Sunday, 12 June 2022

Mate Pavić and Polish Hurkacz Win Doubles Tournament in Stuttgart

June 12, 2022 - Croatian tennis player Mate Pavić won the doubles tournament with his partner from Poland, Hubert Hurkacz, this week at the grass ATP tournament in Stuttgart.

Third seed Pavić and Hurkacz defeated first-placed German Tim Puetz and New Zealand's Michael Venus 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) after an hour and a half, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The man from Split and the Pole had 13 aces, ten more than their opponents, and it is interesting that they did not offer Puetz and Venus a single tie break. 

For Pavić, this is the 29th doubles tournament won, and Pavić and Hurkacz played together for the first time in Stuttgart and immediately reached a triumph on the grass.

Let us remind you that this year Pavić, paired with the Croatian Nikola Mektić, won two national ATP tournaments, in Rome and Geneva, while the two of them still played in the finals in Dubai and Belgrade.

On the ATP ranking, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić finished 2021 as the world's best doubles team. Only American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury threatened to catch Pavić and Mektić, though thanks to the outcome of the Paris Masters, the Croatian duo was unattainable. 

It was the third time Pavić finished the year as part of the world's best doubles team, and Nikola Mektić is the third partner with whom Pavić reached the top. Last year, Pavić and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares were named #1, and in 2018, he was the best in combination with Austrian partner Oliver Marach.

"I'm thrilled. True, this is my third time in the last four years with a third partner, but I achieved it for the first time with a Croatian, which is a great achievement for us personally, but also for Croatian tennis in general," said Mate Pavić in a statement from ATP Tour at that time.

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

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Gold Medal Match Between Croatian Players for the First Time Ever!

July 29, 2021 - Historic! An unthinkable and spectacular event has happened today not only in Croatian sports history but also in the Olympic Games. Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić have won today and there will be a Gold Medal Match between Croatian players in Tokyo 2020!

The morning got off to a great start for Croatia at the Olympics, after the couple Marin Cilić and Ivan Dodig beat their New Zealand rivals in the semi-final, thus securing at least one medal for their country. But in recent days, everyone was closely following the fact that two pairs of Croatian tennis players reached the semifinals, as the brand-new champions of the doubles category at Wimbledon, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, had also managed to reach those instances.

With the four Croatian tennis players in the semifinals, a bronze medal was already confirmed for the Croatian delegation. But with today's victory for Cilić and Dodig (6-2, 6-2) over their New Zealand counterparts Daniell and Venus, Croatia had already secured at least one silver medal. Even before it happened, everyone was wondering, "What if there was a final between Croats?".

And that's how it went from imagination to reality. Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić defeated their American rivals Krajicek and Sandgren (6-4, 6-4), and Croatia thus secured a gold and silver medal in tennis in the doubles category, in what will be an unprecedented and exciting Croatian Gold Medal match in a tennis final.

To reach the grand final, Mektić and Pavić had to beat Brazilians Demoliner and Merlo in a close match (7-6, 6-4) in the first round. They then beat the Italians Musetti and Sonego in the second round, also in a difficult match (7-5, 6-7, 10-7). This earned them qualification for the quarterfinals, where they beat the locals McLachlan and Nishikori (6-3, 6-3). At this point, the dream of the Olympic medal was already approaching, with the Croatian tennis players in the semifinals. Today they beat Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 6-4 in both sets, in a match that lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić, the best tennis pair of today, have 51 victories and only five defeats this year. They both arrived in Tokyo as the recent champions of the Wimbledon doubles tournament this month.

Croatian sport reaches a historic moment with the first tennis doubles final between Croatian players, something that, although it is not the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, happened only in 1904 between American players and for the last time four years later, in 1908 between British players. So it has been 113 years since this incredible gold medal match feat was not attested.

The game is scheduled for tomorrow, and although the exact time is not yet confirmed, it is believed that it will be played around 8, after the bronze match between New Zealanders and Americans.

It is true that, although four Croatian tennis players will compete for first place, only two of them will be able to win the long-awaited gold medal. However, it can be said from now on that, regardless of the result, it is a historic moment and a great joy for Croatian tennis and sport in general. Congratulations to Mate Pavić, Marin Cilić, Nikola Mektić, and Ivan Dodig for the success!

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

To learn more about the history of sport in Croatia and everything about its most famous athletes, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Čilić and Dodig to Doubles Final, Olympic Tennis Medal for Croatia Secured!

July 29, 2021 - Čilić and Dodig reached the finals of the Olympic Games in doubles with a victory against the New Zealand pair Daniell and Venus (6-2, 6-2) and thus secured an Olympic tennis medal for Croatia!

The joys in the Tokyo Olympics do not stop coming for Croatia, and especially in the doubles category in tennis, where until yesterday it was known that they had at least secured a bronze medal by having the couple Čilić and Dodig, and recent Wimbledon champions Mektić and Pavić, both in the semi-finals. But today Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig beat their New Zealand rivals (6-2, 6.2) and qualified for the final, now securing a silver medal for Croatia.

Later, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will play with the Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren, and in the event of the victory of Mektić and Pavić, Croatia would win another medal in Tokyo, and for the first time, we would watch the Croatian final at the Olympic Games, reports

Čilić and Dodig easily celebrated in the semifinals against the New Zealanders. It was uncertain only up to 2: 2 in the first set. After that, the Croatian tennis players made a series of eight games, rushed to 6: 2, 4: 0, and calmly kept the advantage for a huge celebration.

To reach this stage, Čilić and Dodig had to beat the Japanese Daniel and Nishioka (6-2, 6-4) in the first round. In the second round they beat the Americans Ram and Tiafoe (6-3, 7-5), and yesterday they beat the British Murray and Salisbury (4-6, 7-6, 10-7) for the quarterfinals.

Until the Games in Tokyo, Čilić and Dodig played 22 doubles matches and celebrated in 12 of them, and they had the best form in 2016 when they recorded all doubles victories in the Davis Cup, but despite that, Croatia lost the Davis Cup final that year to Argentina.

In the finals, they could expect Mektić and Pavić, the best tennis pair of today, which has 51 victories and only five defeats this year. It should be remembered that Metkić and Pavić arrived in Tokyo as the recent champions of the Wimbledon doubles tournament this month.

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

To learn more about the history of sport in Croatia and everything about its most famous athletes, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Croatian Tennis Players Find Out Wimbledon Opponents!

June 25, 2021 - Croatian tennis players have found out their Wimbledon opponents! The tournament will be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021. 

The only Croatian representative in the men's competition at this year's Wimbledon, Marin Čilić, will face Salvatore Caruso in the 1st round, while both Croatian representatives in the women's competition will compete against 20-year-old Russians - Donna Vekić v. Anastasia Potapova and Petra Martić v. Varvara Gracheva, was determined by a draw on Friday, reports

Čilić, the 2017 Wimbledon finalist, was appointed the 32nd-seed of the tournament after Austrian Dominic Thiem pulled out on Thursday, so he was faced with slightly easier rivals at the beginning of the tournament.

In the 1st round, he will play against the current 97th player in the world, Caruso, who lost in the first round in his only appearance so far at Wimbledon two years ago. If he wins against Caruso, Čilić will play in the 2nd round against the better of the two qualifiers, Argentine Marco Trungelliti and Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, but in the 3rd round, he could face the second-best player in the world, Russian Danilo Medvedev.

Donna Vekić also received a not-too-demanding rival in the first round, 20-year-old Russian Potapova, the 82nd player in the world, who has played twice at Wimbledon so far and achieved only one victory.

However, in the 2nd round, the 25-year-old from Osijek will have a much more demanding task because she could play against the eighth seed, Czech player Karolina Pliškova or the Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek, who recently reached the semifinals of Roland Garros.

Petra Martić, who is set to be the 26th seed, will play against Gracheva, who currently holds 82nd place in the WTA rankings. This will also be her Wimbledon debut. If she wins against Gracheva, Martić will play in the 2nd round against the Romanian Irina Begu or the qualifier.

Vekić and Martić could be joined in the first round by Ana Konjuh if she defeats the Bulgarian Cvetana Pironkova in the last round of qualifications.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

US Open: Borna Coric and Petra Martic Move into Second Round

September 1, 2020 - Croatian representatives Borna Coric and Petra Martic have moved into the second round of the US Open!

Croatian tennis player Borna Coric advanced to the 2nd round of this year's US Open, overcoming Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 at the start of the tournament. 

Coric, the 27th seed, took two hours and 23 minutes to win against the world's 53rd best tennis player.

The young Croatian tennis player had problems only in the first set, while he won convincingly in the second and third sets.

Andujar entered the match better. He won the first game, and then had the chance to break in the next two games on Borna's serve. However, he did not take advantage of any of the three opportunities. Coric received his first opportunity in the fifth game and immediately took the serve away from his opponent. But already in the next game, the 34-year-old Spaniard equalized at 3-3. The Spaniard also had the 5-4 lead, but Coric managed to equalize at 5-5, only to take the 6-5 lead in the next game, then calmly served for 7-5 and a 1-0 lead in sets.

Coric played the rest of the match almost without a mistake. In the second set, at 1-1, he took the serve from Andujar for the first time, and at 5-3, for the second time.

Borna opened the third set by winning three games in a row, and there was no turning back. The Spaniard reduced his lead to 3-1, only for Borna to win three more games in a row for the final 6-1.

Coric has never played against the 34-year-old Andujar, and in the 2nd round, he will play Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero, who beat Russian Evgeni Donskoy 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 at the start of the tournament. They have played once, this year in Rio de Janeiro, and Coric celebrated 7-6, 7-5.

Female Croatian representative Petra Martic needed two and a half hours and three sets to win against Czech player Tereza Martincova (136th on the WTA list) at the opening of this year's US Open - 5: 7, 6: 2, 6: 4.

The beginning of the match was not the best for Petra - the Czech took the first set after the break in the 12th game, though the situation improved for Petra after winning the second set. Still, Martincova took the lead in the deciding set with 3-1, and it seemed that the 8th seed was close to saying goodbye to the tournament this year. However, Martic came back and scored five aces during the match with a modest first-serve percentage of 49 percent and used only five of the 21 breakpoints. In the 2nd round, Martic plays against Ukrainian Katerina Bondarenko, 349th on the WTA list.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which particularly affected New York, the Grand Slam is being held in special conditions.

The tennis players are housed inside a "bubble," most in two hotels, and those who can afford it have rented houses where they will be monitored 24 hours a day. No one is allowed to leave the bubble, so that the coronavirus does not enter inside. 

Source: HRT

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Zhengzhou Open: Petra Martic Advances to Final!

September 14, 2019 - Petra Martic has secured the fourth WTA final of her career!

HRT reports that Croatian tennis player Petra Martic, the 23rd best female tennis player in the world, has made it to the final of the premier WTA tournament in Zhengzhou, China, after overcoming France's Kristina Mladenovic (WTA - 49th) in the semifinal 6:0, 6:3 after just over an hour of play.

In the final, she will play against the Czech tennis player Karolina Pliskova, who beat Australian-Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic 6:3, 6:2 in the first semifinal of the day.

To reach the fourth WTA final of her career, Martic managed an extremely convincing performance against Mladenovic, whom she defeated for the fourth time in their fifth encounter. The Duce native never lost her serve and broke her French opponent four times.

In the first set, which lasted only 22 minutes, Martic took the serve of the French tennis player three times. In the second set, Mladenovic offered stronger resistance, and the match was even until Martic took the 5:3 lead. After that, she quickly ended the match at her serve. 

Martic served three aces in the match and Mladenovic just one. Martic took serve of her rival four times, and never lost her own. Mladenovic made six double faults, while Petra Martic made none.

This will be the sixth match between Martic and Karolina Pliskova. Martic has been better than Pliskova four times so far, with the last time this year at Roland Garros.

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

Saturday, 27 April 2019

WTA Istanbul: Petra Martić Advances to Semi-final against Gasparyan!

April 27, 2019 - Croatian tennis player Petra Martić (WTA-40) advanced to the semi-final of the WTA tournament in Istanbul, where after three hours and 17 minutes of a great fight, she overcame French player Kristina Mladenovic (WTA-66) with a score of 7:6 (4), 4:6, 7:6 (2), reports HTS

Martić missed the 5:2 advantage in the first set but still won the first part of the match thanks to a tie-break. Martić had a break advantage in the second set, but in the 4:3 lead, she lost three games in a row.

In the decisive set, Martić led 3:0, though Mladenovic came back for 3:3. Two other times, at 4:3 and 5:4, Martić had the advantage of a break but failed to capitalize. When she served to go to the decisive tie-break, the 28-year-old Croatian did not give up. In the final game, she led 6:2 and welcomed the win after Mladenovic missed a backhand.

For a place in the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup final, Martić will play against 24-year-old Russian Margarita Gasparyan (WTA-72).

This is the second consecutive semi-final for Petra Martić after she was among the four best in Charleston, USA. Caroline Wozniacki eliminated her from the tournament. 

In other news, Donna Vekić will long remember the quarter-final match of this year's WTA tournament in Stuttgart, where Croatia’s best female player fought against the best tennis player in the world, Naomi Osaka, and had a massive advantage of 5:1 in the decisive set. However, after an enormous turnaround, Osaka found the way to victory and advanced to the semi-final.

Oliver Marach and Mate Pavić finished this week's ATP 500 Series tournament in Barcelona. In the quarter-final, the Austrian-Croatian duo lost to South African Raven Klaasen and Britain Joe Salisbury - 7:6 (8), 7:6 (4).

The crisis for Marin Čilić continued this week, and not even his performance at the 250 Series ATP tournament in Budapest could bring better news for Croatia’s best male player. Marin reached his fourth consecutive defeat, and this time, it was Uruguayan player Pablo Cuevas (ATP-73) to knock out Čilić in the second round of the tournament (Marin was the first-seed and was free at the start of the competition). Cuevas celebrated after three hours and 12 minutes of play - 5:7, 7:6 (6), 7:6 (3).

After Marin Čilić, Borna Ćorić lost to Serbian tennis player Filip Krajinović (ATP-105) in two sets - 6:4, 7:5 .

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

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Marin Čilić Pulls Out of Rotterdam Open Due to Injury

Not the news you’d like to hear about Croatia’s best tennis player Marin Čilić. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Mate Pavić Reflects on Best Season of Career, New Challenges Ahead

In the competition for the best athlete of Dalmatia by Slobodna Dalmacija, Split tennis player Mate Pavić was declared the winner. Behind him was a memorable season, where he was excellent with his partner Oliver Marach to win the Australian Open, ended the year as the best doubles team, and finished at the top of the ATP doubles ranking, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on February 5, 2019. 

Pavić’s fantastic year was then crowned with the success of the Croatia national team, who won the Davis Cup against France. All this was more than enough for Mate to find himself on the list of top athletes in Dalmatia, which is why the trophy for the best athlete, which was presented at the Old City Hall on Split's Pjaca, ended in the right hands.

“Of course I’m glad and honored to win this award, and be in the company of top athletes from other sports. Dalmatia is known as a region of top athletes, so to be a part of it is really a great honor,” Mate said. 

2018 was an exceptional year for Mate. 

“Definitely, behind me is the best season I've had so far. It is difficult to repeat, I hope to succeed, but to be number one in doubles and as the team at the end of the year, we won the Grand Slam, the Davis Cup at the end of the year ... It will be hard to repeat it all, but I will try.”

Croatia celebrated when the team won the Davis Cup in Lille and brought home the trophy. What were Mate’s impressions on the great end to the year?

"The impressions were beautiful. I took a few years off competitions, and now I had the opportunity to become part of something big. I played in Zadar in front of a local audience, then away in France... To be a part of the individual sports team, to be with my colleagues is something special and the final in Lille will always stay in my memory.”

The new season did not begin as well for Pavić and Marach, who dropped out of the Australian Open in the second round.

“In Australia, we played a bit worse in two or three matches. Not nearly as good as last year when we returned from the southern hemisphere with three titles, but overall it was not that bad. My Davis Cup season was very long; maybe I needed a bit more time to rest between the two seasons, which I did not have. We are now moving on to new tournaments, we can play well and there is no reason we shouldn’t continue winning titles.”

Last year Pavić won in the mixed doubles competition of the Australian Open with Canadian player Gabriela Dabrowski, though this year the pair were also unlucky in the same tournament. Will they still play together?

“I’ve already played with Dabrowski for a year now, and this is our fifth tournament, so there is no reason we shouldn’t play all the Grand Slams together.”

What awaits Pavić now?

“Nenad Zimonjić asked me to play a tournament in Sofia, and then I’ll return to Marach and go to Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells.”

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