Ashleigh Barty wins Nottingham Open after heated final against Johanna Konta

Home favorite Johanna Konta kept her nerve through an hour's rain delay to defeat defending champion Donna Vekic and reach her second successive Nottingham Open final.

4 seed struggled to adapt to the variation of Barty's game as she threw in tricky slices and spinning ground strokes to ensure the first set went her way 6-3.

The British home favourite was playing in her first WTA Tour final of the year after a turbulent start to 2018, but she was beaten by the powerful world No. 17 on home soil as the road to Wimbledon heats up.

"This is an absolute joke", said Konta, waving her finger at Paula Vieira Souza, the Brazilian umpire who had declined to over-rule the line judge.

Konta had been seeking her first title since Miami in April 2017 but only managed 52% of her first serves in the opening set with Barty the more solid.


It looked like Konta's chances were disappearing fast but she battled back to make it 4-4 before her emotions boiled over.

However, Barty, ranked five places higher, broke in the fourth game to make it 3-1 before holding serve for 4-1.

The 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory marked the second WTA title for Barty after her win in Kuala Lumpur a year ago, and lifts her to No.16 in the world rankings leading into next month's Wimbledon tournament.

But she saved the crucial break point and then wrestled the second set away from Barty with three consecutive games to force a decider.

Johanna Konta finished as the runner-up at Nottingham's Nature Valley Open for the second year running, but not before a controversial conclusion in which she lost her temper at a couple of dubious line calls and berated the chair umpire. Do you fully understand that?'

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