Top-ranked Brit Johanna Konta suffered from heart palpitations and lightheadedness during her first-round defeat to Marie Bouzkova at the Top Seed Open in Lexington on Monday.
“My heart rate shoots up for no reason, we didn’t have a long point, I wasn’t gassing in any way in my lungs,” Konta said after the 4-6, 4-6 loss.
“It makes me a bit lightheaded, I just had to see the doctor and the physio.
“I was having all the checks. I am as fit as a fiddle but it can happen. It took a while to settle down until about 4-3 in the first set, but then it did settle down and I was able to concentrate on the tennis.”
It was Konta’s first match since her 3-6, 4-6 defeat against the same opponent – Bouzkova– at the Monterrey Open in March. Just a few minutes into the match, the third seed looked uncomfortable and requested for medical attention.
She had her blood pressure and pulse checked before resuming play.
“I am worried.” She said. “It’s not ideal. I am going to have another EKG (electrocardiography) test, and hopefully measure it. But probably now it won’t happen again for another year or something.”
Konta said this was a fourth time that she had felt like this on a tennis court, either during a match or practice.
“We don’t know why it happens, it’s in stressful situations, in non-stressful situations. It’s been sporadic and we haven’t been able to capture it. I get very lightheaded and I can’t function for the first few seconds,” she said.
Konta’s defeat was the biggest upset on the first day of the Lexington event, which marks competitive tennis’ return to the USA.
The Top Seed Open also sees the return of the Williams sisters. Elder sister Venus is set to play a blockbuster opening round against former World No 1 Victoria Azarenka. If she wins, she may face Serena in the second round.