Former British number one Johanna Konta has struggled with her fitness throughout 2021 and could miss next year’s Australian Open.
The 30-year-old battled an abdominal injury at the start of the season and was forced to miss both Wimbledon and the Olympics after contracting Covid-19.
Having also withdrawn from the US Open, Konta played just the one major tournament this year at Roland-Garros, where she lost to Romania’s Sorana Cîrstea in the first round.
The British star has admitted to feeling “lightheaded” after matches and said she suffers from heart palpitations, though she doesn’t know why.
Speaking to Tennis Actu TV, Konta said: “I have heart palpitations sometimes. Basically, my heartbeat quickens for no reason. I feel a little dizzy.
“The first time this happened was in Birmingham in 2017; the second time was in Beijing in 2018. The third time was three months ago when I was doing my training block on clay at my home in London. So I wouldn’t say that there is a massive common denominator. There have been stressful situations and stress-free situations.”
The former world number four admitted that it was tough to deal with the disappointment of missing major tournaments but that there were more important things in life.
“It was very difficult,” she stressed. “There was nothing good and nothing fun about having Covid and having to miss Wimbledon and the Olympics. There is no getting around that.
“However, I consider myself a happy, positive and pragmatic person, and I like to take a step back and look at the good things that I have in my life… And at the end of the day, I looked at my life and everything is fine.”
Konta’s absence from competition has seen her plummet to 112th in the world and there are questions over whether the Brit could be heading towards retirement.
It is unlikely at this stage that the 30-year-old will make the cut for the Australian Open next year and will therefore have to go through qualification if she is to make the main draw.
The deadline for entering the competition is December 6th and Konta’s team have said she’ll make a decision soon.
Aside from her own fitness, Konta may also have to decide whether to take a Covid vaccine if she has not already done so.
The vaccination status of the Brit is unknown after she admitted back in the summer she had not taken up the opportunity to receive the first dose.
Konta has been cautious in speaking on the subject too much amid fears of drawing criticism.
“This is a tricky thing to talk about because it’s a very inflammatory subject and there’s no real right answer,” she said.
“I don’t want to talk about it because I wouldn’t be able to get my point across without it being a case for argument.”