Donna Vekic f Borna Couric Each recorded their second set in a row United Cup Win the most matches on Monday in Perth. Vekic defeats Alize Cornet and Coric defeats her Arthur Renderknech It gave Team Croatia a 2-0 lead against Team France in the decisive Group F match.
Her 6-4, 6-3 win was Vekic’s second in a row against Cornet on Australian soil: The pair have only one win against each other, but their last meeting was Vekic’s 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of 2020 Australian Open.
The immediate result belied the tightness of the competition, a classic stylistic contrast between strength and defense that saw the pair repeatedly engage in multi-demon feuds. Vekic teetered a forehand at every opportunity, landing 34 winners compared to Cornette’s 13 – but the latter wasn’t as watertight as she could have been, also committing 20 unforced errors.
Key to Vekic’s victory was the 22-year-old’s resilience in getting through the toughest moments of the match. She chased down Cornette’s shot to grab the first break of the game at 2-1, then made a two break point save to extend her lead.
After a double break at 4-1, Vekic had to fend off a brave comeback attempt from Cornet, who held four tie-breaking points at 4-4. But Vekic swept through seven tie-breakers to get the decisive hold and held on to finish the set as Cornet served up a long backhand.
After hitting an instant break in the first game of the second set, Vekic maintained her lead until the end of the match. Game 6 was important here as the former WTA No. 19 came through four doubles, saving one break point with a powerful drive shot, to hold a 4-2 lead.
“I had a very tough opponent,” said Vekic. “There was a lot of pressure, and to be the first person to open the match is very difficult. But I’m happy with my level of tennis – it was a good match overall. I’m not very good at the beginning of the year, so it’s very important for me to have some confidence in Australian Open. ”
There were no such problems for Koric on Monday night’s singles court when he followed Vekic to the RAC Arena to face Rinderknech. The Croatian stayed calm under pressure to dominate the tie-breakers in a 7-6(1) 7-6(2) win and put his side in a commanding position going into Tuesday’s clash.
“It’s a great feeling, of course,” Coric said after the match. “I was very happy with my performance. I thought I was serving very well and in the first set, when I lost the break, I kept my calm so that was very important to me. I am very happy to win and get a point for my team.”
Couric kept his composure in the first set of the first half after losing a 5-3 lead in the opening set, forcing an impressive series of returns to negate some of Rinderknech’s usual strong serve. The 26-year-old, who lifted his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Western and Southern Open At Cincinnati in 2022, he produced a similarly high-ranking run in the second set for a 1 hour 53 minute win.
With the winner of this tie advancing to the City final in Perth, Petra Martic and Burna Jojo Both will have the chance to secure the passage of Team Croatia to the next round on Tuesday in their singles matches against Caroline Garcia and Adrian Mannarino, respectively. However, if neither secures a win, the deciding tie will come down to mixed doubles, and Koric is ready to go on court again for his team, should the call come.
“Definitely, [me playing] It’s always an option, we need to see how everything goes. “I’ll talk to the team and we’ll see how it goes.”
Singles champion Vekic was less confident teaming up with her childhood friend Couric on Tuesday.
“We had mixed exercises and played very poorly,” she joked after her victory over Cornet. “So, I don’t know if we’ll play – not just tomorrow, but always!”