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By Chris Oddo | Saturday June 17, 2017

 
Johanna Konta

British No.1 Johanna Konta is closing in on her first grass-court title at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.

Photo Source: British Tennis

Johanna Konta has been a rising force on the WTA tour since she announced herself with a run to the 2016 Australian Open semifinal. Since then she has risen from well outside the Top 100 to take her place as the first British woman to hold down a Top 10 ranking since 1984. She has also nabbed titles in Sydney and Miami this season, and on Sunday the 26-year-old World No.6 will bid for her first grass-court title at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.

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Konta roared past Magdalena Rybarikova on Saturday, paced by a six-game run that took her from 2-1 down in set one to up a set and a break. Though the clever Slovakian broke back for 1-all in set two and matched Konta for much of the second stanza the British No.1 took the final two games to clinch the victory in one hour and 41 minutes.

“I’m looking to constantly improve and evolve as a player, regardless of surface,” Konta said in her post-match press conference, according to WTA Tennis.com. “The good thing is that the things that you work on do transfer from surface to surface. I’d like to think I’ve improved in all areas of my game since last year this time, and I’m glad that it’s also coming through on the grass.”


Facing Konta on Sunday will be surprise finalist Donna Vekic. The 20-year-old Croatian reached her first WTA final in nearly two years with a 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4) win over No.5-seeded Lucie Safarova.

In an entertaining, back-and-forth match, Vekic broke twice on 11 opportunities to defeat the Czech in their first career meeting.

Vekic cracked 16 aces in the win, and saved five of eight break points. She will bid for her second career title on Sunday.

 

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