Leading the way in a thrilling tiebreaker in the third set, Croatian Donna Vekic defeated Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the women's singles tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics. Consequently, she also won the hearts of all Croatia, including Ivan Ljubicic, the coach of the Swiss master Roger Federer.
The 25-year-old won the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in two hours and thirty-eight minutes. During this match, Sabalenka's 34 unforced errors against Vekic's 14 greatly impacted the result. Additionally, the reigning Madrid Open champion failed to win the big points, converting just 2 of her 12 breakpoint opportunities.
In the end it all came down to a tiebreaker in the third, where the Croatian turned ruthless and lost just one point on her serve, taking three from her opponent. Croatian coach Ivan Ljubicic, who recently opened his tennis academy in Croatia, also watched the match.
In fact, he was so impressed that he expressed his support for him on Twitter. He wrote "Donnaaaaaaa" with three flaming emojis. Prior to this match, Vekic had survived another three-set battle over France's Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
She then, in the third round, she would face the young Kazakh Elena Rybakina. Sadly, after a challenging 2021 Wimbledon campaign, Federer didn't have the legs to go to the Tokyo Olympics. As a result, the Swiss master abandoned his Olympic gold dream this year and withdrew from the event.
Therefore, instead of Tokyo, Federer traveled to Mali Losinj, Croatia, with his wife, Mirka, and his children.
Wilander speaks about Roger Federer
Mats Wilander believes Roger Federer's best attribute is his ability to play within his limits.
"It seems that he does not sweat, he never gives the feeling of getting tired," stated Wilander. "It is his best characteristic at the moment, at 39 years old. The key is that he perfectly masters the selection of his shots: he knows when he has to give everything and when he has to recover.
He can win a game in less than a minute. If he doesn't have major physical problems, he can play three or four more years. I see him move and move like seven years ago; I do not notice much difference compared to today," he added.
"We would have to see what happens against very powerful players, like Sinner or Rublev." The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been an enthralling tournament so far. The summer games have lived up to its expectations as it provides thorough entertainment and relentless drama.
In particular, the tennis event has been making front-page headlines with surprise defeats, big upsets, and epic fightbacks in rather hard conditions.