No.3 seed sees off former Junior Wimbledon finalist with aplomb

Donna Vekic, who claims her recent upturn in form is partly down to having started working with a nutritionist during the off-season, breezed past Leonie Küng on Centre Court 7-5 6-1 to edge closer to claiming what would be only her third WTA Tour title.

The Croatian ace, one of only a trio of top 50 players competing at the Nottingham Open, was initially held back by her tenacious 20-year-old Swiss opponent before edging the opening set.

Yet 2018 Junior Wimbledon finalist Küng fell apart to suddenly been outclassed in all departments in the sweltering heat at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

It was Monaco-based 24-year-old Vekic, once more a rising star who two years ago was ranked in the world’s top 20, who ran riot with an array of powerful shots in the second set to race into the next round.

The 2017 Nottingham Open champion, yet to get further than the 4th Round at Wimbledon, may be the no.3 seed at this Wimbledon warm-up tournament yet she is the favourite to capture the crown this weekend with British top seed Johanna Konta having struggled so much on clay that she split from her coach prior to the grass court season.