Donna Vekić

Donna Vekić (Croatian pronunciation: [ʋěːkitɕ];[1] born 28 June 1996) is a Croatian professional tennis player. She has won three singles titles on the WTA Tour: the 2014 Malaysian Open, the 2017 Nottingham Open, and the 2021 Courmayeur Ladies Open. She has also won five singles titles and one doubles title on the ITF Circuit. Her best performance at a Grand Slam singles event was reaching the quarterfinals at the 2019 US Open. On 4 November 2019, she achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No. 19.

Donna Vekić
Vekic RG21 (10) (51376312663).jpg
Vekić at the 2021 French Open
Country (sports) Croatia
ResidenceMonte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1996-06-28) 28 June 1996 (age 25)
Osijek, Croatia
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned proSeptember 2012
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachLuka Kutanjac
Prize moneyUS$ 5,069,462
Official websitedonnavekic.com
Singles
Career record287–218 (56.8%)
Career titles3
Highest rankingNo. 19 (4 November 2019)
Current rankingNo. 67 (1 November 2021)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open4R (2021)
French Open4R (2019)
Wimbledon4R (2018)
US OpenQF (2019)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games3R (2021)
Doubles
Career record15–29 (34.1%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 171 (20 August 2018)
Current rankingNo. 391 (8 November 2021)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2015, 2018)
French Open2R (2018)
Wimbledon1R (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)
US Open1R (2013, 2014, 2017)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open1R (2014)
Wimbledon2R (2013)
Team competitions
Fed Cup11–8
Last updated on: 1 December 2021.

Professional careerEdit

2012: First WTA Tour finalEdit

Born in Osijek, Vekić is a member of the Croatia Fed Cup team. In February 2012, she played three rubbers at the tournament, including helping her country to a 2–0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.[2]

At the Tashkent Open, Vekić made it to her first final on the WTA Tour. It was her first main-draw appearance at a WTA tournament, and she was the youngest player in six years to make it to the final of a WTA event. She was defeated by Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets.[3]

2013: Top 100 debutEdit

Vekić started her year off by entering the main draw of the Australian Open where she defeated Andrea Hlaváčková in the first round. In the second round, she fell to the tenth seed and former world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, in straight sets.[4]

Seeded 16th for qualifying at the Sony Open, Vekić qualified for the main draw by defeating Marta Sirotkina and Valeria Savinykh. In the first round, she beat fellow qualifier Yulia Putintseva. In the second round, she lost to the 29th seed Elena Vesnina. At the Monterrey Open, she defeated Julia Cohen in the first round. In the second round, she lost to seventh seed Urszula Radwańska. Vekić won the 50K tournament in Istanbul, defeating Elizaveta Kulichkova in the final. Vekic ended the 2013 season ranked No. 86, her first top-100 season.

2014: First WTA titleEdit

Vekić began her 2014 season at the Shenzhen Open where she lost in the first round to third seed Klára Zakopalová.[5] At the Australian Open, Vekić was defeated in the first round by qualifier Lucie Hradecká.[6]

In Thailand at the Pattaya Open, she lost in the first round to top seed Sabine Lisicki.[7] At the Brasil Tennis Cup, Vekić was defeated in the first round by third seed and eventual champion, Klára Zakopalová.[8] In March, Vekić was awarded a wildcard for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. She lost in the second round to 12th seed Dominika Cibulková.[9] At the Sony Open in Miami, Vekić came through qualifying with wins over Alla Kudryavtseva and Johanna Larsson. In the main draw, she upset 28th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round.[10] She was defeated in the third round by eighth seed Petra Kvitová.[11] At the Monterrey Open, Vekić beat fifth seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the first round in two tie-breaking sets,[12] but lost to Karolína Plíšková in the second round in three sets.[13] Seeded seventh at the Malaysian Open, Vekić won her first career WTA title by defeating top seed Dominika Cibulková in the final.[14]

At the Madrid Open, Vekić was defeated in the final round of qualifying by Kristina Mladenovic. In Paris at the French Open, Vekić lost in the first round to Julia Glushko.[15]

Vekić played one grass-court tournament before Wimbledon, at the Aegon Classic. She was defeated in the first round by Belinda Bencic.[16] At the Wimbledon Championships, Vekić stunned 21st seed Roberta Vinci in the first round.[17] She lost in the second round to 2010 Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva.[18]

At the İstanbul Cup, Vekić was defeated in the first round by third seed Klára Koukalová.[19] At the Baku Cup, she lost in the second round to Kristina Mladenovic.[20]

Vekić started her US Open Series at the Rogers Cup where she was defeated in the first round of qualifying by Tamira Paszek.[21] In Ohio at the Western & Southern Open, Vekić lost in the first round of qualifying to Monica Niculescu. At the Connecticut Open, she was defeated in the first round of qualifying by Belinda Bencic. At the US Open, Vekić lost in the first round to Coco Vandeweghe.[22]

Seeded fifth at the Tashkent Open, Vekić was defeated in the second round by Urszula Radwańska.[23] At the Korea Open, she lost in the first round to Maria Kirilenko.[24] After qualifying for the first edition of the Wuhan Open, Vekić was defeated in the first round by 16th seed Andrea Petkovic.[25]

2015: Fourth WTA finalEdit

Vekić began her year as world No. 81. After a bad start to the 2015 season, she beat Louisa Chirico at Indian Wells but lost in the second round to Zarina Diyas. After her ranking dropped to No. 177, she entered the ITF event in Istanbul as the top seed but lost in the quarterfinals to the sixth seed, Margarita Gasparyan. She lost in the first round of the Marrakesh Grand Prix, and in the second round of the Madrid Open.

In the French Open she claimed her first top-40 victory in the season when she beat Caroline Garcia, and also defeated Bojana Jovanovski before bowing out to Ana Ivanovic. After the French Open she continued her bad form from the first half of the season by failing to qualify for Wimbledon or the US Open. In Tashkent, she reached the final with three-set wins over Kiki Bertens, Carina Witthöft and Anna-Lena Friedsam and a two-set victory over Evgeniya Rodina, but lost to Nao Hibino. She ended the season ranked world No. 105.

2016: Fifth ITF titleEdit

Vekić began the season ranked 103. At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round to qualifier Naomi Osaka. She reached the quarterfinals of the San Antonio Open, with wins over Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Kiki Bertens, before losing to Tsvetana Pironkova. She lost in the first round of ten consecutive WTA tournaments from February to August, including the French Open, where she lost to Madison Keys, and Wimbledon, where she took Venus Williams to a first-set tie-break but lost in straight sets.

At the Cincinnati Open in August, Vekić had victories over Varvara Lepchenko and Mariana Duque-Marino in qualifying, and defeated world No. 25 Ana Ivanovic, in the first round, before losing to tenth seed Johanna Konta in the second round. She failed to progress through qualifying for the US Open. In September, she reached the final of the ITF Saint Petersburg, with wins over Olga Doroshina, Anastasiya Komardina, Vesna Dolonc and Aryna Sabalenka, before losing the final to Natalia Vikhlyantseva, in straight sets. In Tashkent, she lost in the first round to Kateryna Kozlova. In Tianjin, after her victory over Zhang Kailin, she lost to the second seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In October, at the ITF Sharm El Sheikh, she had victories over Laura Pigossi, Jaqueline Cristian (walkover) and Arantxa Rus, before she beat Maria Sakkari in three sets in the semifinals to reach her second ITF final of the year. In the final, she defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo in three sets, to win the fifth ITF title of her career. In Poitiers, she lost in the first round to Lauren Davis, while in Limoges she reached the third round, where she lost in three sets to world No. 24 and top-seed Caroline Garcia. Vekić ended the season ranked No. 101.

2017: Second WTA titleEdit

She reached the second round at the Australian Open, where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. Vekić won her second WTA title at the Nottingham Open in June, defeating Johanna Konta in three sets. Two weeks later, in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships, she lost to Konta. At the US Open, she reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2015 French Open, easily losing to Anastasija Sevastova. Vekić broke into the top 50 for the first time in July, reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 45 on 25 September, and ended the season ranked world No. 56.

2018: Continued success, top 50 year-end rankingEdit

In September, Vekić reached the semifinals in Tokyo by defeating top-10 players Sloane Stephens and Caroline Garcia. She ended the season ranked 34, her first year-end top 50 rankings.

2019: First Grand Slam quarterfinal, consistent results, top 20 year-end rankingEdit

 
Vekić at the 2019 Nottingham Open

Vekić started the year strong by reaching the semifinals in Brisbane, but was unable to keep this momentum at the Australian Open, being upset in the second round by the Australian wildcard and world No. 240, Kimberly Birrell. She rebounded at her next tournament, reaching the biggest final of her career at the St. Petersburg Trophy, a Premier-level event. Along the way, she upset the defending champion, world No. 2 and Australian Open runner-up, Petra Kvitová, in the quarterfinals, her first career win over the Czech. In the final, she was beaten by world No. 8, Kiki Bertens, in two close sets. She then reached another semifinal in Acapulco, losing to eventual champion Wang Yafan, before recording early round exits in both Indian Wells and Miami.

Vekić only played two clay-court warm-up tournaments, losing in the quarterfinals to world No. 1, Naomi Osaka, in Stuttgart and retiring in her third round match against fellow Croatian Petra Martić in Madrid due to a foot injury.

Seeded 23rd at the French Open, Vekić advanced to the fourth round for the first time in her career after upsetting world No. 15, Belinda Bencic, in the third round. She then lost to Johanna Konta, in straight sets.

Opening the grass-court season in Nottingham, Vekić reached her second final of the year before falling to former world No. 4, Caroline Garcia, despite leading by a set and a break. After an opening-round loss to French Open champion Ashleigh Barty in Birmingham, Vekić was tabbed as a potential dark horse in the ladies' singles draw at Wimbledon. However, she was upset in three sets in her first round match by eventual quarterfinalist, American Alison Riske.

Rebounding from this disappointment, Vekić opened the summer hardcourt season with a semifinal showing in San Jose before making the third round in Cincinnati, where she fell to Venus Williams. Seeded 23rd at the US Open, Vekić defeated Richèl Hogenkamp, Kaia Kanepi, Yulia Putintseva and 26th seed Julia Görges to advance to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, becoming the first Croatian woman to reach the last eight at the US Open since Ana Konjuh in 2016. There, she was beaten by the 13th seed Bencic in straight sets.

Despite recording just two match wins in her next five tournaments following the US Open, Vekić qualified for the second tier year-end singles tournament, the WTA Elite Trophy, for the first time in her career. Drawn in the Azalea Group with top seed Bertens and Dayana Yastremska, she fell in straight sets in both her matches, ending her season. Nonetheless, Vekić finished the year ranked world No. 19, her first year-end top 20 finish.

2020: Australian Open and US Open third round, out of top 20Edit

Vekić kicked off her 2020 season at the Brisbane International. She lost in the first round to qualifier Yulia Putintseva.[26] Playing at the first edition of the Adelaide International, Vekić reached the quarterfinal where she was defeated by eventual finalist Dayana Yastremska.[27]

Seeded 19th at the Australian Open, Vekić beat 2008 champion and former world No. 1, Maria Sharapova in the first round,[28] and Alize Cornet in the second. She lost in the third round to Iga Świątek.[29]

In Russia at the St. Petersburg Trophy, Vekić was the seventh seed and the previous year's finalist. She was defeated in the second round by Ekaterina Alexandrova.[30] Seeded 17th at the Qatar Open, Vekić lost in the first round to Iga Świątek.[31]

2021: Australian Open fourth round and Olympics, out of top 100 and return to top 70Edit

Vekić started her 2021 season at the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Women's Open. Seeded 16th, she lost in the first round to Bernarda Pera.[32] Seeded ninth at the first edition of the Yarra Valley Classic, she was defeated in the second round by Tsvetana Pironkova.[33] Seeded 28th at the Australian Open, she achieved her best ever result by reaching the fourth round; she ended up being eliminated from the tournament by 22nd seed and eventual finalist, Jennifer Brady.[34] With this successful run, she has reached the fourth round or better, completing the sweep of second-week appearances, at each of the four Grand Slam events. After the Australian Open, she underwent surgery on her right knee and said that she would be out of action for a while.[35]

Vekić returned in time for the French Open. She was beaten in the first round by ninth seed Karolína Plíšková.[36]

Seeded third at the Nottingham Open, her first grass-court tournament of the season, Vekić lost in the third round to 15th seed Nina Stojanović.[37] Seeded third in Birmingham, she reached the quarterfinals where she was defeated by Heather Watson.[38] At Wimbledon, she was eliminated in the second round by eighth seed and eventual finalist, Karolína Plíšková.[39]

Representing Croatia at the Summer Olympics, Vekić upset third seed Aryna Sabalenka in the second round.[40] She was beaten in the third round by 15th seed and eventual semifinalist, Elena Rybakina.[41]

Unable to defend her points from the 2019 US Open, Vekic fell out of the top 100 on 20 September 2021 to world No. 101, her lowest ranking in five years since year-end 2016. However, after winning the Courmayeur Open in October, she returned to the top 70.

Playing styleEdit

Vekić is an aggressive baseliner. She possesses a powerful first serve that is capable of producing aces, and has been recorded as high as 111 mph (178 km/h), but is somewhat inaccurate, meaning that she typically has first serve percentages between 50 and 60 percent. She makes up for this with a reliable second serve, so that double faults are uncommon. Her groundstrokes are powerful, allowing her to dictate play from the baseline, and her forehand, which is hit hard, flat, and fast, is her greatest asset. Due to her quick and aggressive style of play, she accumulates significant numbers of both winners and unforced errors. She is also a quick mover, with impressive speed and footwork. Due to her movement and stamina, Vekić is adept at counterpunching until she can create an opportunity to hit a winner; her increased success in recent years has been as a result of her altering her game style away from solely aggressive play, to constructing points more deliberately, and increasing her defensive skills. Vekić's fast and quick style of play is especially suited to fast hard and grass courts, where the vast majority of her success has taken place. Her major areas of weakness are that she is reluctant to come to the net, she is not as proficient on slower courts such as clay courts, and she struggles against aggressive all-court players who play with variety, such as Ashleigh Barty, Iga Świątek, and Anastasija Sevastova.

Career statisticsEdit

Grand Slam performance timelinesEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# DNQ A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

SinglesEdit

Tournament 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open A 2R 1R 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R 3R 4R 0 / 9 9–9 50%
French Open A 1R 1R 3R 1R 1R 2R 4R 1R 1R 0 / 9 6–9 40%
Wimbledon A 1R 2R Q2 1R 2R 4R 1R NH 2R 0 / 7 6–7 46%
US Open Q3 2R 1R Q2 Q3 3R 1R QF 3R 1R 0 / 7 9–7 56%
Win–Loss 0–0 2–4 1–4 2–2 0–3 4–4 5–4 8–4 4–3 4–4 0 / 32 30–32 48%
Career statistics
Titles 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 Career total: 3
Finals 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 1 Career total: 9
Year-end ranking[4] 118 86 84 105 101 56 34 19 32 67 $5,069,462

DoublesEdit

Tournament 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 ... 2022 W–L
Australian Open A 1R 2R A A 2R 1R 2–4
French Open A 1R A A 1R 2R A 1–3
Wimbledon A 1R A 1R 1R 1R A 0–4
US Open 1R 1R A A 1R A A 0–3
Win–Loss 0–1 0–4 1–1 0–1 0–3 2–3 0–1 0–0 3–14

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "vèlik". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 8 October 2018. Vékić
  2. ^ "Za kraj još jedna pobjeda". Croatian Tennis Association (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Vekić's breakthrough week in Tashkent". Women's Tennis Association. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Wozniacki defeats Vekic to enter 3rd round". News 18. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Errani wins season-opener in China". www.foxnews.com. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Serena, Li cruise; Venus, Kvitova, Errani out at Aussie Open". www.wzzm13.com. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Lisicki survives opening round scare at PTT Pattaya Open, finals this weekend". www.pattayamail.com. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ "No. 3 Klara Zakopalova advances". www.espn.com. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Tennis: Li downs Zheng in California clash of Chinese legends". sport-asia.com. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Serena Williams Wins Opening Match At Sony Open". miami.cbslocal.com. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Serena waits out rain for Miami victory". www.bangkokpost.com. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Muguruza se despide de Monterrey". Marca (in Spanish). 1 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Date-Krumm wins again at Monterrey Open". www.foxnews.com. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Donna Vekic earns first WTA title". ESPN. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  15. ^ SINAI, ALLON (28 May 2014). "Glushko books 2nd round berth". www.jpost.com. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Belinda Bencic advances". www.espn.com. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Simona Halep opens Wimbledon account with ease, as does Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova". www.thenational.ae. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Serena, Sharapva advance to the third round at Wimbledon". www.columbiadailyherald.com. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Koukalova survives scare against Vekic". www.sportsnet.ca. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Voegele upsets Cirstea at Baku Cup". www.espn.in. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Watson through to main draw in Montreal". guernseypress.com. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  22. ^ Zinser, Lynn (26 August 2014). "Youngest Player in Tournament Makes Biggest Splash". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Bojana Jovanovski advances". www.espn.com. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Top-seeded Radwanska beats Hercog at Korea Open". www.si.com. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Venus exits, Azarenka withdraws from Wuhan Open". www.timescolonist.com. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Naomi Osaka taken to three sets in Brisbane International opener". africa.espn.com. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Yastremska stays perfect vs. Vekic to reach Adelaide semifinals". www.wtatennis.com. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  28. ^ Kane, David (21 January 2020). "Vekic vanquishes Sharapova in Melbourne clash". www.wtatennis.com. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Swiatek soars past Vekic, into fourth round in Melbourne". www.wtatennis.com. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  30. ^ Macpherson, Alex (13 February 2020). "Alexandrova continues hot streak with Vekic victory in St. Petersburg". www.wtatennis.com. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  31. ^ Thompson, Peter (24 February 2020). "Qatar Open: Amanda Anisimova knocks out struggling Elina Svitolina as seeds fall". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  32. ^ THOMPSON, PETER (6 January 2021). "Veronika Kudermetova ousts 10th seed Anett Kontaveit in first round of Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  33. ^ JOHNSON, ABBEY (1 February 2021). "Yarra Valley Classic: Tsvetana Pironkova ousts Donna Vekic in second round". www.tennisworldusa.org. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  34. ^ "AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2021 - JENNIFER BRADY EASES PAST DONNA VEKIC TO BOOK QUARTER-FINAL SPOT IN MELBOURNE". www.eurosport.com. 14 February 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  35. ^ CHOWDHURY, PRIYABRATA (25 February 2021). "Donna Vekic Undergoes a Surgery After Australian Open 2021 Heroics, Vows to Return Soon". www.essentiallysports.com. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Karolina Pliskova beats Donna Vekic to reach French Open second round". tennishead.net. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Konta reaches Nottingham last eight". www.beinsports.com. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Heather Watson defeats Donna Vekic to advance to Birmingham semifinals". eminetra.co.za. 19 June 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  39. ^ "Brengle shocks Kenin, Pliskova rolls, Jabeur ends Venus' Wimbledon run". www.wtatennis.com. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  40. ^ "Tokyo 2020: Badosa upsets Swiatek; Sabalenka, Kvitova also fall at Olympics". www.wtatennis.com. 26 July 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  41. ^ Low, Silas (27 July 2021). "Tokyo 2020: Elena Rybakina sees off Donna Vekic to complete quarterfinal line-up". www.vavel.com. Retrieved 24 October 2021.

External linksEdit