The Ukrainian's first career Top 50 win had come over Vekic back in 2017 in the semifinals of the St Petersburg ITF 100K event, albeit via retirement - but today, with both ensconced in the Top 25 in the world after breakthrough seasons, put on a breathtaking display to capture their first completed match. For Vekic, though, there will be déjà vu to her disappointment today: for the second round-robin match in as many days, the Croat played an excellent first set only to find herself edged out in a close tiebreak - and, having already fallen 7-6(5), 6-2 to Kiki Bertens yesterday in an almost identical scoreline, is now unable to progress out of the Azalea Group this week.
Having not expected to qualify for Zhuhai after losing to Kirsten Flipkens in the second round of Moscow last week, Yastremska had gone into off-season mode at home in Ukraine: "I didn't practice for five days and I completely relaxed," she explained. But despite her last-minute call-up, this turned out to pay off. "I just don't put pressure on myself," said the 19-year-old. "I realized that I didn't prepare so good, so I just accepted it and I played how I played."
With 39 winners rocketing from her racquet, how Yastremska played was stunning - although, according to her, she had in fact been trying to dial back her aggression. "I was able to play my game, but still to stay a little bit more during the point - you know, to be more patient instead of boom, boom, boom, boom," she claimed.