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“It’s a huge relief,” Donna Vekic tells reporters after winning her first match at the Palermo Ladies Open in two simple sets.

Tennis Express

The Croatian, who parted ways with coach Torben Beltz at the end of last month, is clearly in a good headspace as the WTA restart kicks off.

“I’m definitely happy that I didn’t forget how to play tennis, how to play matches, how to win,” she said after defeating Arantxa Rus, 6-1 6-2.

The 24-year-old World No.24 believes she might be in the best shape of her life.

“Physically I’m probably more ready than ever,” she said. “I thought I was moving really well, I mean we did like a couple of weeks of really tough practices in Monaco—I was definitely expecting to be fit.”

Vekic, who will face Italian wild card Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the second round, seems to be making plans to play the US Open later this month.

“I wanted to play this tournament to get a couple of matches but then we’re back on hard,” she said. “The surface change has not really been a huge problem for me these last couple of years, which is great.”