Bett1 Open: Donna Vekic outplays Elena Rybakina to claim last-8 place

Maria Sakkari ensured she didn't lose to Alize Cornet for the second straight week

by Abbey Johnson
Bett1 Open: Donna Vekic outplays Elena Rybakina to claim last-8 place

Donna Vekic posted the biggest upset of the Bett1 Open as she took out second seed Elena Rybakina in the second round. The Croatian came from a set down after almost two-and-a-quarter hours to win, 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4. Vekic faced only two break points across the match and both came in the opening set.

She saved both and never looked out of form in the match. Rybakina won 84% of her first-serve points to Vekic’s 78% but the Kazakh’s second serve let her down throughout the match. Vekic won 64% of her second-serve points and 63% points on return on her seeded rival’s second serve.

Post her win, the 26-year-old said, “I'm really happy to not only beat her, but to be in the quarterfinals here. I stayed in the moment. I was just trying to play the next point, the next game. She was serving unbelievable today.

She's definitely, I think, the best server on the women's tour right now. I was just trying to go for it, to be aggressive, which is not easy. In a way, I found myself lucky almost, every time I could get the return in. I felt in a better position once I was in the rally, but to get her serve back was not easy”.

Bett1 Open: Petra Kvitova finds her form on grass

In the quarters, the 23rd-ranked Vekic will take on Elina Avanesyan. Avanesyan, too, fought back from a set down to vanquish Anna Blinkova, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. Petra Kvitova also booked a spot in the quarter-finals.

The Czech routed Nadia Podoroska 6-1, 6-1 in merely 49 minutes. The southpaw won 85% of her first-serve points and 65% of her second-serve points. She also won 75% points on return on the Argentine’s second serve. The seventh seed will now take on third seed Caroline Garcia.

The Frenchwoman won 6-3, 6-2 against Jaimee Fourlis. Maria Sakkari was among the first-round winners at the Bett1 Open on Wednesday. The Greek, seeded sixth, claimed a 6-4, 6-2 retaliatory win against Alize Cornet. The French player had won against Sakkari last week at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham.

Lastly, Marketa Vondrousova and Veronika Kudermetova were also among those who won their opening-round matches at the Bett1 Open. Vondrousova beat Bianca Andreescu 7-6(0), 7-5. The Libema Open finalist, meanwhile, came through against Qinwen Zheng, 6-4, 6-2.

Donna Vekic Maria Sakkari Alize Cornet