Monday, August 3, 2020

Donna dominates Dutchwoman as WTA Tour resumes

Donna Vekic said she's "happy that I didn't forget
how to play tennis, how to play matches, how to
win." 2019 photo by Mal Taam
   In the first WTA or ATP main-draw match in almost five months, sixth-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia dismantled Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-2 today on clay in the first round of the Palermo Ladies Open.
   Vekic, a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Open and semifinalist in San Jose, Calif., last year, broke Rus' serve six times and lost her serve once. 
   "I'm definitely a little bit surprised (at the score)," Vekic, 24, told reporters in a video call. "It was very tricky conditions. It was very windy, so the ball was a little bit all over the court. 
   "I'm just definitely happy that I didn't forget how to play tennis, how to play matches, how to win. It's a huge relief."
  Vekic, ranked No. 24, is scheduled to play Italy's Elisabetta Cocciaretto, a 19-year-old wild card ranked No. 157, on Wednesday. Cocciaretto upset veteran Polona Hercog of Slovenia 7-6 (1), 6-3.
   Top-seeded Petra Martic, a Croat ranked No. 15, is set to play qualifier Kaja Juvan of Slovenia on Tuesday. Second-ranked Simona Halep of Romania withdrew from the tournament last week because of concerns about traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
   The ATP Tour is scheduled to resume Aug. 22 with the Western & Southern Open, which moved from the Cincinnati area to Flushing Meadows, N.Y., for this year because of the pandemic. The U.S. Open is set to be played Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in Flushing Meadows without fans in attendance.

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