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Tuesday, 09 July 2024 17:13

Donna Vekic ends Lulu Sun's dream run to reach first semi-final.

By Joe Rindl.

@PA.

Qualifier Lulu Sun's dream run at Wimbledon was ended in the quarter-finals by Croat Donna Vekic under the Court One roof.

New Zealander Sun, 23, who beat Britain's Emma Raducanu in the fourth round, was hoping to become the first qualifier to reach the women's semi-finals since 1999 when American Alexandra Stevenson caused a sensation.

However, the world number 123 was beaten 5-7 6-4 6-1 by Vekic who will face Jasmine Paolini or Emma Navarro in the last four.

World number 37 Vekic, at the age of 28, is into her first Grand Slam semi-final.

She set up four break points across the first set but was unable to beat Sun's dogged defence, and then dropped serve at 5-5 as the opener tilted in her opponent's favour.

Vekic broke to go up 5-3 in the second set but briefly lost her confidence, double-faulting three times to hand Sun a break back.

Buoyed by the crowd, Vekic quickly recovered and levelled the match with a sublime drop shot.

She rode her momentum from there, dominating the decider.

Vekic, who has 22-time Grand Slam doubles winner Pam Shriver in her coaching team, is the last unseeded player left in the women's draw.

As Vekic advances, Sun's defeat means Wimbledon's wait for a qualifier to become champion in the Open era continues.

Raducanu is the only qualifier to have won a Grand Slam title in the Open era, doing so when she triumphed at the 2021 US Open.