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Wozniacki douses British hopes at Eastbourne

Caroline Wozniacki (Getty Images)
Caroline Wozniacki (Getty Images)

Eastbourne - Caroline Wozniacki extinguished British hopes at the Eastbourne pre-Wimbledon event on Friday, knocking out Heather Watson to reach the final after a back injury forced Johanna Konta to withdraw.

Seventh-ranked Konta, who suffered a nasty fall in Thursday's win over world No 1 Angelique Kerber, pulled out of her semi-final against Karolina Pliskova before Wozniacki accounted for Watson 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 at Devonshire Park.

Konta banged her head and back heavily after a horror tumble during her quarter-final victory over Kerber and has been diagnosed with a thoracic spine injury.

The 26-year-old is Britain's best hope of ending a long wait for a women's Grand Slam champion that dates back to Virginia Wade winning the 1977 Wimbledon singles title.

Konta, who won the prestigious Miami tournament earlier this season, had originally been passed fit to play on Friday but decided to pull out to avoid risking further damage.

"The most important thing for me is to look after my health in general," said Konta, who because of the backlog of matches at Eastbourne had to play twice on Thursday.

"We made the decision based on the fact I'm still quite sore through my thoracic spine. Next week is Wimbledon but I make decisions for my health.

"I didn't sleep too well but I heard that's normal. It just didn't feel quite right. The most important thing is I rest well for the next 24 hours and then we'll see."

Konta will hope the pain diminishes over the weekend as she is due to play Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei, who she lost to in her Roland Garros opener, in the first round at Wimbledon on Monday.

Watson has dropped to 126th in the rankings but put up a stiff challenge against former world number one Wozniacki.

However, the Briton was broken as she sought to force a final set tie-break, sending 2009 champion Wozniacki through to a second Eastbourne final.

As for Konta, her participation at Wimbledon next week remains uncertain as she concentrates on regaining full health.

"Right now my priority is to look after myself, quite honestly," said Konta.

"I'm looking to just make sure that I'm in a good place physically and health-wise to be able to compete next week, but more importantly just to be in a good place health-wise."

Three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic faces Russia's Daniil Medvedev for a place in the men's final later, while second seed Gael Monfils takes on fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Results from the ATP and WTA grass-court tournament at Eastbourne on Friday (x denotes seeding):



Karolina Pliskova (CZE x3) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x5) walkover

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x6) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5

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England 121/2 (41.1 ov)
Pakistan 0
loading... Live
England 121/2 (41.1 ov)
Pakistan 0
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