Konta loses out in heated conclusion to Nottingham final

Johanna Konta defeated Donna Vekic in straight sets

Johanna Konta defeated Donna Vekic in straight sets

Australian No 1 Ashleigh Barty heaped disappointment on Britain's home hope Johanna Konta for a second successive year in the Nottingham Open as she ran out a three-set victor in a tight and compelling final on Sunday.

Konta, appearing in her first final of the year, was looking for a first title since Miami of last year, and dropped to 3-3 in career finals.

The British number one beat Barty in the quarter-finals at Nottingham previous year.

Konta furious at line call at end of match, storms off court.

After around an hour's delay, Konta moved 3-1 ahead only for the Croatian to break back and level but the British No.1 closed out the match with another break.

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.

Ashleigh Barty after victory in her final match against Johanna Konta.

Meanwhile Alex de Minaur also took home some silverware at the Nottingham Challenger event, beating Dan Evans 7-6 7-5 to see him sneak into the top 100 with a No.78 ranking. "I'm definitely enjoying getting more matches under my belt and we'll work towards getting another one".

At the start of the second set Barty began to show some vulnerability on serve and was forced to save five break points in her first service games.

"Every week on clay is a week closer to grass", Ashleigh Barty said during the French Open. She loves this surface, she's very vocal about loving this surface. 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 responded to the umpire by saying: "I am a human being, no a robot". She's improved a lot and is playing very well since she's come back.

"I feel like I've been playing well all week", said Barty, who won her first career title previous year at Kuala Lumpur.

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