Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Vekic wins as WTA returns to action

Field Level Media
04 Aug 2020, 12:55 GMT+10

Sixth-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia routed the Netherlands' Arantxa Rus on Monday 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the Palermo (Italy) Ladies Open, the first match for either on the WTA Tour in almost five months.

The men's ATP Tour, also idle since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic, isn't due to restart until the Western Southern Open begins in New York on Aug. 22. The event, normally held in Mason, Ohio, was moved to the site of the U.S. Open, which will follow at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center the following two weeks.

Vekic put just 56 percent of her first serves in play but saved three of the four break points she faced.

"I was definitely a little bit surprised with my level today, I have to say," Vekic told after the match that was played with a small number of fans in the stands. "I have been practicing really well but I haven't played a match in five months, so I didn't really know what to expect.

"Before the match, I said to myself, 'Just stay calm, even if you're not playing amazing. Just hang in there, be competitive, stay tough.'

"I was playing really well, so it's a good feeling."

Other first-round winners were seventh-seeded Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, eighth-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia, Laura Siegemund of Germany, and Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Jasmine Paolini and Sara Errani of Italy. The Czech Republic's Kristyna Pliskova defeated third-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4, 6-4.

--Field Level Media

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