Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Konta through to Nottingham final

Konta through to Nottingham final

Johanna Konta missed out on claiming her first title since Miami of a year ago as she lost out in three tight sets to Australia's Ashleigh Barty in the Nottingham final.

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

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.

The match was mostly well-balanced, although the opening set was dominated by the Australian, who was aiming to win her first title on a grass court and second WTA title overall.

World number 22 Konta, though, immediately regained the momentum against Vekic's serve before a hold put her within sight of the final, and she then broke again on a first match-chance.

"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. She was able to get the better of Kurumi Nara, Heather Watson and Dalila Jakupović on her way to setting up this semi-final encounter. "I'm pretty pleased with that".

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Vekic called for the trainer and looked ready to go for treatment when rain forced them all off.

Instinctive and sharp, the former Wimbledon junior champion mowed down Japanese third seed Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-4 to reach the title match.

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

Konta didn't let the improvement of her opponent phase her answering with a shutout in the second game.

"I lost to Jo here past year, so I think I can go in and play some pretty free tennis".

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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