Monday, 16 May 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Back on Track After Defending Italian Open Doubles Title

May 16, 2022 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Back are back on track after defending the Italian Open doubles title on Sunday in Rome. This is great news ahead of Roland Garros next week. 

Croatian doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić defended their title at the Masters 1000 ATP tournament in Rome. This was their 15th joint final and the 10th title in total, which they have been waiting for since the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

After the semi-final victory in the early morning hours of Sunday, defeating Italians Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić did not have much time for rest. Already in the early afternoon, they had the final against American John Isner and Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

The Olympic gold medalists won 6:2, 7:6 (6), 12:10 against Isner and Schwarzman. Mektić and Pavić could have finished the match earlier after they had 5:2 in the tie-break of the second set. In the end, however, they managed to defend the title, saving one match point with Isner and Schwartzman leading 10:9 in the third set.

It was the third final for the Zagreb-Split duo in 2022 after losing in Dubai and Belgrade.

Mektić and Pavić rushed through the first set to come out on top. In the second set, both sides were strong until the 11th game, when the Croatian duo failed to break, though the American-Argentine side missed a set point in the next game.

In the tie-break, Mektić and Pavić took the lead with 5:2, but Isner and Schwartzman returned to 5:5. At 6:5, Mektić and Pavić had a match point, but the Argentine was impenetrable. At 6:6, he combined two more great points, returned on Mektić's serve, and led the match into a decisive, extended tie-break.

Mektić and Pavić were the first to reach the match point at 9:8. Isner responded with an ace, followed by another point for the American-Argentine side, and the match point. Schwartzman pulled a forehand return on Mektic's second serve but missed for 10:10.

Nikola served an ace for the third match point and welcomed John Isner's mistake to finally celebrate in Rome.

In the 15th joint final, Mektić and Pavić finally returned to the circle of winners, just before Roland Garros, where they could not compete last year due to a positive coronavirus test. 

Source: HRT

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

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Marin Čilić Plays Match of Season against World No.11 for Italian Open Round of 16!

Maay 12,  2022 - Croatia's best tennis player Marin Čilić advanced to the Italian Open round of 16, defeating Cameron Norrie 5:7, 6:2, 6:1!

Marin Čilić continues his campaign in the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome, this time beating Cameron Norrie 5:7, 6:2, 6:1 in the round of 32 on Wednesday. 

The British tennis player, even though he is ranked 11th in the world, was helpless against Marin Čilić who played the best match of the season and perhaps his best in years, especially in the second and third sets when Čilić strung together nine games!

Čilić couldn't win the first set in which he led 5:2. At 5:3, he served for 1:0 in sets, but he did not win a single point in that game. Then, on the opponent's serve, he missed one set point at 5:4, and after 5:2 lost a total of five games in a row and was behind the 11th player in the world.

But that did not affect Čilić at all, who played in a trance from the middle of the second set. He hit absolutely everything he could and won seven games in the second set! 

He quickly won the second set and then took a 3:0 lead in the third when Norrie sought the help of a physiotherapist due to pain in his right ankle. On the way back to the court, Čilić continued his series, which climbed to nine games. Čilić took the 5:0 lead in the third set and thus concluded the match.

Čilić recorded nine aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 64 percent. He also used 10 break points.

In the round of 16, Čilić will play against the 45th player in the ATP rankings - Chilean Cristiano Garin. Marin and Cristiano played twice in their career and Čilić won both matches.

In the round of 64, Marin beat Matteo Arnaldi 6:1, 6:4. 

Source: HTS

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

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Italian Open: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic Win 6th Joint Title!

May 16, 2021 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić have done it again, this time with a title at the Italian Open! 

Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić won the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome, defeating American Rajeev Rama and Briton Joe Salisbury 6:4, 7:6 (4) in the final.

Pavić and Mektić won the first set after 33 minutes of play thanks to a break in the fifth game which was enough for the 6:4 win. In the second set, neither side had a break and the decision fell in the 13th game, which was fantastically played by the Croats who quickly took a 6:0 lead. Their opponents saved four match points but failed to save the fifth and the celebration began for the Croatian duo.

This year has been extremely successful for Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić. They have played eight finals and have won six titles so far (Antalya, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome).

They reached the final in four Masters 1000 tournaments and have three titles. They have 37 wins and four losses this season.

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

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Italian Open: Borna Ćorić and Mate Pavić into Last 16, Čilić Out

May 16, 2019 - Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić placed into the 3rd round of the ATP tournament in Rome after mastering British player Cameron Norrie on Tuesday with a score of 6-2, 6-2 in just 58 minutes of play, reports the Croatian Tennis Federation.

It was a match where Ćorić was ferocious against his opponent, who really didn't stand a chance. Norrie did not manage a chance to break even once, and Ćorić realized his break on all occasions. Looking at the duo head-to-head, Norrie and Ćorić each have one victory. Recall, Norrie celebrated in Shenzhen. 

In the next round, Ćorić will play Roger Federer who was better than Portuguese player Joao Sousa. The two will meet on Thursday.

Mate Pavić and doubles partner Oliver Marach will also play in the round of 16 after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff and Ben McLachlan 6-3, 6-3. Pavić and Marach won three breaks in the duel,  while Struff and McLachlan had none. In the round of 16 game on Thursday, Pavić and Marach will face Fernando Verdasco and Denis Shapovalov.

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić failed to qualify for the third round of the Italian Open, after German tennis player Jan-Lennard Struff was better than Ćilić with a score of  6-2, 6-3 in just an hour and seven minutes of play. 

Čilić struggled in the match against Struff, losing his first strike four times and totaling only four service games won, of which not one was when Struff had the first serve. The only break for Čilić was when Struff served for the win, but he only delayed his fate until the next game.

Čilić achieved only 45 percent on his second serve and only 62 percent on his first. 

This was the fourth match between Čilić and Struff and the second win for the German player. The two also meet last week in Madrid in 2nd round where Čilić won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

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

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Čilić Loses to Zverev for Fifth Time, Drops Out of Italian Open Semifinal

Croatia’s best singles tennis player Marin Čilić lost in the semi-final of the ATP tournament in Rome to Alexander Zverev with 6-7 (13), 5-7.