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

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

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

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

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.

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

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Croatian Tennis Stars at Roland Garros: Who Will Cilic, Coric, Martic and Vekic Face in First Round?

September 26, 2020 - The draw for this year's Roland Garros grand-slam tournament took place in Paris on Thursday, and the most difficult job so far will be for Marin Cilic, who will play the winner of the US Open and the third-best player in the world, Austrian Dominic Thiem. A look at the competition of Croatian tennis stars at Roland Garros. 

T.portal reports that Marin Cilic drew the strongest possible opponent at the beginning considering Thiem's quality and current form, but also the fact that Marin has lost all three previous matches against the Austrian tennis player.

Thiem also knocked out Cilic at this year's US Open 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, and Marin also lost to him at the Canadian Masters 2019 and Brisbane in 2016. The duel between Cilic and Thiem is convincingly the strongest pair in the first round, and in the 2nd round, the winner will play the winner of American Reilly Opelka and the qualifier.

In the first round, Borna Coric will play with the 106th-best player in the world, Slovak Norbert Gombos, who he has not played so far. If he passes, Coric will likely play against Frenchman Chardy.

In the women's competition, Petra Martic opens Roland Garros against Japanese Misaki Doi, the 80th-best tennis player in the world. Petra has played against the left-handed Japanese player only once so far and lost 6-3, 6-3 back in 2013 at the Australian Open. In the event she passes, Martic awaits the winner of the match between Russian Kudermet and French Parmentier.

Croatia's second representative Donna Vekic awaits Irina Bara in the 1st round, and if she wins, her next opponent will be the winner of Belgian van Utvyanck and Swedish Peterson.

Roland Garros is on the program from September 27 to October 11. Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep will try to defend their titles this year.

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.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

US Open: Marin Cilic and Donna Vekic Fail to Make Last 16

September 6, 2020 - Marin Cilic and Donna Vekic failed to join Borna Coric and Petra Martic in the last 16 of the US Open. 

Donna Vekic has said farewell to this year's US Open. The 24-year-old Osijek native lost her 3rd round match to 32-year-old Cvetana Pironkova, who plays with a protected ranking in New York (due to childbirth). Pironkova celebrated 6:4, 6:1 in her first tournament since Wimbledon 2017.

Donna started the match solidly, kept the score even at 4:4, and then took only one more game until the end of the match, the first in the second set. Vekic only used one break point out of four in the match. In the second set, she managed to get only four points on her opponent's serve. It was their fourth meeting and the fourth victory of the Bulgarian tennis player.

The third-best tennis player in the world, Austrian Dominic Thiem, proved to be too strong for Marin Cilic in the 3rd round clash of this year's US Open. The tournament's former winner (2014) lost after four sets - 6:2, 6:2, 3:6, 6:3.

The Austrian won the first two sets in just 65 minutes of play, and Cilic did not reach a single break point in that period.

Cilic woke up in the third set, and in the sixth game, he stole his opponent's serve for the first time and reduced the score to 1:2 in the sets. Who knows how the match would have unfolded if Marin had used one of three break opportunities to lead to 3:2 in the fourth set. Thiem managed to save them at 15:40 and immediately stole Marin's serve in the next game. This was their third meeting and the third victory for Thiem.

Mate Pavic joined Nikola Mektic in the doubles quarterfinals of the US Open. Pavic and Brazilian Bruno Soares celebrated in the second round against the American duo Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow - 5:7, 7:6 (5), 6:4. The Croatian-Brazilian team was on the verge of defeat, Sock and Withrow served for the victory in the second set with a 5:4 lead, but Pavic and Soares equalized through a tie-break. They had a chance to break in the seventh game of the deciding set, which was enough to pass among the eight best doubles teams in New York.

In the fight for the semifinals, Pavic and Soares will play British team Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.

Source: HTS

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.

Friday, 4 September 2020

US Open: Donna Vekic and Marin Cilic Advance to Third Round!

September 4, 2020 - Donna Vekic and Marin Cilic join Petra Martic and Borna Coric in the third round of the US Open!

It was an extremely convincing performance by Donna Vekic in the 2nd round of the US Open, as it took the Osijek player only 69 minutes to win against Romanian Patricia Maria Tig (88th on the WTA list) with only three lost games - 6:2, 6:1.

The very beginning of the match suggested that Donna would have a far harder job, as Tig came to a break in the third game and took the lead with 2:1. But after that, her game quickly fell apart, and Donna lost only one more game by the end of the match.

During the match, Vekic scored four aces with a first-serve percentage of 66 percent, and used five of the nine break points. Her next opponent will be Bulgarian Cvetana Pironkova (a player with a protected ranking), who surprised the 10th seed, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, in the 2nd round.

It took Marin Cilic more than three hours to advance to the third round of this year's US Open. Namely, Slovak Norbert Gombos (104th on the ATP list) proved himself in the 2nd round match as an extremely strong and challenging opponent who almost took the match to the fifth set.

Namely, at 1:2 in sets, Gombos had a 5:4 lead and two set points on Marin's serve, but he failed to realize them. After that, Cilic came to a break, and then to the victory - 6:3, 1:6, 7:6 (2), 7:5. It seems that the key to the outcome of the match was the third set in which Gombos led with 4:2, but Marin still managed to return and reach a 2:1 lead in the tie-break.

He scored 15 aces with a first-serve percentage of 63 percent and used four of the 12 break points. Marin now awaits the 2nd seed and 3rd best tennis player in the world, Austrian Dominic Thiem. They have played twice so far, and Thiem has celebrated in both matches.

Petra Martic will play her third-round match against Russian Varvara Andreyevna Gracheva on Friday, while Borna Coric will face Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Source: HTS

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.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

US Open: Petra Martic and Borna Coric Move to Third Round

September 3, 2020 - Petra Martic and Borna Coric are the first Croatian representatives to advance to the US Open's third round. Donna Vekic and Marin Cilic will play in the second round today.

Petra Martic was the first of the Croatian representatives to advance to the 3rd round of the US Open, after defeating Ukrainian Katerina Bondarenko (349th on the WTA list) in the 2nd round on Wednesday without any major problems. Martic celebrated 6:3, 6:4.

Petra was especially dominant at the beginning of the first set, where she quickly took a 5:1 lead. Bondarenko reduced it to 5:3, but couldn't do more than that.

The second set was far more uncertain and was decided after a break in the 10th game. Martic scored eight aces with a first-serve percentage of 64 percent and used only four of 16 break points.

To advance to the round of 16, she will play against Russian Varvara Gracheva, the 102nd-best player on the WTA list. They played recently in the 1st round of the WTA tournament in Prague, where Petra was better in two sets.

Borna Coric also advanced to the third round of the US Open and thus surpassed last year's result when he was forced to hand over the match to Grigor Dimitrov due to injury in the second round.

After a smooth victory in three sets against Pablo Andujar, Coric faced Juan Ignacio Londero. The match started with an early exchange of breaks, and the next came at 5:5 when Borna took the Argentine's serve and soon took the set with 7:5.

In the second set, Londero was the one who had the initiative, but at the end of the set, Borna returned and reduced the score to 5:4. Instead of directing the set towards a tie-break, he lost the next service game and automatically the set with 6:4.

In the third set, Borna missed too much. He started great and took a 4-1 lead, and instead of routinely doing the job and taking a 2-1 lead in sets, he allowed Londero to come back, and the Argentine took the set in a tie-break.

Coric was much more concentrated in the next two sets. In the fourth, he broke Londero twice and took the set with 6:2, and in the fifth, he broke in the fourth game, which was enough to advance to the next round. 

Coric will have a much harder job in the third round when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Croatia's second female representative Donna Vekic passed the first round of the US Open. The Osijek native and 18th seed defeated Czech Kristyna Plišková (66th on the WTA list) - 3:6, 7:6 (6), 6:4.

Pliškova was close to victory; after winning the first set, in the second, she took the 5:3 lead, and at 5:4, she served for the match. Donna still managed to celebrate in the tie-break of the second set.

In the third set, she managed to find a way to succeed after a break in the ninth game. During the match, she scored six aces (Pliškova 16) with a first-serve percentage of 57 percent and used three of the eight break points. In the second round, she will play against Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, the world's 88th-best tennis player.

It took three hours and 33 minutes for Marin Cilic (ATP - 38th) to beat American Denis Kudla (ATP - 111th), which he reached after his opponent led 2-0 in sets and had a 5:3 lead in the third set. Cilic celebrated 6:7 (3), 3:6, 7:5, 7:5, 6:3. It was the eighth turnaround of this sort in Cilic's career, half of which occurred at the US Open, where he is playing for the 12th time.

Marin Cilic will play Slovak tennis player Norbert Gombos (104th on ATP list) in the second round on Thursday. 

Ivo Karlovic finished his performance at his 17th US Open. The 41-year-old from Zagreb was stopped in the first round by the Frenchman Richard Gasquet (51st on the ATP list) - 7: 6 (0), 7: 6 (4), 6:1.

Ivo missed his opportunity to do something more in this match in the second set in which he reached his only break in the duel, and later a 5:3 advantage. Still, Gasquet returned in the 10th game, and the story once again went to a tie-break in which the Frenchman took the 2-0 lead.

Ivo gave up in the third set. After the initial 1:1, the Frenchman went to victory with a large series. Ivo achieved 20 aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 57 percent, and used one of six break points.

Of the three Croatian representatives in doubles who played in the 1st round of the US Open on Wednesday, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic made their way further.

Mektic and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof (8th seed) celebrated at the start against Serbian Nikola Cacic and Indian Divi Sharan (6:4, 3:6, 6:3), while Pavic and Brazilian Bruno Soares (5th seed) topped Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horace Zeballos - 3:6, 6:4, 6:4.

Franko Skugor and American Austin Krajicek lost to 3rd seed, American Rajeev Rama and Briton Joe Salisbury (6:2, 6:7 (5), 6:3).

Source: HTS

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.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Croatian Tennis Players Ready for US Open in New York

August 30, 2020 - Croatian tennis players have learned their opponents in the first round of the US Open, to be held from Monday, August 31, 2020, in New York.

The best-ranked Croatian tennis player Borna Coric will play Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the first round of the US Open. Marin Cilic will play against the American Denis Kudla, and Ivo Karlovic will face the Frenchman Richard Gasquet, while the two female Croatian representatives will face two Czech opponents - Petra Martic against Tereza Martincova, and Donna Vekic against Kristyna Plišková.

The US Open begins Monday, August 31, 2020, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York and will end September 13.

For the first time since 2003, there were no title defenders in the draw, as Canadian Bianca Andreescu and Spaniard Rafael Nadal will not participate in this year’s tournament. 

The first seed is the best tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, who will play in the first round against the Bosnian-Herzegovinian representative Damir Dzumhur. The second seed, Austrian Dominic Thiem, will play against Spaniard Jaume Munar.

In the women's competition, only four of the top ten tennis players were in the draw, and the first-seed is third in the WTA rankings, Karolina Pliškova from the Czech Republic. Her rival is Ukrainian Angelina Kalinin. The second-seed is the current winner of the Australian Open, American Sofia Kenin, who will play against Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in the first round.

Returning to the court, Belgium's Kim Clijsters will play against Russia's 21st-seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, and Serena Williams, who will try to win her 24th individual Grand Slam title, has won compatriot Kristie Ahn as her rival.

Coric (ATP - 33rd) has never played against 34-year-old Andujar (ATP - 53rd), and the winner of the 2014 US Open Marin Cilic (ATP - 37th) beat 28-year-old Kudl (ATP - 111th) in four sets (6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5) five years ago in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

The oldest player in the tournament, 41-year-old Ivo Karlovic (ATP - 125th), will compete in his 16th appearance at the US Open for the seventh time in his career against seven-year-younger Gasquet (ATP - 50th), who defeated him five times. But Karlovic's only victory came at the US Open nine years ago, when Ivo celebrated in four sets (6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6).

Coric was the 27th-seed in the upper part of the draw, while Cilic (31st) and the unplaced Karlovic were in the lower half.

Petra Martic (WTA - 14th) was placed eighth, and 25-year-old Tereza Martincova (WTA - 135th) was defeated (6-4, 7-5) in their only match played in 2015 in Bad Gastein, Austria.

Donna Vekic (WTA - 24th) will enter the duel against 28-year-old Kristyna Plišková (WTA - 64th) with a 2-1 advantage in mutual duels, and as the 18th-seed of this year's US Open, where she will defend her best result at the Grand Slam tournaments - last year's quarterfinals, when Swiss Belinda Benčić stopped her.

Martic was in the upper half and Vekic in the lower half of the draw.

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.

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

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.

 

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Donna Vekic First Croatian Tennis Player to Continue Season with Win

August 4, 2020 - Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic (WTA - 24th) became the first winner in the continuation of the season on the WTA Tour, defeating Dutch player Arantxa Rus (WTA - 70th) 6-1, 6-2 in the 1st round match of the WTA tournament in Palermo, Italy. Vekic defeated Rus in 75 minutes of play.

HRT reports that in the 2nd round, Vekic will play against Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto (WTA - 156th), who defeated Slovenian Polona Hercog (WTA - 45th) on Monday. 

It took just over half an hour of play for the 24-year-old from Osijek to win the first set in which the 29-year-old Dutch player won the first game, though she struggled to win another after that. Moreover, Vekic won eight games, took the lead with a break advantage in the second set, and had four chances to lead 3-0. Donna missed a few easy forehands and briefly allowed Rus to return to the match.

Rus managed to equalize at 2-2, but Vekic soon regained control of the court, and with a new break for a 4-2 lead, created an advantage that she never lost. With yet another stellar serve, she reached a convincing victory.

Vekic used 6 of the 13 break points and saved three of the four break points Rus had. The Dutch player was particularly vulnerable on her second serve, where she scored just three of 15 points.

In Palermo, the best ranked Croatian tennis player is Petra Martic (WTA - 15th) was set as the first seed, and on Tuesday in the 1st round, she will play against Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck (WTA - 57th).

The prize fund of the women's tournament Internazionali Femminili di Palermo is 163,000 euro. The tournament is played on outdoor clay courts at the Country Time Club and has been part of the WTA tour since 1990. 

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

Page 2 of 7

Search