Vekic overcomes top seed Garcia in three sets in Monterrey Open decider
Donna Vekic stamped her red-hot start to 2023 with her first title of the season, defeating world number five Caroline Garcia 6-4 3-6 7-5 in the Monterrey Open final on Sunday.
Vekic, 26, has now won 14 of her past 16 matches dating back to New Year's Eve, and she dropped only two sets through her five matches in Mexico this week. She also made the 2023 Australian Open quarter-finals, losing to eventual winner Aryna Sabalenka.
The Croatian grabbed the early break to control the first frame, and when serving for the set, Vekic showed grit to fight back from a 40-0 deficit and save three break points en route to securing the opener.
She kept her momentum rolling into the second, breaking and consolidating to jump ahead 2-0, but the response from France's Garcia showed why she was the WTA Finals champion last season, rattling off five games in a row.
But Vekic showed no signs of slowing down, and Garcia was forced to save eight break points to keep the third set level, before the dam finally broke at 6-5 to prevent a tiebreaker.
It was the fourth title of Vekic's career, but only her second since 2017, having snapped a four-year drought at the 2021 Courmayeur Ladies Open.