British number one Johanna Konta is out of the Sydney International tournament after retiring from her second-round qualifying match.
It is understood Konta suffered a neck injury, just a week before the Australian Open starts on 14 January.
Konta called a halt to play 18 minutes into her match against Russian Ekatarina Alexandrova when 4-1 down.
Compatriot Heather Watson reached the Hobart International main draw with a qualifying win over Isabelle Wallace.
Watson, 26, the British number two and a previous winner of the Hobart event, overcame the Australian 6-4 6-4.
“When I come to Hobart I’m always feeling really positive and excited about the tournament,” said Watson.
“When I’m happy, I play better. I’m very happy here and I think it shows in my results.”
Sydney-born Konta, ranked 37th in the world, reached the Australian Open semi-finals in 2016 and was a quarter-finalist in 2017, though she exited last year’s tournament in the second round.
There has not yet been official confirmation of the reason for her retirement, or the severity of any injury.
The tournaments in Sydney and Hobart are among the final WTA events before the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, begins.