The final of the Aegon Classic was played on the grass of Birmingham on Sunday afternoon. After all the rain delays of the past week, play got underway almost on time. Both finalists were unseeded in this tournament and pitted age and experience against youth and great talent. Thirty year old Slovak ranked at 60, Daniela Hantuchova, is a veteran of many finals in her long career, while Croat Donna Vekic, at just sixteen years old and ranked at 89, was into her second final of her short career. She is probably the most exciting young player on the tour at present and is being trained in England.
Vekic stood firm against the hard hitting Hantuchova at the beginning of the first set and games went on serve until the seventh game, when the Slovak broke to go into the lead 4-3. The Croat broke straight back and games then went with serve all the way to a tie breaker. Vecik started badly, letting the Slovak get to 4-1 but after Hantuchova made some bad errors of judgement, Vekic got back to 5-5 before Hantuchova served it out at 7-5.
Hantuchova started the second set and the first three games went with serve. At that point VeKic had an injury time out to treat a shoulder problem, but she came back with new balls and held her serve. The next five games also went with serve, resulting in Hantuchova getting to 5-4 first. With Vekic serving to stay in the match, Hantuchova upped her game just another notch and broke to take the ser 6-4 and the champion’s trophy on her 7th visit to this tournament – and yet another victory for the over thirty your olds.