‘This is a joke’ Konta fumes at umpire during Nottingham final defeat

Johanna Konta B&O PRESS PHOTO
Johanna Konta B&O PRESS PHOTO

Johanna Konta stormed off court before the trophy presentation and refused to shake the umpire’s hand following her narrow three-set defeat in the final at the Nottingham Open.

Konta went down 3-6 6-3 4-6 to the No 1 seed Ashleigh Barty and the British No 1 was fuming during the deciding set as line-calls went against her. The Briton, who reached the semi-final of Wimbledon last year, had recovered from 4-1 down in the decider to level at 4-4 but a disputed call allowed Barty go 5-4 ahead.

“We are out here busting our chops. You’re making decisions that effect our lives,” she shouted to the umpire Paula Vieira Souza. “Oh my god,” she fumed, “This is a joke.”

It was a tense end to a well-contested final but a more composed Konta did eventually re-emerge and the trophy presentation was able to get underway.

Konta, who has slipped down the world rankings from No 4 to No 22, received her runners-up trophy, smiled for some photos and said, “Massive congrats Ash. 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.

“It is a very good result for me this year. There are a lot of positives to take. It is a good feeling to be back in the last day of the tournament. I haven’t had that for exactly a year. I am looking forward to doing this week in week out.”

Australian Barty, who has risen to world No 17, added, “It is the cherry on top at the end of a great week. Jo is one of the best chicks on tour. Her team invited me to Wimbledon last week to practice. I have to say thanks. It helped us both.”

Britain’s Dan Evans was also beaten by an Australian in his final, going down 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to teenager Alex de Minaur. Evans, 28, was competing in his first final since he returned in April from a year’s ban for taking cocaine. He will now move on to Queen’s after being awarded a wild card. Despite his excellent form, Evans said he is not expecting a Wimbledon wild card. The first batch will be announced on Wednesday. His form is easily the best of any British man but as he admitted: “I’ve had easily the worst past of any British player.”