Johanna Konta beats Donna Vekic to reach Nottingham final
But Konta was not to be denied and overcame a couple of minor wobbles to win through.
A disgruntled Konta, beaten in the final of the same pre-Wimbledon grass tournament by Donna Vekic last year, found the rising 22-year-old Australian talent too tough a hurdle as she fell to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 defeat after two hours and six minutes.
As for her opponent, Vekić has of course caused problems for Konta in the past.
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.
Konta had not dropped a set on her way to the final but was up against it in Nottingham after losing the first set to an inspired Barty. However, Konta was able to get revenge just a couple of weeks later as she defeated Vekić in the second round of Wimbledon with a 7-6, 4-6, 10-8 victory.
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"Nottingham brings back very good memories of back when it was an ITF $50K tournament, not even WTA yet", Barty said.
Barty opened with a love hold and quickly went a break up, but Osaka enclosed the best of her reflexes in return to break back in the fifth game, soon leveling from 0-3 to 3-3. She's improved a lot and is playing very well since she's come back.
"Obviously, in an ideal world, we don't have that rain delay". She followed this up by holding her next service game, although Vekić did fail to take two break points which was a warning sign for the Brit. However, the big moment of the match came in the seventh game as Konta controversially broke for a second time in the set.
The Briton got into a heated discussion with the umpire, which seemed to affected her concentration. She was in control going forward taking the response against Vekic's serve to break her for the double with one to go. She responded to the umpire by saying: "I am a human being, no a robot".
It was the Slovenian who made the initial move by breaking serve to lead 2-1.
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