Eastbourne-based ace becomes first Brit to clinch a WTA singles title on home soil since 1981
Johanna Konta was in devastating form as she whipped past China’s Zhang Shuai to claim the Nottingham Open title in only hour.
The Australian-born star, now based on the quaint English seaside town of Eastbourne, had settled for runner up in her previous two visits to Nottingham but made no mistake with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 triumph.
In claiming her fourth WTA career crown, her maiden grass title, Konta also won the accolade of becoming the first Brit to win a WTA singles title on home soil since Sue Barker’s majestic success at Brighton in 1981.
Konta enthused: “I love Nottingham, I love this Centre Court, it’s a beautiful court to play on and thank you everyone for coming out and supporting.
“I have lost a few finals, and it is very hard to win tournaments. so I know how lucky I am to be here with the winning trophy.”Johanna Konta
The British no.1 went into overdrive from the start with her solid, tremendous groundstrokes and fast pace. Her game was at top notch having confidently reached the final, and she made Zhang look ordinary in a one-way opening set that was polished off with an ace.
Zhang continued to be outplayed and with her confidence shot started to make unforced errors, which gifted Konta the second set in a rapid 29 minutes.
“This trophy is called the Elena Baltacha trophy. She has not 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.”