Wednesday, 5 May 2021

ATP Challenger Zagreb Open, First Professional Tennis Tournament in Capital Since 2015

May 5, 2021 - The ATP Challenger Zagreb Open will be the first professional tennis tournament in the Croatian capital since 2015 and the last edition of Zagreb Indoors. reports that the ATP Challenger Zagreb Open, a tennis tournament with a prize fund of 44,820 euros, to be held from May 9 to 15 at the Maksimir Tennis Center, was presented at the Sheraton Hotel in Zagreb on Tuesday.

It will be the first professional tennis tournament in the Croatian capital since 2015 and the last edition of Zagreb Indoors.

"Great love for tennis and enthusiasm and desire for men's professional tennis to return to the city of Zagreb led to this tournament. I think this is a great thing for our city and Croatia and that the tournament will become a traditional and recognizable Zagreb sports event. Our wish is to reach the ATP 250 tournament status, but we are going step by step," said the director of the Zagreb Open Goran Belošević when presenting the tournament.

The list of registered players is led by 29-year-old Argentine Federico Coria, currently the 92nd tennis player in the world, who is the younger brother of Guillermo Coria, once third in the ATP rankings who was a finalist at Roland Garros in 2004. Among the more famous names are 33-year-old Leonardo Mayer, who was the 21st tennis player in the world six years ago and played for the Argentine national team in 2016, which won the Davis Cup, 28-year-old Bosnian tennis player Damir Džumhur, who reached 23rd place in the individual ATP rankings in 2018, and Portuguese Joao Sousa, who reached 28th place in the world five years ago.

"The final list will be known only on Friday, but I can announce that it will be one of the strongest Challengers 80 this year," said Belošević.

The organizers have at their disposal three invitations for the main tournament and the same number for the qualifications, most of which should be given to Croatian tennis players. One of them is 24-year-old Nino Serdarušić from Zagreb.

"I am glad that we finally have a tournament of this type in the capital. I think this is a great opportunity for the development of all players and, of course, for the future of Zagreb and Croatian tennis. I hope that the Croatian Tennis Pro Tournaments series will become a tradition because it is something. It means a lot to us tennis players. I am looking forward to the start of the Zagreb tournament," said the Croatian Davis Cup national team member who reached the quarterfinals at last week's ATP Challenger in Rome in the same category as the Zagreb tournament. At the same time, he won two of the three previous Croatian Challengers, two in Split and Zadar.

The Zagreb Open is also part of the Croatian Tennis Pro Tournaments series under the Croatian Tennis Federation (HTS), as part of which ten professional tennis tournaments for tennis players will be held in nine Croatian cities this year.

"We tried to bring as many professional tournaments as possible to Croatia. The Istrian Riviera series is well-known, organized for the 49th year in a row this year, and the Challenger was organized in Zadar for the first time. Zagreb has always had a women's tennis tournament, and now is the time for the men's tournament to return after a few years," said the director of the Croatian Tennis Federation, Vlatko Jovanoski.

In addition to HTS, the Zagreb Open is supported by the City of Zagreb and the City Office for Sports and Youth.

"Tennis is a recognized sport in Zagreb, and I am glad that after Zagreb Indoors, another tournament is being held in our city. Sports events are an opportunity to send a positive message from Zagreb to Europe and the world, an invitation to tourists. No economic activity should also be neglected, which means a lot in these pandemic conditions," said the acting mayor of the City of Zagreb, Jelena Pavičić Vukičević.

Due to anti-epidemic measures, the tournament will be closed to the public, and matches will be available to watch via the streaming service on the official website of the ATP Tour ( and the social networks of HTS.

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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Croatian Tennis Federation Rejects Established Croatia Player for Brother's Social Media Posts?

April 21, 2021 - An avid member of the Croatian tennis community and organizer of the Croatia Bol Open, Feliks Lukas announced on his Facebook page that the Croatian Tennis Federation (HTS) rejected the request of his sister, Tena Lukas, to play at the ITF Zagreb Ladies Open. 

His Facebook post transmitted from 24 Sata:

"The Croatian Tennis Federation rejected the request to invite the seven-time senior national team member and #268 WTA tennis player of the world to the ITF Zagreb Ladies Open, explaining it to Tena as follows:

'Because of your brother's Facebook posts, you are not a candidate for an invitation to the tournament!'

There is no question that the tournament organizer can invite whoever they want, which is justified, and there is no dilemma. In fact, I don’t think it’s exciting at all, nor sportsmanlike to comment on. It should be accepted that each organizer has their own vision and program, and that is ok. And I use this opportunity to wish the tournament in Zagreb a lot of luck, and I am convinced that it will be a successful and strong tournament with many good tennis players. I hope it will be around for many more years and grow.

My comment refers exclusively to the given reasoning and the North Korean methods of “education” and “proportional punishment” of athletes, which once again show the superior competence of the pedagogical quality of the HTS leadership itself. I can only say touché to the umbrella association of Croatian tennis," wrote Feliks on his personal Facebook profile. 

After the post, Lukas explained to 24 Sata why he was so angry: 

"Of course, every organizer has the right to invite whoever they want; I told my sister that she has to work on her own ranking so that she would not even need an invitation. We are a sports family, and we do not want to whine, and it was not the rejection of the invitation that prompted me to publish, but the way of communication and explanation. Obviously, the HTS is in a kind of "fight" with me because of my statements and provocations; this is nothing new, but, sadly, they are dealing with my family like this through me. Two years ago, my other sister, Tajna, was fired from HTS," Lukas said and added:

"These are your "Croatian jobs," they are trying to eliminate me as a hindrance in various ways because I called them out because of incompetence. Our tennis is generally in chaos, most clubs don’t work, and I say that publicly. Since I am not politically engaged and networked, that I come from a family of educators, and I organize a big tournament, it is obvious that I am a threat to them. But it's one thing, it's not a topic, the topic is the way of communication, the topic is how they treat one player completely non-pedagogically, and what kind of message they send to her and everyone else. It bothered me a lot, and that's why I reacted," he concluded. 

The Croatian Tennis Federation gave their reason for not inviting the tennis player 24 Sata.

"As a member of the Croatia national team, Tena Lukas was certainly among the candidates for an invitation to the Zagreb Ladies Open because she deserved this opportunity with her performances in the former Fed Cup (now the Billie Jean King Cup) and on an individual level. However, her latest results were crucial not to be shortlisted this time: she played seven tournaments this year and she was eliminated in all seven in the first round, either in the main event or in the qualifiers. Therefore, other Croatian tennis players got the advantage, so the claims that comments on social media were crucial for not giving Tena Lukas a chance really have no basis," HTS spokesman Igor Rajković replied.

Lukas followed HTS's statement by outlining on Facebook every reason why HTS was wrong in what they did:

"Regarding my previous Facebook comment, which was transmitted in the Croatian media, HTS had to comment with its official press release, and it just confirmed how uneducated and inexperienced they are in the development of Croatian sports, specifically tennis.

Namely, in its defense, HTS stated that the mentioned tennis player Tena Lukas did not get a wild card because she has practically not been able to beat anyone lately. 

Their announcement to anyone in the educational system would be a reason for dismissal. Physical and health education teachers, together with tennis coaches, need to change their way of educating and approaching the development of athletes, as HTS imposes new innovative standards in the development of mental strength and preparation of athletes. 

And if you are still a layman when it comes to educational methods, imagine the following situations and put aside the fact that the HTS accused the tennis player of lying, and imagine the following situations:

1) Imagine that you are a 25-year-old tennis player who is currently in a game crisis, but who also performed at the state senior tennis championship organized by HTS a record number of times with a title, 7 times in a row, and that the same HTS sends you a message through the media that you are incompetent and that you can't beat anyone, and that you didn't deserve an invitation from them for the tournament qualifiers.

2) Now imagine the situation that you are the #274 tennis player in the world in the WTA rankings, and that the WTA is the strongest "brand" in women's sports globally, and that Croatia, along with Martic and Vekic in the top 100, has 4 girls ranked 200th to 300th in the world (Konjuh, Mrdeža, Fett, Lukas), but HTS thinks that you can't beat anyone lately, and they list every painful defeat with which they explain to you pedagogically.

3) Imagine a situation where you played 13 times for the Croatia tennis FED CUP team and achieved 6 victories for the same. That you accepted a performance for that FED CUP when no one wanted to play (obviously due to the great reputation of HTS), and that with your performances that year, you ensured that Croatia remained in the Euro-African group. Imagine that when HTS needed to save the day, you responded and were there, and you never got anything from HTS, not even an appointment for training in Zagreb. Imagine the humiliation when HTS retaliates with a roll call for lying and the media "shit" on you as you lost in the first round of seven matches. Even in the qualifiers. I would guess that they would motivate you to play better and that they are there for all Croatian tennis players. Surely many will still dream of playing for HTS, Davis Cup, and Billie Jean King Cup, i.e., Fed Cup. After all, if you think that Pera and Tomljanović play for the USA and Australia because HTS is really worked on them, let this story serve as an example.

If all the above reasons were not enough for Tena to get a wild card for the quality of the ITF tournament in Croatia, then they must have been enough so that her self-confidence and pride are not spat on by those who would have to take care of her career to live in a more developed society. They easily accused her of lying and covered up the explanation they gave her in the phone call, but what they told the media is even 100 times worse and more miserable. And that says it all about what kind of people manage Croatian tennis.

Now imagine for the end the situation that Ana Konjuh did not get a wild card for the Australian Open and Miami Open with this explanation. How much the Miami Open and Croatian tennis would have been missed because of that if they had characters from HTS as "decision-makers."

Fortunately, HTS does not organize the WTA tournament in Bol, which is silent suffering for them, because Petra Martic would never get a wild card, as she did in 2016 at the WTA Croatia Bol Open when she was the 420th tennis player in the world, and when no one but family and a few connoisseurs of sports believed that Petra would be in the top 100 again very soon. Petra won the doubles trophy at that edition of the tournament and soon began her journey to the top.

As the organizer of the tennis tournament, I did everything despite all obstacles to help young talented tennis players from all over the world, so today, the young ATP lions Casper Ruud and Jordan Thompson and countless Croatian tennis players played in Bol at tournaments organized by me. World media would never know that Bol was the best place in the world for Nadia Podoroska, who played in the semifinals of the RG this year, if HTS had been asked.

But I am most proud that in 2019, for the first time in the history of Croatian women's tennis, as many as 4 Croatian tennis players performed in the main tournament of a WTA tournament. This never happened before the WTA tournament in Bol in 2019, and the invitations that Martic, Konjuh, Boskovic, Fett, Biskic, and others received in Bol, and of course Lukas, they did not receive at the request of HTS, nor did HTS ever ask for invitations for those girls, nor did they care. But good luck for the WTA Croatia Bol Open and for Croatian tennis that HTS does not grant invitations in Bol.

Namely, I never received a letter of support or a positive comment from HTS. Still, I received an official e-mail after the mentioned edition of the 2019 tournament, where 4 Croatian tennis players had a safe entrance to the main tournament, that I harmed the Croatian Tennis Federation by not inviting senior board members of HTS. And I can't lie about that because there is written evidence. And at the same time, their employees, the then executive director, and sports director slept in Bol at the expense of the WTA tournament. But HTS obviously wanted the bus to come to them; they devour them and spend money on someone else's account.

Tajna Lukas Recic was fired upon returning from maternity leave because they were redistributing their jobs (after that, they hired new people because there is no place for a master of kinesiology and a former state tennis champion) and not because her last name is Lukas. And it seems that Tena did not receive an invitation either, because with seven titles in the senior competition, a few in the junior competition, and a #268 world ranking, she still doesn't know how to play tennis enough according to HTS - and not because her last name is Lukas.

P.S. The organizer, I note, has the right to assign a wild card to anyone, and that is their discretion. Being a tennis player without a single point or top 100 does not mean that they need to play a toilet of a tournament. But the point of this story is how the umbrella association of a sport in a democratic country communicates with the athletes who represent that same country.

Because it was a phone call, I don't have a written trace ... The fact is that Tena played for HTS when everyone rightly rejected them, and the same is the fact that HTS beat the same tennis player through the media, accusing her of lying publicly, and added that she lost the last 7 matches in the first round and in the qualifiers. Therefore, as I said in a previous comment transmitted by the media, TOUCHÉ HTS."

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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

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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

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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

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Saturday, 6 June 2020

Croatian Tennis Stars Gather in Osijek for Humanitarian Tournament

June 6, 2020 - Humanitarian tournament Croatian Premier Tennis is taking place in Osijek, featuring many of the best Croatian tennis players, like Marin Cilic, Borna Coric, and Petra Martic. 

Team A and Team B came to victories in the long and exciting first day of the Croatian Premier Tennis competition in Osijek on Thursday, which brought Croatian tennis players back to the courts after a three-month break. Team B celebrated in the first match with 4:1 against team C, with the victories of duos Borna Coric / Ivan Dodig and Iva Majoli / Matej Dodig in two of the three doubles matches and Donna Vekic and Borna Coric in individual matches. Team C took its only set thanks to Iva Primorac and Franko Skugor, who were convincing in mixed doubles against Tena Lukas and Ivan Dodig (6:1).

In the second match, which ended a few minutes after midnight, team A defeated team D 3:2 thanks to the individual victory of Marin Cilic and the duos Lucija Faj / Goran Ivanišević and Ana Konjuh and Nikola Mektic. On the other hand, points for team D were brought by the doubles team Duje Ajduković / Mate Pavic and Tereza Mrdeza in an individual clash with Jana Fett.

Weather conditions did not hinder the second day of the tennis tournament and matches were held without delay. Before the start of the second day, the players and organizers attended a formal reception with the prefect of Osijek-Baranja County Ivan Anusic.

A rare occurrence was the match between Ivo Majoli and Goran Ivanisevic, who played in doubles with young tennis hopes. The team Iva Majoli and Matej Dodig won 4:2 against Goran Ivanisevic and Lucija Faj.

They were followed by the victory of Marin Cilic and Nikola Mektic against Ivan and Matej Dodig, and the result was 6:3. In mixed doubles, Nikola Mektic and Ana Konjuh celebrated against Ivan Dodig and Tena Lukas 7:5.

Donna Vekic and Jana Fett played a true women's duel, in which Donna won 6:4. Marin Cilic and Borna Coric played a great men's match in which Cilic won 7:5. With this victory, Cilic brought an overall triumph to his team (Team A), which was the only one to achieve a 100% performance in the first two appearances.

The second part of the tournament started with a fight between Borna Goja and Duja Ajdukovic, and the result was 4:6 in favor of Borna. Tereza Mrdeza celebrated 6:2 against Lee Boskovic, and Jelena Kostanic-Tosic and Fran Kuna played against Goran Prpic and Nera Tesankic. Jelena and Fran won 5:4.

In the men's doubles, Duje Ajdukovic and Mate Pavic competed against Borna Goja and Franko Skugor, who won 6:3.

The last match of the evening on Friday saw Franko Skugor and Iva Primorac win 6:2 against Fran Pavic and Antonija Ruzic.

The remaining days of the tournament can be followed via the social media pages of Croatian Premier Tennis, and all spectators can support this humanitarian action called 'Croatia and tennis against COVID-19' by calling 060 9003 or donating to IBAN HR0823900011500174664. The goal is to raise funds that will be donated to KBC Osijek, as well as to raise funds that will go to Croatian scientists, who are engaged in finding a vaccine and medicine against COVID-19

Source: HTS

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Adria Tour: Zadar to Host New Tennis Tournament Organized by Novak Djokovic

May 23, 2020 - At the initiative of Novak Djokovic, and in cooperation with the Croatian Tennis Federation, tennis stars will flock to Zadar in June to kick off summer in Croatia. reports that the most beautiful postcard will be sent to the world from Zadar next month, officially kicking off the summer tourist season in Croatia! Namely, some of the best tennis players in the world will play in a series of tournaments from June 13 to July 5, called the Adria Tour, and one of the host cities will be Zadar, it was confirmed on Friday.

The organizer of the tournament is the best tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, who gathered some of the leading players of today, including Croatian tennis players. The first tournament will be played on the courts of TC Novak in Belgrade on June 13 and 14, followed by Zadar's Višnjik (June 20 and 21), before the tournament moves to Montenegro (June 27 and 28), and Banja Port (July 3 and 4).

Among others, participation in at least one of the competitions, apart from the organizer Novak Djokovic, was confirmed by leading Croatian tennis players, led by Borna Coric and Marin Cilic, and Austrian Dominic Thiem and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, to name a few.

It is a humanitarian competition, from which, among other things, the proceeds will be directed to programs for the development and education of children, and in sports terms, will be a great opportunity for matches at the highest level at a time when there is a break in official competitions due to the coronavirus.

They will be played in groups so that each tennis player will have two matches on Saturday, and one on Sunday, when the finals between the two best will be scheduled. It is planned to be played on two won sets on four games.

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Saturday, 7 March 2020

Davis Cup Qualifiers: Brilliant Cilic Takes Croatia to Finals!

March 7, 2020 - Marin Cilic celebrated 6-0, 6-1 against Sumit Nagal, bringing Croatia its third point against India and spot in the finals this November in Madrid.

After the defeat of Mate Pavic and Frank Skugor in the doubles match, Marin Cilic was class. On a relatively fast court, Cilic used all his strengths and, for the 11th time in his career, brought the winning point to the Croatia Davis Cup team.

Marin rushed through the first set in 29 minutes. The second set was even quicker, and the 22-year-old Indian player managed to retain his serve once and save himself from a 6-0, 6-0 defeat. It took only 56 minutes for Cilic to win the match.

Before the duel, Rohit Rajpal set Nagal instead of Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who lost to Borna Gojo on the first day, but the move did not prove wise or useful. The impression is that Gunneswaran would have been a much tougher rival, but for an inspired Cilic, as we watched on Friday and Saturday in Zagreb, he would still not be good enough.

Croatia justified its role of favorites, just as Marin Cilic justified his status as the best tennis player in this duel. In just over eight months, Croatia will once again be one of the 18 national teams to compete for the Cup in Madrid. Qualifying for the finals in Madrid brought $300,000 to the Croatian Tennis Federation, and US  $600,000 will be shared by national team members.

The final tournament is scheduled for November 23-29, 2020. Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and Russia qualified as last year's semifinalists, Serbia and France have received invitations, and through qualifications, Croatia, Ecuador, Australia, Italy, Germany, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Austria will compete. 

The draw of the final tournament group will be held on Thursday, March 12 (5 pm) in London.

Source: HRT

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Saturday, 4 January 2020

ATP Cup Sydney: Croatia Tennis Team Tops Austria 3:0

January 5, 2019 - The Croatia national tennis team is off to a great start in Sydney for the first-ever ATP Cup, topping Austria 3:0 in their first round of games on Saturday.

At the premiere of the ATP Cup, in the first round of Group E in Sydney, Croatian tennis players defeated the Austria national team 3:0! 

The winning team was decided already after the singles matches - first Marin Cilic celebrated with a comeback against Dennis Novak (108th on ATP list) - 6:7 (4), 6:4, 6:4, and Borna Coric surprised the 4th best tennis player in the world, Dominic Thiem - 7:6 (4), 2:6, 6:3. 

In the doubles match, Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic were better than Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Oliver Marach 7:6 (4), 6:2.

Marin lost the first set to Novak, but found a way to celebrate in the end.

"It was an extremely difficult match, a real thriller. Dennis played at a high level. It was a great match to start the new season,” Marin said after the win.

Borna, who lost six matches to finish last season, opened 2020 with a massive win against Thiem. It was Borna’s second win in their five meetings thus far, and his 12th career win against one of the top 10 players in the world last year.

"I'm really happy. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect from this performance, especially since I didn't play my best tennis last season. Well, it was great. Even though I lost the second set, I felt I was playing really well. In the third set, I played bravely on important points, and in the end, it paid off. This success will further fill me with confidence for the matches to come,” Borna said with special thanks to the Croatia fans in attendance.

"Thanks to them for their support, they carried me through the whole match, and especially at the end of the match, when it was the hardest for me."

The key to Croatia’s doubles victory was winning the first set in which Dodig and Mektic were losing 5:3. At 5:4, they saved a set-point and after the tie-break lead 1:0. They had no problem in the second set.

“Despite the final 3:0, the whole round against Austria was extremely uncertain and interesting, with just the singles matches lasted for almost six hours. In the doubles, the first set was also exciting, but it was easier for us in the second,” Nikola Mektic said.

Croatia will play their second match on Monday against Poland, who lost to Argentina 2:1 in the first round.

Source: HTS

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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.

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

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