Ashleigh Barty’s hard-fought win in a Wimbledon warmup tournament overnight has been overshadowed by a spectacular tirade from Britain’s home hope Johanna Konta.
Barty ran out a three-set 6-3 3-6 6-4 winner in a tight and compelling Nottingham Open final on grass, two weeks ahead of Wimbledon.
The victory 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 next month.
But it was the angry outburst from Sydney-born Konta in the closing stages of the match that grabbed the bulk of the attention.
After fighting her way back into the match from a set down and then battling back to 4-4 from 4-1 down in the deciding set, Konta seemed to lose her composure.
At the changeover at 5-4 down, she complained furiously to the umpire about a line call in the penultimate game, later refusing to shake hands with the official after the match.
“Oh my God, this is a joke,” she fumed to the official.
“You listen to me now, we are literally out here busting out chops like not other.
“You are making decisions that affect our lives. Do you understand that, do you fully understand that?”
Watch the outburst below:
Barty stayed tough to then rack up three match points on Konta’s serve, the first of which she saved before the tough Queenslander took the spoils with a passing shot.
Konta was in a more generous mood after the match.
“Massive congrats Ash,” she said of Barty.
“The public won’t know but she is one of best girls on tour. She deserves all of the success.
“She is very tough to play on this surface. I tried to do the best I can playing-wise and competed the best I could. I competed my way into the match which is a positive for me to take.”
Barty said she feel’s she’s been improving with each match in the lead-up to Wimbledon.
“I feel great today – coming into a final, the adrenaline gets you going, but I feel like I’ve been playing well all week,” she said.
“It’s been building and building and getting better and better each match.
“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. And it was a really good grass-court match too, in the sense that it was a bit serve-dominant at times.”