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Johanna Konta pulls out of Palermo Open to focus on US Open warm-up events stateside

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Johanna Konta of British Bulldogs plays a forehand in her match against Jodie Burrage of Union Jacks during Day One of the St. James's Place Battle Of The Brits Team Tennis at National Tennis Centre on July 27, 2020

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEurosport
27/07/2020 at 15:11 | Updated 27/07/2020 at 15:41

British No 1 Johanna Konta has pulled out of next month's Palermo Ladies Open with a view to heading stateside for US Open warm-up events.

Konta lost her first match since March on Monday when Jodie Burrage shocked the world No 14 at the Battle of the Brits.

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Burrage enjoyed a 6-3 6-4 win over Konta at Roehampton, with the all-Brit event organised once more by Jamie Murray.

After the match, Konta confirmed she would not take part in the Palermo Open, a day after world No 2 Simona Halep’s withdrawal left the organisers “embittered and profoundly disappointed”.

Instead, Konta will reportedly switch her focus to playing in the new WTA event in Lexington, USA, called the Top Seed Open, which starts on August 10 and it set to feature Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens.

odie Burrage of Union Jacks touches rackets with Johanna Konta of British Bulldogs after her victory at National Tennis Centre on July 27, 2020 in London

Image credit: Getty Images

The US Open starts on August 31 in New York, in what will be the first Grand Slam since the coronavirus pandemic.

“We haven’t had any [WTA player council] meetings for a few weeks but everything is pointing in the direction that it is going to go ahead,” Konta said, regarding the US Open. “Just basing my opinion on all the information that is there, I think it probably will.”

Andy Murray meanwhile said he is still feeling "apprehensive" about travelling to New York for the US Open amid the Covid-19 pandemic - but the former world number one says he is mentally preparing for the Grand Slam.

"Four or five weeks ago, we were pretty sceptical about it [the tournament taking place]," Murray said. "But mentally at some stage you need to start preparing and planning for that.

"If it wasn't happening, my schedule for practising, my rehab, would all be a bit different. Mentally I'm planning for it to go ahead."

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