Belinda Bencic vs. Donna Vekic, US Open QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, QF match preview
🇨🇭 (13) Belinda Bencic vs. 🇭🇷 (23) Donna Vekic

A spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final will be up for grabs when Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic go head-to-head at the 2019 US Open. This is a huge opportunity for both players looking to take the next step in their respective careers. Bencic and Vekic are good friends and are very familiar witch each other’s games, it will be interesting to see how this matchup pans out with so much at stake.

Belinda Bencic heads into this quarter-final clash on the back of a huge win over the top seed and defending champion. Bencic booked her spot in a second career Grand Slam quarter-final with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Naomi Osaka. Bencic has won more matches over top 10 and top 5 opponents than anyone else on tour in 2019, clearly she likes the challenge of playing a top player, can she bring the same attitude into this quarter-final clash with Vekic?

Donna Vekic is through to the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the very first time. The 23rd seed cruised through the first week with straight set wins over Richel Hogenkamp, Kaia Kanepi and Yulia Putintseva. Vekic claimed her most notable win at the fourth round stage where she battled from a set and a break down to defeat Julia Goerges 6-7 7-5 6-3. Vekic has won multiple matches in 2019 from similarly precarious positions, a testament to her fighting spirit.

Bencic holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Vekic. However, it was Vekic who won their most recent match, a surprisingly comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory at Roland Garros earlier this year.

I’m going to side with Bencic here. Simply, I believe that Bencic is superior to Vekic in every aspect, she is the better player. Bencic heads into this match full of confidence after a big win over Osaka and should be smart enough to execute her game and get the better of Vekic on a surface that favours the Swiss player.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Donna Vekic in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber vs. Donna Vekic, Stuttgart R1 Preview

🇩🇪🏁 Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R1 Preview
🇩🇪 (5) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Angelique Kerber begins her Stuttgart campaign with an opening round clash against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Kerber is a two-time former champion in Stuttgart having won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. The German will be keen to add a third Stuttgart title to her collection to belatedly open her title count for 2019. Donna Vekic will have other ideas and is always a danger on her day, can Vekic cause a big upset?

Donna Vekic of Croatia during practice ahead of her opening round match-up with Angelique Kerber at the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA Premier tennis tournament. 

Kerber has made a very solid start to 2019 and will now be focused on improved results during the clay court swing, a time of the year that the German usually struggles. Kerber arrives in Stuttgart on the back of a semi-final showing in Monterrey, a few weeks prior to that Kerber reached the final in Indian Wells, so her form is good. The quick clay court conditions in Stuttgart have traditionally suited Kerber nicely and she will be keen to once again impress in front of the vocal home crowd.

Donna Vekic’s recent from has not been very impressive at all. The Croatian will be hoping for a form reversal in Stuttgart, a win over Angelique Kerber would be the perfect way to kick-start a form reversal. Vekic has only won a single match in the last few months having lost in the opening round at Indian Wells and the second round in Miami. The quick clay court conditions in Stuttgart should also help Vekic on a surface she usually struggles on.

Kerber has won both of the previous meetings between the pair, both in straight sets, 6-4 7-6 at the Rogers Cup in 2017 and 6-4 6-1 at the Australian Open last year. This will be their first meeting on a clay court.

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Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs. Donna Vekic, Brisbane QF Preview

🇦🇺 Brisbane International, QF Preview
🇧🇾 Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

An unlikely quarter-final match-up at the Brisbane International sees Aliaksandra Sasnovich come up against Donna Vekic. It is Vekic who heads into this match with a perfect record over Sasnovich and as a result it is Vekic who is the slight favourite to progress.

Donna Vekic of Croatia in action during the second-round match at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Vekic holds a 2-0 record over Sasnovich. Both of those victories came on a hard court. 6-3 6-1 in Poitiers in 2015 and 6-4 6-4 in San Antonio in 2016. Expect Sasnovich to give a better account of herself on this occasions, especially after claiming one of the biggest wins of her career in the previous round.

Sasnovich secured her spot in the Brisbane quarter-finals by beating the top seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4 0-6 6-3 in a rematch of last year’s final. Prior to that win over Svitolina, Sasnovich claimed a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over Anastasia Potapova. Donna Vekic also secured a big win to reach the quarter-finals, saving 2 match points on route to a 7-6 1-6 7-5 win over Kiki Bertens. Vekic cruised past Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1 6-2 in the first round.

This is a big opportunity for both, who will prevail?

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Kiki Bertens vs. Donna Vekic, Brisbane R2 Preview

Brisbane International R2, Match Preview
🇳🇱 (6) Kiki Bertens vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Kiki Bertens and Donna Vekic will go head-to-head for the fourth time with a spot in the Brisbane International quarter-finals up for grabs. Vekic heads into this match with a 2-1 record over Bertens but it is Bertens who heads into this match as the favourite and rightfully so.

Kiki Bertens was dealt a very tough opening round draw in Brisbane against the 12th ranked Elise Mertens, the highest unseeded player in the field. The match was predictably very tight, it was Bertens who fought through with a 6-2 6-7 6-4 victory. Bertens served particularly well and showcased how damaging her forehand can be.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Donna Vekic made a cracking start to her 2019 campaign with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 drubbing of Magdalena Rybarikova. Vekic’s superior firepower saw her completely dominate proceedings against Rybarikova, Vekic successfully got Rybarikova on the back foot on a consistent basis and didn’t allow Rybarikova to play her game.

Vekic will certainly face a tougher test against Bertens in the next round, can the young Croatian overcome that challenge?

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Julia Goerges vs. Donna Vekic, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (13) Julia Goerges vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Julia Goerges and Donna Vekic have both made their way through to the second week at Wimbledon for the first time, both will be playing to reach the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the first time. Goerges has come through 3 extremely tough matches whilst Vekic is yet to drop a set on route to the final 16. Which of these two will raise their level and claim a spot in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time?

Julia Goerges of Germany in action during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Julia Goerges arrived at Wimbledon with a terrible recent record at the championships having lost at the first round stage in her last 5 appearances. The 13th seed started the event with a 6-4 7-6 win over Monica Puig before defeating Vera Lapko 6-2 3-6 6-3. The German secured her spot in the round of 16 with a gutsy 7-6 3-6 10-8 win over Barbora Strycova in a match that lasted just under 3 hours. Goerges has played really well under pressure all week, good signs for 29-year-old.

Donna Vekic is having one the best weeks of her young career. Vekic has long underachieved but is finally starting to fulfil her potential. Vekic kick-started the event in style with a 6-1 6-3 win over the 4th seeded Sloane Stephens. Vekic backed-up her victory over the reigning U.S Open champion impressively well, beating Rebecca Peterson 7-5 6-4 and Yanina Wickmayer7-6 6-1. How long can Vekic keep up this level of play?

The only previous match between the pair took place at Budapest last year, Goerges claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory on that occasion.

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Sloane Stephens vs. Donna Vekic, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (4) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

The fourth seeded Sloane Stephens faces a tough opening round test at Wimbledon when she comes up against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Stephens has not played a match on grass in 2018 whilst Vekic played 3 tournaments in the lead-up to SW19 with decent results. Vekic has a powerful game that can trouble Stephens if the American gets off to a slow start.

Donna Vekic of Croatia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Grass is arguably Sloane Stephens’ worst surface, her recent results suggest that this is the case. Stephens has not played a match since her 3 set loss to Simona Halep in the Roland Garros final a month ago, it is tough to know what to expect for her in London. One thing is certain, Stephens has made a habit of playing her best tennis on the biggest stages.

Conversely, grass is Vekic’s best surface. Vekic started her grass court campaign in Nottingham where she reached the semi-finals before suffering a couple of early round exits in Birmingham and Eastbourne. Vekic was beaten by Svitolina in 3 sets in Birmingham, and a Barbora Strycova in straight sets in Eastbourne.

It was Stephens who won the only previous match between the pair, a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win on clay in Strasbourg in 2016. Vekic’s chances on grass increase significantly in this match-up.

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Barbora Strycova vs. Donna Vekic, Eastbourne R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R2 Preview
🇨🇿 (14) Barbora Strycova vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Barbora Strycova and Donna Vekic will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne. This is an interesting match-up because of the great contrast in styles between the pair. Vekic has a powerful game whilst Strycova has great touch and variety. What they have in common is that they both play their best tennis on a grass court.

Donna Vekic of Croatia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Strycova and Vekic have both had decent results on grass in the last few weeks. Strycova made it to the semi-finals in Birmingham last week whilst Vekic made it to the semi-finals in Nottingham the week prior to Birmingham. Vekic may have suffered an opening round exit in Birmingham last week but it wasn’t a terrible result as she did push Elina Svitolina to 3 sets in a gallant defeat.

It is rare that two players have completely different game styles but both excel on the same surface, that is the case here. The aggressive, flat groundstrokes of Vekic are very dangerous when she finds her range on grass, she also has decent touch which helps on this surface. Conversely, Strycova’s exceptional backhand slice and ability at the net make her very dangerous on this surface.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Donna Vekic, Birmingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
🇺🇦 (2) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Elina Svitolina begins her 2018 grass court campaign in Birmingham with an opening round showdown against Donna Vekic. Svitolina suffered yet another setback at Roland Garros a few weeks ago, a shock third round exit at the hands of Mihaela Buzarnescu. Grass is considered Svitolina’s worst surface, so it will be interesting to see how she performs over the next month and whether she can contend for the biggest titles.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine practices at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Svitolina continues to impress at the premier level before collapsing at Grand Slam events, a very disappointing trend for the Ukrainian. But, it is good news for her chances in Birmingham, these are the types of events Svitolina has been so efficient at over the last few years. However, grass is easily Svitolina’s least successful surface, and she has never made it passed the second round in Birmingham.

Donna Vekic started her grass court campaign in Nottingham last week. Vekic failed to defend her title in Nottingham but she still had a good week as she reached the semi-finals before succumbing to Johanna Konta in straight sets. Vekic enjoys playing on grass, her game is very much suited to the quick surface.

Svitolina holds a perfect 3-0 record over Vekic. The most recent match between the pair was on clay in Marrakesh in 2015, a comfortable 6-2 6-2 for Svitolina. This will be their first match on a grass court, a surface that seemingly gives Vekic some kind of a chance at an upset.

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Johanna Konta vs. Donna Vekic, Nottingham SF Preview

Nature Valley Open, Nottingham SF Preview
🇬🇧 (4) Johanna Konta vs. 🇭🇷 (6) Donna Vekic

Johanna Konta and Donna Vekic will renew hostilities when they meet in Saturday’s second semi-final at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham. Konta and Vekic established an intriguing rivalry during the grass court swing last year. It all started in Nottingham where Vekic upset Konta to win the title 12 months ago, Konta will be keen for revenge here and heads into this match in great form.

Embed from Getty Images

Johanna Konta has breezed into her first semi-final of the year. The Brit has not dropped a set on route to the final 4, Konta has claimed wins over Kurumi Nara, Heather Watson and Dalila Jakupovic. Konta certainly has a great game for this surface, the 27-year-old possess one of the best serves on tour which sets her up for success on the grass.

Donna Vekic has done well to reach the semi-finals in Nottingham in her quest to defend her title. Vekic started the week with a nervy performances, requiring a third set tiebreak to defeat Gabriella Taylor. The Croatian has been more impressive in her last couple of matches as she defeated Vera Lapko and Mona Barthel in straight sets to reach her first semi-final of the year.

Konta holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Vekic. The pair played two epic matches on grass last year. Vekic defeated Konta 2-6 7-6 7-5 in the Nottingham final before Konta won an even more dramatic match at Wimbledon a few weeks later, a 7-6 4-6 10-8 victory.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Donna Vekic, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Garbine Muguruza continues her Mutua Madrid Open campaign on Tuesday with a second round clash against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Muguruza has never made is past the second round in Madrid, the top ranked Spaniard will be desperate to change that in 2018 and will be a warm favourite to do so when she takes on Vekic for a spot in the third round.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Muguruza and Vekic secured similarly comfortable victories to book their spots in the second round in Madrid. Muguruza claimed a 6-4 6-2 win over Shuai Peng whilst Vekic defeated Georgina Garcia-Perez 6-2 6-4. There are contrasting expectations placed on these two at this event, the third seeded Muguruza is under great pressure to finally perform well at her home event whilst little is expected of Vekic given clay has always been considered her least preferred surface.

Interestingly it was Vekic who won the only previous matches between the pair, a 7-6 7-6 win on a hard court in Monterrey in 2014. Of course much has changed since then, Muguruza has become a 2-time Grand Slam champion whilst Vekic has made little progress.

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