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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, June 21, 2023


World No. 23 Donna Vekic upset Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4 in a rousing Berlin upset and credited Andy Roddick with an assist.

Photo credit: Robert Prange/Getty

Fortune tellers aren't typically part of Donna Vekic's pre-match preparation.

Fueled by a champion's power of prediction, Vekic delivered her biggest win of the season.

Alcaraz: Federer Inspires Grass Play

Vekic toppled Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4 in a rousing Berlin upset today.

The 23rd-ranked Vekic snapped Rybakina's nine-match grass-court winning streak, handing the second seed her first lawn loss since she bowed to Lesia Tsurenko in her Eastbourne opener last June.

After scoring her second Top 5 win of the season, Vekic credited Hall of Famer Andy Roddick with an assist.

En route to the court for today's match, Vekic said she read a Roddick tweet predicting Rybakina will successfully defend her Wimbledon championship next month.

While obviously not a radical view from Roddick given the fact Rybakina reached her second major final at the Australian Open in January and is third on the WTA Tour in wins behind only Aryna Sabalenka and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

However, perhaps Vekic, who owns 12 career Top 10 wins, was pumped up by Roddick suggesting Rybakina's Wimbledon title defense will be "pretty straightforward" 

"I was driving from warm-up to the site today and I was on Twitter and I saw that Andy Roddick said that she's the best player on grass right now," Vekic told the media in Berlin. "So I was like, hmm let's see about that.

"I'm not saying I'm the best player on grass, far from that. But I think nowawadays everyone can beat everyone especially if you have a good day and if you believe."   

A 2017 Nottingham champion, Vekic has contested three of her 11 career finals on grass and clearly does not regard Rybakina's defense of the Venus Rosewater Dish as a foregone conclusion.

Next up for Vekic is a quarterfinal clash vs. 81st-ranked Elina Avanesyan.


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