Sunday, 23 August 2020

Western & Southern Open: Coric Begins with a Win, Cilic and Vekic Eliminated

August 23, 2020 - Croatian tennis player Borna Coric kicked off the Western & Southern Open in New York with a win! This was his first official match after a six-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament, which was traditionally held in Cincinnati, but this year is hosted in New York because of the pandemic, Coric competed against the Frenchman Benoit Paire, who surrendered the match after losing seven games in a row.

The young Croatian tennis player won the first set 6-0 after only half an hour of play, and after winning the first game of the second set, the Frenchman surrendered the match.

In the next round, Coric will face Belgian player David Goffin, who was free in the first round. It will be their fifth meeting, and Goffin won the previous four. However, the last time they played was in 2016.

The only female Croatian representative at the WTA Western & Southern Open tournament, Donna Vekic, was defeated in the first round by Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka 2-6, 3-6.

It was their third meeting and the first victory of the Belarusian tennis player.

Marin Cilic was eliminated by Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the 12th seed and 16th best tennis player in the world, with a score of 6:3, 6:3.

The Canadian won the first set after the break in the sixth game, and in the second, he took Marin's serve in the third and ninth games. Cilic reached one break-point during the whole match (at 2:2 in the first set), which he did not use, scoring two aces with a first-serve percentage of 65%.

This was their fourth meeting and Shapovalov's third victory.

Source: HTS

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Monday, 22 June 2020

Borna Coric Among Players Positive for Coronavirus at Adria Tour in Zadar

June 22, 2020 - Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov tested positive foor the coronavirus, which is why the final of the Adria Tour in Zadar between Novak Djokovic and Andrej Rublev was canceled on Sunday.

N1 reports that three more tennis players are positive for coronavirus, as confirmed by Sime Vickovic, Chief of the Civil Protection Headquarters of Zadar County.

Among them is Croatian tennis player Borna Coric and the fitness coach of the infected Dimitrov, N1 has learned.

Tests are being conducted in Zadar on people who have been in close contact with the coronavirus-positive Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov. Dimitrov was at the Adria Tour in Zadar for a few days, and in addition to tennis, he also played basketball with other players and hung out with citizens.

It was announced in Croatia on Sunday that there were 18 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

More on this developing story soon...

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

 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Adria Tour Final in Zadar Canceled After Dimitrov Tests Positive for Coronavirus

June 21, 2020 - The final of the Adria Tour in Zadar, in which Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev were supposed to play at 8 pm tonight, has been canceled! Unfortunately, Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, who played one match in the Zadar tournament, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Index.hr reports that in the last ten days, Dimitrov played in two tournaments with spectators and played football and basketball with Djokovic, Cilic, and Coric. He also spent night outs with other tennis players on the Adria Tour.

At the start of the tournament in Zadar, Croatian tennis player Borna Coric easily defeated Dimitrov, who did not shake hands with the opponent and the referee at the end of the match because he was already feeling ill.

"Hi Everyone-I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19. I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions. I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy. GD," the tennis player wrote on his Instagram page. 

Dimitrov is the 19th ranked tennis player in the world, though he was once the third-best in the world. The 29-year-old Bulgarian was nicknamed 'Baby Federer' at an early stage of his career as he had a similar style of play, but he never lived up to those expectations even though he has had a successful career so far. At the tournament in Zadar, he was replaced by Croatian tennis player Nino Serdarusic, a 23-year-old who is the 299th best player in the world.

It is not yet known how the Bulgarian tennis player's illness will affect the tennis season, which should continue with tournaments in America in two months. The organizers of the tournament in Zadar will soon address the public.

"We received information that Grigor was tested in Monaco and that he was positive for the coronavirus. We tried to respect all the measures prescribed by the Serbian and Croatian governments, we gave everything we needed, unfortunately, Grigor is positive. At the moment, we are organizing all health services so that as many people as possible who were in contact with Grigor ar tested. I got in touch with all the volunteers and participants of the tournament and so far no one has any symptoms," said Djorđe Djoković from the organization of the tournament at an extraordinary press conference and added:

"Dimitrov was in Bulgaria before this, we still don't know if he got it there or here. Everyone who was in close contact will be tested. We are waiting for the authorities to give us instructions and we will continue to act accordingly," concluded Novak Djoković's brother.

"This was the only right decision, we had to cancel the final for the health of the players, their families, but also everyone else present. Of course, we will do the tests, I did it three days ago and I was negative myself. I don't know if I will have to be tested again, I will go if necessary," said the tournament director Goran Ivanisevic and added:

"All of this is one big shock, but we made the right decision. Health comes first. As for Grigor, he showed no symptoms. He didn't even have a temperature. Still, he felt bad on Saturday and decided to get tested in Monte Carlo. We don't know where he was infected. In any case, we wish him a speedy recovery."

All tennis players who participated in the tournament, as well as the people who participated in the organization will be tested for COVID-19.

Adria Tour director Đorđe Đoković did not confirm whether the tournament in Banja Luka and the exhibition in Sarajevo would be canceled, but said that he would act in accordance with the recommendations of the competent authorities.

More soon...

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Thursday, 18 June 2020

Novak Djokovic Enjoying Zadar Ahead of Adria Tour

June 17, 2020 - The No. 1 tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, arrived in Zadar on Tuesday ahead of the Adria Tour humanitarian tournament. 

"I have been all over Croatia, but I have never been to Zadar, and I am looking forward to meeting Zadar and the people here and all the participants of the Adria Tour. I am very excited and happy to have the opportunity to visit Zadar as part of the Adria Tour, and then a few more locations in the region," Djokovic said upon his arrival, revealing that he did not know that Zadar was Luka Modric's hometown.

It didn't take long for Djokovic to dip into the local mindset, as he was filmed at training at a Zadar beach. 

"Mother Nature's Gym," he shared on Facebook with a short video. The post even prompted a reaction from American football legend Tom Brady - "The best!"

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the final preparations are underway for the Adria Tour. The main court, which boasts room for nine thousand spectators, will be filled to half capacity to meet COVID-19 measures.

Tournament participants include world no. 1 Novak Djokovic, German star Alexander Zverev, and Gregori Dimitrov from Bulgaria, as well as Croatian Davis Cup national team members Marin Cilic and Borna Coric.

It has been known for a long time that Dominic Thiem, Austria's best tennis player, will not come to Visnjik, so there are three vacancies left. One spot should be filled by Felix Auger Aliasiemm, and the seventh participant will be obtained after the final of the HEP tournament. 

Yesterday, Novak trained with Borna Coric at the tennis courts of TK Zadar 08 in the bay Drosanjica, which was followed by a line of eager fans waiting for an autograph. It was also on these courts that Borna took his first tennis steps, as his grandmother lives nearby.

After training, the great Nole signed the club's bulletin board and thus left his historical mark on a humble Zadar tennis court.

Although he did not appear on the central ground of the Visnjik Sports Center, Zverev did his training at the Falkensteiner & Spa Hotel Iadera in Petrcane. Just after noon on Tuesday, Zverev stayed with the Djokovic family on the luxury yacht Asha, and sailed together to the Kornati National Park on Wednesday morning.

Goran Ivanisevic, tournament director for Adria Tour Croatia, aired his thoughts on the Adria Tour in Serbia, emphasizing that it was a tennis mega-spectacle and that he is convinced that things will be even better in Zadar.

"It is a real shame to miss the matches that await us in Zadar," said Ivanisevic, obviously satisfied with the fact that apart from Djokovic, a tennis player who conquered the world not only with his game but also with his sportsmanship and humanitarian efforts, the audience will admire the moves of other tennis stars. 

Only one question remains: "Are there any tickets left?"

The world is buzzing about the Adria Tour, as is evidenced by the fact that the scenes from Zadar will be broadcast to 110 countries on all continents.

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

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Novak Djokovic: Zadar Will Be Sports Center of World During Adria Tour

Jun 16, 2020 - At the end of this week, Zadar will be the sports center of the world, assures Novak Djokovic ahead of the Adria Tour tennis spectacle at SC Visnjik.

Jutarnji List reports that after Belgrade, Djokovic's Adria Tour will be held in Zadar from June 19 to 21, as part of which tennis stars such as Dominik Thiem, Aleksandar Zverev, and Grigor Dimitrov will come to Croatia. They will be joined by Croatian aces Marin Cilic and Borna Coric and many other tennis players and friends united by a humanitarian goal.

Since the coronavirus epidemic has calmed in the Balkans, today's best tennis player is spending his time on tennis courts, but also in meetings, because as the organizer of a tennis tournament, which is held in several countries, his hands are full.

"When the epidemic started, I was in daily contact with the players as well as with friends from the tennis federation. As time went on, the idea of organizing tournaments throughout the region began to crystallize, to allow tennis to live on after all. We followed the situation and realized that it was possible. And so it all began. With a lot of work, a lot of organization, and details, we set off.

At the end of the week, we started with the tournament in Belgrade and this week, we are in Zadar, later in Banja Luka and Sarajevo. As I am telling you this, I’m waiting to go out on the court and I’m so excited and happy that I can’t even describe it to you. It is unreal for me that at this time of year, in my city, in the whole region, I have the opportunity to play tennis with tennis players from the very top of the world, with my friends. This is a unique experience," said Djokovic in an exclusive interview for Jutarnji List just a few days before the spectacle in Zadar, in the newly opened regional center of the Croatian Tennis Federation.

"The tennis players who will be performing are all my friends, guys I get along great with, on and off the court. They were the only ones who could come, because it is not easy to get to Serbia or Zadar at this moment. In addition, both Dominik, Alexander and Georgi accepted the fact that this is a charity tournament, and this probably further prompted them to participate. Borna, Marin, Damir Džumhur - I agreed with them the fastest, because we have already been in our homes and cities, and of course, we understand this opportunity differently so that the whole world looks at our region across those days. That is a significant thing," Djokovic explains. Namely, as many as 110 countries will broadcast the Adria Tour tournament.

Nole, as his relatives and fans in his native Serbia call him, is of Montenegrin origin on his father Srdjana's side, and his mother, Dijana, is a Croat from Vinkovci. However, the tennis star had never been to Zadar, although he often spends his summers on the Adriatic.

"I really like the Adriatic, and I love the Croatian coast, generally the smell of the sea, pine forests. It has remained in my memory since I was little. We haven’t made a plan yet where we’re going this summer, as we don’t know anything. First of all, I am looking forward to coming and being in Zadar for the first time. I am grateful to all the tennis players who responded, to the Croatian Tennis Federation, to everyone in the organization, to the musicians who responded to the media, and I can't wait to go out on the court. This tournament will send a wonderful, strong and positive message to the whole world because Zadar will be the sports center of the world over those days," Djokovic emphasizes.

Namely, the first evening will be opened with a musical performance by Zlatan Stipisic Gibonni, on Saturday Petar Graso announced a dance spectacle, and on Sunday, a surprise guest awaits the visitors of the tournament.

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

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Croatian Tennis Stars Gather in Osijek for Humanitarian Tournament

June 6, 2020 - Humanitarian tournament Croatian Premier Tennis is taking place in Osijek, featuring many of the best Croatian tennis players, like Marin Cilic, Borna Coric, and Petra Martic. 

Team A and Team B came to victories in the long and exciting first day of the Croatian Premier Tennis competition in Osijek on Thursday, which brought Croatian tennis players back to the courts after a three-month break. Team B celebrated in the first match with 4:1 against team C, with the victories of duos Borna Coric / Ivan Dodig and Iva Majoli / Matej Dodig in two of the three doubles matches and Donna Vekic and Borna Coric in individual matches. Team C took its only set thanks to Iva Primorac and Franko Skugor, who were convincing in mixed doubles against Tena Lukas and Ivan Dodig (6:1).

In the second match, which ended a few minutes after midnight, team A defeated team D 3:2 thanks to the individual victory of Marin Cilic and the duos Lucija Faj / Goran Ivanišević and Ana Konjuh and Nikola Mektic. On the other hand, points for team D were brought by the doubles team Duje Ajduković / Mate Pavic and Tereza Mrdeza in an individual clash with Jana Fett.

Weather conditions did not hinder the second day of the tennis tournament and matches were held without delay. Before the start of the second day, the players and organizers attended a formal reception with the prefect of Osijek-Baranja County Ivan Anusic.

A rare occurrence was the match between Ivo Majoli and Goran Ivanisevic, who played in doubles with young tennis hopes. The team Iva Majoli and Matej Dodig won 4:2 against Goran Ivanisevic and Lucija Faj.

They were followed by the victory of Marin Cilic and Nikola Mektic against Ivan and Matej Dodig, and the result was 6:3. In mixed doubles, Nikola Mektic and Ana Konjuh celebrated against Ivan Dodig and Tena Lukas 7:5.

Donna Vekic and Jana Fett played a true women's duel, in which Donna won 6:4. Marin Cilic and Borna Coric played a great men's match in which Cilic won 7:5. With this victory, Cilic brought an overall triumph to his team (Team A), which was the only one to achieve a 100% performance in the first two appearances.

The second part of the tournament started with a fight between Borna Goja and Duja Ajdukovic, and the result was 4:6 in favor of Borna. Tereza Mrdeza celebrated 6:2 against Lee Boskovic, and Jelena Kostanic-Tosic and Fran Kuna played against Goran Prpic and Nera Tesankic. Jelena and Fran won 5:4.

In the men's doubles, Duje Ajdukovic and Mate Pavic competed against Borna Goja and Franko Skugor, who won 6:3.

The last match of the evening on Friday saw Franko Skugor and Iva Primorac win 6:2 against Fran Pavic and Antonija Ruzic.

The remaining days of the tournament can be followed via the social media pages of Croatian Premier Tennis, and all spectators can support this humanitarian action called 'Croatia and tennis against COVID-19' by calling 060 9003 or donating to IBAN HR0823900011500174664. The goal is to raise funds that will be donated to KBC Osijek, as well as to raise funds that will go to Croatian scientists, who are engaged in finding a vaccine and medicine against COVID-19

Source: HTS

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

 

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Australian Open: Donna Vekic and Marin Cilic Join Martic in Second Round

January 21, 2020 - After Petra Martic moved to the second round on Monday and Borna Coric was surprisingly knocked out in the first, three more Croatian representatives took to the courts on Tuesday - Marin Cilic, Donna Vekic and Ivo Karlovic.

Marin Cilic had a convincing performance in the first round of this year's Australian Open, defeating the recent finalist of the ATP tournament in Doha, Frenchman Corentin Moutet (ATP—70) - 6:3, 6:2, 6:4.

Cilic won the first set after a break in the sixth game, and in the second set, he took Moutet’s serve in the first and fifth games. Cilic, however, had a bit more work in the third set, though in the fifth game, a decisive break gave him the victory, in which he recorded nine aces with a first-serve percentage of 62 percent.

His next opponent is the 21st tennis player in the world, Frenchman Benoit Paire. They have played on five occasions so far, and Marin has recorded four wins. 

Donna Vekic will also play in the second round of the Australian Open for the fifth time in her career. Namely, the 23-year-old Osijek native and 19th-seed of the tournament was too strong for former best tennis player in the world, Russian Maria Sharapova (WTA-145) - 6:3, 6:4. 

Donna had no problems in the first set and quickly went to 5:1 to resolve any doubts. However, in the second set, Sharapova played much better, and after a break in the fourth game, later led 4:1. 

Donna then kicked into gear and, with five consecutive games, reached her first success against Sharapova. Sharapova previously celebrated at the 2018 Roland Garros tournament. 

On her way to victory, Donna recorded three aces with a first-serve percentage of 52 percent, and used all four break-points on her opponent’s serve. In the second round, Vekic will play the winner of Cornet - Niculescu.

Ivo Karlovic (ATP-124th), who will turn 41 next month, also advanced to the second round of the first Australian Open, beating Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the first round 7:6 (4), 6:4, 7:5 after two hours and two minutes of play.

Source: HTS

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Monday, 20 January 2020

Australian Open: Petra Martic Moves Forward, Borna Coric Out in First Round

January 20, 2020 - Croatian tennis player Petra Martic will move forward in the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, while Borna Coric lost in the first round.

Martic beat American Christina McHale 6-3, 6-0, while Coric lost to American Sam Querrey 3-6, 4-6, 4-6.

Martic, who is the 13th-seed of the tournament, played a great match and advanced to the second round without any problems. It took an hour and 30 minutes of play to win against the 27-year-old American, currently the world's 84th best tennis player.

It was their third match, with the Croatian tennis player now leading 2-1 in victories. Petra celebrated three years ago in the Cincinnati qualifiers, and McHale was better in 2014 in the Montreal qualifiers.

Martic, who reached the fourth round last year as her best result in Melbourne, will play in the second round against German Julia Georges, who beat Slovakian player Victoria Kuzma 6-1, 6-2 at the opening of the tournament.

They have played twice so far, and both times the 31-year-old Georges has celebrated. The last time they met was in the semifinals of the WTA Birmingham tournament in June last year.

Unfortunately, Borna Coric, currently Croatia’s best tennis player, was defeated in the first round. American Sam Querrey celebrated 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

In the first set, Querrey first led 3-2. With three games in a row, he increased his lead to 5-2 and calmly brought the set to an end. In the second set, the 32-year-old American made it 2-0, Borna equalized for 2-2, but then again lost his serve and failed to come back in the remainder of the set. The third set was again ruled by one game at 4-4.

Coric and Querrey have played only once so far, five years ago at Roland Garros, where the Coric was the winner.

Coric made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open last year. However, in the remaining five appearances in Melbourne, he dropped out in the first round.

After the rain subsides, Marin Cilic will play against French player Corentin Moutet, while tomorrow, Ivo Karlovic will play against Canadian Vasek Pospisil and Donna Vekic against Russian Maria Sharapova.

Source: Gol.hr

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Wednesday, 8 January 2020

ATP Cup Sydney: Argentina Sweeps Croatia 3:0, Ending Quarter-final Dream

January 8, 2020 - The Croatia tennis team remains without the quarter-final of the premiere edition of the ATP Cup. 

After celebrating in the first two rounds of Group E, Croatia faced the worst-case scenario in Sydney on Wednesday. Namely, Croatia lost all three matches to Argentina (3:0) and thus ended their run in the group for second place. After losing both singles matches (Marin Cilic lost to Guido Pella, ATP 25th) 7:6 (1), 6:3, and Borna Coric lost to Diego Schwartzman (ATP 13th) - 6:2, 6:2, they needed a win in the last doubles match to be in the top eight as the best runner-up. However, Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic failed to record an important point and were conquered by Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni - 3:6, 6:3, 10:2.

Cilic started well in the first match, leading 4:1, but then lost his serve for the first time in the tournament, and later the first set. In the second, he held on to 2:2, but in the end, it was Pella to win for the third time in their fourth encounter. 

Coric lost to Schwartzman in 75 minutes. The Argentina player saved both of Coric’s breaks, while the Zagreb native scored just 12 points on his opponent’s serve. It was their fourth encounter and Schwartzman's second win.

In the final doubles match, Dodig and Mektic quickly won the first set (6:3), though Argentina woke up, started to play and smoothly took the second. With complete dominance in the decisive tie-break, Argentina concluded the duel in their favor.

Thus, Belgium and Canada placed second for a spot in the quarter-final.

The quarter-final of the first ATP Cup includes Australia - UK, Argentina - Russia, Serbia - Canada, and Spain - Belgium. All matches will be played at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.

Final standings in Group E: 1. Argentina 2:1, 2. Croatia 2:1, 3. Poland 1:2, 4. Austria 1:2.

Source: HTS

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Monday, 6 January 2020

ATP Cup Sydney: Croatia Records Second Group Win, Tops Poland 2:1

January 7, 2020 - In their second appearance in Group E at the ATP Cup in Sydney, the Croatia tennis team reached their second victory, topping Poland 2:1. Marin Cilic secured the first point for Croatia against Kacper Zuk (7:6 (8), 6:4). Hubert Hurkacz equalized with a surprisingly convincing victory against Borna Coric (6:2, 6:2), though Croatia’s doubles team of Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic were better than Hurkacz and Lukasz Kubot 6:2, 6:1.

The young Kacper Zuk (20), the 448th best tennis player in the world who played his first-ever ATP match on Monday, was inspiring against Marin Cilic, and in the tie-break of the first set, he reached the set-point (6:5). However, it was Marin to find the path to victory in two sets.

"I think my level of play was good; I was aggressive, served well. If I have to choose something that I was not happy with, then it is definitely utilizing my chances to break,” Marin said after the match. Marin used only one of the 13 opportunities to take Zuk’s serve. Zuk, on the other hand, did not use any of his four breaks. 

Hubert Hurkacz (37th on the ATP list) dominated Borna Coric in the second match. The Zagreb native made as many as 26 unforced errors during the match and won a total of eight points on Hurkacz’s serve.

"It was one of the best matches of my career so far," the 22-year-old  Hurkacz admitted after the match.

As for the doubles, it was a cat-and-mouse game where Hurkacz and Kubot scored just nine points on the return serve. In addition to the Croatian victory, the match will be remembered for a fantastic move by Ivan Dodig at a 3-0 lead in the second set. Ivan instinctively played a fantastic lob behind his back, which resulted in the eruptive applause of fans. It was one of the most beautiful and impressive points ever seen in a doubles competition.

Croatia is now on the verge of winning the group and only needs one win in the match against Argentina, which is scheduled for Wednesday. 

The only way Croatia can fail to qualify for the quarterfinals is in the event of a 3:0 defeat to Argentina and Austria's 3:0 victory against Poland. In this case, Croatia would have the weakest ratio.

One win against Argentina would be enough to put Croatia at the top to secure the quarterfinals. 

Marin Cilic will play against Guido Pella and will be the first to secure Croatia's spot in the quarterfinals. If he fails, a fight between Borna Coric and Diego Schwartzman will follow, followed by a doubles match.

Given the first two rounds, the safest pair would be Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic, who’ve won both matches thus far. 

In any case, Croatia is in a great position to qualify for the quarterfinals of the premier ATP Cup, in which they would meet the winner of Group D. This will very likely be Russia, who only needs to defeat Norway to secure the first place. 

Source: HTS

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