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Vekic Outlasts Watson In Charleston

Donna Vekic won an absolute grinder against fellow WTA Rising Star Heather Watson as the first round kicked off at the Family Circle Cup. Watch the highlights here!

Published April 06, 2015 12:13


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CHARLESTON, SC, USA - The first main draw match of the week on Family Circle Stadium produced a big upset, as Donna Vekic outlasted Heather Watson in an all-out battle between WTA Rising Stars.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Charleston right here on wtatennis.com!

Playing each other for the first time, it was the big-hitting Vekic who came out stronger, building a 6-3, 4-2 lead. Watson is one of the biggest fighters in the game, and she showed it mid-way through the match, winning seven of the next eight games to take the second set and go up 3-1 in the third.

But Vekic was too tough in the end, winning four of the next five games to even the decider, 5-all, then holding at love and breaking at love to finally close out the No.16-seeded Watson, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

Three more seeds took the courts, with No.13 seed Irina-Camelia Begu rallying from 0-3 in the second set to edge German qualifier Laura Siegemund, 6-2, 7-6(5), No.15 seed Mona Barthel beating Timea Babos, 6-3, 6-3, and No.11 seed Zarina Diyas falling to Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Among the other winners were WTA Rising Stars Shelby Rogers, Lauren Davis and Ajla Tomljanovic.

Earlier in the day, the top seeds met the press at the tournament's All Access Hour - among them was Andrea Petkovic, who won her first Premier-level title on these very green clay courts a year ago.

The German was asked whether she feels any pressure having to defend Premier-level points here.

"This will definitely be a new experience for me," Petkovic said. "In 2011, when I was playing my best, I didn't win any titles, but I played well in every tournament. So I never had to defend a lot of points at once. Even if I lost in the first three months, I still had finals and semifinals in the end of the year.

"So it's going to be a new experience for me, and I'm just going to try and do my best this week."

The first round will wrap up and the second round will begin on Tuesday, with a slew of big names in action, including the No.3-seeded Petkovic, who opens against Chanelle Scheepers in the feature night match. Angelique Kerber, Jelena Jankovic and Samantha Stosur will also take to the courts.

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