Sakkari and Vekic win first-round matches at the Nottingham Open on grass

Sakkari and Vekic win first-round matches at the Nottingham Open on grass

Sakkari and Vekic win first-round matches at the Nottingham Open on grass.

The Nottingham Open, a major grass-court tennis event, opened with entertaining first-round matches. Maria Sakkari of Greece and Donna Vekic of Croatia won their bouts, demonstrating their abilities and commitment on the grass courts. In this article, we will explore Sakkari and Vekic win first-round matches at the Nottingham Open on grass.


The Nottingham Open, one of the four grass-court tournaments on the WTA Tour ahead of Wimbledon, saw some surprising results in the first and second rounds. Firstly, top seeds Maria Sakkari and Donna Vekic were knocked out by Alize Cornet and Viktorija Golubic respectively. Secondly, defending champion Beatriz Haddad Maia was ousted by lucky loser Daria Snigur. Thirdly, the only British hope, Heather Watson, advanced to the quarterfinals along with seven other players. Finally, here is a recap of the matches and a preview of the quarterfinals.

Top seeds advance to the last 16 at the Wimbledon warmup event

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari and former champion Donna Vekic won their opening matches at the Nottingham Open on Monday, while defending champion Beatriz Haddad Maia was ousted in the first round. Sakkari, the No. 8-ranked Greek, beat Xiyu Wang of China 6-2, 7-6 (6) after Vekic of Croatia defeated Cristina Bucsa of Spain 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Sakkari and Vekic are among the favorites to win the grass-court tournament, which serves as a warmup event for Wimbledon.

However, Haddad Maia of Brazil, who won the title in 2019, was beaten by lucky loser Daria Snigur of Ukraine 6-4, 6-3. Snigur replaced Alison Riske of the United States, who withdrew due to injury.

Other results

In other first-round matches, Britain’s Heather Watson beat Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-4 and Magdalena Frech of Poland beat Katie Boulter of Britain 7-5, 7-5. However, in the second round, Alize Cornet of France upset Sakkari 6-1, 6-4 and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland knocked out Vekic 6-4, 6-1. As a result, Cornet and Golubic will face each other in the quarterfinals. Moreover, another seed to fall in the second round was Lin Zhu of China, who lost 6-2, 6-4 to Frech. Lin was the eighth seed at the event.

Watson hopes to end the British drought

Watson is the only British player left in the draw, and she hopes to end a long drought for the home nation at the Nottingham Open. The last British woman to win the title was Laura Robson in 2012. Watson, who reached the semifinals in 2016 and 2017, said she enjoys playing on grass and feels confident about her game.

“I love playing on grass. It suits my game well. I like to come forward and use my slice and drop shots,” Watson said after her win over Maria. “I feel like I’m playing well, and I’m happy with how I’m competing.”

Watson will face a tough challenge in Golubic, who has been in impressive form this week. The Swiss player eliminated Vekic, the 2017 champion, and 2019 runner-up, in straight sets.

“Golubic is a very good player. She has a lot of variety, and she can mix it up well. She beat Vekic today, so she must be playing well,” Watson said. “I have to be ready for anything and play my best tennis.”

Cornet aims for first grass-court title

Cornet, who stunned Sakkari in the second round, is aiming for the first grass-court title of her career. The French player has won six WTA titles, but none on grass. Cornet said she was pleased with her performance against Sakkari, who reached the semifinals of the French Open last week.

“I played a very good match today. I was solid from the baseline, and I served well. Sakkari is a great player, and she had an amazing run in Paris, so I’m very happy to beat her,” Cornet said. Cornet will face Golubic in the quarterfinals, a player she has never faced before.

“I don’t know much about her, but I know she’s playing well. She beat Vekic, who is a very good grass-court player. I have to be ready for a tough match,” Cornet said. Cornet said she hopes to go all the way to Nottingham and lift her first trophy on grass.

“It would be amazing to win here. It’s a beautiful tournament, and I love playing on grass. It would be a great preparation for Wimbledon,” Cornet said.

Frech advances to his first grass-court quarterfinal.

Frech, who advanced through the qualifying stages, upset Zhu in the second round to reach her maiden grass-court quarterfinal. The Polish player expressed satisfaction with her performance and adaptation to the surface.

“I’m overjoyed to have won today.” It was a difficult match, and Zhu is an excellent player. I played aggressively and served effectively. I’m having fun playing on the grass. “It’s a new experience for me, and I’m learning new things every day,” Frech explained. In the quarterfinals, Frech will meet Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium, a player she has never met before.

“I’m not familiar with her, but I know she’s a good player.” She has a lot of experience and has won grass titles.

Van Uytvanck is aiming for his second grass-court victory.

Van Uytvanck, who won the grass-court title in Rosmalen in 2019, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic. The Belgian player was satisfied with her performance and form on the grass.

“I’m overjoyed to have won today.” Martincova is a difficult opponent, so it was a close battle. I performed admirably and remained focused. I enjoy playing on the grass. “It fits my game, and I’m comfortable on this surface,” Van Uytvanck said. In the quarterfinals, Van Uytvanck will meet Frech, a player she has never faced before.

“I don’t know much about her, but I know she’s a good player.” She made it through qualifying and defeated Zhu.

Other quarterfinal matches

Meanwhile, in the other quarterfinal matches, Nina Stojanovic of Serbia will face Katie Volynets of the United States and Zhang Shuai of China will face Lauren Davis of the United States. Stojanovic, the sixth seed, beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. Similarly, Volynets, a lucky loser, upset fourth-seeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. On the other hand, Zhang, the third seed, beat Harriet Dart of Britain 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. Likewise, Davis, a qualifier, beat seventh-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-3, 6-3.


So far, the Nottingham Open has been a fascinating and unexpected competition, full of upsets and surprises. Eight players from eight different nations will compete in the quarterfinals for a position in the semifinals. The tournament provides an excellent opportunity for players to acquire confidence and experience on grass before Wimbledon, which begins on June 26. Who will be crowned the Nottingham champion? Stay tuned for more news and updates.


Q1: What exactly is the Nottingham Open?

The Nottingham Open is a WTA Tour grass-court tennis event. It is one of four grass-court events that precede Wimbledon. It takes place at the Nottingham Tennis Centre in Nottingham, England.

Q2: When does the Nottingham Open take place?

The Nottingham Open begins on June 12 and concludes on June 18. The quarterfinals will take place on June 15, the semifinals on June 16, and the championship on June 17.

Q3: Who are the top-seeded players in the Nottingham Open?

Maria Sakkari of Greece and Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil were the top seeds in the Nottingham Open. Both were eliminated in the second and first rounds, respectively. Zhang Shuai is the highest seed remaining in the draw.

Q4: Who are the former champions at the Nottingham Open?

The Nottingham Open was first held in 1971 and has had several champions over the years. The most recent champion was Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, who won the title in 2019. The tournament was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other notable champions include Donna Vekic of Croatia, Ashleigh Barty of Australia, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, and Laura Robson of Britain.

Q5: How can I watch the Nottingham Open?   

The Nottingham Open is broadcast on various channels and platforms around the world. You can check the official website of the tournament for more details on how to watch it in your region. You can also follow the live scores and updates on the WTA website or app.

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