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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday August 10, 2020

 
Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta dropped her first-round match to Marie Bouzkova and suffered a scare in the process.

Photo Source: AP

Johanna Konta’s first match of the WTA resumption was a tricky one. The third seed at the Top Seed Open fell to Marie Bouzkova 6-4 6-4 in first-round action, and also suffered heart palpitations early in the opening set.

After the match Konta told reporters that she’s experienced the problem three times before, and twice in the last three months.

“I sometimes have a heart palpitation, basically my heart rate just shoots up for no reason, you can see we didn’t have a long point or I wasn’t gassing in any way in terms of lungs or anything,” she said. “My heart rate shoots up and it doesn’t go down, it actually stays there, it just makes me a bit light-headed and I just basically needed to see the doctors and physios to see where it was at and it was very, very high when they came out and then it was just a management thing.”

Konta had no issues discussing her health status with reporters, and gave a detailed description of the history of the issue.

“This has happened, I think, only four times, but it’s happened twice in the last three months,” she said. “It’s just something that we are keeping an eye on. I’ve had all the heart checks and everything and there’s nothing wrong–I’m fit as a fiddle, apparently. It’s one of those things that, I think, can happen and obviously I’m susceptible to it happening.”

Konta said the issue, which happened in the second game of the first set, continued to bother her through about six games.

“It took a while for it to settle down, probably about 4-3 in that first set so it did take its time but it was at least good that it was able to then settle down and I was able to just think of the tennis then, not so much my heart.”

The British No.1 says the problem was first encountered in 2017, then again in 2018. This year it has happened twice, but she is still confident that her heart is in fine working order. She says she plans to try and record the palpitation the next time it happens, in order to give doctors more information.

“This was the fourth time its ever happened,” she said. “The first time it’s happened was in Birmingham in 2017, the second time that it happened was in Beijing in 2018, actually it was an evening match that I played. And the third time was two months ago when I was doing my practice block on the clay in London. I wouldn’t say that there is a massive common denominator–it’s been under stressful situations it’s been under no stress situations. We don’t know to be honest. It’s one of those things that you need to catch in the moment and be able to record and measure in the moment, which we haven’t been able to because it really has been sporadic and it has rarely happened. It’s been unfortunate that has happened to me now twice in the last three months but hopefully that’s no indication that it’s going to pick up frequency or anything.”

Konta said she had all the related tests done in 2017 when she first experienced the issue. She’s now confident that her heart is in good shape.

“It’s obviously something that we are looking into, however when it happened for the first time in Birmingham, we got all the tests done that year, so I’ve had all the heart tests done that you can possibly have and my heart is absolutely fine. So in terms of worry about it, I wouldn’t say that I’m worried. Obviously it’s not ideal. After I speak to you guys we are going to go have another EKG, we are just going to check, talk about it, and see what other protocols we can take to hopefully actually measure it when it happens because then we’ll have more information. Granted it’s probably not going to happen again for a year. It’s kind of one of those things but I’m not worried.”

In other action on Monday in Lexington, second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka powered past Madison Brengle in three sets, while sixth-seeded Magda Linette (d. Lauren Davis) and eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur (d. Caty McNally) were also winners.

Jessica Pegula (d. Zvonareva) and Jennifer Brady (d. Watson) were also successul in their first WTA matches since in over five months.

 

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