konta became the latest casualty ahead of the Australian Open when she retired during her Brisbane International quarter-final against Elina Svitolina on Thursday.

Konta called for treatment to her right hip at the beginning of the third set but decided she could not continue and handed Svitolina the match 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 3-2.

The retirement disappointed the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena, who had witnessed a fascinating match where Konta stormed through the first set before Svitolina regrouped and edged a high-quality second in a tiebreaker.

Konta joins top seed Garbine Muguruza (cramping) and fourth-ranked Caroline Garcia (lower back) as high-profile casualties at the season-opening tournament.

She is due to defend her Sydney International title next week ahead of the Australian Open but said she was unsure whether or not she would risk further damage before the year's first Grand Slam.

Read: Nishikori out of Australian Open, Djokovic races clock

"I need to wait until tomorrow morning (before deciding)," she said. "I don't feel comfortable going on gut feeling, especially to do with stuff like this.

"The most important thing is to listen to my body, listen to how I'm feeling in the morning, and really taking it kind of step by step."

Konta said she felt something give in her first service game of the third set.

"I'm not too sure actually what happened. I have never had issues kind of in this area," she said. "More on the left side and not for a few years. And it was different."

Konta's withdrawal follows that of fellow Briton Andy Murray, who pulled out of the men's draw before his opening match, also with a hip injury, and who confirmed Thursday that he would not be fit to play at the Australian Open.

World number one Rafael Nadal withdrew from Brisbane with knee problems at the weekend and is a doubt for Melbourne.

"Hips take a massive beating. Obviously, our game is becoming more and more physical and the demands of the tour as well, week in and week out, is becoming more demanding just because of the level of play match in and match out," Konta said.

"So I think hips definitely take a beating, but so do knees, so do shoulders, so do ankles, wrists. Take your pick. Back, lower back. And everything in between."

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