Nottingham Open | Konta suffers shock defeat as Vekic wins title
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The 20 year old Crotian Donna Vekic claimed the title after a battling three-set victory over Britain’s Johanna Konta on a sold-out Centre Court at the Aegon Open.
I’m very happy that I got to play five great matches on the grass and I’m really happy that I got to come back to Nottingham and play on this court in front of this crowd.Jo Konta
The world No.70 fought back from a set down to win 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 to lift the Elena Baltacha Trophy on a sun-drenched afternoon in the East Midlands at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
It was looking like the British No.1 who would claim victory on her home court at the start of the two hour, 30 minute encounter as she started at a rapid pace sweeping through the opening set in just under 40 minutes behind two breaks of serve.
Konta, 26, looked on course for her first grass title on home soil to emulate Virginia Wades 1975 win in Eastbourne , but struggled with Vekic’s baseline hitting to lose the second set tie-break.
In the decider, Vekic broke Konta’s serve in the opening game, but Konta rallied to win three games in a row to take her first lead of the set at 4-3. Faced with the pressure of serving to stay in the match, Vekic responded with aplomb with an emphatic love hold en route to running off the last three games of the match.
“It’s pretty amazing and I’m really, really happy,” Vekic said. “Jo played amazing and she’s having an amazing year, but I was just trying to focus on myself, serve and good as I can and be aggressive, which is not easy against her. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament of the year and I’m very happy that I can go into that winning a couple of matches, but first, next week is Birmingham!”
Konta, 26, said: “Credit to her for playing incredibly well, especially at the end. I’m very happy that I got to play five great matches on the grass. We just want to get as much time on the surface as possible heading into Wimbledon. I’m really happy that I got to come back and play here in Nottingham.
“Overall, I think I fought and played the best that I could today. There are things that I would have liked to have done better, but I think the majority of the credit has to go to Donna. She continuously raised her level as the match went on. She served better and better so I do think she definitely won it in the end.”
Both players will head to Birmingham for the Aegon Classicc next week, as No.4 seed Konta faces Lesia Tsurenko in the first round while Vekic matches up with Alison Riske.
Earlier in the day, British pair Laura Robson and Jocelyn Rae also lost out 6-4 4-6 10-4 in the WTA International doubles decider to Australians Monique Adamczak and Storm Sanders, who won the women’s doubles ITF event at Surbiton in the previous week, while the ATP Challenger singles final saw Israeli third seed Dudi Sela come from a set down to defeat fourth seed Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 4-6 6-4 6-3.