Vekic Stuns Rybakina In Berlin, Kvitova Wins; Sabalenka v Kudermetova Thurs.

by Staff | June 21st, 2023, 7:01 pm
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In the upset of the day, Donna Vekic stunned reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4 in the second round at the WTA 500 in Berlin.

The 26-year-old Vekic cracked five aces, hit five doubles, never lost serve while breaking twice in the match.

“I’m really happy to not only beat her, but to be in the quarterfinals here,” Vekic said to the WTA. “I stayed in the moment. I was just trying to play the next point, the next game. She was serving unbelievable 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.

“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.”

Rybakina tallied 15 aces, but won just 13/35 (37%) on second serves and never saw a break point after the first set.

No. 3 seed Caroline Garcia got over on (23y,218r) Jaimee Fourlis 6-3, 6-2. The 4th-ranked Garcia lost just 11 points on serve.

No. 6 Maria Sakkari handled Alize Cornet in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in a delayed match from Tuesday. No. 7 seed Petra Kvitova eased past Nadia Podoroska 6-1, 6-1. Veronika Kudermetova got the better of Qinwen Zheng 6-4, 6-2.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich advanced past Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-4. Marketa Vondrousova sent off Bianca Andreescu of Canada 7-6, 7-5.

Thursday’s ticket includes second round action with No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka facing Veronika Kudermetova, Sabalenka leads Kudermetova 2-1 in their tour-level encounters. Kudermetova came out ahead in their most recent clash at Berlin last year.

No. 5 Coco Gauff will meet Ekaterina Alexandrova, NSakkari will battle Sasnovich and Jule Niemeier clashes with Vondrousova.

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