The Spaniard went into her match in the Kremlin Cup knowing that a victory this week would see her leapfrog Konta in the rankings.
However, she was forced to retire after picking up an injury against Australia's Daria Gavrilova.
The world number 12 was losing 6-3 3-0 when she retired and the news will come as a huge boost to Konta.
The Brit currently sits in the final qualifying spot in the race to Singapore and must now wait to see if Svetlana Kuznetsova can retain the Kremlin Cup.
World number one Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza, Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulkova have already qualified for the WTA Finals.