MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 09: Johanna Konta of Great Britain plays a backhand in her Women's Singles first round match against Kaja Juvan of Slovenia during day two of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 09, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Tennis | WTA Nottingham & Birmingham 2021 | Konta triumphs, British Trio headline the first day of the Viking Classic
British No. 1 Johanna Konta made it third time lucky as she finally won the Nottingham Open title, with a convincing win over the No. 4 seed Zhang Shuai.
Zhang was the first to put pressure on the serve, but Konta saved that and from that point never looked in any danger. The Brit, who had not won back-to-back matches this season prior to this week, put pedal to the metal reeling off five games In a row, before closing out the first set to love.
The second set saw her reel six games on the bounce as she won her fourth career title, and her first since winning the WTA 1000 level tournament in Miami, in 2017.
Konta said: “I don’t take this for granted by any means – I’ve lost in the last few finals that I’ve played and it’s very hard to win tournaments, so I know how lucky I am to be here with the winning trophy.
“This trophy is called the Elena Baltacha trophy – she hasn’t been with us for a number of years but still to this day she was a massive influence on me as a young girl in this country. For me, winning this trophy means that much more and I just wanted to say thank you to her.”
She admitted earlier in the week that the adjustment to the grass meant careful management of her knee, resulting in her pulling out of the doubles, and the out of the Viking Classic in Birmingham.
British players Heather Watson, Harriet Dartand Fran Jones will all be in action on day one of this year’s LTA Viking Classic Birmingham women’s grass court tournament. Watson will be up against talented Swiss Viktorija Golubic on the Ann Jones Centre Court, while Dart has a potentially difficult first round match against former WTA Top 10 player Caroline Garcia.
Jones, who, like Dart is part of the LTA’s Pro Scholarship (PSP) Programme, will need all the support of the sell-out home crowd when she plays 2013 Viking Classic Birmingham runner-up Donna Vekic. Vekic, seeded seventh, is known for her grass court prowess.
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