Barty beats Britain’s Konta to win Nottingham Open
Australia's Ash Barty beats home favourite Johanna Konta to win her second WTA title at the Nottingham Open.
Ashleigh Barty heaped disappointment on Britain’s home hope Johanna Konta for a second successive year in the Nottingham Open as she ran out a three-set winner in a tight and compelling final.
A disgruntled Konta, beaten in the final of the same pre-Wimbledon grass tournament by Donna Vekic last year, found the rising 22-year-old too tough a hurdle as she fell to a 6-3 3-6 6-4 defeat.
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 next month.
“I feel great today – coming into a final, the adrenaline gets you going, but I feel like I’ve been playing well all week,” the world No.17 said. “It’s been building and building and getting better and better each match.
“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. And it was a really good grass-court match too, in the sense that it was a bit serve-dominant at times.”
For Konta, again the great British women’s hope for Wimbledon after reaching the semi-finals last year, it should have been a delight to be back on grass after her familiar struggles on the Roland Garros clay.
Yet after fighting her way back into the match from a set down and then battling back to 4-4 from 4-1 down in the deciding set, the Australian-born Briton seemed to lose her composure.
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,” Konta told the umpire. “You’re making decisions that affect our lives. Do you fully understand that?”
Barty stayed tough to then rack up three match points on Konta’s serve, the first of which she saved before the tough Queenslander took the spoils with a passing shot.