Donna Vekic was visibly touched – and had two reasons to be happy. Shortly after reaching the semi-finals, the Croatian was serenaded on her 28th birthday by the 3,700 spectators at the sold-out Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court. “It was wonderful and very special,” said Donna Vekic after tournament director Aljoscha Thron presented her with a magnum bottle of French rosé wine from Provence following her 6-0, 7-6 (8-6) win over qualifier Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria.

On Saturday (1:30 pm), the world no. 49 will be playing for her fifth WTA singles title in the final of the Bad Homburg Open powered by Solarwatt against fellow unseeded Kerber conqueror Diana Shnaider (47) – it would be her second on grass. “Grass is really my favorite surface. But I still didn’t expect to be in the final here,” said Donna Vekic, who has been hampered by injuries throughout her career.

Shnaider’s evening programme: A phone call and a lot of relaxation

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Diana Shnaider had to fight harder than her opponent in the final before coming through 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 against third-seeded Emma Navarro of the USA. It was a clash of former US college players. “I am going to call my parents, have a nice dinner, cool my face, get a massage – and then nothing,” said the left-handed Diana Shnaider of her plans for the evening ahead of her first WTA 500 final. She won her first singles title on tour in Thailand (WTA 250) earlier this year.

Doubles final brought forward due to thunderstorm warning – singles to start as scheduled

The doubles final of the Bad Homburg Open powered by Solarwatt will be played on Saturday at 11:00 am on the Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court due to a warning from the German Weather Service (DWD) of severe thunderstorms, gusty winds and heavy rain. This decision was taken by the tournament organizers in close consultation with the WTA on Friday evening in order to ensure the safety of the players, spectators and all other stakeholders. The aim is to ensure that both finals can be played on Centre Court despite the severe weather warning.

The singles final between Donna Vekic and Diana Shnaider is scheduled to start at 1:30 pm. The doubles final between Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Ellen Perez and Hao-Ching Chan/Veronika Kudermetova was originally scheduled to take place after the singles final on Saturday.

The opening of the Baloise Park Village and the Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court has therefore been brought forward to 10:00 am.