Barty inflicts more Nottingham misery on Konta

"It's an absolute joke", fourth-seeded Konta told Souza.

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.

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. You are making decisions that affect all our lives.

One of Ash Barty's finest victories to date has been overshadowed by a dramatic display of poor sportsmanship from Brit Johanna Konta. Do you fully understand that?' She then went off-court for a medical time-out which coincided with play being temporarily suspended anyway due to rain.

It was Barty's first tournament triumph of the year, the second of her career and a demonstration from the former junior Wimbledon champion that she could now even be an outside threat for the senior title at the grasscourt grand slam.

"I think when I first got on the grass, I instantly felt comfortable".

Dan Evans slips over during his defeat by Alex De Minaur
Dan Evans slips over during his defeat by Alex De Minaur

Top seed Barty will search for her first singles trophy of the season on Sunday night (AEST) - weather permitting.

World number 22 Konta, though, immediately regained the momentum against Vekic's serve before a hold put her within sight of the final, and she then broke again on a first match-chance.

Britain's Johanna Konta won through to her first semifinal since Wimbledon past year with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dalila Jakupovic in the WTA tour event in Nottingham-a warm-up for the lone grass-court Grand Slam.

Barty, who dropped just two service games in the tournament so far, lost nine points on serve during the match and perfectly used her sliced backhand to maintain the edge over the rising Japanese star, the only semifinalist who has never played a grass-court final (Donna Vekic has played two and Ashleigh Barty and Johanna Konta one each).

"I knew that Jo was going to be the toughest test this week, so I'm just really glad that I came through that and it was a really high quality match".

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  • Lawrence Cooper