Hrvatska teniserka Dona Vekić kaže da u periodu od 18. do 20. godine nije uživala u tenisu, ali da je sada sazrela i da se to vidi.
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“Ne postoji sličan doživljaj kao igrati večernji meč, pogotovo na Gren slem turnirima. Možete da zaključite koliko volim tenis po tome što sam ceo dan na terenima, a onda uključim TV i gledam tenis čim se vratim u hotel“, počela je Dona.
Hrvatska teniserka potom je opisala uspone i padove na profesionalnom turniru.
"Sećam se jedne od svojih najdužih serija poraza. Imala sam oko 16 godina, izgubila sedam mečeva u nizu, i to kada mi je zbog godina bio ograničen broj profesionalnih turnira. Konačno sam dobila meč u Indijan Velsu, bilo je to veliko olakšanje. Vezani porazi su mi ušli u glavu, pomislila sam da nemam to što je potrebno da uspem“, piše 23-godišnja Osiječanka i dodaje:
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“There is nothing quite like playing a night match, especially at Grand Slams. You can tell I love tennis when I spend the whole day on site and the first think I do when I get back to the hotel is turn the TV on and watch more tennis. I remember having one of my longest losing streaks. I was around 16 years old and lost seven matches in a row, and this was when I was restricted to the amount of professional tournaments I could play. I couldn’t just play week after week to try and get that win. I finally won my first match after a while at Indian Wells. It was such a relief. After losing a couple matches it gets in your head, thinking I didn’t have what it took. The struggle was moving up the rankings quickly. I was 16 and already top 100 in the world. I won my first WTA event at 17. Every time I reached a final or won a tournament, the next few after would be a waste. I would lose early from all the pressure I put on myself to have to win. I really didn’t enjoy playing from around 18-20 years old. Everyone expected me to keep on winning from when I was 16. It just doesn’t always happen like that, it’s so rare. Now when I see all these young girls, I know it will eventually stop. From then it’s just how they deal with it and move pass it. A lot of the pressure is coming from media. I remember reading an article where they called me a ‘tourist’ at the tournament. I was never into reading too much about myself, didn’t pay too much attention to it all. It was easier at times because I wouldn’t spend too much time in Croatia to listen to what people said. Even if you don’t try you always hear that people are talking about you. I was still working hard, practicing, doing everything right, but it was just not being shown in matches. I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t enjoying tennis. Things changed and my ranking went from outside the top 100 to top 20 in the world. I really grew up, through the natural process of growing up and just became older. I cannot say it was because I was working harder, I was just smarter about it all.” @donnavekic Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended stories, podcast and merch.
“Sa 16 sam već bila u 100 na svetu, osvojila prvi WTA turnir sa 17. Svaki put posle dobrog rezultata bila bih loša na narednih nekoliko jer bih stavljala na sebe preveliki pritisak pobede. Uopšte nisam uživala igrajući od 18. do 20. godine. Svi su očekivali da pobeđujem, ali to je retko, ne ide uvek tako“.
Vekićeva ističe da veliki deo pritiska dolazi od medija.
“Sećam se teksta u kojem su me nazvali 'turistom' na jednom turniru. Nikada nisam previše čitala o sebi niti obraćala pažnju, nekada je i bilo lakše jer ne provodim toliko vremena u Hrvatskoj, ali čak i tako uvek čuješ šta ljudi govori. I dalje sam vredno radila, trenirala, sve kako treba, ali nije se pokazivalo na mečevima. Priznala sam sebi da ne uživam, ali kada sam odrasla, postala starija, vratila sam se. Nisam radila napornije, samo sam bila pametnija“, zaključila je trenutno 24. teniserka sveta.