Thursday, 16 May 2019

Italian Open: Borna Ćorić and Mate Pavić into Last 16, Čilić Out

May 16, 2019 - Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić placed into the 3rd round of the ATP tournament in Rome after mastering British player Cameron Norrie on Tuesday with a score of 6-2, 6-2 in just 58 minutes of play, reports the Croatian Tennis Federation.

It was a match where Ćorić was ferocious against his opponent, who really didn't stand a chance. Norrie did not manage a chance to break even once, and Ćorić realized his break on all occasions. Looking at the duo head-to-head, Norrie and Ćorić each have one victory. Recall, Norrie celebrated in Shenzhen. 

In the next round, Ćorić will play Roger Federer who was better than Portuguese player Joao Sousa. The two will meet on Thursday.

Mate Pavić and doubles partner Oliver Marach will also play in the round of 16 after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff and Ben McLachlan 6-3, 6-3. Pavić and Marach won three breaks in the duel,  while Struff and McLachlan had none. In the round of 16 game on Thursday, Pavić and Marach will face Fernando Verdasco and Denis Shapovalov.

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić failed to qualify for the third round of the Italian Open, after German tennis player Jan-Lennard Struff was better than Ćilić with a score of  6-2, 6-3 in just an hour and seven minutes of play. 

Čilić struggled in the match against Struff, losing his first strike four times and totaling only four service games won, of which not one was when Struff had the first serve. The only break for Čilić was when Struff served for the win, but he only delayed his fate until the next game.

Čilić achieved only 45 percent on his second serve and only 62 percent on his first. 

This was the fourth match between Čilić and Struff and the second win for the German player. The two also meet last week in Madrid in 2nd round where Čilić won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

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

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Relatives in Vinkovci, Connection with Croatia

May 11, 2019 - Novak Djokovic gave an exclusive interview for and IN Magazine in which he spoke about his relationship with Croatia.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Madrid Open: Food Poisoning Forces Marin Čilić to Retire Against Djokovic

An unlucky Marin Čilić was forced to withdraw from the quarterfinal of the Masters 1000 Series tournament in Madrid. Namely, Čilić was meant to face Novak Djokovic on Friday afternoon, though a bad bout of food poisoning had different plans and gave Čilić no other choice, reports T.portal on May 10, 2019. 

Čilić addressed his fans in an Instagram post on Friday morning:

“To the fans, @mutuamadridopen organizers, spectators and @djokernole I am sorry to announce that I must withdraw from today's match. I have had a terrible night dealing with a case of food poisoning. I am extremely disappointed to have my time in Madrid end in this way. Thank you for the support and I look forward to returning next year…”

Čilić was set to play Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal in Madrid. Djokovic is currently the best player in the world and has beaten Čilić 17 of the 19 times the two have been matched against one another. However, Čilić’s sweet victory against Djokovic at the Queen’s Club in London last year was the game of his career. The Croatian tennis player was hoping for the same result against Djokovic again. 

Unfortunately, there will be nothing of Marin at this year's Madrid Open. At this Masters 1000 Series tournament, however, Čilić managed to end his negative line of defeats and won against Martin Kližan, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Laslo Đere.

If he recovers in time, the next challenge for Čilić will be the tournament in Rome next week. And let’s not forget, the highly anticipated Ronald Garros begins on May 26.

Recall, Petra Martić failed to defeat the eighth best tennis player in the world, American Sloane Stephens. Stephens celebrated in the quarterfinal match in two sets - 6:4, 6:3.

Mate Pavić and doubles partner Oliver Marach also failed to win their quarterfinal match, losing to Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem. 

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

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Madrid Open: Marin Čilić and Novak Djokovic to Meet in Quarters

Marin Čilić has made it to the quarterfinal of the Madrid Open!

Monday, 22 April 2019

Croatian Duo Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor Win Monte Carlo Masters!

What a memorable week it has been for Croatian doubles team Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor! 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Monte Carlo Masters: Borna Ćorić Moves into Last 16

After almost three and a half hours of tennis, Borna Ćorić advanced to the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 series tournament in Monte Carlo.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Miami Open: Ivan Dodig in Men's Doubles Semis, Ćorić, Pavić, Jurak Out

Croatian tennis player Ivan Dodig and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin have made it to the semis of the Masters 1000 series tournament in Miami, the Miami Open, after defeating Argentinians Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals, reports on March 27, 2019.

The critical moment of the first set was the sixth game in which Dodig and Roger-Vasselin had a break and led 4-2. They held their advantage for 37 minutes and won the first set 6-3.

In the second set, both pairs held their services to 4-4 when the Croatian-French duo had a break. In the next game, they had two match points but did not use them, and the Argentinian duo leveled at 5-5. The set was taken to the thirteen game when the Argentinians led 4-2 and then 5-3. Dodig and Roger-Vasselin came back with three points in a row and reached 6-5. Gonzalez and Zeballos equalized at 6-6, and Dodig and Roger-Vasselin received the next two points to win.

In the semi-finals, Dodig and Roger-Vasselin will play against Dutchman Wesley Koolhof and Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Unlike Dodig, Mate Pavić remained without a place in the semifinals. The best men's tennis duo of last year, Pavić and Austrian Oliver Marach, were defeated in the quarterfinals by Polish player Lukasz Kubot and Brazilian Marcelo Melo 6-7 (5), 5-7.

Pavić and Marach were excellent to start the match, and already in the first game took the service of their opponents and led 2-0. However, Kubot and Melo returned in the fourth game, equalizing to 2-2. By the end of the set, both pairs kept their serves, leaving it to the decisive thirteenth game.

The Croatian-Austrian pair misplayed their tie-break. Their rivals led 3-1 and 6-2. Pavić and Marach then saved three set points, but not the fourth.

At the opening of the second set, we saw breaks, but this time by Kubot and Melo. Pavić and Marach managed to equalize 2-2. Unfortunately, Kubot and Melo broke at 5-5 and efficiently served for the match.

Borna Ćorić also failed to win a spot in the semifinals after losing to the 18-year-old Canadian player Felix Auger Aliassime 7-6 (3), 6-2. 

Ćorić did well only in the first set, and at one point had a break point to lead 6-5. He did not use it, and in the tie-break, which proved to be key, he lost two points at his service and was left without the set. 

Auger Aliassime opened the second set with two breaks, and the story was over. The young Canadian player has thus reached the semifinals from qualifying and awaits John Isner today.

Darija Jurak and partner Raluca Olaru fell to Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 in the women's doubles quarters. 

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

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Miami Open: Ćorić Knocks Out Kyrgios for Spot in Quarters!

Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić (ATP-13) defeated Australian player Nick Kyrgios (ATP-33) with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 after 116 minutes of play on Tuesday. For the second consecutive year, Ćorić advanced to the quarterfinals of the ATP Masters 1000 series tournament in Miami, the Miami Open, reports on March 26, 2019. 

In the quarters, Ćorić will meet 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime who overcame Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (4), 6-4 and achieved a career result.

Ćorić reached his third victory in Miami this year by not allowing his 23-year-old Australian opponent to disrupt his concentration, which was crucial for Ćorić’s success in the round of 16 against Kyrgios.

Ćorić was the first to reach a break in the match, for 3-1 in the first set, though he lost the lead in the next game. In the ninth game, Kyrgios took advantage of a slightly weaker period in Ćorić's game for a new break and the first set. 

However, the Croatian tennis player came back in the second set, where his break for 4-2 was enough to compete for the third set. And in the third, Ćorić first had the break advantage at 3-2. The pivotal moment happened in the next game, where Borna pulled 0-40 and confirmed the break. Kyrgios cracked when referee Gianluca Moscarella gave him a warning and a point penalty, which brought Ćorić to 5-2. There was no return for the Australian player. 

Final statistics showed just how solid Ćorić was, as he finished the match with 35 straight points and only 14 unforced errors. And in other segments, from utilizing the first and second serve to realizing break chances, the Croatian tennis player overwhelmed Kyrgios. 

Ćorić’s next opponent is 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime, the first qualifier since 2007 who reached the quarterfinals in Miami. Twelve years ago, Argentinian Guillermo Canas came out of the qualifications and lost to Novak Djokovic. Ćorić has yet to play against the Canadian teenager, who is the first tennis player born in this millennium (8.8.2000) to break into top 50. 

Their quarterfinal match will be played on Wednesday.

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

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Indian Wells: Nikola Mektić and Horacio Zeballos Claim Men's Doubles Title!

A fantastic success of Nikola Mektić in Indian Wells! The Zagreb tennis player and his Argentinian doubles partner Horacio Zeballos are the winners of this year's Masters 1000 Series Tournament in Indian Wells. The duo celebrated in the final against Polish player Lukasz Kubot and Brazilian Marcelo Melo - 4:6, 6:4, 10:3, reports HTS on March 17, 2019. 

After losing the first set, Mektić and Zeballos did not face a break until the end of the match, and once they took their opponents service in the 10th game, they equalized in sets. 

In the decisive tie-break, they started with an advantage of 5:1 and pulled through until the end of the match. 

Nikola has thus claimed his sixth career title (in 11 finals), and second in the Masters 1000 Series tournaments after Madrid last year, which he won with Austrian partner Alexander Pey.

The success of Mektić and Zeballos is even more significant because this is only the second tournament the duo has played together. Recall, on their way to the triumph they had a challenging draw and even had to overcome the best doubles team in the world! In the 2nd round of the tournament, they also saved two match points against French duo Herbert and Mahout.

“I cannot believe that we won Indian Wells. After the winning point, we looked at each other in disbelief, as if this is at all possible. Now we know that we can get everyone as a doubles team,” said the Zagreb native. 

As winners, Mektić and Zeballos added 1000 points to their ranking and have won a $457,000 cash prize. Mektić also became the first Croatian to claim the title in the Californian desert after Ivan Ljubičić defeated Andy Roddick in the final in 2010 to become the first Croat ever to win Indian Wells. 

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

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Indian Wells Masters: Ivo Karlović Moves into Round of 16!

At 40 years old, Croatian tennis player Ivo Karlović has advanced to the round of 16 at the Masters 1000 series tournament in Indian Wells. Karlović continued defying his age and defeated 29-year-old Indian player Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6:3 and 7:6 (3) after an hour and 13 minutes in the third round, reports HRT on March 11, 2019. 

Against the little-known Indian rival, Karlović played an excellent match with great serving, was strong playing at the net where he managed stunning volleys and was able to press his opponent at the right time in the return. He continued his winning series without a lost set.

The only two breaks in the match against Gunneswaran came in the first game, when it was 15:40 and after Karlović missed three of the first four services. But with two service winners, the Croatian tennis player pulled out of an unpleasant situation. On the other hand, when Gunneswaran found himself in trouble in the eighth game of the first set, Karlović used it and scored a break that brought him the first set of the match.

Karlović had the only break in the third game of the second set, but Gunneswaran was excellent, and the winner was decided in a tie break.

Gunneswaran made too many errors in the decisive game, while Karlović hit three aces - and there was no longer any uncertainty about who would move on. Karlović led 6:1, Gunneswaran reduced the lead to 6:3, but then Karlović secured his 16th ace of the game for an impressive victory.

In the fourth round, Karlović will play against 25-year-old Austrian Dominic Thieme, while Novak Djokovic would most likely be waiting for Karlović in the eventual quarterfinal.

Marin Čilić will play his round of 32 match against Canadian player Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday evening (Central European Time). Mate Pavić and doubles partner Oliver Marach will play on Wednesday. 

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