Johanna Konta beats Donna Vekic to reach Nottingham final

Johanna Konta overcame a rain delay to secure her place in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham for the second successive year with a 6-2 6-3 victory against Donna Vekic.

The British number one breezed through the opening set in half an hour before, with Vekic having called for the trainer and looking ready to go for further treatment, the players were forced off by rain.

After around an hour’s delay, Konta – who lost to Vekic in the 2017 final – regained her composure to move 3-1 ahead.

However, the 21-year-old Croatian recovered to break back and level at 3-3.

World number 22 Konta immediately regained the momentum against Vekic’s serve before a hold put her within sight of the final, and she then broke again to seal victory.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty awaits her in Sunday’s final after the Australian beat Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-3 6-4.

Speaking to Eurosport, Konta said: “It was definitely challenging, for both of us and for different reasons.

“It is never easy with a rain delay, so I am very happy to have battled through, to keep my mind on the task at hand and do the best I can with the conditions.”

The British number one beat Barty in the quarter-finals at Nottingham last year.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s final, Konta said: “I know she is a very crafty and talented player, especially on this surface.

“She has definitely improved a lot since last year, is playing incredibly well and so it is going to be a tough match for me, and I am looking forward to that.”