Home/Tennis

via Reuters

via Reuters

0
  Debate

Debate

Is Donna Vekic the most underrated player in women's tennis today after her career-changing moment?

You can be defeated in sports but you can never get out. Ask Donna Vekic, who wouldn’t agree more with this statement after a historic run at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships. Sports always provide a path to come back and if the will is strong, one can bounce back. The Croatian star reached the semifinals of Wimbledon after defeating Lulu Sun in three sets. It was her maiden Grand Slam semifinal appearance after numerous unsuccessful attempts. Earlier today, Vekic revealed what motivated her to come back stronger after years of struggles.

Back in 2021, the 28-year-old suffered a career-threatening knee injury. Subsequently, she struggled with form and fitness after undergoing surgery and had a string of early defeats at tournaments. Precisely speaking, the Croatian star had just a solitary quarterfinal appearance at the major tournaments since 2021. As a result, Vekic contemplated retirement at a young age, with her career going south.

The turning point came at this year’s French Open when she reached the third round of the tournament. Vekic suffered a heartbreaking loss there, losing in the final set tie-breaker to bow out of the tournament. Although it was a painful defeat for her, it motivated Vekic to perform better and reach new heights.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During an interview at Wimbledon, she revealed, “That loss in Paris was so painful but it motivated me again to keep working. It’s crazy in tennis how things can turn so fast.” Before that, Vekic wanted to take a break from tennis but the French Open defeat proved to be a blessing in disguise for her.

Poll of the day

What do you think was the turning point in Donna Vekic's career?

New coach

Mental toughness

Injury recovery

Change in training regimen

Emotions have run high for Vekic as she tasted the success of her endurance of staying on the tour. Earlier today, she even had tears in her eyes, while making a heartwarming confession.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Donna Vekic has a special message for her close ones

In the quarterfinal encounter today, Vekic got the better of Lulu Sun in a hard-fought match 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. In the process, she reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, 11 years after making her main-draw debut at majors. While her persistence has been second to none, Vekic has also received tremendous support from her family and coaching staff, who have lifted her during tough times.

As a result, when she reasoned her uptick in results, she didn’t forget her close ones and issued a heartwarming statement. After winning her last eight encounter, the interviewer asked her, “In 2021 you suffered a serious knee injury…There were times you admitted there were doubts about the future. How does it feel to be a Grand Slam semifinalist?”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Vekic got emotional as she reminisced how her team and family members had stayed behind her to motivate her to come back stronger. Thanking them for this, she said, “I have a full box of people there. Without them, I would not be here.”

Vekic is joined by her coach, Pam Shriver, and other members of her family. Up next, she faces the winner of the match between Jasmine Paolini and Emma Navarro. It’ll be interesting to see if Vekic can go till the very end and lift the Wimbledon trophy.