After a season full of problems, primarily due to right knee surgery in February, which saw her off the court for more than three months, Donna Vekić reached the ninth WTA Tour final of her career in her fairytale tennis season (only Iva Majoli played more than this Croatian tennis player – 17).
In the Courmayeur semifinal, the Osijek native beat Italian tennis player Jasmine Paolini (WTA 56) 6:2, 6:0 in 64 minutes and thus retaliated for losing (6:7, 2:6) in their only mutual meeting before in the Cincinnati qualifiers this summer, reports Jutarnji List.
Paolini is not an easy rival. This has been the best year in her career, decorated with titles at the Ladies Open in Bol (125K) and Portorož (WTA 250), but she was utterly powerless against Donna.
Vekić opened with 3:0, Paolini came close to 3:2 but didn’t have enough. A miraculous series of nine games by the 25-year-old from Osijek followed. Vekić scored six aces with five double faults, but she did the greatest damage to the Italian with her return. She reduced Paolini to a first-serve percentage of 41 percent and a second-serve percentage of 38 percent.
In her ninth final, Donna will play against 18-year-old Clare Tauson (WTA 49), who defeated Ludmila Samsonova 4:6, 7:6 (8), 6:4, but what the result does not reveal is that the young Dane saved as many as five match points in the tie-break of the second set – and four consecutive as the Russian was up 6:2. Tauson was the best junior globally, and her rise in the professional tennis world was rapid. This year she won Lyon from the qualifiers, as well as Luxembourg.
This will be the first match between Donna and Clare. Vekić entered the tournament from 97th place on the ranking list, and with the final, she will jump about twenty places. If she wins, she will advance another ten.
Donna was a two-time Tour winner, in Kuala Lumpur in 2014 and Nottingham three years later and lost six finals (Tashkent 2012, 2015, Birmingham 2013, Washington 2018, St. Petersburg, Nottingham 2019).
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