Donna Vekic: All grown up and searching for her tennis destiny

Share this article!


Donna Vekic en route to her first WTA Tour final in Uzbekistan.`

By David Kane

Sometimes on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tennis Tour, fans find that their favorite rising stars really grow up fast. One minute, they’re teenagers struggling to qualify for major tournaments; the next, they’re making tour finals in countries like Uzbekistan and you’re left wondering where the time went.

Such is the case for the young 16-year-old Croatian, Donna Vekic. If you have never heard of her, fear not. Although she has competed on the junior circuit, the descriptors “prodigy” or “junior champion” are withheld because, to be fair, her junior results have been quite middling in a division where success and failure is simply foreshadowing.

Before this summer, I had only known of Vekic in passing as the player against whom controversial fireball Yulia Putintseva had audibly and turbulently fought back at during the 2011 Junior Wimbledon.

Despite Vekic’s relative anonymity, when I posited to my twitter followers which players I should be on the lookout for during the US Open qualies, many were quick to point me towards the promising talent.

When I got to Court 6, I could see why; the tall blonde in the flowing Nike dress cut an impressive figure for a 16-year-old. While most of the top junior girls look like girls, Vekic already looked the part of a woman looking to break through on the woman’s tour. More importantly, she played like a woman; with a big serve and equally ferocious groundstrokes, this ready-for-primetime player looked decidedly out of place on such a small outer court.

Unseeded in qualifying, the Croat had a good week in Flushing before her age and inexperience reared at a most unfortunate time; two games from the US Open main draw, Vekic wilted in the New York heat and veteran Edina Gallovits-Hall took care of the rest, winning the last 10 games and making the youngster look out of place all over again.

What could have been a disappointing end became that crucially aforementioned foreshadowing when she arrived in Tashkent a week later, again as a qualifier. In seven matches, she only dropped one set, and claimed decisive victories against No. 4 seed Magdelena Rybarikova and No. 6 seed Bojana Jovanovski en route to her first WTA tour final. Despite losing to Caroline Wozniacki’s US Open conqueror Irina Camelia Begu at week’s end, Donna Vekic had arrived, in fairly emphatic style given the dearth of prior results pointing to said arrival. It just over one year, Vekic has risen over 700 ranking spots and hit a career-high No. 121 this past Monday.

Given how past players have made the junior to WTA transition over the last few years, Vekic’s run has many scratching their heads. Junior results aren’t a fluke; a look at the last 10 US Open girls’ singles champions reads like a “Who’s Who” of the WTA (both today and tomorrow). Her talent cannot be denied, and the main (albeit bizarre) question that seems to be at hand is how Vekic’s WTA-friendly game failed to translate in the junior ranks.

One need only look to the Williams sisters for the answer; the two had abstained entirely from junior tournaments and their father had been heavily criticized at the time for doing so. Venus turned pro the year Meilin Tu won the girls’ US Open, and Tara Snyder the next when Serena entered the pro ranks. With that perspective, suddenly an aberration looks like destiny.

Follow Donna Vekic on Facebook or Twitter for her WTA Tour updates!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)


Share this article!

6 Responses to Donna Vekic: All grown up and searching for her tennis destiny

Page 1 of 11
  • Tina says:

    Excellent blog right here! Also your website quite a bit up very fast!
    What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink on your host?

    I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • our site says:

    It’s in point of fact a great and useful piece of info. I’m
    glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please
    stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Thank you for the good writeup. It actually used to be a
    enjoyment account it. Glance complicated to far introduced
    agreeable from you! However, how could we keep
    in touch?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Leticia says:

    Swoon,contamin

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just
    curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do
    you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Margie says:

    wonderful issues altogether, you just received a emblem new reader.
    What could you suggest about your post that you made
    a few days in the past? Any sure?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Page 1 of 11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>