Monday, 25 July 2022

Croatia Open Umag: Wimbledon Juniors Winner Mili Poljičak to Play First ATP Tour Match

July 25, 2022 - Wimbledon Juniors winner, 18-year-old Mili Poljičak from Split, will play his first match on the ATP Tour on Monday evening at the Goran Ivanišević Stadium as part of the Croatia Open Umag. 

Poljičak will face former Umag winner and 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato (ATP - 147), reports HRT.

The 29-year-old Italian had the best season of his career four years ago, when he won his premier title in Budapest as a qualifier, reached the Roland Garros semifinals by defeating Novak Djokovic, and celebrated at the Croatia Open by defeating Argentinian Guido Pella in the final. This will be only his seventh appearance at the ATP Tour and Grand Slam tournament level.

He only made it through one round in Geneva and Roland Garros and overturned a two-set deficit against Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the first round of the Paris Grand Slam tournament. Cecchinato had a career ranking at the end of February 2019 and reached 16th place in the ATP singles ranking.

This year he had to play in the Umag qualifiers, and his victory against the Croatian representative Domagoj Bilješko on Saturday brought him to the main tournament after 38-year-old Andreas Seppi withdrew from the following match due to a shoulder injury.

The first qualifier was Frenchman Corentin Moutet (ATP - 112), who beat Matija Pecotić 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday's final round. The 33-year-old Croatian representative remained one step away from entering the main draw of the Umag ATP tournament for the second year in a row.

Along with Cecchinato, two other Italian tennis players, 20-year-old Giulio Zeppieri and 29-year-old Franco Agamenone advanced to the main tournament on Sunday, so the Italians will be the most represented nation at the 32nd edition of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open with a total of six representatives. Argentina has five tennis players in the main draw of the Umag tournament, while Spain is the third most represented country with four representatives.

Croatia has the youngest representative, the current European junior runner-up, 16-year-old Dino Prižmić from Split. The oldest player in the tournament is the 35-year-old Italian Fabio Fognini, who will appear for the 12th time at the tournament, where he triumphed in 2016 and was a finalist in 2013.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Croatia Open Umag: Borna Ćorić Fails to Reach Quarter-final

Croatia’s best tennis player Borna Ćorić failed to advance to the quarter-final of the 30th edition of the ATP tournament in Umag after losing to Italy's Salvatore Caruso 2-6, 6-3, 1-6.

Borna Ćorić, as the second seed of the Croatia Open in Umag, was free in the first round of the competition, while after successful qualifications, the Italian tennis player defeated Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the first round with a score of 7-5, 6-0, reports T.portal on July 18, 2019.

This was Ćorić’s first appearance after he pulled out of Wimbledon this year due to a back injury suffered at the tournament in Halle. 

The 22-year-old Croatian tennis player started the match poorly. Caruso, who is the 125th player in the world on the ATP ranking, already broke Borna in the first game and once again took his serve to make it 4-0. Ćorić came back for 4-1, but failed to compensate for the two lost serves - and after half an hour of play, the first set went to the 26-year-old Italian.

In the first set, Ćorić had only executed 35 percent of his first serve, made three double faults and 15 unforced errors.

The opening of the second set brought a much better game for Ćorić. Borna immediately broke his opponent to lead 2-0, but Caruso returned the lost serve by equalizing to 2-2. However, Ćorić then won three games in a row, led 5-2 and peacefully equalized for 1-1 in sets. 

Unfortunately, Croatia’s best tennis player experienced a new crisis in the third set. Caruso took Borna to lead 3-0. Unfortunately, at the 4-1 result, the Italian once again took Ćorić's serve to reach a considerable 5-1 advantage, and then served for 6-1 and ultimately the win.

Borna Ćorić has played at the Umag tournament four times so far. His best result was advancing to the quarter-final in 2014 and 2015.

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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Croatia Open Umag: Goran Ivanišević Tops Rafter in Wimbledon Rematch 18 Years Later

Marking the 18th anniversary of the Wimbledon final on July 9, 2001, Goran Ivanišević and the legendary Australian tennis player Pat Rafter met once more in an exhibition rematch at the central stadium of the Stella Maris resort in the Croatia Umag Open.

And 18 years after his greatest career success, Ivanišević managed yet another victory against Rafter. While the result of this match wasn’t of so much importance, Ivanišević won 6:4, 6:4, reports HRT on July 18, 2019.

The two tennis legends met in front of thousands of spectators at the Goran Ivanišević stadium on Wednesday - and while the Croatian tennis star and 2001 Wimbledon winner reigned supreme, the 46-year-old Australian reminded the audience just why he was once one of the world’s best. 

Recall, Rafter has spent several years off of the tennis courts, and instead dedicates his time to running a farm in Australia. Goran Ivanišević, on the other hand, has played many exhibitions matches and practices with today's top players such as Marin Čilić, Tomas Berdych, and Milos Raonić - and even helped lead Novak Djokovic to another Wimbledon title just last weekend. 

After the duel, Ivanišević announced that this was his last match in Umag, where he has played over the years with tennis greats such as American Andre Agassi and Spaniard Juana Carlos Ferrer. And we can't forget the 30th anniversary of the Umag tournament,  where he played a rematch of the 1990 final against Goran Prpić.

"I thank him for coming. We have been trying to do this for a long time and after five, six years he finally made it. I thanked him on behalf ofall Croatians who cheered in 2001. For me, this is the cherry on top of the cake. I am retiring from the exhibition matches in Umag - after Rafter that is that,” Ivanišević said.

“This was a match between two old players on clay, and maybe I should have done it before. We played a lot of good tennis. When I hit 15 serves in the net, I no longer hurt, but I am laughing now. I’m glad I came, this is a wonderful place,” Rafter said.

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