Donna Vekic's remarkable performance at the Aus Open after off-court drama

Donna Vekic’s remarkable performance at the Aus Open after off-court drama

Donna Vekic equaled her best Grand Slam result at the Australian Open. Image: Getty

Australian tennis hero Casey Dellacqua has hailed the revival of Donna Vekic’s career after it threatened to be derailed by scandal. Vekic faced Aryna Sabalenko on Wednesday for a place in Australian Open semifinal.

Things didn’t start too well for Vekic as she was broken in only the fourth game and surrendered a 3-1 lead early on. After managing to get back on serve, Sabalenkova broke again to go up 5-3 before serving out the first set 6-3.

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Sabalenková maintained her momentum in the second set as she promptly broke Vekice to take a 2-0 lead. Despite the score, Vekic did not go down without a fight, forcing Sabalenkova to show her best basic tennis.

Vekic continued to struggle with her serve after throwing 12 double faults midway through the second set. Sabalenka dropped one of her service games but continued to break Vekica as she raced to a 6-3, 6-2 win.

Regardless of losing to Sabalenko in the quarterfinals, Vekic can be proud that she is still playing and advancing to the Grand Slam quarterfinals. The Croatian player’s career was thrown into chaos in 2015 when she unknowingly fell victim to a disgusting sled from Nick Kyrgios to her then-boyfriend Stan Wawrinka.

During the match at the Canadian Open, Kyrgios told Wawrinka: “(Thanasi) Kokkinakis punched your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that.” Kyrgios was widely condemned at the time and only recently got back on good terms with Wawrinka.

Vekic, 26, also endured a very public split with Wawrinka, 37, in 2019. Their relationship initially raised eyebrows when Wawrinka left his wife for a woman 11 years his junior.

But despite the controversy and scandal, Vekic rose and let her tennis do the talking. Her quarter-final run at the Australian Open marked her equal-best performance at a Grand Slam after reaching the same stage at the 2019 US Open.

For Australian great Dellacqua, her exhibition at Melbourne Park was nothing short of remarkable. “It feels like she’s been here a long time,” Dellacqua said on Channel 9 Wednesday morning.

“I’m really happy that she’s doing a really great job off the court, I can say that, and it’s paid off on the court in terms of her play at the United Cup and now here at the Australian Open. She’s had a tough time.” years, we know she was apparently with Stan and it didn’t work out.

“But she’s always had a great family, she’s had great parents around her, they’ve been absolutely supportive and you can tell when you talk to her. She’s got a lot of life about her, Donna, in terms of her maturity and where she’s come from and where she is now, so I think , that the best is yet to come for a player like Donna Vekic, I hope so, because she’s kind of my “favorite”.

Donna Vekic, pictured here in action at the Australian Open.

Donna Vekic in action at the Australian Open. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Magda Linnette advanced to the semi-finals of the Australian Open

Sabalenkova will now face Magda Linette in the semi-finals after the Polish veteran continued her incredible run on Wednesday. The uncapped 30-year-old caused another huge upset, defeated former world number one Karolína Plíšková 6-3 7-5.

Sabalenkova has been in career-best form in Australia and will fancy her chances of reaching a first Australian Open final in 2023. He will face the Polish ace, who has never reached a slam semi-final but is in good form.

Linette had not advanced past the third round in 29 previous Grand Slam appearances. Five of the players she beat at Melbourne Park this year were ranked in the top 20.

“It’s so emotional. I really can’t believe it. Dreams do come true,” she said.

“But we’re moving on. I don’t want to get too excited because we’re still in the tournament, but I’m very grateful and happy.”

Magda Linette, pictured here celebrating after advancing to the semi-finals at the Australian Open.

Magda Linette celebrates after advancing to the semi-finals at the Australian Open. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Linette said the key to her incredible run is keeping calm on the court. “All my life I’ve taken mistakes and losses very personally, so I had to disconnect the two,” she said.

“It was really tough because a lot of times I felt like the oversights, the mistakes, defined me. My coaches and I did a really great job and I’m really grateful to them because they really put up with a lot of crap.”

with the AAP

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