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Rising star Ana Konjuh grabs Open crown

By Paul Hirst

Ana Konjuh admitted she would never forget her first WTA title triumph as she surged past Monica Niculescu to claim the Nottingham Aegon Open crown.

The Croatian teenager secured a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory against her Romanian opponent, producing some thrilling tennis which wowed Centre Court.

And she admitted her first senior title success, which saw her claim the Elena Baltacha trophy and £27,550 in prize money, would live long in the memory.

"I've never played Monnie before. The first set didn't go my way. I had to stay calm even though it didn't seem like I was," said Konjuh. "I knew my game would come and I said to myself I was going to do well in the second set.

"Monnie is an uncomfortable player. She has experience and used it to her advantage.

"Winning this title has meant so much so it feels great. I didn't expect it and it's something I will never forget."

Konjuh had breezed her way into the final with very little resistance.

The 17-year-old had made short work in the semi-final of Alison Riske who admitted afterwards that "the girl had big game" in reference to her power.

Meanwhile, British wildcards Naomi Broady and Johanna Konta enjoyed impressive wins in the first round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

Broady, 25, defeated Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 6-4, while Konta dispatched Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1 6-3 in less than an hour.

Belfast Telegraph


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