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Johanna Konta delighted to triumph in Nottingham

Johanna Konta delighted to triumph in Nottingham
© Reuters
Johanna Konta was a 6-2 6-1 winner over Zhang Shuai.

Johanna Konta was bursting with pride after becoming the first British woman to win a tournament on home soil in 40 years.

The 30-year-old claimed a fourth WTA Tour title – and first since 2017 – after winning the Viking Open in Nottingham with a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 win over Zhang Shuai in Sunday’s final.

It was third time lucky for Konta, having lost in the 2017 and 2018 finals here, as she became the first British woman to win in this country since Sue Barker in 1981.

“It’s quite an amazing stat. One person gets to win the tournament at the end of the week, so the odds aren’t in anyone’s favour really,” she said.

“It’s hard to win tournaments, so that’s why I felt very grateful. To do it in front of a home crowd on the grass, it’s an experience I haven’t had yet and I’m really grateful to be having right now.

“But it is an experience I haven’t had before and I am very grateful. The opportunities to win titles are tough to come by and to actually win them is even tougher.

“A lot of things have to come together for it to be at home. I also know how hard I work to create this opportunity for myself so I feel very proud of myself for that. Overall I am happy.”

Konta said this title held extra significance because the trophy is named after Elena Baltacha, the former British number one who died from cancer in 2014 who had a big impact on Konta in the early part of her career.

Johanna Konta holding the Elena Baltacha trophy after winning the Nottingham Open
Johanna Konta holding the Elena Baltacha trophy after winning the Nottingham Open (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“I knew her as a young girl as a teenager and in my early 20s,” she added. “For me it was just whenever I spoke to her, going for dinner in New York during the US Open, I remember her during the Fed Cup, watching her compete at Wimbledon, she was fierce, proud and hard working.

“She had a lot of qualities that I find very inspirational and value a lot in fellow competitors and human beings.

“She impacted a lot of people in incredibly positive ways. When we lose someone like that in any walk of life but especially in sport you feel that.

“I played those two finals earlier and I knew this trophy had her name on it.

“This trophy does mean a bit more to me because is in remembrance of her. It is just really great to remember her here and in the sport.”

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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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