Nottingham Open: Barty beats Konta in final

"Barty is a very talented, very crafty player", Konta said.

"Those two had two cracking matches on the grass past year".

But she is wary of her Aussie opponent's strengths on grass.

The two players featured in last year's final with Vekic prevailing in three sets, but Konta dropped just five games on Saturday evening to win 6-2 6-3.

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. However, she was aided by a double fault from the 21-year-old which ultimately won her the opening game.

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. The hold she managed to put down secured the fifth keeping her a game away from leveling with Konta.

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

She looked on course to do so early in the third set but suffered a big setback when an untimely net cord helped Barty break and race into a 4-1 lead.

Barty, who lost to Konta in this event past year, took just over an hour to complete her routine win on Saturday, breaking Osaka's serve three times and winning 80 percent of points on her own service.

Konta had recovered from 4-1 down in the decider to level at 4-4 but a controversial call allowed Barty go 5-4 ahead. Vekić was unhappy with a decision resulting in her calling a shot out in the middle of the point, meaning that she subsequently lost the point for speaking during play. She was in control going forward taking the response against Vekic's serve to break her for the double with one to go. "I'm pretty pleased with that", she added. Konta was able to finish the match in the next game by breaking Vekić's serve again to take the set 6-3 and the match 2-0.

  • Angelo Rivera