Donna Vekic Bounces Back To Win The Aegon Open With Victory Over Johanna Konta - UBITENNIS
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Donna Vekic Bounces Back To Win The Aegon Open With Victory Over Johanna Konta

Joshua Coase



Donna Vekic

Donna Vekic celebrated winning her first WTA grass court title and the second of her career overall after she came back from a set down to stun top seed and British hope Johanna Konta 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.


The 20-year-old was closer to the Brit than the scoreline suggests in the first set and managed to turn game points into conversions in the second which helped her get over the disappointment of missing out on three set points during the set to take it on a tiebreak. Vekic broke immediately in the final set but the world number eight came back midway through to make it anybody’s title to win at five games all. It was at that point which the Croat raised her level to new heights which Konta was unable to reach and as a result she sealed victory and lifted the Elena Baltacha Trophy for the first time.

It was Konta who was victorious in the only previous meeting between the two players on the hard courts in Cincinnati last year, with the Brit winning comfortably 6-2, 6-3. Heading into the final Konta was yet to drop a set and came through against Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 7-5 in her semifinal. Vekic came through in far tougher circumstances in a two hours and 48 minutes battle with fifth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4), which stood her in good stead in the latter stages of the final on Sunday.

Konta looked as though she meant business from the start and made a real statement as she broke Vekic to love in the opening game of the match. The Brit’s run was halted slightly when under pressure at 30-30 in the next game but she came through unscathed to make the perfect start.

The top seed had the chance to extend her lead in the fifth game with two break opportunities, but it was the 20-year-old who came through the long tough battle to keep her first set hopes alive. That hold looked to be crucial as Vekic set herself up for two break back points but she missed the first with a wide forehand before Konta hit an ace before holding to stay in front.

The world number eight regained her form that she had shown at the start of the match to break her opponent once again and played an emasculate service game to close it out. The Brit hit an ace and three unreturned serves to hold to love and seal the first set 6-2 after 37 minutes.

Konta had a couple of opportunities to take full control of the final with break points in the third game but was unable to capitalise and it proved costly. Vekic began to outhit the Brit when she was able to return her serve into play and that allowed her to break the top seed for the first time in the match to take a 3-1 lead.

The world number eight had the opportunity to break back immediately following a double fault from the Croat, which was saved, but another double fault from the 20-year-old gifted her opponent a way back into the set.

Play continued to go with serve, but the top seed came under pressure down set point in the 10th game. Konta was able to save it and survive by saving another two in the 12th game following unforced errors from Vekic to force a tiebreak.

There was nothing to split the two in the breaker at 3-3, but it was the 20-year-old who broke away with some excellent serving under the circumstances to take control and win the tiebreak by seven points to three. That was the first set which top seed had lost in the entire tournament.

With the momentum behind her Vekic continued to play aggressively and really take Konta’s time away. The world number 70 crushed three forehand winners in a row to break the Brit in the opening game of the final set to take the lead in the final for the first time.

Vekic maintained her advantage up until the sixth game when the Brit forced the Croat into making errors to bring up two break back points. The top seed only need the one chance and proceeded to hold to love to move 4-3 in front.

Aside from the blip in the sixth game Vekic was most impressive on serve, continuing to hold comfortably to pile the pressure back on the top seed. The 20-year-old held to love in the 10th game and earned two break points on the Konta serve. The world number eight saved the first but could not prevent her opponent from taking the second as she closed in on victory.

When serving for the title Vekic watched her lead move from 30-0 to 30-30, but the 20-year-old held her nerve to win her first WTA title in three years in two hours and 29 minutes.

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Alexander Zverev reaches the fourth round at Roland Garros for the fifth consecutive year




Alexander Zverev edged past Brandon Nakashima 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought match on Court Suzanne Lenglen to reach the fourth round for the fifth consecutive year at Roland Garros. 


Zverev had reached the quarter finals in 2018 and 2019 and the semifinals in 2021. 

Zverev had saved a match point and came back from two sets down to beat Sebastian Baez in the second round. 

The match between Zverev and Nakashima featured just three breaks of serve, including a trade of breaks in the third set. Zverev fended off two break points in each of the first two sets. 

Zverev broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead with a backhand winner and held serve to take a two-set lead. Zverev earned a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Nakashima broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Seven of the 12 points went against serve in the tie-break. Zverev came back from 2-4 down in the tie-break and closed out the tie-break 7-5 with a backhand winner after 2 hours and 48 minutes.

“I think I raised my level today. I prefer this compared to the second round thriller. This is much better for me. I don’t lose too much hair. I can still grow old”, said Zverev. 

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Doubles Player Dream French Open Debut Ended By Instagram Message

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral said he found out he will not be playing in Paris through social media.




Francisco Cabral - Image via

Playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam is the pinnacle of many players’ careers but one player missed out on that opportunity due to an unfortunate situation. 


Portugal’s Francisco Cabral was set to play in the men’s doubles tournament for the first time at this week’s French Open. The world No.72 is currently at a career-high after winning his maiden Tour title in Estoril last month with compatriot Nuno Borges. In Paris, he entered into the draw alongside Denmark’s Holger Rune. 

However, shortly before he was set to make his Grand Slam debut Rune pulled out at the last minute. Leaving Cabral unable to look for another partner in such a short time. Rune’s withdrawal from the doubles was based on medical advice after he hurt his ankle during his second round clash against Henri Laaksonen. The Dane tripped over the court cover at the back of the court but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured and managed to continue playing. 

“Right now I feel a huge sadness because it’s a dream to play in a Grand Slam tournament. I’ve been here since Saturday training, waiting, watching games, experiencing a new world because it was my first Grand Slam and it’s another dimension and I was really, really looking forward to being able to play,” Cabral told Raquetc. “And having waited until 15 minutes before game time to know that I wasn’t going to play after all, it cost me a lot, but I did everything I could.”

Caral went on to criticize the behavior of Rune who informed him that he would not be playing in the doubles event via a message sent on Instagram. It is unclear why the two never spoke face-to-face. 

“He only told me that he had sprained his foot, that he was at the doctor’s, and that he had told him not to play the doubles. I’m sad about his attitude because he didn’t even say this to my face, he just sent me a message on Instagram. I don’t think it went well, but as I said, I couldn’t have done anything differently, so I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.” He said. 

25-year-old Cabral is targeting Wimbledon as the event where he will play his first main draw match. 

Meanwhile, Rune will continue his singles campaign at Roland Garros on Saturday when he plays Hugo Gaston in the third round. The former world No.1 junior has shot up the rankings this season to a high of 40th. 

Cabral and Rune has been replaced in the draw by Sander Arends and Szymon Walków. 

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Seven Top 10 Seeds Fail To Reach Third Round Of Women’s Draw In French Open First

The series of high-profile exits has set a new milestone but for the wrong reasons.




Maria Sakkari - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

The first five days of this year’s French Open have been tough going for some of the world’s best players on the women’s Tour.


A series of shock early losses has opened up parts of the women’s draw with 14 out of the last 32 players remaining in the tournament being unseeded. Former champions Garbine Muguruza and Barbora Krejcikova fell in the first round, as well as fellow top 10 seeds Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit. Then in the second round Maria Sakkari (No.4), Karolina Pliskova (No.8) and Danielle Collins (No.9) all crashed out.

Heading into the third round seven top 10 seeds have already been knocked out of the French Open which is a new record for Roland Garros. The tournament has featured draws including 10 or more seeds since 1978.

“I knew that I wanted to do well, but things are different every year and we have seen so many upsets over all these years,” Sakkari said following her exit.
“At this level you always have to accept that you cannot go deep in every single tournament or every single big tournament.”

Jabeur was tipped by some as a serious contender for the title this year before losing her opening match to an inspired Magda Linette. Prior to the tournament, she boasted a 17-3 record on the clay this year, winning the Madrid Open title and reaching the final of two other events (Charleston and Rome).

“I wanted to go as far as I could in the tournament because I played well on clay in Madrid and in Rome, and it’s difficult to take that one in,” she said. ”But that’s what sport is like and you need to be smart enough to move forward and get back on court.’
“Maybe it was a good thing to lose. I would rather say this and be really tough with myself than waste all the good energy that I got from Madrid and Rome.”

In recent years the French Open women’s tournament has been full of unpredictability. The past three editions being won by players who didn’t hold a major title of any sort (in singles) coming into the draw.

One player who has managed to buckle the trend of inconsistency is world No.1 Iga Swiatek who has won 30 matches in a row. The fourth longest streak on the WTA Tour since 2000 after both of the Williams sisters and Justine Henin. Swiatek is also the first player to win 13 or more matches in a row whilst at the top of the rankings since Serena Williams back in 2015.

“I was saying from the beginning that for sure I’m going to reach a point where I’m going to lose a match, and it’s pretty normal,” Swiatek said following her 6-0, 6-2, triumph over Alison Riske.
“I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time. For sure the things we (my team) are doing right now are pretty extraordinary but I know in tennis that only one person wins in the end.’
“I will be okay with that. For sure it’s not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn’t be different than any other loss that I had, you know, in my career.”

Other top 10 seeds remaining in this year’s draw are Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka.

Meanwhile, in the men’s draw all top 12 seeds have reached the third round for the first time since 2009.

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