Tennis Prose




Jul/24

9

Donna Vekic Advances To First Grand Slam Semi

Ten years ago I still remember the sight of seeing a dispirited, almost burnt out Donna Vekic practicing on the off site Miami Open public park courts which were used for lower ranked players to train on. It was 2015 and Vekic was just 18 and ranked 85 in the world. She lost first round of Miami Open to someone named Ingrid Neel 16 26.

Vekic trained next to me one morning and her energy and aura were so low I thought she might be finished, as what has sadly happened to more than a few super teen talents.

But lo and behold, fast forward a decade and today the 28 year old Vekic has achieved the best result of her career, a three set 57 64 61 triumph vs Lulu Sun to advance to her first Grand Slam semifinal.

Like her roller coaster WTA career, it wasn’t smooth sailing for Miss Vekic today. “I felt like I was dying out there in the first two sets,” she later admitted. At 5-3 in the second set, Vekic recorded five double faults to lose the game, only to break Sun in the following game to level the match. From there Vekic dominated the woman who upset Emma Raducanu in the previous round.

Ranked 37 in the world, Vekic had played in two previous Grand Slam quarterfinals but lost both in straight sets (2019 US Open, 2023 Australian Open). In her first major semifinal she will oppose Emma Navarro or Jasmine Paolini. The last female from Croatia to play in a Wimbledon semifinal was Mirjana Lucic in 1999.

Vekic is sponsored by Uomo Sport’s division “Donna Sport” and also created her own luxury perfume fragrance. She is also involved in bee conservation in Croatia.

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2 comments

  • catherine · July 13, 2024 at 11:32 am

    Donna maybe avoided slaughter on Centre Court as Barbora painted another Czech name on the roll of fame. Jasmine did put up a fight.

    BTW – I notice the Men’s Final winner gets the trophy from the Princess of Wales (no not that one) while the women are honoured by Debbi Jevons 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2024 at 11:50 am

    Vekic doesn’t yet have the emotional fortitude to handle the pressure of a Grand Slam semi or final, hopefully she will learn this now. It was Krejcikova’s time, she has re-emerged once again after a lengthy hiatus to establish the fact she is an elite grand slam champion and not a one hit wonder.

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