Johanna Konta calls umpire ‘absolute joke’ after defeat to Ashleigh Barty

• British No 1 storms off court after Nature Valley Open final
• Line call from chair umpire prompts angry outburst

Johanna Konta, who came back from 4-1 down in the deciding set, was furious with the chair umpire over a poor line call and stormed off court to cool down before returning to watch Ashleigh Barty lift the winner’s trophy in the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham on Sunday.

“This is an absolute joke. We are out here busting our chops. You are making decisions that affect all our lives,” Konta shouted at the umpire before completing the final, which Barty won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in a tense, see-sawing match that lasted just over two hours. The Australian kept her composure throughout the spat.

Konta, clearly upset, hurried from the court without acknowledging the umpire but returned for the presentation ceremony, looking tearful as she received the runner-up trophy. Speaking courtside, the British No 1 said: “Massive congratulations Ash. She’s one of the great girls on Tour and very tough to play on this surface. I tried to do the best that I can, competed the hardest I could. This is a very good result for me this year, a good feeling to be in the last weekend of a tournament, not a feeling I’ve had for a year.”

Barty said of Konta: “She’s one of the most genuine girls on tour. Her team invited me to Wimbledon last week to practise. There wasn’t much in the match from the get-go. I’m pleased to get the win.”

• This article was amended on 18 June 2018. Konta was 4-1 down in the deciding set, not 4-1 up as stated in an earlier version. Also, claims that Konta did not acknowledge her opponent have been removed.

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