Konta on top in battle of British at Nottingham

By Derren Howard

Johanna Konta said she felt fortunate to advance to the quarter-finals at the Nottingham Open following her tight tussle with British player Heather Watson on Wednesday afternoon.

Johanna Konta in action at Nottingham Picture: B&O PRESS PHOTO

Johanna Konta in action at Nottingham Picture: B&O PRESS PHOTO

Konta, who is seeded fourth for the tournament, won a keenly contested two set match 6-4 7-6 (7-5), played in gusty conditions.

“It was not easy for either us and the conditions made it harder here,” said Konta. “It is never easy playing a compatriot, I feel fortunate because there was very little in it.”

Konta, 26, broke for a 3-2 lead in the first set against her Fed Cup team-mate. Watson passed-up two break points in the following game before Konta served out to take the first.

Watson, the British No 2, is ranked 91st in the world and moved 3-1 ahead in the second set. But Konta broke back and went on to the win the match 7-5 in a tight tie-break.

Konta, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, will play Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic in the quarter-finals.

The Eastbourne player reached a career-high ranking of fourth in the world after her fine run to the last four at Wimbledon last year. She has since slipped down the rankings to 22nd.