Donna Vekic entered the Press Room with a beaming smile on her face holding the Elena Baltacha Trophy following her comeback victory over Johanna Konta in Nottingham.
This victory at the Aegon Open was the 20 year old’s second WTA title of her career and she was made to work hard for it, eventually coming through 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in two hours and 29 minutes.
Describing that winning feeling and her performance, the Croat said: “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of since winning my last title and it kept me going because this feeling is amazing, there is no way to describe it. It keeps me motivated to work even harder.”
Vekic came through another long match in Saturday’s semifinal against fifth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4) but was feeling fresh ahead of the final. “I woke this morning quite surprised with how I was feeling”, she said. “I was a little bit mentally tired from the match yesterday, but physically I was feeling really good! I’m going to take it easy tomorrow and get ready for Tuesday”, the Croat added.
Taking on the top seed was not an easy task but the Croat put her victory down to being able to elevate her game to different levels when required that her opponent could not match. She said: “I really didn’t expect to win today, I was just hoping to get into match after the first set because I couldn’t find my rhythm. As my serve improved my return game did as well so I’m happy that I turned that second set around and I just kept getting better and better up until the end.”
Looking back on a long week Vekic has made the most of her time here in the East Midlands, particularly when it comes to food! “I really enjoyed my week here, eating Nandos five times this week! It’s been really great and I look forward to coming back next year.”
The world number 70 will now head to Birmingham to play in the WTA Premier event next week as her Wimbledon preparations continue. The 20-year-old said: “I’m really looking forward to the tournament as I made the final there a few years ago and I’m excited for Wimbledon!”