'Absolute joke': Petulant moment overshadows Ash Barty win

One of Ash Barty’s finest victories to date has been overshadowed by a dramatic display of poor sportsmanship from Brit Johanna Konta.

The top-seeded Aussie heaped disappointment on Britain’s home hope Johanna Konta for a second successive year in the Nottingham Open as she ran out a three-set winner in a tight and compelling final.

However the attention was captured by Konta, who seethed at a line call late in the final set, leaving Barty and other onlookers stunned by her antics.

Konta blows up in the Nottingham Open final. Pic: Getty

After fighting her way back into the match from a set down and then battling back to 4-4 from 4-1 down in the deciding set, the Australian-born Briton completely lost her composure.

At the changeover at 5-4 down, she complained furiously to the umpire about a line call in the penultimate game, later refusing to shake hands with the official after the match.

“It’s an absolute joke,” Konta told the umpire. “You’re making decisions that affect our lives. Do you fully understand that?”




Konta was later seen storming off the court without shaking the chair umpire’s hand, before delaying the trophy ceremony by not returning in time.





Barty stayed tough to then rack up three match points on Konta’s serve, the first of which she saved before the tough Queenslander took the spoils with a passing shot.

A disgruntled Konta, beaten in the final of the same pre-Wimbledon grass tournament by Donna Vekic last year, found the rising 22-year-old too tough a hurdle as she fell to a 6-3 3-6 6-4 defeat.

It was Barty’s first tournament triumph of the year, the second of her career and a demonstration from the former junior Wimbledon champion that she could now even be an outside threat for the senior title next month.

Barty shows off her silverware. Pic: Getty

“I feel great today – coming into a final, the adrenaline gets you going, but I feel like I’ve been playing well all week,” the world No.17 said. “It’s been building and building and getting better and better each match.

“I knew that Jo was going to be the toughest test this week, so I’m just really glad that I came through that and it was a really high quality match. And it was a really good grass-court match too, in the sense that it was a bit serve-dominant at times.”


For Konta, again the great British women’s hope for Wimbledon after reaching the semi-finals last year, it should have been a delight to be back on grass after her familiar struggles on the Roland Garros clay.

With AAP