Lucky loser Vekic stuns Ostapenko in St Petersburg

By Christopher Devine 31 January 2017 79
Lucky loser Vekic stuns Ostapenko in St Petersburg

Donna Vekic took full advantage of her late inclusion in the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy field by springing a shock on Tuesday.

Having earned a place in the main draw when Stefanie Voegele withdrew, Vekic - the world number 88 - breezed past Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, a player 55 places above her in the WTA rankings.

Ostapenko failed to win a game in the first set and threw away a 4-2 lead in the second to go down 6-0 6-4.

Defending champion Roberta Vinci overcame a second-set wobble to beat Timea Babos 6-3 3-6 6-4, while Ana Konjuh bounced back from losing the first set 6-1 against Monica Niculescu to triumph in three sets and set up a meeting with top seed Simona Halep in round two.

Venus Williams will begin her campaign against Kristina Mladenovic, a straight-sets victor over Elise Mertens, while eighth seed Daria Kasatkina beat Belinda Bencic 6-2 7-5.

There were also opening-round wins for Yulia Putintseva, Andrea Petkovic and Alize Cornet.

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Christopher Devine