As the 2019 U.S. Open nears its end, Donna Vekic has become one of the tournaments brightest lights. The Croatian player reached the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, making it her first time to reach the round in any Grand Slam tournament. While it is undeniable that much of the credit goes to Vekic’s immense skill in the courts, an argument can also be said of the contributions of her coach, Torben Beltz.
Who is Torben Beltz?
In 2017, Vekic announced that she hired German tennis coach Beltz as she was then about to hit the 2018 tennis season. Back then, Vekic just won her second WTA championship and she reached the world top 50. The hiring of Beltz was largely seen as an effort from Vekic to sustain her momentum.
During the announcement, Vekic praised Beltz enormously, calling him one of the best coaches in the game. There was some truth to that because Beltz is well-known for coaching former no. 1 player Angelique Kerber during her peak in the rankings.
It was under Beltz’ training that Kerber won the 2016 editions of the U.S. Open and Australian Open. He also trained her for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where she took home a silver medal. The two parted ways in 2017 when Kerber decided to work with another famed coach Wim Fissette instead. When he no longer had someone to coach, Beltz resolved to mentor a young player that can match, if not surpass, his success with Kerber.
Beltz’ and Vekic’s partnership
Not much is really known about Beltz’ personal life but Vekic has spoken positively about him. With Beltz as her coach, Vekic is becoming a bigger deal in the world of tennis. While her rise was a bit slower than most young players, she said that she is happy that it is happening now. She also believes that she still has a lot of room to improve and grow.
Beltz, for his part, said that Vekic’s and Kerber’s playing styles are very different. Because of her training with Beltz, Vekic has become a more aggressive player, exhibiting bombastic serves and bigger first shots.
It seems that their partnership is paying off. This year alone, she is closing in on the world top 20 rankings. She also reached the second week at Wimbledon and the French Open earlier in 2019. She has a chance to reach a Grand Slam semifinal round with her quarter-final match with Swiss player Belinda Bencic. It would be her chance to beat Bencic again after their French Open game earlier this summer.
Vekic at the U.S. Open, ranking, and results in 2019
Ranked no.23, Donna has a 33-16 win-loss record in 2019. The Croatian is now competing at the U.S. Open where she ousted Richel Hogenkamp 7-64 6-3, Kaia Kanepi 7-5 6-3, Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-1 and Julia Goerges 6-75 7-5 6-3.
Donna will compete against Bencic in the quarter. The head to head is 2-1 for Bencic.
The last time that they locked horns, Vekic won 6-4 6-1 in the 3rd round in Paris in 31st May 2019.
Donna was the finalist in St. Petersburg and in Nottingham in 2019.
Donna Vekic's coach Torben Beltz
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