Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Johanna Konta admits her fall in Eastbourne was a traumatic experience, but the British No.1 insists the thought of pulling out of The Championships never crossed her mind.
Britain’s leading man and woman both head into Wimbledon under an injury cloud, but like Andy Murray, currently nursing a sore hip, Konta insists the thoracic spine injury she suffered during a nasty fall at Eastbourne on Thursday never truly put her participation at Wimbledon in jeopardy.
“I never was thinking that I wasn't going to [play],” Konta said. “I'm definitely recovering really well. I'm taking it a day at a time. I practiced today, I felt good. I'm definitely looking forward to playing my first round. Like Andy, I'd like to think that I'm fit enough to play seven matches, but I'm going to be taking it one at a time.”
Konta slipped while racing across the baseline on match point against world No.1 Angelique Kerber at Devonshire Park, landing awkwardly on her back and knocking her head against the turf. Shaken by the fall, the 26-year-old nevertheless returned to complete the quarter-final win before pulling out ahead of the semi-finals – a precautionary decision, she insists.
“It was most important to just make sure that I was well enough through the chain, and my body,” Konta explained. “Definitely it was medically the right decision to not continue playing in Eastbourne, to give my body that chance to recover. It was a bit of a traumatic fall on the body.”
It was a scary end to a fine grass court season for Konta, whose win over Kerber came the same day as her victory over reigning Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko. Coupled with a run to the final in Nottingham and the second round at Edgbaston, the world No.7 arrives at Wimbledon with 10 grass matches under her belt, invaluable court time during the short season on the turf.
“I think I had three great matches in Eastbourne, again,” Konta said. “I got to play against two Grand Slam champions, the reigning French Open champion, and also the No.1 player in the world. I felt that I was tested in very different ways, two completely different players. I was quite happy with how I was able to adapt between those two matches on the same day.
“Overall I'm coming into Wimbledon with some great time on the grass against some great players. That doesn't guarantee anything here results-wise, but I definitely have prepared the best I can to perform here.”
In an added quirk, the draw has handed Konta a first-round showdown with Su-Wei Hsieh for the second consecutive major, having lost to Chinese Taipei’s world No.113 in the opening round at Roland Garros.
“It's quite interesting that I actually get to play her again,” Konta said. “I guess in terms of the probability of playing each other first round in a slam in a row, that's actually pretty cool.
“I know she does enjoy the grass. She's a Wimbledon champion in doubles, so she definitely can play on this surface. Actually, the first time I played her, I lost to her on the grass.
“I'm definitely going into the match knowing that she will be playing very comfortably on the surface, she will definitely look to make things difficult for me. I'd like to think that I'm also better prepared. I'd like to think that I will be going into the match with a clear game plan and trying to execute that as best as I can.”
Konta’s finest Grand Slam performances have come at the US Open, where she has twice reached the fourth round, and at the Australian Open, where she backed up last year’s semi-final showing with a run to the last eight. But after winning her first match at The Championships a year ago, the No.6 seed says she feels no additional pressure returning in 2017.
“Because my expectations continue to be my own, continue to be what I judge myself on, my own journey, my own focus, in that sense not much has changed,” Konta explained. “I do try to keep myself around my own people, around the mentality that I want to be around.
“But I know there's, I guess, more attention, and there's more interest in my performance. But that's also a good thing. It means we're talking more about women's tennis in this country.”
Follow the latest news and scores from Wimbledon 2017 on Wimbledon.com or Apple TV, or download the official IOS or Android apps for smartphone and tablet.