Vekic triumphs over Tauson in Courmayeur for first title in over four years

Donna Vekic is again within the winner’s circle.

The Croat, who underwent proper knee surgical procedure in February, snapped a four-year title drought with a one-hour, 46-minute 7-6(3), 6-2 defeat of No.5 seed Clara Tauson within the Courmayeur Girls Open ultimate.

Vekic and Tauson had carried contrasting data in finals into the title match in north-west Italy. Vekic had received solely twice in six earlier WTA finals stretching again to 2012, at Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Nottingham 2017; Tauson had received her first two WTA finals this yr, each additionally indoors in Lyon and Luxembourg. Certainly, the 18-year-old was on an eight-match successful streak in finals in any respect ranges, along with her final loss coming to Olga Govortsova within the 2019 Darmstadt ITF W25 occasion.

For Vekic, who didn’t drop a set all week, the match marks a welcome return to type. The previous World No.19 had begun the yr with a fourth-round run on the Australian Open, however since returning to motion at Roland Garros had made just one quarterfinal – on her beloved grass in Birmingham – till this week. In September, she dipped out of the Prime 100 for the primary time since December 2016, and got here into Courmayeur ranked No.97.

Nonetheless, the 25-year-old had used her time on the sidelines productively, working to launch her luxurious candle enterprise DNNA.

Stat nook: In a conflict of heavy firepower, it was Vekic who was extra explosive and extra usually on the entrance foot. She slammed 39 winners to Tauson’s 23, whereas additionally protecting her unforced error rely right down to 13 in comparison with the Dane’s 17.

Vekic demonstrated each larger highs and decrease lows because the momentum swung backwards and forwards. Twice, she coughed up a brace of double faults to drop serve; however this was outweighed by 11 aces and a succession of pacy one-two punches to carry Tauson at bay.

Match administration: A nervy begin from each gamers noticed the match open with 4 consecutive, error-strewn breaks of serve. But it surely was Vekic who settled first with a maintain for 3-2, and thereafter she led all the way in which.

Holding on to that lead wasn’t with out its issues. Vekic held her first set level at 5-2, solely to see it snuffed out by a Tauson ace. Within the following sport, her second was swatted away by a return winner from {the teenager}, and a 3rd was wasted with a double fault.

By now, World No.49 Tauson had discovered her groove when it comes to accuracy and technique. Eliciting Vekic errors with canny slices and serving at a better degree, she chipped away on the lower-ranked participant’s result in pressure a tiebreak.

Nonetheless, Vekic shook off the momentum swing for a dream begin to the tiebreak, firing 5 straight winners – together with consecutive aces – en path to a 6-0 lead. Placing this away was nonetheless a problem, however a decided forehand lastly sealed the opening stanza on her seventh set level.

The beginning of the second set continued to be narrowly contested, however Vekic bought the higher hand in all of the tight passages of play. She eked out three straight deuce video games from 0-1 to 3-1, saving three break factors in opposition to her alongside the way in which. Thereafter, Vekic didn’t have to face one other sport level, sealing her first championship level with a service winner.

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