Barty faces Konta in Nottingham final

by Leon Thompson June 20, 2018, 7:31
Barty faces Konta in Nottingham final

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 a year ago.

Konta vented her fury at the chair umpire on more than one occasion, branding one decision "an absolute joke" after a Barty shot appeared to land long in a tense final set.

The Aussie had lost her last three singles finals, and almost saw Konta rally to create parity twice before closing out the match in two hours and five minutes. A few big missed volleys in tight moments of the third set and an emotional letdown in the final two games was ultimately what decided the match, but Konta can look back on the week as a step in the right direction and a reason to be satisfied about her competitive level overall.

The top-seeded Ashleigh Barty awaits in Sunday's final after the Australian beat Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-3 6-4.

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After around an hour delay, Konta moved 3-1 ahead only for the Croatian to break back and level. "I'm very happy to just battle through and try to really just keep my mind at the task in hand". Despite this, Vekić was able to get herself on the scoreboard in the following game with a much-needed hold of serve. "I know she's a crafty player and a very talented player on the surface so I know it's gonna be a tough match for me and I'm looking forward to that".

The 28-year-old is continuing his return from a drugs ban, but was soon put on the back foot by veteran Spaniard Granollers, who made the most of an early break to claim the opening set 6-4.

The deciding set proved a tense affair until Evans finally converted a break point chance to lead 5-3 and then served out for the match.

The Briton will go on to face Australia's Alex de Minaur after the second seed beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-2 6-4.

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