WATCH: Donna Vekic Breaks Down After Epic Win Over Kala Kanepi at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/13/2021, 1:11 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021 Croatia’s Donna Vekic in action during her third round match against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Croat tennis star, Donna Vekic, couldn’t hold her emotions after scripting a remarkable comeback victory over Estonian player Kaia Kanepi in a third-round clash at the Australian Open 2021 on Saturday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Coming back from a set down, the 33rd-ranked Vekic showed exemplary grit and resilience to win the next two sets and progress to the pre-quarters.

Vekic saved a match point to down Kaia Kanepi in three sets

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Estonian went into the clash as the favorite, having dumped defending champion Sofia Kenin out of Melbourne Park in the previous round.

Kanepi looked to be on course to booking a pre-quarters berth as she took the opening set 7-5. However, the Croat staged a fightback, taking the second set to a tie-break and winning it 7-6 (7-2).

Vekic even saved a match point in the second set to take it to a tie-breaker, much against the run of play.

With the momentum well and truly with her, Vekic broke Kanepi’s serve to pull away in the deciding set before eventually coming out on the winning side of the see-saw battle.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021 Croatia’s Donna Vekic during her third round match against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi REUTERS/Kelly Defina

During her on-court interview after the hard-fought win, the 24-year-old Croat couldn’t fight back tears of joy.

Donna Vekic will play Jennifer Brady in the pre-quarters at Australian Open 2021

Sharing her thoughts on the game between tears, Vekic called it a “tough match” and credited her opponent for playing “unbelievable” tennis, especially in the second set.

“I had to fight to the end and am just happy to be through,” the Croat said.

Relieved to have battled past a doughty opponent and make it to the next round, Vekic said she was desperate for the comforts of an “ice bath” before shifting focus to the next battle.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Croat will face an in-form Jennifer Brady of the US, who routed Slovenian Kaja Juvan 6-1, 6-3 to set up the pre-quarters clash.

“I gotta try to recover, practice tomorrow and get ready for the next match,” Vekic said on her fourth-round clash.

However, she won’t have it easy against the American who has now posted three straight-set wins on the trot. Expect another absorbing battle as the two square up against each other in Round-4 of the Australian Open.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Australian Open 2021 Brings a Revolutionary Change Following Novak Djokovic’s Demand

4 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Priyabrata Chowdhury

850 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT