Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic have been around for a while. Despite being 22 and 23 respectively they have seen a lot in their young careers and both are embarking on their best run right now in Flushing Meadows.
Donna Vekic has played 479 career matches during her career but is now in her first Grand Slam quarter final. Belinda Bencic has played 498 career matches and is in her first Grand Slam quarter final since 2014 US Open at the age of 17 when she beat Kerber and Jankovic before falling to Peng Shuai.
A fun fact for you… Donna and Belinda have both won 258 singles matches, so who will get to 259 first?
Tough one to call. Donna Vekic won their meeting at Roland Garros 6-4 6-1 earlier on this year but before then and a lifetime ago in 2014 Bencic won both of their matches.
I don’ feel like this will get the talk it deserves at all but I think it’s an excellent advert for women in tennis and women in sport.
Belinda Bencic did quite incredible things at a young age. US Open quarter finalist at 17 and then at 18 had the most incredible run in Toronto. She won the title there after beating Wozniacki, Ivanovic, Serena and Halep to win the title. Belinda won in Dubai this year as well seeing off Sabalenka, Halep, Svitolina and Kvitova to win the Premier 5 event.
Belinda has had plenty of injury problems but she’s just got on with it and her comeback trail has been rough but now is getting the rewards. A place in the tour finals in Shenzhen is looking likely and is set to be back in the top 10 on Monday.
Donna Vekic deserves respect.
Donna has had a rough ride from ‘fans’ and media over the years but another woman who has stayed strong and fought hard.
Donna won her first title at the age of 16 back in 2012 in her first main appearance and backing it up is tough.
She spent most her season 2016 season around 100 in the world struggling to put something together but has been a consistent top 50 player for the past 15 months and is on the verge of a career high ranking.
I’m pleased to see her doing well. It’s been a long journey to this moment. Like I said she has dealt with a lot and has received some stick in the past for her off court relationships which is unfair.
To the tennis side of things…
Donna did a great job in Roland Garros when they met, she dictated rallies and stood strong. It was a similar story in her fourth round win against Julia Georges, she stood strong saving match point as well against the German.
Donna likes to take the ball early and bring the forehand into play, trying to get the better of her will be to try and take the ball earlier or target the backhand.
The Belinda Bencic backhand caused Naomi Osaka a lot of problems. She hit it clean and deep into the backhand of the world number one who just couldn’t react to it.
Who will win? Not sure… I like both players and their journey here has been a tough one I can only see it getting better for them. If I had to sway one way it would be for Donna Vekic but she will have to re-direct that traffic away from the backhand corner.
Photo credit – WTAInsider Twitter Account