Donna Vekic: No one wants to watch the men play for five sets in the early rounds



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Donna Vekic: No one wants to watch the men play for five sets in the early rounds

Croatian tennis star Donna Vekic , who is part of the WTA Player Council, says that she believes the ATP & WTA Tours will merge in the future and that the merger would help address the issue of equal prize money in tennis.

Donna Vekic says she thinks the ATP & WTA Tours will merge

Speaking on the Podcast Inkubator, the World No. 24 Vekic says, "Yes, it (the prize money issue) bothers me. I am on the player’s board in WTA so we have talked a lot about that.

I think it will go in a positive direction now since I think ATP and WTA will merge. The merger will help with prize money but it’s not that simple. Men often have comments like “We play best of 5, why would we have same prize money? – no one wants to watch you for five sets [laughing].

I mean it’s ok if we watch Roger and Rafa in Wimbledon final for five sets – that’s cool. I remember last year before the first round in US Open I had the third match on the court after 11 am and I started my match at 9.45 pm.

Two long five-setters were played before my match – and I went crazy. I think that men shouldn’t play the best of five until quarterfinals where it really starts to become interesting. Everyone says that when the match goes to the 5th set that’s irreplaceable but I am not so sure”.

Vekic also spoke about former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova, whom she beat in the Russian's last professional match at this year's Australian Open. Sharapova lost to the Croatian in the first round in Melbourne and soon after, announced her retirement from the sport.

"Many people don’t know this, but we actually practiced in the off-season because she was training in Italy, half an hour from Monaco. I practiced with her and she beat me badly, 6-1 in the practice match. You can’t really compare match and practice but she played really well.

She was training for a few months at the end of the year and she was recovering her shoulder. She played so well in that practice match, I thought for sure she will win some tournament this year. After the Australian Open draw was revealed and I saw I will play her.

She still is Maria Sharapova – she is a champion whatever people say. Champions know how to raise their level so I knew that I can’t lose my level till the end”. Donna Vekic has won two singles titles on the WTA Tour.

She reached the quarter finals of a Grand Slam event for the first time in her career at the US Open in 2019 and broke into the Top 20 for the first time at the end of last year in the WTA rankings. She is currently ranked No. 24 in the world.