Barty holds off Konta to win Nottingham title

Johanna Konta

The win is Barty's second career WTA title, having triumphed previous year at the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur.

Konta cruised through the first set of their match winning it 6-2 before play was interrupted by rain.

Konta fired up before the final game of her 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 defeat at the hands of Ashleigh Barty, the top seed from Australia.

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 past year.

The contest was split due to a rain delay, with the British number one taking the opening set before the two players were taken off court.

Konta was playing in a final for the first time since doing so here 12 months ago, when she lost to Donna Vekic. "Do you fully understand that?"

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Konta shook hands with her opponent, but bypassed Vieira Souza completely and stormed straight off the court, leaving Barty to fill the uncomfortable pause before the presentation ceremony by hitting a few balls into the crowd. "You've always got to work with the circumstances that are thrown at you and I think I managed everything quite well".

Looking ahead to Sunday's final, Konta said: "I know she is a very crafty and talented player, especially on this surface". Making sure that Konta did not play the same point from point-to-point and ensuring that the Brit never saw the same ball and got into the groove that she likes to find herself in on a grass or hard court.

"We've had some incredible battles, especially the last two times", said Konta.

"She's improved a lot and is playing very well over the past year since she's come back and getting better and better". "I'm pretty pleased with that", she added.

The Croat is playing her 20th overall semifinal and is now 17-3.

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

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