Friday, 8 February 2019

Fed Cup: Croatia Overcomes Georgia, Plays Serbia for First Place

The Croatia women’s tennis team secured another win in the Euro-African group of the Fed Cup held in Bath. After starting with a 2:1 win against Turkey, Croatia was better than Georgia. They will play for first place in Group B against Serbia on Friday, reports HRT on February 7, 2019. 

The winner of this clash will meet the best team from Group A on Saturday and will be better placed in April qualifiers for World Group II.

Croatia lead on Thursday thanks to Ana Konjuh who overcame Mariam Bolkvadze 6:4, 6:3.

“It was harder than I expected, but at least my confidence has risen. She was not an easy rival, but I managed to find a solution. My hand is fine, that's also important," Ana Konjuh said.

Jana Fett was unable to win against Ekaterina Gorgodze. In the third set, Fett had the advantage to break four times, with 5-4 serving for victory, but in the end, Gorgodze was more successful 4:6, 6:3, 7:5.

“The only thing that was good was the fight. I played poorly, and I could not feel the service and I think that was it,” Fett said.

The deciding point for the Croatia national team was made by Darija Jurak and Ana Konjuh, who defeated Ekaterina Gorgodze and Oksana Kalashnikova 7:5, 6:1.

“We are good together, we needed to find a rhythm, but we found it. We did not play together long enough, but we did well,” said Darija Jurak after the win, while coach Iva Majoli added: "We decided that Donna needed to rest, so she did not play because she was exhausted after the tournament in St. Petersburg and the match against Turkey. We were hoping that we would win after the individual matches, but that did not happen. Anyway, we really believed in the doubles, because Darija and Ana were always great in the Fed Cup,” Majoli said.

In the second match of this group Serbia secured a win against Turkey (2:0). Ivana Jorović overcame Çağla Büyükakçay 6:2, 6:3, while Aleksandra Krunić was better than Pemra Ozgen 3:6, 6:4, 6:2.

Serbia and Croatia are on the ladder with two wins, while Georgia and Turkey have two defeats. Croatia will play against Serbia on Friday. 

Only the first-place teams from the group stage will have the opportunity to compete for a place in World Group II. The winner of Group B will play against the first-placed team of Group A which holds the UK, Hungary, Greece and Slovenia.

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

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Fed Cup: Croatia Secures First Round Win Against Turkey

Thanks to the victory of Donna Vekić in the singles match and Jana Fett and Darija Jurak in doubles, the Croatia women's tennis team defeated Turkey with 2:1 in the first round of Group B of the Euro-African Fed Cup group in Bath, reports HRT on February 6, 2019. 

Turkey took the lead first when Çağla Büyükakçay beat Anu Konjuh 7:5, 2:6, 6:3, though Donna Vekić equalized for Croatia after winning 7:6 (0), 6:3 against Pemra Ozgen.

The Croatia victory was secured by Jana Fett and Darija Jurak, who won 6:4, 6:4 against Buyukakčay and Ozgen in doubles. 

“It was a tough match, the rivals returned a lot of balls, and I had to play my best tennis to the last point,” Donna Vekić commented briefly.

“I'm really happy to win the decisive match at 1:1. I think Darija and I played well although we played together for the first time. I also hope that tomorrow will be easier to win,” Jana Fett said.

Coach Iva Majoli added: “There is nothing but stress at the start, I hope it won’t be that way by the end of the week. Donna was expected to win, as long as she couldn’t feel the tiredness of last week. But she was full of confidence, and this was a routine match. We decided on Fett and Jurak for doubles at the last minute, and they did great, and could be even more convincing.”

Croatia still has to meet Serbia and Georgia in their group. The Serbia team has already secured victory after the singles games. Jorović beat Bolkvadze 6:3, 6:1, and Danilović was better than Gorgold 7:5, 6:3.

On Thursday, Croatia will play the 2nd round against Georgia, while Serbia and Turkey will meet. 

Only the first place team in the group will have the opportunity to compete for a place in World Cup 2. Croatia’s group will crossover with the first team in Group A, which holds the UK, Hungary, Greece, and Slovenia. 

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

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Fed Cup: Croatia's Female Tennis Players Kick Off Against Turkey

The Croatia female tennis team will begin their Fed Cup tournament on Wednesday in Bath, England. The Croatia team will attempt to win the first place of their group and thus advance to the April qualifiers for World Group II, the second highest level of Fed Cup competition for female players in 2018, reports HRT on February 5, 2019. 

Croatia coach Iva Majoli announced her squad for their upcoming challenge, including Donna Vekić, Jana Fett, Tena Lukas, Ana Konjuh and Darija Jurak. Decided by a draw, the Croatia team will play in Group B against Serbia, Turkey, and Georgia. The winner of this group will play in the final of the tournament against the best of Group A, which boasts the UK, Greece, Hungary, and Slovenia.

The main feature of the Croatia team is undoubtedly the 22-year-old Donna Vekić, who played in the finals of the very competitive St. Petersburg Open last week - and thanks to her achievement, Vekić reached 25th place on the individual WTA ranking, which is the best placement of her career.

“I’m happy for Donna, especially since I participate in the organization of the tournament in St. Petersburg. She played the tournament of her dreams, and I have not seen Donna playing such good tennis for a long time. In the final she led 5:2 in the first set, unfortunately, she did not win: there was a little bad luck, things accelerated, and her hand stiffened. But all in all, it was a great tournament, and she achieved the best ranking of her career. Now we are facing one of the most important weeks, and before the match, we will see who will play in individual matches with Donna, who is certain, and the same is true for doubles where Darija Jurak will play,” said Majoli.

Donna Vekić looks positively at the possibilities of the Croatian composition in Bath.

“I’m delighted with my result. I played outstanding tennis, and I hope I can continue in the Fed Cup. We are happy to get the team together, and of course our goal is to be the first in the group,” Donna Vekić said.

Croatia will face their first rival Turkey on Wednesday, which boasts Pemra Özgen, Çağla Büyükakçay, Berfu Cengiz, İpek Soylu and İpek Öz.

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