Gabi Taylor pushed defending champion Donna Vekic all the way before losing her first-round match at the Nottingham Open.

British number five Taylor, from Shirley, had scored a stunning win over Watson at Surbiton last week - and almost repeated the feat as she grabbed an early break in the deciding set.

But Vekic, who required extensive physio on a back injury early in the third, dug deep to come through 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7/3) in a marathon match that fell four minutes short of three hours.

Nevertheless it was another promising performance from the 20-year-old Taylor, who reached a career-best 168 in the world last week.

Meanwhile, British number one Johanna Konta produced a composed display to record a straight-set win over Kurumi Nara and move into the second round.

Konta, ranked 22 in the world and the tournament’s fourth seed, forced a break against the Japanese player in the very first game before taking control at 4-1 and then closing out the set 6-2.

It was more of the same in the second set, as Konta again broke Nara, the world number 97, in the opening game then again in the ninth to take the set 6-3 and complete her win in just over an hour.

Konta will next face compatriot Heather Watson after the British number two had earlier beaten American Danielle Lao 6-1 6-3.

Katie Boulter is through after the 21-year-old beat Yanina Wickmayer, the world number 98 from Belgium, 6-4 6-4.

However, fellow Briton Katie Swan lost 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 to Germany’s world number 117 Mona Barthel.