After waiting a little bit for everything to sink in, I probably have something wiser to say now (or let's at least hope so).
This match was won on experience first and foremost, and only than by playing well. Begu was mixing her game too much for Donna to successfuly adapt, and she also wasn't able to force her own game plan into the match, so things couldn't have gone much different in the end. As Donna's fitness coach was saying during a live coverage on one of the national tv stations, if Donna was to win the match, the only way to do it would've been to dictate points, and she let her opponent take charge all too often.
Donna's game definately wasn't at the level of yesterday, not to mention the day before that. It could be that she was too tired to think straight, as she seemed to rush a little more, often forgeting to take the towel between points and do similar tricks which could've help her calm down and regain focus somewhat before continuing. But overall her mental strenght again showed in a really great manner, and she again seemed like a much older competitor out there.
But one thing that struck me during the match is Donna's inability or unwilingness to come forward, even when there's every reason to do so. She would, for example, many times send a really good groundstroke over to the other side, and Begu barely got to it, but instead of coming forward and finishing the point, Donna waited at the baseline only to eventually lose the point. This happened more than a few times today, and I think her team should point it out to her. Of course, these are the situations where inexperience usually shows, especially when players are still sort of fresh from playing junior tennis, which does tend to boil down to moonballing more often than not.
Lack of focus and initiative from Donna at 4-4 in the 2nd was the breaking point I think, as Begu was really giving her another chance. Who knows what might've been if she were more ready for that sort of situation, but after playing so many matches and reaching a whole other level of success, there's really not much we can hold against her today. Hardly anything. Sure, it would've been great to see her lift that trophy, but she is still very deep in the learning process and will need a lot of time to be ready for major achievements. As her fitness coach said today, eventhough they're not happy about this loss, they're aware that this is just one more step in her journey to the top. They are not bothered too much with points and rankings, but are trying to give Donna everything that she needs in order to properly develop into a world-class player. He said that's the main objective for 2012 and 2013 - experience, experience and more experience.
So we're at the end of a really wonderful week, and it'll be strange to wake up tomorrow and realise that we won't be watching Donna play
But I think we'll be watching her often enough in not too distant future and dearly remember this result.
Great job Vekic team