Thursday, 18 August 2022

Borna Ćorić Takes Out Rafael Nadal to Advance in Cincinnati!

August 18, 2022 - Borna Ćorić proves he's fit again after knocking out World No. 3 tennis player Rafael Nadal of the Cincinnati Masters. 

Borna Ćorić beats Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal 7:6(9), 4:6, 6:3 and advanced to the 3rd round of the Masters Series ATP tournament in Cincinnati. Ćorić thus spoils Nadal's return to tennis in his comeback match, the first after Wimbledon, when he surrendered to Nick Kyrgios in the semi-final. 

In a match lasting 2 hours and 51 minutes, Ćorić achieved the greatest success of the season, proving that he is fit again after a long break due to injury. After a dramatic first set in which both players saved two set-points each, Ćorić reached an important break in the middle of the third set, which was enough for him to win.

"This is special. I haven't been here for the past two years; I haven't played in big tournaments in front of a lot of spectators. Honestly, I was just looking forward to playing this match, and the fact that I won is crazy," said Ćorić, who now faces Robert Bautista Agut.

"It will be an interesting match. I will have to be aggressive, especially because I played against Nadal for a long time and finished late," said Ćorić, who leads 5:4 against Bautista Agut in head-to-head matches.

This was the fifth match between Ćorić and who many consider the best tennis player of all time. Borna Ćorić has a 3:2 advantage in head-to-head matches against the Spaniard. The Croatian tennis player, who fell to 152nd place in the ATP ranking due to injuries, and was once the 12th tennis player in the world, defeated Nadal in the Basel quarterfinals in 2014 (6:2, 7:6(4) and then two years later in Cincinnati he won 6:1, 6:3. He lost to Nadal at the US Open in 2015 and the Masters in Canada in 2017.

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Monday, 27 June 2022

Borna Ćorić Withdraws from Wimbledon, Marin Čilić Only Croatian Male in Singles Tournament

June 27, 2022 - Borna Ćorić will miss this year's Wimbledon tournament due to a shoulder injury. The Croatian tennis player was meant to face Diego Schwartzman in the first round. 

Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić will miss this year's Wimbledon, where the draw in the first round awarded him the 15th tennis player in the world, Argentine Diego Schwartzman. Ćorić, however, has cited a shoulder injury as the reason for this decision, reports Gol.hr

Ćorić will be replaced by the "lucky loser" from the qualifications in the main draw.

Thus,  the only Croatian representative in the Wimbledon singles tennis competition will be Marin Čilić, who is set as the 14th seed in the tournament. On Tuesday, he will face American Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.

At a press conference in Zagreb, Borna Ćorić indirectly announced the possibility of withdrawing from Wimbledon, given that he played five matches in six days last week and won the ATP Challenger in Italy on clay.

The Croatia national team player took a break for a year due to a shoulder injury that needed surgery. However, as points for the ATP rankings cannot be won at this year's Wimbledon, it is not worth the risk for Ćorić to expose his still not fully recovered shoulder to the efforts of playing three sets because his main mission now is to improve his ranking.

Ćorić currently ranks 203rd in the singles ATP rankings, and he pointed out a spot among the 100 best in the world as his goal, which would guarantee him a direct entry into the main draw at the biggest tournaments in the world. 

The organizers of the Umag Blue Lagoon Croatia Open gave Ćorić an invitation so that he would not have to spend the quota of the remaining tournaments in which he could play with a protected ranking, and he could have his next performance in Umag.

The Umag ATP tournament is scheduled for July 25-31.

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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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Sunday, 27 March 2022

Marin Čilić Eases into Miami Open 3rd Round after Beating Alexei Popyrin

March 27, 2022 - Marin Čilić lost only three games on his way to the Miami Open 3rd round, defeating Australian Alexei Popyrin 6:0, 6:3 on Saturday.

Marin Čilić flew by Popyrin in the 2nd round of the ATP tournament in Miami on Saturday! Namely, it took only 55 minutes for Marin Čilić to win the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami. Croatia's best male tennis player lost only three games to the 92nd-best tennis player in the world, Australian Alexei Popyrin - 6:0, 6:3.

In the match, the posied Marin won the first nine games and quickly resolved all doubts about the winner. The Croatian tennis player immediately took a 3-0 lead in the second set and kept the advantage until the end for the final victory.

He scored six aces with a first-serve percentage of 68 percent. He also did not allow his opponent a single break.

Marin will face the new star of the tennis world, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (16th on the ATP list). This will be their second meeting, while Čilić won the first test last year. Carlos Alcaraz defeated Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6:3, 6:2 in the 2nd round. 

Recall, Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić lost to German Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami. It was their seventh meeting and the fourth victory for the world #4 player and the tournament's second seed. However, this match showed that Borna is slowly getting into the right shape after a long break due to injury. 

Furthermore, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić also advanced to the 2nd round of Miami. The best doubles team in the world last year surpassed the Georgian-Serbian side of Nikoloz Basilashvili / Laszlo Gere in the first round - 7-6 (3), 6-1. They will face Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Indian Rohan Bopanna in the round of 16 tonight around 22:00 Croatia time. 

Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo also had an easy victory in the first round of the Miami tournament. The Croatian-Brazilian duo defeated Belgians Sander Gille and Goran Vliegen in two sets - 6-4, 6-1. They will next meet Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the 2nd round. 

After an early defeat in the singles competition, Ana Konjuh successfully continued her performance in doubles at the WTA 1000 tournament in Miami. Konjuh and Swiss partner Belinda Bencic defeated Angelina Kalinin and Jelena Ribakina 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-7.

Konjuh and Bencic lost in the decisive super tie-break with 7-3, after which they won seven consecutive points.

Source: HTS

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Saturday, 26 March 2022

Miami Open: Zverev Knocks Out Ćorić, Čilić Awaits Popyrin in 2nd Round

March 26, 2022 - After celebrating his first victory in 12 months when he defeated Fernando Verdasco in the first round, Borna Ćorić was stopped in the 2nd round of the Miami Open. 

In the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami, Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić lost to German Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 3-6.

It was their seventh meeting and the fourth victory for the world #4 player and the second seed of the tournament. However, this match showed that Borna is slowly getting in the right shape after a long break due to injury. 

The first set was equal until the result was 4-4, and both tennis players kept their serve. But in the ninth game, Zverev broke and safely served for 6-4 to lead 1-0 in sets.

The Croatian tennis player entered the second set brilliantly. With one break, he took a 3-0 lead and then kept the game advantage until the end of the set, when he won 6-3 after 38 minutes of play.

Unfortunately, Zverev fought back at the opening of the third set by winning three games in a row, after which Borna was unable to return. He had a break to return to the match in the ninth game, but Zverev then got the next two points to win.

Borna scored two aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 65 percent and used one of two break points (Zverev two of three). He will have his next appearance in three weeks at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo.

In the next round of Miami, Zverev will play against the match winner between Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and American Mackenzie McDonald.

Borna recorded his first victory after 12 months by defeating Verdasco in the 1st round of Miami. In his second return appearance after injury, the 25-year-old from Zagreb defeated Spaniard Fernando Verdasco (123rd in the ATP ranking) in two sets - 6-4, 7-5.

It was his first celebration since Rotterdam in early March 2021 when he defeated Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals. 

Croatia has another singles representative at the tournament in Miami. Namely, Marin Čilić will face Australian Alexei Popyrin in the 2nd round.

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić also advanced to the second round of Miami. The best doubles team in the world last year surpassed the Georgian-Serbian side of Nikoloz Basilashvili / Laszlo Gere in the first round - 7-6 (3), 6-1.

Source: HTS

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Saturday, 12 March 2022

Petra Martić Tops World No. 22 for Indian Wells 3rd Round

March 12, 2022 - Petra Martić is in the 3rd round of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells, while Borna Ćorić was knocked out in his first match back in 369 days. 

Croatian tennis player Petra Martić advanced to the 3rd round of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells, defeating Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek 7-5, 7-6 (8) in two hours of play.

Martić (WTA-79) knocked out the 22nd player in the world and the 19th-seed of the tournament in two close and dramatic sets. Petra could have won earlier because she led 5-3 in the second set and served 5-4 for the match.

Petra also missed two match points in the tie-break but used the third for the round of 32 of this prestigious tournament. In the first set, Martić came back from 1-3, and in the 12th game, she used only the fourth set point. 

Petra took advantage of 4/10 break points and had only one ace. This was their third clash and the third victory for the Croatian player, who will meet British tennis player Emma Raducanu in the 3rd round. Raducanu topped French tennis player Carolina Garcia in the round of 64. 

Ana Konjuh said an early goodbye to the WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells. The current best Croatian female tennis player handed over the first-round match to the British qualifier Harriet Dart (122nd on the WTA list), 6:1 and was 3:1 behind in the second set.

Darija Jurak also finished her performance at Indian Wells. She and Slovenian Andreja Klepač (4th seed) lost in the first round to Taipei's Hao-Ching Chan and Poland's Magda Linette (6:3, 2:6, 12:10) after missing the match point at a 9-8 lead in the tie-break.

Borna Ćorić lost in his comeback match in Indian Wells.

Borna Ćorić failed to win his first match after a 369-day break. The 25-year-old from Zagreb was defeated in the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells by Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 45th on the ATP list - 6:7 (5), 6:0, 7:5.

Borna had an excellent opportunity to succeed in the match - in the eighth game of the deciding set, he was the first to reach the break and, at 5:3, served to advance to the second round. However, the Spaniard remained strong enough and got the victory by the end of the duel with two breaks.

Ćorić scored seven aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 66 percent, and he used three of the seven break points.

Ćorić will have a new opportunity to return to the top of the world at the end of March at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami.

Croatia will also be without representatives in the second round of the doubles competition in Indian Wells. 

Nikola Mektić and Mato Pavić were defeated by the Americans John Isner and Jack Sock in the first round (7:6 (2), 3:6, 10:7), and Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo were stopped by the winners of the Australian Open, Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios - 7:5, 1:6, 10:2.

Petra Martić and American Shelby Rogers were defeated by Greek Maria Sakkari and Ajla Tomljanović in the women's doubles - 4:6, 6:4, 10:2.

Source: HTS

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Australian Open Round Two Recap: Donna Vekić Moves Forward, Ćorić Falls to McDonald

February 11, 2021 - Donna Vekić will play in the 3rd round of the Australian Open for the second time in her career! 

The 24-year-old from Osijek made it past last year's Roland Garros' semifinalist in the 2nd round, Argentine Nadia Podoroska (WTA-45) - 6:2, 6:2.

In a match that lasted only 62 minutes, Donna dominated from the very beginning - in both sets, she quickly took a 4:1 lead, and she kept that advantage without any problems until the end. During the match, she achieved four aces with a first-serve percentage of 61 percent and took advantage of six of the eight break points.

It was their second meeting (US Open qualifiers in 2016) and Donna's first victory. To enter the round of 16, Donna will play against Estonian Kaia Kanepi (WTA-65), who knocked out 4th seed defending champion Sofia Kenin in the 2nd round.

Borna Ćorić suffered a shocking loss in the 2nd round of the Australian Open. Croatia's best tennis player was unexpectedly defeated by the world's 192nd best tennis player, American Mackenzie McDonald - 6:4, 6:2, 4:6, 6:4.

Borna struggled from the beginning. McDonald had a 2-0 lead in sets after 64 minutes of play, and Borna had only one tie-break (in the second game of the 2nd set) until the beginning of the third set, which went unused.

However, at the end of the third set (10th game), Borna came back for 2:1 in sets. Though when a possible turnaround was expected, Borna struggled in the fifth game of the fourth set, which the American eventually used to advance to the 3rd round and his best result in Melbourne. Borna recorded 17 aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 67%.

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić reached their ninth consecutive victory in 2021 on Wednesday. The second-placed Croatian duo advanced to the 2nd round of the Australian Open after defeating Taiwanese player Yen-Hsun Lu and American player Sam Querrey - 7:6 (4), 6:3.

Their opponents in the 2nd round are Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul, against whom they will play on Friday. 

Recall Marin Čilić and Petra Martić were eliminated from the Australian Open in the first round. 

Source: HTS

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Australian Open Round One Recap: Borna Ćorić and Donna Vekić into 2nd Round

February 9, 2021 - Marin Čilić and Petra Martić have been eliminated from the Australian Open after the first round, while Borna Ćorić and Donna Vekić have advanced to the second. 

Marin Čilić was quickly eliminated in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. The finalist of the 2018 Australian Open ended his performance in the first round this year, and was convincingly defeated in three sets by the 18th seed, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov - 6:4, 6:2, 7:6 (5).

Marin had only four breaks during the match and used only one in the eighth game of the third set. At 5:3, he even served to win the set, but Dimitrov did not allow him to get back into the game. Marin had four aces (Dimitrov 19) during the match and recorded a first-serve percentage of 58 percent.

Fortunately, there was a good start for Borna Ćorić at this year's Australian Open. The 24-year-old from Zagreb (22nd-seed) knocked out Argentine Guido Pella (ATP-44) in the first round without losing a set - 6:3, 7:6 (5), 7:5. Borna had the most problems in the second set in which Pella had a 2-0 lead, and in the tie-break of the same set, he was only two points away from making the match even (5:3). However, Borna remained strong enough and, in the end, managed to win 3:0.

He recorded 23 aces with a high first-serve percentage of 70 percent during the match and used four of the 11 breakpoints in the match. It was their second meeting and the first victory for Ćorić, whose next opponent will be American Mackenzie McDonald, the world's 192nd best tennis player.

It took Donna Vekić two hours and 40 minutes to pass the 1st round of the Australian Open; after a great fight and three sets, the Osijek native managed to find a winning combination against Chinese rival Yafan Wang (WTA-98) - 4:6, 6:3, 6:4.

Donna started the match well, led 3:2, but then lost her serve twice and fell behind in sets. Wang took the lead in the second set with 2:0, and it seemed that she was surely stepping towards victory, but Donna turned around and took the second set.

In the decisive set, which was played for more than an hour, Wang had a 3:2 advantage, but Donna ultimately won with a final break in the 10th game.

In the second round, she will face last year's Roland Garros semi-finalist, Argentine Nadia Podoroska, currently the 45th best tennis player globally.

Petra Martić finished her time at the Australian Open and was surprised by the Serbian qualifier Olga Danilović (WTA-183) - 7:5, 3:6, 6:4. Petra lost the first set, but by winning the second, she was back in the match. She even led 3:1 in the decisive set but managed to win only one game until the end of match.

Danilović took a 4:3 lead, Martić equalized at 4:4, but no longer had the strength for the victory.  

Source: HTS

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Friday, 5 February 2021

Australian Open Draw: Croatian Tennis Players Ready for First Grand Slam of Season

February 5, 2021 - Croatian tennis players are ready for this year's Australian Open, which begins on Monday, February 8, in Melbourne. 

Gol.hr reports that the draw for the Australian Open, which begins on February 8, took place in Melbourne Park. Croatia will have four representatives in the singles competition at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the season. Borna Ćorić and Marin Čilić in the men's competition, and Petra Martić and Donna Vekić in the women's competition.

Borna Ćorić, who is the 22nd seed, will play in the first round against Argentine Guido Pella, while Marin Čilić will face a tough opponent, 18th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Serbian Olga Danilović will meet Petra Martić in the first round, while Donna Vekić will play against Chinese player Yafan Wang.

Ćorić played once against the 44th tennis player in the world and lost. It was 2017 in Chengdu, China.

Borna has dropped out five times in the first round in his six appearances at the Australian Open so far, and in 2019 he reached the fourth round.

Čilić and Dimitrov have played six times so far, and the Croatian tennis player leads 4-2 in victories. The last time they played was in 2019 at Roland Garros, and Dimitrov celebrated. They have already played in Australia once, but in Brisbane in 2014, where Čilić was better.

It will be Marin's 13th appearance at the Australian Open. He went the furthest in 2018 when he lost in the final to Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer in five sets.

Serbian Olga Danilović will play Petra Martić in the first round. Martić and the 20-year-old Serbian tennis player have not met so far. Martić has played in Melbourne nine times so far, and she achieved the best result in 2018, reaching the fourth round.

Donna Vekić and Yafan Wang had played once, in 2019 in Acapulco, when Wang won. Wang is currently the 96th best tennis player in the world.

The first-seed of the tournament, the eight-time winner of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, will play in the first round against the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Rafael Nadal, the second-seed, will start against Serbian Laslo Đere.

Last year's finalist, Austrian Dominic Thiem, is the third seed of the tournament and will face Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Borna Coric in Second Straight St. Petersburg Final, this Time Against Rublev

October 18, 2020 - Croatia's best tennis player, Borna Coric, advanced to the final of the ATP tournament in St. Petersburg after defeating Canadian Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinal after an hour and 56 minutes of play.

Jutarnji List reports that this was the second meeting between Coric and Raonic in which Coric retaliated against the Canadian for losing in Delray Beach three years ago.

With the victory against Raonic, Coric repeated last year's result in St. Petersburg, when he also reached the final. However, last year, Russian Danil Medvedev was more successful. On Sunday, Coric will also play against a Russian opponent for the title, but it will be Andrey Rublev.

Coric's appearance in Sunday's final will be his seventh final match on the ATP Tour. So far, he has won two titles, Marrakesh 2017 and Halle 2018, while his last appearance in the final was just last year in St. Petersburg in September.

Coric lost the first set very quickly, and the key was the second game, which lasted more than 10 minutes. Coric saved three breaks, each with an excellent serve, but on the fourth, he made a double fault. Raonic then quickly reached a 5-0 lead, and thus the set.

However, in the second set, the situation changed completely. Coric started to return Raonic's powerful serve much better, and already with a 1-0 lead, he reached three breakpoints. He used the third for 2-0, which was Raonic's first lost service game in the tournament. Coric did not stop there; with an advantage of 3-0 and three excellent winners, he reached an advantage of 15-40 on the opponent's serve. Raonic missed one backhand, and Coric reached an unattainable 4-0.

At the beginning of the third set, Coric managed to save three breaks in his first service game in that set. After overcoming a small crisis, he played much better again and managed the 3-2 advantage. By the end of the match, Coric held his serve firmly for a significant victory.

"I don't know if I ever played as badly as in the first set. In the second set, I found my rhythm, played better and in the end managed to win," said Coric after the match, and then looked back at his next opponent, Rublev, against whom he's lost in all three previous duels:

"Rublev plays perhaps the best tennis of his life. I hope I will be able to play my best match on Sunday as well."

Rublev reached the final with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against another Canadian player, Denis Shapovalov. For the 22-year-old, it will be the eighth final in his career, and he has won five titles so far.

Coric and Rublev meet today at 15:30. 

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