Young Guns: Donna Vekic
Published December 04, 2013 12:01
Every day through Friday this week, wtatennis.com will showcase Young Guns, those who showed signs of future stardom in 2013.
Donna Vekic wasn't an unknown coming into this season. In fact, she reached the Tashkent final in her WTA main draw debut as a 16-year-old in September 2012, making her the youngest WTA finalist in six years. But the Croat has since made it clear that performance was no fluke, and with plenty of weapons in her arsenal, she'll surely be heard from much more in 2014 and beyond.
"My best shots are my forehand and serve, although my backhand is not far behind," Vekic said. "I'm also really strong mentally."
Here is some evidence from the 2013 season that qualifies the now 17-year-old Vekic as a Young Gun:
• Vekic posted the first three Top 50 wins of her career en route to her second WTA final in Birmingham in June, over No.38 Urszula Radwanska, No.24 Sorana Cirstea and No.47 Magdalena Rybarikova.
• A week after rising to a career-high No.62 on July 15, Vekic was a quarterfinalist in Baku.
• Finishing the season at No.86, Vekic was the youngest player in the year-end Top 200.
Vekic's conqueror in the Birmingham final, former World No.5 Daniela Hantuchova, was certainly impressed and expects great things from the teen.
"She's a very talented girl," Hantuchova said. "She moves very well and has a great serve, and that makes her play very well on grass. I haven't seen her play on the other surfaces, but she has a great team around her and I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot about her."