Johanna Konta, Kristina Mladenovic out of Hong Kong Tennis Open
France’s Mladenovic injured, while British star appears to be suffering a crisis of confidence
British star Johanna Konta, France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Catherine Bellis of the US have pulled out of the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, organisers announced.
“Mladenovic has a continuous issue with her knee since Wimbledon this year,” organisers said of the world No.14.
No reason was given for Konta and Bellis’ withdrawals.
Britain’s world No.7 Konta has been on a dire run of form since reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals in the summer, and was thrashed in straight sets in the first round of the China Open in Beijing on Sunday.
It was her fifth loss in a row, leaving her in danger of missing out on the season-ending WTA finals.
Mladenovic also lost in the first round in Beijing, to China’s unheralded Duan Yingying.
US Open champion Sloane Stephens, one of the biggest names coming to Hong Kong, was another to suffer a surprise early exit from the China Open, after suffering the same fate at the Wuhan Open the week before.
Mladenovic “is sorry for her absence and promised to return after she recovers,” said Hong Kong organisers in their statement, while the player put out a similar statement on Twitter.
The tournament also apologised to fans after adverts ran in local papers featuring Mladenovic and Konta, saying they could not be altered in time because of the National Day public holiday.
Eugenie Bouchard, Samantha Stosur, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are among the big names still in the field for the October 7-15 tournament.