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Felt Like I Was Going to Die

By Richard Pagliaro | @TennisNow | Thursday July 11, 2024
Photograph credit score: Robert Prange/Getty

Wimbledon—Tears welled in Donna Vekic’s eyes as spiking ache stung her proper forearm and legs.

The unseeded Vekic was two factors from the Wimbledon last right now solely to see Jasmine Paolini dig in and prevail 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(8) in a wildly exhilarating and epic semifinal to surge into her second straight Grand Slam last at Wimbledon.

Extra: Hip Harm Knocks de Minaur out of Wimbledon

A valiant Vekic was up a break within the last set then later saved two match factors to drive the ultimate tiebreaker.

Within the breaker, Vekic led 8-7 earlier than Paolini pulled out the final three factors within the longest-ever Wimbledon girls’ singles semifinal spanning two hours, 51 minutes.

“It was a tricky, powerful match,” Vekic mentioned afterward. “I believed that I might win till the tip. She performed some superb tennis. All congrats to her. She undoubtedly deserved it.”

An understandably distraught Vekic shed tears each on court docket and in her post-match presser.

Afterward, Vekic mentioned her tears have been from the extraordinary ache she felt in her forearm and her legs.

“I believed I used to be going to die within the third set,” Vekic mentioned. “I had a lot ache in my arm, in my leg. It was not straightforward on the market, however I’ll get well.

“I used to be extra crying as a result of I had a lot ache, I did not understand how I might hold enjoying.”

Vekic hit 16 extra winners (42 to 36), earned twice as many break factors (14 to 7), gained seven extra factors within the match (118 to 111), hit her common first serve about 13 miles an hour sooner, and smacked successive winners to take an 8-7 lead within the breaker—two factors from the largest win of her life.

The seventh-seeded Paolini refused to let her get any nearer making historical past as the primary Italian girl to succeed in the Wimbledon singles last.

The bodily and emotional toll of enjoying her fourth consecutive three-setter, together with her fifth in six match matches, drained a disconsolate Vekic in an agonizing defeat.

“My group tells me that I will be happy with myself,” Vekic mentioned. “It is powerful proper now. It is actually powerful. For positive I might want to take couple of days to see every part.

“Yeah, I do not know, it is powerful to be optimistic proper now. It was so shut. I had loads of possibilities.”

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompson, an expert in tennis and golf, has covered numerous Grand Slam tournaments and PGA Tours. Her sharp analysis and player insights are a staple of her reporting. Sarah loves playing recreational tennis and is an avid golfer who enjoys weekend rounds with friends.


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