Donna Vekic described Victoria Azarenka as "an amazing player and person" after beating the former world No 1 in Cincinnati. Vekic, ranked at No 22 in the world, came back from a set down to beat Azarenka 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the Cincinnati second round.
Moments after the match, Vekic showed major respect for Azarenka and told the crowd they "were right" in their decision to cheer for the Belarusian. “First of all, Vika is an amazing player. I know her quite well outside the court as well.
She’s an amazing person and I respect her a lot. You guys were right cheering for her today," Vekic said in her on-court interview.
Vekic recovered from a set down to beat Azarenka
At the start of the match, both Vekic and Azarenka struggled heavily on their serves.
In the first set, nine games were played and eight breaks of serve were seen - Azarenka broke Vekic five times, while the Croatian got four breaks of serve. The fourth game of the first set - which Azarenka served out for a 3-1 lead - was the only service game won on serve in the opener.
After losing the first set, Vekic saved four break points in the second game of the second set to finally win a service game. Vekic then broke Azarenka in the third game but the Belarusian broke back immediately in the fourth game to tie the second set to two games apiece.
However, Vekic kept her focus after blowing an early break as the Croatian broke Azarenka again in the fifth game. In the ninth game - with Vekic leading 5-3 and Azarenka serving to stay in the second set - the Croatian broke the Belarusian again to win the set and force a decider.
In the third set, no breaks were seen until the eighth game - when Vekic broke Azarenka for a 5-3 lead. Vekic failed to serve out for the match in the ninth game but broke Azarenka in the 10th game when the Belarusian was serving to stay in the match.
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