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Barty faces Konta in Nottingham final
July 21 2018, 07:48 | Van Peters
Johanna Konta beats Donna Vekic to reach Nottingham final
"Every week on clay is a week closer to grass", Ashleigh Barty said during the French Open.
This was the standout match ahead of Saturday's semi-finals, mainly due to the classic encounters that have occurred between these two in recent times.
Johanna Konta has failed to shake the umpire's hand after a bad-tempered end to the Nottingham Open final won by Australian Ashleigh Barty winning.
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.
In the second match on court, the British number one breezed through the opening set in half-an-hour before, with Vekic having called for the trainer and looking ready to go for further treatment, the players were forced off by rain.
"She's improved a lot and is playing very well over the a year ago since she's come back and getting better and better".
The 21-year-old Croat would have been hoping that she could cause an upset once again on Centre Court, and would have been aware that the crowd would not be behind her. Barty, however, won the next three games.
Konta was furious at a decision that went against her as Barty moved 5-4 up and was involved in a heated exchange with the umpire, where she described the call as "a joke". The hold she managed to put down secured the fifth keeping her a game away from leveling with Konta.
Barty, the World No 17, stayed tough to then rack up three match points on Konta's serve, the first of which she saved before the tough little Queenslander took the spoils with a passing shot.
Konta remained a break up after five and opened the gap on Vekic to lead 4-2 due to double faults from the Croatian.
The Brit was able to follow this up by holding her serve, despite being issued a warning for taking too long. "I am sure she is going to be playing her best tennis".