Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Ashleigh Barty beats Johanna Konta to win fiery Nottingham Open final

Ashleigh Barty beats Johanna Konta to win fiery Nottingham Open final

Konta, who then had to serve to stay in the match, won only one more point as Barty clinched victory with a backhand pass.

Johanna Konta secured her place in Sunday's final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Donna Vekić on Centre Court at the Nottingham Tennis Centre on Saturday evening.

Konta blows up in the Nottingham Open final.

At the changeover at 5-4 down, she complained furiously to the umpire about a line call in the penultimate game, later refusing to shake hands with the official after the match.

"It's an absolute joke", fourth-seeded Konta told Souza. You are making decisions that affect all our lives. "Do you fully understand that?" she said.

Konta then walked straight past Souza and off the court.

Barty broke third-seeded Osaka three times and didn't face a break point on her own serve, dropping just nine points on serve overall in the entire match.

Barty got the first break in the fourth game of the third set as Konta's usually strong backhand cross-court proved to be detrimental for her in the first half in the deciding set, but she rallied away, remained resilient and tried to believe in her quest for the Nottingham title, hoping to do one better than a year ago.

It was Barty's first tournament triumph of the year, the second of her career and a demonstration from the former junior Wimbledon champion that she could now even be an outside threat for the senior title at the grasscourt grand slam. The question was whether Barty would remain in her slump or return to her usual self. "I'm definitely enjoying getting more matches under my belt and we'll work towards getting another one".

"I knew that Jo was going to be the toughest test this week, so I'm just really glad that I came through that and it was a really high quality match".

Konta, the world number 22, had breezed through the opening set in half-an-hour before, with Vekic having called for the trainer and looking ready to go for further treatment, the players were forced off by rain.

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