Vastavam web: Croatia’s Donna Vekic came from a set down to win the Nottingham grasscourt event in a pulsating final against Britain’s Johanna Konta on Sunday to remind the tennis world why she was once considered one of the game’s hottest prospects.As a teenager, Vekic won her first tour tournament three years ago but had not won one since, enduring some tough times before this 2-6 7-6(3) 7-5 major breakthrough win over the home favorite, world number eight Konta. Vekic is probably best known now as the girlfriend of Swiss three-times grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka but in 2012, when she reached her first WTA Tour final in Tashkent, the Croat was known only as a remarkable teenage prospect in the women’s game.
“It’s pretty amazing. The last time I played a final, I wasn’t allowed to have champagne,” she told the crowd, laughing. “I’m going to drink a bottle of champagne with my team to celebrate.”Yet with her 21st birthday coming later this month, Sunday’s victory over Konta felt like the tennis coming-of-age for a player who had finished outside the top 100 in the last two seasons but who now reckons she has become older and wiser. Konta, who had been hot favorite to annex her first grass court title, said: “She was able to continuously raise her level throughout that match and I was just not able to stay with her, so full credit to her for playing incredibly well.”It all looked plain sailing as she outclassed the nervy world number 70 in the opening set but Vekic gradually relaxed and went for broke, finding the lines consistently with her bigger ground strokes.