Friday, 20 May 2022

Croatian Tennis Players Learn 2022 Roland Garros First Round Opponents

May 20, 2022 - Croatian tennis players have learned their 2022 Roland Garros first round opponents, which kicks off Sunday in Paris! 

The best Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić will play against Hungarian Attila Balazs in the first round of Roland Garros, while Borna Ćorić will open the second Grand Slam of the season against Spaniard Carlos Taberner.

Ana Konjuh expects 19th-seed Romanian Simona Halep in the first round. So far, they have played once, in 2017 in St. Petersburg, when Halep celebrated. In her five Roland Garros appearances so far, Konjuh has never gone further than the second round.

Petra Martić will play against Czech tennis player Katerina Siniakova. In their previous match, the 31-year-old Czech celebrated.

Martic played 11 times in Paris and achieved the best result in 2019, entering the quarterfinals.

The 20th seed Marin Čilić will face 33-year-old Hungarian Attila Balazs. This will be Čilić's first clash against the 255th tennis player in the world. Marin has reached the quarterfinals twice in his 15 appearances at Roland Garros so far (2017, 2018).

Borna Ćorić will open Roland Garros against 24-year-old Spaniard Carlos Taberner. Ćorić and Taberner have not played each other so far. It will be Borna's seventh appearance at the Paris tournament, and he has never gone beyond the third round.

Donna Vekić and Borna Gojo have qualified for the first round of Roland Garros, though the qualifications are not yet over. Their path will be followed by Nino Serdarušić, who is waiting for the third round of qualifications on Friday. His rival is American Bjorn Fratangelo. 

The first seed of the tournament and defending champion Novak Djokovic will play against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka. In the quarterfinals, he could face 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal.

Round One Draw:

Borna Coric (CRO) - Carlos Taberner (Spa)

Marin Cilic (CRO / N.20) - Attila Balazs (Hungary)

Petra Martic (CRO) - Katerina Siniakova (Czech)

Ana Konjuh (CRO) - Simona Halep (Rum)

Source: HRT

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Monday, 11 April 2022

Billie Jean King Cup: Croatia Women's Tennis Team Defeats Sweden 3-0

April 11, 2022 - The Croatia women's tennis team defeated Sweden 3-0 in the 1st round of Group B at the Billie Jean King Cup, hosted in Antalya from Monday to Saturday.

The first point for Iva Majoli's team was brought by the best junior in the world, 16-year-old Petra Marčinko, who defeated Jacqueline Cabaj Awad 6-0, 6-4 in her debut for the senior national team. Croatia's victory was secured by Ana Konjuh, who defeated Caijs Wilda Hennemann 6-1, 6-3, coming back from 0-3 in the second set.

Petra Martić and Donna Vekić secured the final 3-0 without losing a set, beating Fanny Oestlund and Kajsa Rinaldo Persson 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles match.

After the first round, Croatia took the leading place in the group, ahead of Slovenia and Austria, which also started with victories. After the singles matches, Slovenia secured a victory against Georgia, and Austria did the same against Bulgaria. 

Bulgaria will be the next rival for Croatia, scheduled for Tuesday, starting at 9 am Central European Time.

After Bulgaria, Croatia will face Slovenia on Wednesday, Georgia on Thursday, and Austria on Friday.

 The group winner will directly qualify for the playoffs for the 2023 Final Tournament, while the second-placed team from Group B will play against the second-placed team from Group A for the last, third place leading to the playoffs.

Playoff matches are scheduled for November this year and are played on a host-away system.

"I am glad that we are all together and in the strongest lineup after a long time. Our national team includes Petra Martić, Ana Konjuh, Donna Vekić, Petra Marčinko, and Tara Würth, and Antonia Ružić is traveling with us. This year, the competition format is challenging; we are looking for first place in the group with five other national teams. We are one of the favorites on paper, but it should be confirmed on the court. We must not underestimate anyone; surprises are common in a competition like this. Let's remember last year's success of our Davis Cup national team," said coach Iva Majoli before the tournament. 

"The fact that we will be in the strongest team is a great advantage. Five matches should be played in six days, and all players will compete."

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 20 January 2022

2022 Australian Open: Marin Čilić Moves to 3rd Round, Ana Konjuh Out

January 20, 2022 - Marin Čilić has moved to the 3rd round of the 2022 Australian Open, where he will face the 5th seed of the tournament - Russian Andrey Rublev. 

Croatia's best tennis player Marin Čilić advanced to the 3rd round of the Australian Open Grand Slam tournament, defeating Slovak Norbert Gombos 6:2, 6:3, 3:6, 7:6 (6) in Melbourne in two hours and 42 minutes of play. Čilić (ATP-27) justified the role of the favorite against Gombos, the 117th player in the world, in their first duel.

Čilić won the first set smoothly, but his problems started in the third set when Gombos took his serve for the first time in the second game. When Marin broke in the fifth game, the Slovak went to 3:4 and won the set.

The fourth set was entirely even and went to the tie-break, in which Marin led 4:2, Gombos returned, and at 6:5, he even has a set point on his serve. However, Čilić won three points in a row and prevented the match from going to the fifth set.

Čilić had 20 aces and only two double faults in the match with a first-serve percentage of 56 percent, 46 winners, and 56 unforced errors.

In the 3rd round, Čilić will go against the tournament's fifth seed - Russian Andrey Rublev. The Russian tennis player lost in their first clash in Geneva in 2015 and celebrated in the following five matches. 

Croatian tennis player Ana Konjuh said goodbye to the Australian Open after losing in the 2nd round to American Danielle Collins 4:6, 3:6 in 80 minutes of play. Unfortunately, Konjuh (WTA-58) did not find a way to confront the 30th-best player in the world in their first clash.

The Dubrovnik native lost her first serve in the second game, returned to the match by saving two set-points at 3:5, but immediately in the next game, she gambled at 40:15 and lost the set. Konjuh's lost service in the second game of the second set proved fatal, and all that she had until the end of the match was one unused break-point at 3:5.

Konjuh had 8 double faults in this match and no aces. She had more winners than Collins (16-14) and more unforced errors (26-18). The American used all three break points. 


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Tuesday, 18 January 2022

2022 Australian Open: Marin Čilić and Ana Konjuh Move to 2nd Round, Vekić and Martić Out

January 18, 2022 - Marin Čilić and Ana Konjuh have advanced to the second round of the 2022 Australian Open, while Donna Vekić and Petra Martić ended their run in the first round. 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić (ATP - 27th) advanced to the second round of the Australian Open, defeating Ecuadorian Emilio Gomez 6:3, 6:1, 6:2 after one hour and 43 minutes of play.

The only Croatian representative in the men's competition easily topped the 153rd tennis player in the world, who won a place in the main tournament through qualifications.

Čilić lost only six games and took advantage of seven break opportunities out of 11. Gomez made one break in the first set.

In the second round, Čilić will play against Slovak Norbert Gombos (ATP - 117th), also a qualifier, who defeated Timofey Skatov 6:3, 6:2, 1:6, 6:4 in the first round.

Ana Konjuh (WTA - 58th), the last Croatian representative in the main part of the tournament, advanced to the second round in the women's competition.

After two hours and 19 minutes of play, Konjuh defeated American Shelby Rodgers (WTA - 36th) 4:6, 6:3, 7:5.

In the third set, Konjuh was the first to break and served at 5:4 to end the match in her favor. However, Konjuh did not use three match points, and Rodgers returned. But Konjuh broke gain, won eight points in a row, and advanced to the second round. Konjuh had 5/9 on break points, and Rodgers 4/8. 

This was her first Grand Slam victory since Wimbledon in 2017. In the second round, Konjuh will play against the match winner between Danielle Rose Collins and Caroline Dolehide.

Donna Vekić finished her jubilee, 10th appearance at the Australian Open in the first round It was her premiere performance of the new season. Vekić lost to American Alison Riske (46th on the WTA list), winning only four games - 6:2, 6:2. Donna scored three aces, had a first-serve percentage of 44 percent, and did not reach a single break point. This was their sixth meeting and the third victory for the 31-year-old American.

After Vekić, Petra Martić was easily defeated in the first round after two sets against Jil Teichmann, 37th on the WTA list - 6:3, 6:3. Petra started the match with a break, only to lose her serve twice by the end of the set. The second set was decided after breaks in the third and ninth games. Martić scored two aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 55 percent and used one of four break points.

This was Petra's 11th appearance at the Australian Open and seventh defeat in the first round.

Source: HTS 

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Thursday, 13 January 2022

Marin Čilic into Adelaide International Semis for Second Consecutive Week

January 13, 2022 - Great news for Marin Čilić as he has advanced to the Adelaide International semis for the second week in a row. 

Marin Čilić will play in the semifinals of the ATP Series 250 tournament in Adelaide for the second week in a row! In the quarterfinal match, he celebrated against American Tommy Paul, the 41st player on the ATP list, 6:4, 2:6, 6:3.

The decision fell in the third set after a break in the eighth game, in which Čilić came to his second victory in his second match against the American player. Čilić recorded 14 aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 58 percent and used two of the eight break points. 

His opponent in the fight for the final will be the winner of the match between Kokkinakis and Vukić.

Recall, Marin Čilić lost in the semifinal of the Adelaide International 1 last Saturday. The best Croatian tennis player lost to Karen Khachanov (ATP 29) 7:6 (3), 6:3. This was the first victory for the Russian in their third meeting. Čilić was better in Cincinnati in 2018 (7:6, 3:6, 6 4) and last year in St. Petersburg, where he beat Khachanov 6:4, 6:7, 6:4 on the way to the title.

Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo advanced to the final of the same tournament last weekend but lost to Rohana Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan. However, Dodig and Melo have advanced to the semifinal of the Adelaide International 2 and will face Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski on Friday.  

In other news, Ana Konjuh lost in the quarterfinal match in Adelaide against Cori Gauff.

Third-seeded Cori Gauff, the 19th tennis player in the world, was too high an obstacle for Ana Konjuh in the quarterfinal match of the WTA 250 Series tournament in Adelaide. The American player came to victory in two sets - 6:3, 6:4.

Ana kept the score in the first set to 2:2, and in the second to 3:3, after which Gauff created an unattainable advantage. The Dubrovnik native recorded a total of five aces with a first-serve percentage of 54 percent and used two of the three break points (the American four of 11).

Source: HTS

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Friday, 7 January 2022

Marin Čilić into Adelaide International Semifinals, Konjuh Knocked Out of Melbourne Summer Set

January 7, 2022 - A great start to the year for Marin Čilić who reached the Adelaide International semifinals on Friday!

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić advanced to the semifinals of the ATP tournament in Adelaide after defeating Serbian Laszlo Đere (ATP-52) 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinal match, reports HRT.

Čilić had a break advantage in the sixth game of the first set and took a 4-2 lead, and then confirmed the break on his serve. With a 5-2 lead on the opponent's serve, he had three set points, but failed to realize them. He ultimately won the first set on his serve. 

In the second set, Čilić was even better with two break points, one in the third and one in the fifth game, and used both and came to victory after 68 minutes of play.

It was the second duel between Čilić and Đere and Marin celebrated in both. In the semifinals, Čilić will play against the winner of the match between Belarusian Egor Gerasimov and Russian Karen Khachanov.

HRT adds that Croatian tennis player Ana Konjuh lost in the quarterfinals of the WTA tournament Melbourne Summer Set 1 to Qinwen Zheng (WTA - 126) with a score of 6-7 (1), 6-7 (6).

Ana Konjuh was the first to encounter problems with her serve, and in the third game, she managed to save one break point. However, Qinwen Zheng did not miss her second chance in the fifth game. Konjuh won back the serve in the next game, and saved another break point at 4-4, forcing the set to a tie-break, which Zheng convincingly won 7-1.

In the second set, only Konjuh had a chance to break. At 2-2, she missed two chances to take the serve and the set ended again in a tie-break in which the Croatian took a 5-1 lead. It seemed that the match could go to the third set, then Qinwen Zheng won seven of the next eight points and after 2 hours and 8 minutes of play advanced to the semifinals.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 13 May 2021

5th WTA Croatia Bol Open to be held June 7 to 12!

May 13, 2021 - From June 7 to 12, Bol on Brač will again host tennis players at the 5th WTA Croatia Bol Open. Tournament director Feliks Lukas announced on Thursday that, despite the difficult conditions, the tournament would be the strongest so far.

As in previous years, the Bol tournament is part of the WTA 125 series and will be played in parallel with the second week of the Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament in Paris. The WTA Croatia Bol Open prize fund is $115,000, reports T.portal.

The results of the tennis players at Roland Garros will also dictate the draw for the Bol tournament, but the current list looks impressive at the moment.

"We have 13 registered players from the Top 100, and the last one is currently 126th in the WTA rankings. This year, there will be exciting names, some Grand Slam finalists like Sara Errani, players from the Top 5 who used to shine and burn, such as Eugenie Bouchard. What is especially important to me is that all the Bol winners are coming again. Aleksandra Krunić and the best Slovenian tennis player Tamara Zidanšek, who has won the tournament twice, and Luxembourg tennis player Mandy Minella, have announced their arrival. I would especially like to emphasize the invitation for Argentine Nadia Podoroska, who beat Serena Williams in Rome on Wednesday," said Feliks Lukas at a press conference held at Hotel Dubrovnik in Zagreb, where special guests were Croatian tennis players Ana Konjuh and Jana Fett who have a guaranteed invitation to the main tournament.


Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL

With them, Croatian tennis players Tereza Mrdeža and Tena Lukas should also take part in the tournament, and the list of applicants also includes Bernarda Pera from Zadar, who plays for the US. 

"I would like to thank Feliks for trying to organize the tournament even in these difficult times. It means a lot to all of us, especially the Croatian tennis players. We will see how Roland Garros will fare, and we may not even play. But if not, it is a good consolation to be at home. Bol, where the organization is always at the top level," said Ana Konjuh, who in her only Bol performance (2016) reached the semifinals. Due to a back injury, she had to hand over the match to the ultimate winner, Luxembourg's Mandy Minelli.

Ana's result was repeated in 2018 by Tena Lukas, who was defeated in the semifinal by Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek on her way to her first of two consecutive titles in Bol, which she will come to defend this year.

Vrbovec resident Jana Fett performed in 2019 but did not pass the first round.

"I am thrilled that Bol will be held this year. It is one of my favorite tournaments, as it is at home, and the atmosphere and organization are always great. Bol is a nice place, and I am really looking forward to playing there again. I hope that I will reach at least the final, if not me then one of us," said Fett.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year's edition of the WTA Croatia Bol Open was canceled, as were all tennis competitions scheduled to take place between mid-March and early August 2020. This year's edition will be played under strict epidemiological measures, which include testing all tennis players upon arrival and after five days and all people in the organization who will come into direct contact with them.

"At the moment, the Civil Protection Headquarters' decision that there is no audience at sports competitions is still in force. We believe that some measures will be eased by the beginning of the tournament because the tournament is outdoors and we have excellent conditions. Of course, we are ready to hold the tournament under the measures in force," said the tournament director, referring in particular to the difficult conditions in organizing this year's tournament.

"Our budget has never been smaller, the sponsors also never fewer, but our results as organizations are never stronger. We need to tip our hats off to the sponsors who remain."

In addition to tennis, the Bol tournament is also proud of the accompanying events organized as part of the tournament, and they will not be missing this year either.

"In the last edition, we shot the official video of the famous pianist Lola Astanova, which was watched by more than a million people, which was a huge promotion, and it all happened as part of the WTA tournament. This year, our theme is a combination of art and sports, so that world-famous photographers, such as Jadran Lazić and Čedo Komljenović, will come to Bol. Jadran Lazić will present a monograph of his opus exclusively in Bol. As part of the tournament program, we will have the opening of the Museum of the Dominican Convent in Bol," announced Lukas and concluded:

"Every year, Bol has made a significant contribution to the promotion of Croatian tourism, and this year it is of great importance to show the world that Croatia is a safe destination."

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Friday, 8 February 2019

Fed Cup: Croatia Loses to Serbia, Without Finals in Bath

The Croatia women’s tennis team will not have the chance to play in the finals of the Fed Cup's Euro-African Zone first group in Bath, as they lost to Serbia 2-1 on Friday. After the decisive doubles match, Olga Danilović and Aleksandra Krunić claimed victory over Darija Jurak and Ana Konjuh 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, reports HRT on February 8, 2019. 

Serbia took the lead thanks to Olga Danilović’s win against Jana Fett 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7). In the duel, Fett recovered from 2-4 in the decisive set, saved the first match point at 4-5, and then two more in the tie-break (6-4), to miss a match point at 7-6. The Serbian tennis player won three points in a row and brought the first point to their team after two hours and 23 minutes of play. 

Croatia’s best female tennis player Donna Vekić came back to equalize, defeating Aleksandra Krunić 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 after one hour and 46 minutes of play. Vekić led 5-1 in the second set but allowed her rival to get four games. However, Vekić secured the win with a series of seven games, and celebrated for the third time in this tournament under the leadership of Iva Majoli. Who would win the first place in the group was then to be decided by doubles.

However, unlike the duels against Turkey and Georgia, the doubles were unlucky for Croatia. Although Jurak and Konjuh won the first set 6-1, Serbia came back in the second set, and in the third, they had a break, which Danilović and Krunić used in the fifth game. Jurak and Konjuh did not have a chance to come back.

Serbia will play in Saturday's final against the first-place team in Group A, which will be either the United Kingdom or Hungary. Croatia will play for third place against the defeated side.

The winner of the tournament in Bath will fight for entry into the World Group 2 in April.

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Friday, 8 February 2019

Fed Cup: Croatia Overcomes Georgia, Plays Serbia for First Place

The Croatia women’s tennis team secured another win in the Euro-African group of the Fed Cup held in Bath. After starting with a 2:1 win against Turkey, Croatia was better than Georgia. They will play for first place in Group B against Serbia on Friday, reports HRT on February 7, 2019. 

The winner of this clash will meet the best team from Group A on Saturday and will be better placed in April qualifiers for World Group II.

Croatia lead on Thursday thanks to Ana Konjuh who overcame Mariam Bolkvadze 6:4, 6:3.

“It was harder than I expected, but at least my confidence has risen. She was not an easy rival, but I managed to find a solution. My hand is fine, that's also important," Ana Konjuh said.

Jana Fett was unable to win against Ekaterina Gorgodze. In the third set, Fett had the advantage to break four times, with 5-4 serving for victory, but in the end, Gorgodze was more successful 4:6, 6:3, 7:5.

“The only thing that was good was the fight. I played poorly, and I could not feel the service and I think that was it,” Fett said.

The deciding point for the Croatia national team was made by Darija Jurak and Ana Konjuh, who defeated Ekaterina Gorgodze and Oksana Kalashnikova 7:5, 6:1.

“We are good together, we needed to find a rhythm, but we found it. We did not play together long enough, but we did well,” said Darija Jurak after the win, while coach Iva Majoli added: "We decided that Donna needed to rest, so she did not play because she was exhausted after the tournament in St. Petersburg and the match against Turkey. We were hoping that we would win after the individual matches, but that did not happen. Anyway, we really believed in the doubles, because Darija and Ana were always great in the Fed Cup,” Majoli said.

In the second match of this group Serbia secured a win against Turkey (2:0). Ivana Jorović overcame Çağla Büyükakçay 6:2, 6:3, while Aleksandra Krunić was better than Pemra Ozgen 3:6, 6:4, 6:2.

Serbia and Croatia are on the ladder with two wins, while Georgia and Turkey have two defeats. Croatia will play against Serbia on Friday. 

Only the first-place teams from the group stage will have the opportunity to compete for a place in World Group II. The winner of Group B will play against the first-placed team of Group A which holds the UK, Hungary, Greece and Slovenia.

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Monday, 28 May 2018

Croats in Roland Garros: Ćorić Defeats World No. 24, Martić through to Second Round

Borna Ćorić and Petra Martić are in the second round while Ivo Karlović and Ana Konjuh were knocked out in the first. Donna Vekić players her first round match today, and Marin Čilić hits the court tomorrow against James Duckworth. 

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