Donna Vekic suffers from fear of the air ahead of victory in Guadalajara


Croatia’s Donna Vekic said she “freaked out” after the door of the helicopter she was flying in to the Guadalajara Open in Mexico opened mid-flight.

The 26-year-old, who finished second in San Diego last week, came in safely and made easy work of her first-round opponent Laura Pigossi, but her pre-game routine wasn’t exactly ideal.

“It was great, except the door opened mid-flight,” Vekic told reporters. “It was actually my fault because when we sat at the beginning it was so hot that I opened the door a bit to get some air. I think I didn’t close it properly.

“After 10 minutes of flight, the door opened. i freaked out The guys freaked out in the back because I was in the front.

“The pilot said, ‘No pasa nada. No pasa nada (no problem).’”

Vekic, who started a business that makes beeswax candles and donates money to bee conservation, is fighting his way back up after falling out of the top 100.

She impressed in San Diego, where she progressed through qualifiers and defeated two top-10 players before losing in three sets to world no. Iga Swiatek in the final.

Vekic meets Veronika Kudermetova on Wednesday.