Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Marin Čilić, Ivo Karlović, Petra Martić into 2nd Round

July 3, 2019 - Marin Čilić, Ivo Karlović, and Petra Martić have all advanced to the 2nd round of this year's Wimbledon.

HTS reports that Petra Martić opened this year's Wimbledon with a win! Martić advanced to the 2nd round of the third Grand Slam tournament of the season after her success against American Jennifer Brady, 67th on the WTA ranking, with a score of 3:6, 6:3, 6:4.

After Brady led 1:0 in sets, Petra managed a complete turnaround. 

The second set was settled after she broke Brady in the sixth game, while third in the third set Martić had a decisive advantage in the third game. At 5:4, Martić missed three match points, but had no problem sealing the victory in the next game. In the second round, Martić will play against Russian Anastasia Potapova, 71st on the WTA ranking. 

Ivo Karlovic also had no problem opening Wimbledon with a win. The legendary 40-year-old will compete in the 2nd round of the world's most famous tournament after defeating Italian qualifier Andrea Arnaboldi,  219th on the ATP ranking, 6:4, 6:4, 7:6 (4).

The match was marked by the overwhelming dominance of Karlović who did not allow a single break point. He hit 24 aces with 72 percent of his first serve, and realized two of his four chances to break. In the 2nd round, Karlović must defeat Italian Thomas Fabbiano (89th on the ATP ranking) who surprised the no. 6 player in the world, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Marin Čilić opened his 13th appearance at Wimbledon with a victory. The former finalist and 13th seed of the tournament overcame Frenchman Adrian Mannarino (42nd on the ATP ranking) with a score of 7:6(6), 7:6(4), 6:3.

However, Čilić could have come to the victory much easier, as he led 5:3 in the second set and missed serving for the set a game later. Mannarino then failed to capitalize on a set point at 6:5 and paid for it later when the tie-break went in favor of Čilić.

The third set winner was decided thanks to a break in the sixth game, leaving Mannarino with no return. This was the fourth encounter and third win for Marin against Mannarino. Čilić will play against Joao Sousa (69th on the ATP ranking) in the 2nd round.

Donna Vekić has unexpectedly finished her performance at this year's Wimbledon. In the 1st round, Vekić lost to American Alison Riske, 55th on the WTA ranking, 3:6, 6:3, 7:5.

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Friday, 28 June 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Croatian Tennis Stars Learn Opponents

Wimbledon begins on Monday, July 1 and the draw for the singles and doubles competition was held on Friday. Who will our Croatian tennis stars face?

The current best Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić, who is the 14th seed in the tournament, will play against the best Slovenian tennis player Aljaza Bedene in the first round of the third Grand Slam tournament, the draw decided on Friday.

This will be the fifth encounter of Ćorić, the 14th best tennis player in the world, and Bedene, who is 86th in the ATP ranking. In the past four matches, Ćorić achieved three wins.

If he passes to the second round, Ćorić will play the winner of German Jan-Lenard Struff and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. Against Struff, the 34th best player in the world, Ćorić has won twice in five meetings. Against Baghdatis, who is currently 138th ATP rankings, Ćorić celebrated in their only encounter. 

Marin Čilić, the 13th seed of Wimbledon, will play in the second round against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who he's played twice and defeated once. If Ćorić wins, he awaits the winner of Portuguese player Joao Sousa and British player Paul Jubb.

Ivo Karlović’s opponent in the first round is Italian Andrea Arnaboldi, the 209th tennis player in the world, who he has not met thus far. If the 40-year-old advances to the second round, he awaits the winner of Greek player Stefan Tsitsipas, the 7th seed of the tournament, and Italian Thomas Fabian.

In the women's competition, Croatia's best female player Donna Vekić will face American Alison Riske, 54th on the WTA ranking. If she advances to the second round, Vekić awaits the winner of Serbian player Ivana Jorović and Dutch player Lesley Kerkhove.

In the first round, the 24th seeded Petra Martić will face American Jennifer Brady, the 64th best tennis player in the world, for the first time. If she advances to the second round, Martić will play the winner of Russian Anastasia Potapova and Swiss player Jil Teichman.

In the first round of the doubles competition, Mate Pavić and Bruno Soares will meet Dutch duo Arends and Middelkoop, Ivan Dodig and partner Polasek will meet British duo Murray and Skupski, and Croatian duo Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor will meet Lithuanian Berankis and Hungarian Fucsovics.

Wimbledon begins on Monday, July 1, and will play until July 14.

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

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Čilić is Croatia's Top Wimbledon Seed in Singles, Pavić Top in Doubles

On Wednesday, the All England Lawn Tennis Club committee revealed the 32 singles seeds and 16 doubles seeds for Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, July 1. 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić is the 13th seed in this year's edition of Wimbledon, while the current best Croatian tennis player, Borna Ćorić, is 14th. The first seed of the tournament is also the best tennis player in the world, Novak Đoković, who will try to defend the title this year, reports on June 26, 2019.

Roger Federer is the second seed of this year's Grand Slam tournament, while the second-best tennis player in the world, Rafael Nadal, is confirmed as the third seed.

South African Kevin Anderson, who played in the final with Djokovic last year, is the fourth seed, even though he fell to the eighth place on the ATP ranking this week.

In the women's competition, the top seed is Australia's Ashleigh Barty, who is also the current best female tennis player in the world. From the Croatian female tennis players, Donna Vekić is the 22nd seed, and Petra Martić the 24th.

For the doubles seeds, Mate Pavić holds the top seed for Croatia in 4th with partner Bruno Soares, while Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor are the 6th seed. 

As the third seed, two-time Wimbledon winner Rafa Nadal will have to pass both the Federer and Djokovic if he wants to win his first title at the All England Club since 2010.

The Spaniard has criticized the Wimbledon seeding system this week, saying it is "not good" to be the only one of four Grand Slam tournaments that do not follow the ATP rankings when determining the seeds.

Wimbledon, according to the form of the tennis player in the last 24 months, determines 32 players in the draw for the top tennis players in the tournament. 

And while the seeds are determined according to the place on the WTA rankings, Wimbledon retained the right to change it in the men’s competition to create a "balanced draw".

Thus, Čilić, who played the final of Wimbledon in 2017, is 13th, even though he fell to the 18th place on the ATP ranking this week, and Croatia’s best tennis player, Borna Ćorić, is the 14th.

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

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Donna Vekić in Nottingham Final, Borna Ćorić Rosmalen Semifinal Suspended

June 15, 2019 - For the second time in her career, Donna Vekić will play in the final of the Nottingham Open! Croatia’s best female player defeated Germany's Tatjana Maria (56th on WTA ranking) in the semifinal of the WTA tournament in three sets - 5:7, 6:0, 6:0, reports HTS

After losing the first set from a break in the 11th game, the 22-year-old from Osijek continued to keep up with her opponent. At 5:0 in the third set, the match was briefly interrupted for rain. Interestingly, in the second set, not even the fact that Maria realized 88 percent of her first service (and 74 percent overall) could help. Donna hit five aces and realized 57 percent of the first service.

“I am very happy that I'm in the final and that I finally played my first complete match this week on grass. I enjoy playing on this platform and am looking forward to the Sunday final,” Donna said after winning. The Osijek native is looking to win her third WTA title (after Kuala Lumpur in 2014 and Nottingham in 2017) against the winner of the match between Garcia and Brady. 

Borna Ćorić and his opponent Adrian Mannarino played a dramatic semifinal match at the ATP Rosmalen before it was suspended for rain. 

After they were tied 1:1 in the sets, Ćorić and Mannarino went to the third, decisive set where they were equal at 6:6. Just when the question of who would be going to the final was to be decided, heavy rain prevented the match from continuing. The game will most likely continue on Sunday. 

Otherwise, Ćorić has never defeated Mannarino in two career matches. The winner of their match will go to the final and will play against the winner of the semifinal between Gasquet and Thompson, which was also suspended due to rain.

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Sunday, 2 June 2019

Roland Garros: Petra Martić into Quarters, Vekić Out

Petra Martić will play in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros! After a great battle in the round of 16, Petra came to the victory over Estonian Kaia Kanepi (WTA-88) after two hours and 14 minutes of play. Martić won 5:7, 6:2, 6:4 in her greatest career success, reports HTS on June 2, 2019. 

It was a match full of excitement, with ups and downs on both sides. Kanepi won the first set after Petra had the 3:2 advantage and service, while in the second set she led 2:0. It seemed then that Kanepi was going for the win, but Martić was able to come back, and with six consecutive games, she equalized Kanepi in sets. 

Kanepi started strong in the third set, and on her service, she led 3:0, but Petra again turned the game around and took the next three games to lead 3:2. Kanepi came back for 4:3 and had four break points for 5:3, but Petra came out of the hurdle and in the ninth game had a crucial break. At 5:4 she served for her first quarterfinal of a Grand Slam tournament - and that’s after her fifth appearance in the round of 16. 

With this victory, Martić achieved a new career ranking on the ATP list (23rd place) and in the quarters will play against Markéta Vondroušová, 38th on the WTA list. So far, these two have met on four occasions,and the last time a month ago in the final of Istanbul. Petra has won all four games. 

Donna Vekić was not as lucky and failed to overcome Johanna Konta in the round of 16. Konta celebrated 6:2, 6:4 after an hour and 25 minutes of play. It was their seventh match and the fourth win for Konta.

Throughout most of the match, the British tennis player was better and utilized her chances. In the first three games, we saw three breaks, and since Vekić served first, she was already behind. By the end of the first set, Vekić lost her service and missed five chances to break. All in all, Konta showed much more.

The players went six games without a break, then Konta took away Vekić’s service who immediately returned in the same way and leveled at 4:4. However, the British player then reached 0:40, Vekić saved two break chances, but not the third. After that, Konta easily concluded the match for the win. 

Croatia still has other representatives at Roland Garros. Namely, Nikola Mektić will play in the mixed doubles quarters with partner Alicja Rosolska on Monday, while Ivan Dodig will play in the round of 16 with Latisha Chan on Sunday. Mate Pavić and partner Oliver Marach will play in the men's doubles round of 16 on Sunday. 

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

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Roland Garros: Borna Ćorić Out After Thrilling Five Sets in Round of 32

June 1, 2019 - After Friday’s thrilling performances by Petra Martić and Donna Vekić, which launched them into the round of 16 of Roland Garros, Borna Ćorić lost in the round of 32 on Saturday against German player Jan-Lennard Struff 6:4, 1:6, 6:4, 6:7(1), 6:4, 9:11, reports HTS.

It was a match that started well for Borna, who won the first set of the game with a score of 6:4. In the second set, Struff returned with 6:1 and although Ćorić won the third with 6:4, he lost the fourth in the tie-break.

In the fifth set, Ćorić had the break at 2:2, but Struff immediately replied. At 4:4, Ćorić had the chance to turn the game around, though he did not realize his chance. At 6:6, Borna had three chances to break, used the third and served to win, but the brave German returned - and at 8:7 he had 0 to 30 on Borna’s service. He did not use it then but did at 10:9, when his first match point turned into a win after four and a half hours of play.

It was the fifth encounter between the two players and the third win for Struff. 

Mate Pavić and his Austrian doubles partner Oliver Marach will also play in the round of 16 of Roland Garros after defeating French duo Elliot Benchetrit and Geoffrey Blancaneaux - 6:4, 7:5.

Ivan Dodig and his American partner Latisha Chan will play in the mixed doubles round of 16 after defeating American Abigail Spears and Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal - 7:6 (5), 6:2.

More soon...

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Friday, 31 May 2019

Roland Garros: Petra Martić and Donna Vekić into Round of 16!

May 31, 2019 - The incredible Petra Martić and Donna Vekić advanced to the Roland Garros round of 16, reports HTS.

What a victory for Petra Martić in the 3rd round of Roland Garros! Martić sensationally defeated the second-seed of the tournament, Czech player Karolína Plíšková with a convincing 6:3, 6:3. It was her 14th victory this season on clay. 

In the first set the result was leveled to 3:3, though Petra went on to win the next five games (and took the service of her rival three times) and reached 2:0 in the second set. Pliškova then won three consecutive games and it seemed that the favored Czech would still find a way to turnaround and win. However, Petra again lifted the level of the game and with a fantastic series came to great success and her third time in the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament (2012, 2017). With this win, Petra has jumped to 27th place on the WTA list, which is her best career ranking. Petra will play Kai Kanepi in the round of 16 on Sunday. 

But that’s not all. 

Croatian tennis will have two representatives in the round of 16 at this year's Roland Garros after Donna Vekić surprisingly overcame Swiss player Belinda Bencic (WTA-15) - 6:4, 6:1.

From the start of the match, the Osijek native had the lead - first at 3:0, then later 4:2, though Bencic managed to equalize at 4:4. Donna took the first set after a break, and after losing the first game of the second set, she won six consecutive games to make her second pass into the top 16 of a Grand Slam tournament. Recall, Vekić made it to the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2018. 

Vekić hit eight aces with 64 percent of her first service and used six out of a total of nine break-points. In the round of 16, Vekić will play against the winner of the Konta - Kuzmova match. Vekić reached a new career ranking after the win and is currently the 20th best female tennis player in the world. 

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Roland Garros: Martić and Vekić into Third Round, Čilić Out

May 29, 2019 - Petra Martić, Donna Vekić, and Marin Čilić played in the second round of Roland Garros in Paris on Wednesday, announces HTS

Petra Martić continues with great performances at this year's Roland Garros. After quickly overcoming Tunisian player Jabeur (in just 66 minutes), Martić defeated French national Kristina Mladenovic (WTA-53) in two games - 6:2, 6:1.

Two breaks in the first and three in the second set were enough for Petra to convincingly win over Mladneovic, who took Martić’s service for the first time in the first game of the second set, and then lost six consecutive games. Martić, who hit three aces with 70 percent of the first service, made only nine unforced errors during the match and lost only 13 points to her service. Petra’s next rival will be the second-best tennis player in the world, Czech national Karolina Plíšková. So far they've played on four occasions, and Petra has three wins. 

Donna Vekić also moves forward in Roland Garros. The Osijek native advanced to the round of 32 of the Paris tournament on Wednesday for the second time in her career after defeating Swedish player Rebecca Peterson (WTA-63) - 1:6, 6: 1, 6:2.

The first set convincingly went to Peterson, but we saw the dominance of Vekić who won 10 of the next 11 games, and was up to a 4:0 lead in the decisive set. Peterson managed to reduce Vekić’s advantage to 4:2, but that was all she was able to do in this duel. With this win, Donna moves to the 21st position on the WTA list, which is her new career ranking. Her chance to enter the company of the 20 best tennis players in the world will be in the 3rd round against the winner of the Bencic - Siegemund match.

Marin Čilić goes home early from this year's appearance at Roland Garros. Croatia’s best male tennis player lost in the second round after a giant five-set game (and almost four and a half hours of play). Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (ATP-46) won 6:7 (3), 6:4, 4:6, 7:6 (2), 6:3.

Marin played a good match and fought to the last point, but Dimitrov eventually found the path to success. Dimitrov was behind 2:1, but managed to get back and take the next two sets. In the final set, Marin lost his service twice and allowed his opponent to lead 5:2. Dimitrov then served to win, Čilić managed to break, but then lost his first strike and then the match. Čilić had 13 aces, with 53 percent of his first service and 58 unforced errors (Dimitrov had 45). It was their sixth meeting and the second win of the Bulgarian tennis player.

Borna Ćorić will face Lloyd Harris, while Ivo Karlović will face Jordan Thompson on Thursday in the second round.

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Monday, 27 May 2019

Roland Garros: Čilić, Ćorić, Martić, Vekić Advance to 2nd Round

May 27, 2019 - Roland Garros, also known as the French Open, kicked off at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. Croatia’s tennis representatives, including Marin Čilić, Borna Ćorić, Petra Martić, and Donna Vekić have all advanced to the second round. 

Marin Čilić skipped the first obstacle at this year's Roland Garros. Croatia’s best male tennis player and the 11th-seed of the tournament defeated Italian Thomas Fabbiano, the 98th best tennis player in the world, in three sets - 6:3, 7:5, 6:1.

Marin played a solid match and had the most issues at the end of the second set when he lost his service at 4:4 and Fabbiano served to equalize 1:1. However, Čilić immediately returned the lost service, and by the end of the duel, won nine of the 10 games. In the third set, the Italian led 1:0 after a break and then lost six games in a row. Čilic achieved 13 aces and realized 58 percent of the first service, and made 36 unforced errors (Fabbiano 34). Čilić will play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 64. 

In just over an hour, Petra Martić advanced to the second round of this year's Roland Garros after defeating Tunisian Ons Jabeur (WTA-56)  6:1, 6: 2.

Petra took the service of her rival six times and lost two games on two occasions. Jabeur made 27 unforced errors (Martić 8). Martić also realized 65 percent of the first service and easily made it to the 2nd round where she will face French player Kristina Mladenović. 

Donna Vekić, the 23rd-seed of the tournament, made it to the 2nd round of this year's Roland Garros. Croatia’s best female tennis player was too strong for the 'lucky loser' of qualifications, Russian Liudmila Samsonova(WTA-159) - 6:2, 6:4.

The Osijek-native settled the first set after breaks in the third and fifth games, while in the second set she only took Samsonova’s service in the third game. Samson had just one break-point (the fourth game of the first set) that she did not take advantage of during the match. Vekić finished the game without a double fault and with 59% of the first service and 17 unforced errors (Samsonova 35). Donna will play in the 2nd round against Swede Rebecca Peterson (WTA-63). 

Borna Ćorić will play in the 2nd round of Roland Garros for the fifth time. After almost three hours, the 22-year-old Zagreb-native defeated Slovenian Aljaž Bedene who took the duel to the fourth set - 6:1, 6:7(4), 6:4, 6:4.

During the match, Bedene lost his service to Borna on five occasions; Borna did not succeed only in the second set, which went to a tie-break in favor of Bedene. On the other hand, he saved all three of Bedene's breaks. In the round of 64,  Ćorić will play against South African Lloyd Harris. 

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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Madrid Open: Petra Martić v. Donna Vekić in Round of 16

Croatian tennis players Petra Martić and Donna Vekić advanced to the 3rd round of the WTA tournament in Madrid after eliminating Angelique Kerber and Kristýna Plíšková, reports on May 6, 2019. 

Petra Martić made it to the 3rd round of the Madrid Open without a fight. After knocking out double Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruz in the first round, Martić was meant to play against Angelique Kerber, the fourth best tennis player in the world, who was forced to retire due to an ankle injury.

Donna Vekić defeated Czech qualifier Kristýna Plíšková. (WTA-94) with a score of 6-4, 6-4 after an hour and 26 minutes of play. After Vekić broke at 4-2, Plíšková managed to get back for 4-4. However, the Croatian tennis player took her opponents serve and the first set. 

In the second set again, Vekić was first to come to a break, but Plíšková still managed to return the lost service. At 3-3, Vekić once again took her opponent’s service and routinely ended the match with a victory. 

In the last 16, we will see Croatia's best female tennis players, Donna Vekić and Petra Martić meet on Wednesday afternoon. 

Marin Čilić will also play in the round of 16 of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid. Croatia’s best male tennis player secured two wins in a row (for the first time after the Australian Open) after defeating Slovakian Martin Kližan in the first round on Tuesday and German Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP-49) in the second round with 4:6, 6:3, 6:4. Marin’s next rival will be either Del Potro or Đere. Thanks to these results, Marin has also jumped one position on the ATP ranking and is again among the top 10 tennis players in the world.

Borna Ćorić was sent home early from Madrid after losing to Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the first round 6:3, 7:5.

Mate Pavić and doubles partner Oliver Marach defeated Croatian-French duo Ivan Dodig and  Edouard Roger-Vasselin after a big fight in three sets - 6:4, 3:6, 10:5. They will play in the quarter-final against Argentine duo Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos.

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