Vekic defeats Kvitova in St Petersburg

Published by AP

Donna Vekic claimed her first-ever win over a top-two player; Getty Images
Donna Vekic beats defending champion and Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova in St Petersburg.

Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova struggled with her serve as she was eliminated from the WTA’s St Petersburg Ladies Trophy with a 6-4 6-1 defeat by eighth seed Donna Vekic in the quarterfinals.

Defending champion Kvitova landed only 48 per cent of her first serves, double-faulted six times and was broken five times in Friday’s clash.

Kvitova, the world No.2 who lost to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final last Saturday, was playing her 14th match in 24 days. It was Vekic’s fifth match in that time.

“My game [plan] was to try to be the first one to be aggressive, to open up the court, and try to make her run and defend, and obviously serve well,” Vekic said.

Vekic will next face veteran Vera Zvonareva in the semi-finals after she beat fellow Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-6(3).

The 12th-ranked Kasatkina has yet to win a match this year after four losses and a single walkover over the injured Maria Sharapova.

Fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka reached the semifinals by beating Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-4.

She will next play Kiki Bertens, who beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 3-6 6-0. That was a rematch after Pavlyuchenkova knocked Bertens out of the Australian Open second round.


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