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“Maria Sharapova Beat Me Badly” – Donna Vekic Opens up on Practice Match Before Australian Open 2020

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19th seed at Australian Open 2020 Donna Vekic was drawn to open against the five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova. Despite being the favorite of the match, the Croatian player was on tenterhooks before beginning her battle.

Maria western

The tennis world also predicted Vekic to be the winner due to Sharapova’s shabby form on the WTA Tour amid injuries. And right before the Aussie Open, Maria conceded a three-set defeat to qualifier Jennifer Brady in Brisbane.

With those butterflies in her stomach, Vekic vanquished the former champion Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the Melbourne Major. However, a few weeks before the Aussie Major, it was not the case. The Russian tennis ace had shattered Vekic during the practice match in Italy.

“Many people don’t know this, but we actually practiced in the off-season because she was training in Italy, half an hour from Monaco [where Vekic lives]. I practiced with her and she beat me badly, 6-1 in the practice match,” Vekic told Podcast Inkubator.

A year before her retirement, former World Number one Maria Sharapova was tackling string of injuries. It compelled her to skip numerous events on the circuit, including the entire clay season of 2019.

Even when she played some matches, she was struggling to complete those. Amidst her wrist and shoulder issues, the peerless champion Sharapova decided to hang her racquet in February 2020.

Maria Sharapova

“Maria Sharapova is a champion whatever people say” – Donna Vekic
“You can’t really compare match and practice but she played really well. She was training for a few months at the end of the year and she was recovering her shoulder. She played so well in that practice match, I thought for sure she will win some tournament this year,” World Number 24 Vekic added.

“After the Australian Open draw was revealed and I saw I will play her. She still is Maria Sharapova – she is a champion whatever people say. Champions know how to raise their level so I knew that I can’t lose my level till the end.”

The Russian legend Sharapova played her last professional tennis match against Donna Vekic in Melbourne, Australia. And her last WTA victory came against Alison Riske at Cincinnati Open 2019.

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Rafa Nadal and I have had our differences, but he’s an absolute champion,’ says Nick Kyrgios

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Nick Kyrgios admits that he and Rafa Nadal have ‘had their differences’ over the years but he can’t help but admire his achievements.

Nadal won his 20th Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros earlier this month to draw level with Roger Federer in the history books.

Kyrgios has a bit of a storied past when it comes to spats with Nadal, who he once branded ‘super salty’ whilst accusing him of being a bad loser.

Even he, though, can’t deny the Spaniard has achieved something special.

“I wasn’t surprised when I saw Rafa Nadal pretty much easing his way through the draw at the French Open,” Kyrgios told Courtside Huddle.

“That’s his backyard, he loves playing there and he has only lost two matches in his entire career.

“Honestly, in my opinion I don’t think we are going to see anything like that ever again.

“Somebody so dominant on a surface he’s right there with the greatest of all time. You can argue that he is the greatest.’

“You look at Federer, he’s the most dominant player of all time, but in this era it’s actually Rafa. It’s a debate you can have.”

“We had our differences when we played each other. We’re fiery, we’re competitors and are going to go after each other.

“But at the same time I am not going to take anything away from him . He’s an absolute champion and 20 Grand Slam is ridiculous and I don’t think we are ever going to see that again.”

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