"I told them to shut up five times during the match": Donna Vekic explains fury towards her coaching team at Wimbledon

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 at 01:00
Donna Vekic explained the shouts from her box amid her victory over Lulu Sun in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. The 28-year-old Croatian star reached her first-ever Grand Slam semifinals and is gearing up to face Jasmine Paolini for a spot in the final.
It wasn't an easy challenge against qualifier Sun on Court 1. Vekic had to come from a set down to secure the victory 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. When asked if the adjustments she made during the match were related to the rule change allowing coaching during the match, considering she currently has former world No. 3 Pam Shriver on her coaching team, she joked: "Probably not."
"I told them to shut up five times during the match. Probably not. But it's also nice when I reach out to them, that I can reach out in case I need help. I know that they're always there."
The first set was closely contested, although the Croatian came closer to getting the break, wasting three opportunities in a long 26-point game. Just when it seemed it would go to a tie-break, Sun secured the break that gave her the first set 7-5: "I was so angry," she explained.
"I was so angry at myself because even to get broken in the first set at 5-All, then finally managed to break her in the second set, then get broken. I don't know where those double-faults came from. I wasn't particularly nervous. I was surprised that I was just hitting double-faults.
"I was like, No, this is not happening right now. I could hear Pam shouting, Reset, reset. I was like, Reset what? I was already kind of... didn't think I was going to break her again. I was just trying to think how I'm going to play my service game at 5-All," the former world No. 19 said.
Donna Vekic at Wimbledon 2024.
"Well, Pam is, first of all, a great person off the court," Vekic enthused about the 22-times Grand Slam doubles winner. "She's had an amazing career. She has so much experience, especially because playing, and then the last couple of years she's been commentating. She knows all the players really well.
"Like I said, she has all the experience, so she can help me in some crucial moments. She's great fun. I'm really proud to have her in my team," the world No. 37 said. "What I like about her and everyone in my team, they always say it the way it is. They don't try to sugarcoat things. They're very direct, which I really appreciate."
In the semifinals, she will face world No. 7 Jasmine Paolini, who reached the semifinals after defeating Emma Navarro (No. 17). The Italian leads the head-to-head 2-1, although they have no previous encounters on grass.

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