Johanna Konta  def. Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 7-5
World No. 8 Johanna Konta lived up to her top billing again as she closed out a sometimes tense affair against Magdalena Rybarikova to make her first grass court final. The first set was highly competitive with neither getting a sniff of a break point, until Konta broke for the first time for the advantage. She backed that up with a second successive break, before confidently closing the first set out to love.
The pair traded breaks at the start of a far more edgier set, but once more, it was Konta knocking at the door, staying firm on her own serve and just not quite ale to convert as easily as she had before on Rybarikova’s own service game.
The Slovakian seemed to be on the receiving end of a few rogue calls which saw her muttering up a storm, as Konta stepped up the pressure for a late break. It might have taken a couple of match points, but Konta closed out her place in the final.
After the match she said: “It feels pretty good. I’m really happy to have made it to the end of the week, and I’m looking forward to coming back out here on Centre Court tomorrow. It’s surprisingly hot out here and it’s very humid with the moisture from the grass, but we’re used to it.”
“I know Donna is playing very well recently. Whoever’s going to win that is going to be coming into the final, like me, with some good tennis under their belts, some good wins and some good competitive matches. Either way it’s going to be a tough match for me.”
She did however bow out of the doubles with partner Yanina Wickmayer.
It has been a while since Croatia’s Donna Vekic has displayed the kind of form that took her to the Birmingham final four years ago, this run to the Nottingham final being her best result on the surface for a while.
Konta has been pretty formidable this week, albeit it with perhaps a couple of dips in sets from time to time – but her adherence to the process has gotten her through the week without the loss of a set. Vekic had also made pretty comfortable progress up until the semi-final against the No. 5 seed Lucie Safarova.
In their only matchup Konta was very much in control of their match in Cincinnati and we can expect her to try and dominate the match. Her swinging winners this week have been pretty respectable and her footwork looks sharp thanks to an early exit in Paris and more time to prepare on the grass.
Vekic has looked pretty solid herself and with her hard-flat hitting style, she also plays aggressively so we can expect the tennis balls to be battered to within an inch of their fluffy little lives.
Konta has not only the experience but the big wins now to back it up and while Vekic is not a stranger to finals, this will be on home turf, with Konta riding the crest of the wave we normally have associated with Andy Murray.
The nerves may play a part though – and Vekic could well push Konta hard here.
Prediction: Konta in three sets.
Konta and Vekic are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 3pm.
Quotes courtesy LTA/Aegon Open Media Release
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images for British Tennis
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