Ashleigh Barty wins Nottingham Open after heated final against Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta overcame a rain delay to secure her place in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham for the second successive year with a 6-2 6-3 victory against Donna Vekic.

Saving the first five break points she faced in the match, Barty looked on course to record her fifth straight sets victory in as many matches this week, only to see Konta make a late push to force a decider.

For Konta, again the great British women's hope for Wimbledon after reaching the semi-finals previous year, it should have been a delight to be back on grass after her familiar struggles on the Roland Garros clay.

After around an hour's delay, Konta moved 3-1 ahead only for the Croatian to break back and level but the British No.1 closed out the match with another break.

Barty, who lost to Konta in this event a year ago, took just over an hour to complete her routine win on Saturday, breaking Osaka's serve three times and winning 80 percent of points on her own service. "You've always got to work with the circumstances that are thrown at you and I think I managed everything quite well". "It's been building and building and getting better and better each match. I'm pretty pleased with that".

But she is wary of her Aussie opponent's strengths on grass.

"We've had some incredible battles, especially the last two times", said Konta. She loves this surface, she's very vocal about loving this surface. She's improved a lot and is playing very well since she's come back. Vekić was unhappy with a decision resulting in her calling a shot out in the middle of the point, meaning that she subsequently lost the point for speaking during play.

"That's a great challenge for me, to play someone who's so in form".

It is a frustrating end to an otherwise very good week for Konta, who made her first final in exactly a year and has salvaged more wins on her return to the grass than the whole of her clay-court season.

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