Wednesday, 23 October 2019

WTA Elite Trophy: Donna Vekic Ends Run in Zhuhai, Still Hope for Martic

October 23, 2019 - Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic also suffered a defeat in her second match of the WTA Elite Trophy tournament in Zhuhai, China, and thus finished her 2019 tennis season.

Namely, HRT writes that in the 2nd round of the Azalea group, the 23-year-old Osijek native lost to 19-year-old Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska 7-6 (6), 6- 2 after an hour and 35 minutes of play.

Donna Vekic thus lost with the same result in both of her appearances in Zhuhai. Recall, on Tuesday, she fell 7-6, 6-2 to Dutch player Kiki Bertens, and Vekic ended her performance in the last place of the group.

Against Yastremska, Vekic missed several opportunities in the first set, and at 4-4, she had two chances to break her opponent. Still, the young Ukrainian’s brilliant attack killed the hopes of Vekic. In the tie-break, Vekic reached two consecutive set points at 6-4, but then Yastremska scored four points in a row with her excellent forehand for the comeback. 

Vekic took out her frustration from losing the first set on her racket, though that did not help her continue any better in the duel. The first break of the entire match didn’t come until the fifth game when Yastremska reached a 3-2 lead with a great forehand attack, and after Vekic missed the chance to return to the match in the next game after missing a backhand, it was clear that Yastremska would secure the victory. Vekic did not use any of the three break points she had in the duel. Vekic achieved a first-serve percentage of 68% and only won six games to Yastremska's 13. 

But not all hope is lost for Croatia’s female tennis players - the competition in Zhuhai also features Petra Martic, who will have her first appearance in the Orchid group on Thursday against American Madison Keys. Chinese tennis player Saisai Zheng is also in this group, and in her first match of the group on Tuesday, Zheng outplayed Keys 6-4, 6-2.

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Monday, 21 October 2019

Petra Martic and Donna Vekic to Play for WTA Elite Trophy in China

October 21, 2019 - This week's WTA Elite Trophy tournament brings together female tennis players ranked 9th to 19th on the WTA ladder, with the addition of one wildcard. This year, two Croatian female tennis players made the cut - Petra Martic and Donna Vekic.

HRT reports that the tournament, which begins on October 22, divides the tennis players into four groups of three players. Croatia’s best female tennis player Petra Martic is in the Orchid group against American Madison Keys and Chinese Saisai Zheng, who came to the tournament as the wildcard. Donna Vekic was drawn into the Azalea group against the first-seed of the tournament, Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, and Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.

On the first day of the tournament, Vekic will hit the court against Bertens, whom she has played six times and has defeated three times. However, Vekic lost in the last match at the WTA tournament in Beijing just over two weeks ago. Vekic has only encountered Dayana Yastremska once and lost.

Martic's first rival, who she will hit the court against on Wednesday, will be China’s Zheng, the 40th best tennis player in the world. The two have yet to play each other. Martic had met her second rival Keys in only one match before and recorded a win. 

The two remaining groups, Rose and Camellia, feature American Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske and Czech player Karolina Muchova (Camellia), while the Rose group includes Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka, Belgian Elise Mertens and Greek Maria Sakkari.

Only the winners of each group will advance to the semi-final scheduled for Saturday. The tournament prize pool is $2,419,844, and the winner can take home $700,000 and 700 points.

Petra Martic is the fifth-seed of the tournament, while Donna Vekic is the eighth. This year's tournament will be held in the Chinese city of Zhuhai from October 22 to 27, 2019. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.