Donna Vekic in the third round of Roland Garros 2019, France
Donna Vekic in the third round of Roland Garros 2019, France | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Tennis | Wimbledon 2024 | Day Nine Talking Points: Donna Vekic reveals nearly quitting tennis before Roland Garros, Jannik Sinner takes positives despite sickness

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Donna Vekic revealed that she nearly quit the sport before Roland Garros as she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals
  • Jannik Sinner is taking the positives from Wimbledon despite sickness effecting his quarter-final exit
  • Daniil Medvedev previewed his semi-final showdown with Carlos Alcaraz
LONDON, ENGLAND – Donna Vekic revealed that she nearly quit tennis before Roland Garros as Jannik Sinner takes the positives from his Wimbledon quarter-final run on day nine.


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Donna Vekic reveals nearly quitting tennis after reaching Wimbledon semi-finals

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The day nine talking points start with Donna Vekic after the Croatian reached her first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon.

A hard-fought three set victory over qualifier Lulu Sun sealed Vekic’s place in the last four at Wimbledon where she will now face Jasmine Paolini.

Speaking after the match Vekic spoke about whether she enjoys the stresses of tennis as she tries to enjoy every moment she plays on a big court.

“Honestly, it’s really tough out there. Doesn’t matter if it’s first round, second round, quarterfinals, it’s tough. It’s tough to enjoy,” Vekic said in her press conference.

“The part that I do enjoy is playing on big courts with such an amazing crowd. That’s the part that I try to soak in while I’m playing. I have to always remind myself to enjoy it. In the moment it’s tough. You want to win, and you want to win as fast as possible, get out of there. Yeah, playing on Court 1 in Wimbledon, you have to try to enjoy it.”

Now Vekic has a Grand Slam semi-final to endure as her years of hard work has finally paid off.

However, at one point Vekic was actually considering retirement before Wimbledon as she spoke about the continued struggle that she endures with her injuries.

“There was a couple of times in my career that I didn’t want to play tennis any more. Most of you know that it was after my surgeries, but actually there was one recent one. It was the Thursday before Roland Garros this year that we had scheduled practice. I arrived to the club. I told Nick, Listen, I want to pull out of French Open. I want to go home. I want to take a longer break,” Vekic shockingly revealed.

“I didn’t have any energy, any motivation to keep practicing, keep pushing because I felt like the last couple months I’ve given everything for tennis, and I wasn’t getting the results that I kind of expected. It was a very, very tough moment, but they were all there for me.

“Like I said, that loss in Paris was so, so painful. But it motivated me again to keep working, to keep pushing. It’s crazy how in tennis things can turn so fast. One of my best friends, who was with me in Rome, I was talking to her before the match. I was like, Do you remember Rome after the match? She was like, Yeah, and now you’re in the quarterfinals. Now I’m in the semifinals. I think not just in tennis, in life things can turn pretty fast.

“I didn’t think I was ever going to come back to the level that I even had last year. So this now, reaching my best result ever at a slam, I’m really proud of myself, of the work that I’ve done, of the work that my team has done. I’m very thankful to them for believing in me when I didn’t.”

Vekic will now hope to go one step further as she aims for a spot in Saturday’s final but will have to overcome a 2-1 head-to-head deficit against Paolini in order to reach the final.



Jannik Sinner takes positives despite quarter-final sickness

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There will be no Wimbledon semi-final for world number one Jannik Sinner after the Italian lost in five sets to Daniil Medvedev.

Given the circumstances, it was a miracle that Sinner even went to five sets as he struggled with illness throughout the match.

In his press conference Sinner detailed what was wrong with him but offered no excuses for the defeat.

“Yeah, already this morning I didn’t feel great. Had some problems. Then with the fatigue, it was tough,” Sinner explained.

“But nothing to take away from Daniil. I think he played very smart. He played good tennis. That’s it. I went off the court actually. I didn’t want to go off. The physio told me better to take some time because he watched me, and I didn’t seem in shape to play. I was struggling physically. It was not easy moment. I tried to fight with that what I had today. No, that’s it.

“Yeah, I was. I was not feeling great. I didn’t vomit. This, no. But took some time because I was dizzy quite a lot. Yeah, actually off court I had a little bit the toughest time maybe. When I went back, I tried my best. Obviously disappointed about the third set. Had couple of set points. Couldn’t use them. Fourth set I raised my level a little bit. In the fifth I had just one poor service game, which decided the match.

“No, I was also surprised that I pushed the match longer, no? I retired a lot two years ago. It’s something I don’t want to retire if it’s only a little bit of illness or sick or whatever. I was still in shape to play somehow.

“The fifth sets I felt a little bit better again. The energy level was a bit up. Today the energy level was not consistent. It was up and down. Like this, it’s also not easy to handle the situations on the court. It happens. I was never thinking about retire. This, no. But for sure the crowd helped me a lot trying to push me. You don’t want to retire in a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam.”

A tough defeat for Sinner to take as he was playing some really good tennis and would have fancied himself to win the title here.

Despite the illness, Sinner spoke about some of the positives he will take from Wimbledon as he looks ahead to the rest of the season.

“A lot, no? I felt like I was playing some good tennis,” Sinner responded when asked about what positives he will take from the match.

“I had tough opponents to reach this point. But it also gives you confidence when you beat certain players, no? It’s tough because I felt like that I was, yeah, feeling the ball in a very positive way. Also today I tried. Just the ending was not what I wanted. It still give me confidence for the next tournaments coming up. Then we see how it goes.

“I mean, it’s a tough one to swallow. But the season is going very positive, a lot of wins, not so many losses. The losses, they are very tight matches. The level is there. That’s the most important. Just watching out of the positives.”


Daniil Medvedev previews semi-final rematch

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As for Medvedev, it’s a second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final as he played some impressive tennis under pressure.

Next up for the former US Open champion it’s the same opponent as last year as he takes on defending champion Carlos Alcaraz.

Ahead of Friday’s semi-final, Medvedev spoke about what he will need to do differently in order to earn revenge.

“Just play better. It’s always a question, did I serve not well enough or have Carlos been amazing on the return this day last year because he won? I have to serve better,” Medvedev responded when asked about his match with Alcaraz.

“That’s still the most important thing on grass. You serve aces, you serve on the line, you’re less in trouble, and you feel better. That’s where you can put pressure on his serve. Yeah, then he’s a tough player. He can hit strong. He can slice. He can dropshot. He can volley. He knows how to play tennis. Just need to be at my best, like kind of how I’ve been today, and try to win.”


Carlos Alcaraz continues to find solutions ahead of semi-finals

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Speaking of Alcaraz, the Spaniard has the final word today after he overcame a slow start to defeat Tommy Paul in four sets.

When asked about his tough matches Alcaraz said he’s finding the positives in being able to solve problems.

“Well, we try just to find solutions. For me obviously is going to be really difficult to play my best tennis every match,” Alcaraz admitted.

“I know that there are going to be some matches that I’m not going to find my best tennis even though I have to try to win it. I think that what the big three did along their career, they are not going to play his best tennis.

“Even like that, they are going to find their good tennis just to win those matches. That what I’m thinking. When I’m not playing my best tennis, I’m going to try to find solutions just to be a bit better, just to beat the opponent. Sometimes going to be difficult to do it, but sometimes like these matches I didn’t play brilliant, but I played enough level just to beat those matches.”



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