Roger Federer’s Coach Ivan Ljubicic Reacts to Donna Vekic’s Win Over Aryna Sabalenka at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/26/2021, 1:18 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Donna Vekic of Croatia celebrates after winning her second round match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus REUTERS/Mike Segar


Coming in front in a thrilling third-set tiebreaker, Croatian Donna Vekic overcame Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka at Tokyo Olympics women’s singles tennis event. Consequently, she also won the hearts of entire Croatia, including Ivan Ljubicic, the coach of Swiss maestro Roger Federer. The 25-year-old won the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3) in two hours and thirty-eight minutes.

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During this match, the 34 unforced errors from Sabalenka against 14 from Vekic highly impacted the result. Moreover, the reigning Madrid Open champion could not win the big points, converting only 2 of her 12 breakpoints chances. Ultimately, it all came down to the tiebreaker in the third, where the Croatian became ruthless and lost only one point on her serve, taking three off of her opponent.

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Croatian coach Ivan Ljubicic, who recently opened his tennis academy in Croatia, also saw the match. In fact, he was so impressed that he expressed his support on Twitter. He wrote “Donnaaaaaaa” with three flaming emojis.

Before this match, Vekic had outlived another three-set battle over France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-3. Next up, in the third round, she would take on Kazakhstan youngster Elena Rybakina.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Donna Vekic of Croatia shakes hands with Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus after winning her second round match REUTERS/Mike Segar

Roger Federer vacationing in Croatia with Coach Ivan Ljubicic

Regrettably, after a challenging Wimbledon 2021 campaign, Federer did not have the legs to go to Tokyo Olympics. As a result, the Swiss maestro let go of his Olympic gold dream this year and withdrew from the event.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts against Andy Murray of Great Britain during the Men’s Singles Tennis Gold Medal Match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012, in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Thus, instead of Tokyo, Federer traveled to Mali Losinj, Croatia, with his wife, Mirka, and kids. Interestingly, the 20-time Grand Slam champion also enjoyed a quiet lunch with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and his wife on the island.

Additionally, Federer probably also participated in the opening of his coach’s new academy in Mali Losinj.

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Watch this story: Ace Serves and Feisty Forehands: Serena Williams Best Shots at Olympic Games

What’s next for Federer in 2021?

After the Wimbledon disappointment, Federer will look forward to preparing for the US Open 2021. However, there has been no confirmation on his return date until now.

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As for Donna Vekic, she would love to continue on her winning ways in Tokyo. It will be a dream moment for her if she manages to bag a medal in the Games this year. Let’s wait and watch what the tennis world brings us ahead.

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Purav Joshi

1131 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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