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Johanna Konta beats Heather Watson in straight sets at Nottingham

Konta beats Watson in straight sets at Nottingham

14/06/2018 at 15:01Updated 14/06/2018 at 18:22

Johanna Konta continued her preparations for Wimbledon by beating fellow Brit Heather Watson 6-4, 7-6 in straight sets to progress to the quarter-finals at Nottingham.

Konta, 27, is the fourth seed at Nottingham as she bids to put her disappointing clay-court season behind her.

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Watson matched her for the majority of the opening set but Konta found the break in the fifth to take the lead.

Watson responded well against her doubles partner in the second with a break of her own but she was broken back a couple of games later as Konta forced the tie break.

Both players continually lost their own serves during the tie break but eventually Konta came through to make it to the next round.

She will face Dalila Jakupović in the last eight for a place in the semi-final.

It was not easy for either of us and the conditions made it harder here," Konta said.

"It is never easy playing a compatriot, I feel fortunate because there was very little in it."

World number 156 Katie Boutler, a British wildcard, also surprised the home crowd with a hard-fought 7-6(6) 6-1 victory over Australia Samantha Stosur, who is positioned 53 places above the 21-year-old.

Boutler's reward is a quarter-final meeting with top seeded Ashleigh Barty, who brushed aside China's Yingying Duan 6-3 6-2.

"I feel like I always play well in Nottingham," Barty said. "So hopefully it’s third time lucky, and I can get one step farther in the tournament."

The Australian has been beaten in the quarter-finals in the last two editions of the tournament.

Defending champion Donna Vekic recorded a 6-2 7-6(6) win over Belarusian Vera Lapko and will next take on Germany's Mona Barthel.

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