Vekic wins Nottingham Open
Originally published on 18/06/17 00:00
The 20-year-old Croatian overcame a nervy start to defeat the top seed and bag the second title of her blossoming career.
Konta was bidding to become the first British female to win on home soil since Sue Barker in 1981, but she was overpowered by her youthful opponent in the East Midlands sunshine.
After collecting the Elena Baltacha Cup, a delighted Vekic said: “It’s a pretty amazing feeling, I’m really happy. I was just trying to focus on myself and trying to serve as good as I can. Wimbledon is my favourite tournament of the year so I am really happy that I can go into the tournament having won a few matches.”
"All credit to Donna,” said Konta. "She was able to raise her level all throughout the match and I was not able to stay with her. Full credit to her for playing incredibly well.”
Elsewhere on the WTA, Anett Kontaveit dismissed Natalia Vikhlyantseva for the concession of just five games as she claimed her maiden title at the Ricoh Open in s-Hertogenbosch.
"It’s amazing,” said the Estonian. "I thought I played a great match but congratulations to Natalia [Vikhlyantseva] for a great week – I hope we'll have more battles. I've had a lot of really tough matches so I'm happy to have got through them and won the final.”
On the ATP Tour, Lucas Pouille celebrated his second triumph of the season. The Frenchman fought back from a set down to defeat Feliciano Lopez 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 and win the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.
The 23-year-old, who hit 29 aces, said: “I think I took my opportunities a little bit more than him. He had some break-points and didn't make them, and I had only one or two and I made them – so I think that made the difference.”
In the battle of the big-servers in the final of the Ricoh Open in s-Hertogenbosch, Gilles Muller emerged victorious. The 34-year-old defeated Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5) 7-6(4) to win a second career title on his favourite surface.
“It’s always tough to play Ivo [Karlovic) and I’m glad I could beat him. I had many friends and a lot of family here, so it’s been a great week,” said Muller.
There was also a significant victory on the ATP Challenger Tour for Félix Auger-Aliassime. The 16-year-old Canadian became the 7th youngest player to snap up a second tier title after a comprehensive 6-4 6-1 win over Mathias Bourgue at the Open de Sopra Steria in Lyon.