Donna Vekic upsets Elena Rybakina in Berlin to reach quarterfinals

Berlin [Germany], June 22 (ANI): Croatia’s Donna Vekic earned her second Top 10 victory of the season with a 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4 thrashing of No.2 seed Elena Rybakina in the second round of the German Open.

World No. 23 Vekic stopped the reigning Wimbledon champion’s nine-match undefeated record as well as her eight-match winning streak on the grass in a match that lasted two hours and 14 minutes. The Croatian is a competent grass courter, having advanced to her sixth WTA Tour quarterfinal on the surface.
Neither woman was broken in the opening set, with Rybakina saving three break points at 2-2 and Vekic saving one serving down 3-4, and Vekic was never broken throughout the match.

She broke Rybakina’s service in the sixth game of the second set, on her sixth break point of the match, and lost the final at 3-3. In the second and third sets, Vekic only dropped 11 points in 10 service games.

Withstanding 15 aces from Rybakina’s racquet, Vekic acknowledged her mental toughness for helping her to turn the match around, confronting the woman she referred to as “the best server on the women’s tour right now.”

“I’m really happy to not only beat her but to be in the quarterfinals here. I stayed in the moment. I was just trying to play the next point, the next game. She was serving unbelievably today. She’s definitely, I think, the best server on the women’s tour right now. She was serving really big, so I was like, ‘Just stay with her; your chances will come,’ and they did,” quoted Vekic saying afterward.

“I was just trying to go for it, to be aggressive, which is not easy. In a way, I found myself lucky almost, every time I could get the return in. I felt in a better position once I was in the rally, but to get her serve back was not easy,” she added.

Vekic will next face Elina Avanesyan who registered a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Anna Blinkova.