Donna Vekic is upbeat and ready for her next match following her straight sets quarterfinal victory over Maria Sakkari at the Aegon Open in Nottingham on Friday.
The Croatian is yet to drop a set en route to the last four and is full of confidence after reaching this stage of a WTA event for the first time this year.
* Article originally published by me for UBITennis.net *
Vekic made a really fast start and raced into a 5-0 lead against her opponent who appeared to be struggling physically. Sakkari hit back and capitalised on a dip in play from the world number 70, but could only take back two games before the former Birmingham finalist secured the opening set. The world number 70 put this slight blip in her performance down to the tricky weather conditions at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
“When I was up 5-0 I went to the side which was against the wind so that was a little bit difficult, but I broke back when I was 5-2 and it was definitely more difficult from one side than the other.”
The Greek made the better start in the second set, taking a 2-0 lead, but her higher-ranked opponent hit back to level and then saved a break point to move ahead 3-2. Vekic broke Sakkari once more in the eighth game and closed out the match on her own serve on her third match point to win 6-2, 6-3.
Vekic may only be 20 years of age but she has been achieving on the tour since the age of 16. The road has not been easy over the course of her short career so far. Despite the highs and lows the Croat feels she has come out on the other side and is now on the up playing well and achieving on the grass.
She said: “I cant say it’s been easy, but I’ve been through everything, but I’m strong mentally and I’ve improved on a lot of things in my game. I can’t say I’m a developed player, there are still things that I can improve on but I know what it takes to achieve.
“When I was playing those finals when I was 16 and winning the title at 17 I think it was more me putting pressure on myself to win every tournament and to make top 50. A lot of other young girls came up and Belinda (Bencic) was in the top 10 and I was like what am I doing wrong? But, no I wasn’t really doing anything wrong it just took time and I always had to fall to get back up.”
With Jelena Ostapenko’s recent win at the French Open and given the fact that her and Vekic are the same age, the 20-year-old certainly feels inspired to go out and achieve. “Ostapenko’s win was incredible and its shows that everyone can do it and the women’s game is so open. To win a Grand Slam at any age is amazing so whether it’s at 20 or 30 I’ll take it!”