Western & Southern Open
Ana suffered a surprising first-round defeat on Monday night at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati as 20-year-old Donna Vekic, who emerged from the qualifying rounds, beat her 6-4, 6-2. It was Ana’s first match after representing Serbia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Vekic broke early to take a 2-1 lead in the feature match of the night session. Even though Ana was trying to dictate from the baseline and finish the point at the net, Vekic was able to find the answers to win the crucial points and held serve to take a decisive first set. Things did not get any better at the start of the second chapter, as Vekic took command of the scoreline and ran every ball to go up a double-break. The young Croat made the difference in her service games, as she scored 6 aces and won 80% of the points played with her first serve, and used her forehand wisely to attack. Ana tried hard but could not find solutions in a error-filled night for the former No.1.
After 71 minutes, she could not convert three of her four break point opportunities and the match ended with a cross-court forehand winner by Vekic. Anna could not match her 2014 in Cincinnati, when she reached the final. Former Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka celebrated in the stands as the Croat levelled the head-to-head series with Ana.
The Serb will drop 190 points in the rankings (last year’s quarter-finals in Toronto). Next tournament for 28-year-old will be the last Grand Slam of the season, the US Open in Flushing Meadows, starting on August 29th.
Ana vs. D. Vekic (CRO) 4-6, 2-6
Photography: Jerry Fritsch