EXCLUSIVE: Johanna Konta confident ahead of Aegon Open final

Johanna Konta will seek to become just the second British woman to win a WTA grass court event in the UK on Sunday when she faces Donna Vekic at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.

Virginia Wade was the only other player to do so back in 1975 in Eastbourne, but the world number eight is enjoying her tennis and is confident that she can join her as part of British Tennis history.

Konta defeated Magdalena Rybarikova in the semifinals in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 and felt as though she handled the task of taking on an in-form player very well. “She’s a very effective player on the grass and has come into this tournament with an 100K win on the grass, (in Surbiton) so she was full of confidence”, said the British number one. “She definitely played like that as well so I was happy that I was able to adjust and get stuck into match as much as I could and I felt I competed well”, she added.

Rybarikova was very frustrated with the line calls and umpire’s decisions during the match and the Brit admitted that without Hawk-Eye at the tournament it can be tough, but all players have to accept that. She said: “It’s obviously a tricky one for us players when we don’t have Hawk-Eye to question those calls and that’s just part of our sport. Umpires and line judges are only human and from my perspective it was important for me to just keep focusing on myself and there are going to be things which go for and against you in matches.”

The top seed was also involved in the women’s doubles semifinals with her partner Yanina Wickmayer but the pair were unable to come through against the Australian pairing of Monique Adamczak and Storm Sanders. The Australian’s raced through the first set 6-1 before Konta and Wickmayer hit back to take the second 6-3. The match tiebreak started out close but following the change of ends Adamczak/Sanders broke away to clinch it 10-6.

Having played two matches in a day the Brit still feels good physically and is enjoying spending time out on court at the Nottingham Tennis Centre. “I’m doing pretty well, I enjoyed my doubles and even though we didn’t win it was another chance to be out on the grass and it was a really nice day in terms of weather so I can’t complain too much”, she said.

Looking ahead to the final against Vekic tomorrow the players have met once before and it was a match which Konta won comfortably 6-2, 6-3 in the round of 32 in Cincinnati last year. Despite that the world number eight is taking nothing for granted and is ready to fight for her first grass court title. The Brit said: “It’s going to be a tough match, she’s playing well on the surface and is full of confidence and has some good wins under her belt.”

The women’s singles Aegon Open final between Konta and Vekic is due to get underway at around 3pm BST on Sunday.


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