Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Vekić Out, Čilić and Dodig in Tennis Doubles Quarterfinals at Olympic Games

July 27, 2021 - Čilić and Dodig are in the quarterfinals of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, while Donna Vekić was knocked out in the 3rd round. 

Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig advanced to the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, beating Americans Rajeev Ram and Frances Tiafoe 6:3, 7:5 in an hour and 31 minutes of play.

Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig repeated their best Olympic result achieved in London in 2012 when they were defeated in the quarterfinals by Spain's David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez.

"Marin is top-notch in these two matches, and it's much easier for me and I really enjoy it. Now it's just a question of how much we will play, stronger opponents are coming," Dodig said. 

"I feel good in doubles, the training with Ivan helped me a lot in those few days before the start. Now I have done it individually and acclimatized. Ivan's brother and my schoolmate helped us a lot with advice. Another great match today, Ram is a top player in doubles, Ivan knows him and he knew how to recognize several situations in the match that brought us key points."

For the semifinals, they will fight against Great Britan's Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury, who immediately knocked out second-placed French team Herbert and Mahut in the first round. In the second round, they were better than Germany's Krawietz / Puetz 6:2, 7:6 (2).

Mektić and Pavić's opponents in the quarterfinals are Japan's McLachlan and Nishikori. Mektić and Pavić are the first-seeded players, they are in the top part of the draw and they cannot meet Čilić and Dodig until the final.

After knocking out France's Garcia and third-ranked Belarusian Arina Sabalenka in three sets, Donna Vekić from Osijek was left without a place in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo, where she was defeated by Kazakhstan's Jelena Ribakina 7-6 in the 3rd round (3), 6-4 after 101 minutes of play. 

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Saturday, 3 July 2021

Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić into 3rd Round of Wimbledon Doubles Tournament

July 3, 2021 - Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić have not let their absence from Roland Garros be known as they move their way into the third round of the Wimbledon doubles tournament!

Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić, Mate Pavić, and Ivan Dodig were successful in their men's doubles matches at Wimbledon played on Friday.

Mektić and Pavić, who are the first seed of the tournament, convincingly defeated Australians Alex De Minaur and Matt Reid 6-2, 6-4, while Australian Open winners Dodig and Slovak Filip Polašek beat Slovak Norbert Gombos and Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-2, 6-1 in the first round.

In the third round, Mektić and Pavić will play against the winner of the match between the Bosnian and Serbian duo Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic and New Zealander Marcus Daniello and Austrian Philipp Oswald.

The fifth seed Dodig and Polašek will play Spaniard Jaume Munar and Briton Cameron Norrie in the second round.

The top-ranked Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić (ATP - 37) advanced to the third round of Wimbledon after defeating French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi (ATP - 119) on Thursday 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5 ) after three hours and three minutes of play.

In the third round, Čilić will play against the second-best tennis player in the world, Russian Daniil Medvedev, who defeated Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

It will be their second duel, though the first was played two years ago in Washington when the Russian tennis player celebrated in two sets (6-4, 7-6).

By entering the third round, Marin achieved his best result at Wimbledon since 2017, when he came one step closer to the title, losing in the final to Roger Federer in three sets.

Recall, Donna Vekić lost in the second round to Karolina Pliskova, while Petra Martić lost in the second round to Irina-Camelia Begu. Martić and American doubles partner Shelby Rogers are in the second round of the doubles competition. 

Source: HRT

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Friday, 2 April 2021

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić in Miami Open Doubles Final!

April 2, 2021 - Second-seeds Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will play in the Miami Open doubles final on Friday for their fifth ATP Tour final of the year!

Croatian doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić advanced to the doubles finals of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami, defeating American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Mektić and Pavić solved the first set after a break in the fourth game and the second after a tie-break in which they made it 5:3.

Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will play in the Miami Open doubles final against British duo Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski. Evans and Skupski defeated Croatian Ivan Dodig and Slovak Filip Polašek 7-6 (4), 1-6, 10-8 in a dramatic duel, which was decided by one point in the end.

Dodig and Polašek did not lose their service during the match, but the defeat cost them worse than the start of the decisive set - Evans and Skupski took an early lead with 5:1, and the Croatian-Slovak duo did not manage to return.

Mektić and Mate Pavić have 24 victories and only three defeats this season, and they have won three tournaments so far (Antalya, Melbourne, Rotterdam).

After three victories, Marin Čilić finished his performance at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami earlier this week.

In the round of 16, the 8th-best tennis player in the world, Russian Andrej Rublev, was too strong for Čilić (6:4, 6: 4). Marin lost his serve once in each set (both times in the fifth game) and did not reach a single break during the match. He recorded six aces and a first-serve percentage of 54 percent.

It was their fifth meeting and Rublev's fourth consecutive victory. Čilić's next appearance will be at the Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo, which starts on April 11.

Source: HTS

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Sunday, 21 February 2021

Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek Become Australian Open Men's Doubles Champions!

February 20, 2021 - Incredible news to start Sunday morning in Croatia, as Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek become Australian Open men's doubles champions!

36-year-old Croatian doubles expert Ivan Dodig has claimed the Australian Open title in the men's doubles competition! With partner Filip Polasek, they defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Rama 6:3, 6:4.

This is the first joint Grand Slam title for the Croatian Davis Cup national team member and Slovak partner, who defeated the defending champions American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury in Sunday's Australian Open final after 88 minutes of great tennis. 

This is Dodig's second Grand Slam trophy in men's doubles, after he won the first in 2015 at Roland Garros with Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo. In addition, the 36-year-old from Medjugorje also has three trophies from mixed doubles with Taiwanese partner Latisha Chan, with whom he won Roland Garros twice (2018 and 2019) and Wimbledon once (2019). Filip Polasek became only the second Slovak to win a Grand Slam title, and before him, only Daniela Hantuchova managed the same in mixed doubles.

Dodig and Polasek played an excellent final without allowing Ram and Salisbury to break, while they took advantage of two out of 15 opportunities, one in each set.

In the first set, they broke Salisbury's serve in the eighth game, and reached the decisive tie break in the seventh game of the second set, again on their opponent's serve, when Ivan Dodig sent back an indefensible forehand. The Croatian-Slovak pair missed the first match point on Ram's serve in the eighth game, but in the next game, Polasek convincingly served for the biggest triumph in their career.

How well Dodig and Polasek played is best illustrated by the statement of their rival Joe Salisbury.

"I think this was the best match played in the final ever," said the Briton after the match.

Dodig and Polasek received the winning trophy from one of the last greats of Australian tennis, Patrick Rafter, and for the triumph in Melbourne Park, they will share 600,000 AUD, which is about HRK 3.75 million.

Ivan Dodig became the fourth Croatian to win a Grand Slam title in the senior competition in Melbourne Park. Mirjana Lučić Baroni won the women's doubles title with Martina Hingis in 1998, Mate Pavić was the winner in two competitions in 2018, the men's doubles with Austrian Oliver Marach, and mixed doubles with Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski, while Nikola Mektić celebrated last year in mixed doubles with Czech Barbora Krejčikova.

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 18 February 2021

Ivan Dodig and Filip Polášek Upset Mektić and Pavić for Australian Open Final!

February 18,  2021 - Although it looked as if Mektić and Pavić would continue their incredible series to reach their first Grand Slam final and 13th consecutive victory, the excellent Ivan Dodig and Filip Polášek upset the Croatian duo to celebrate for a spot in the Australian Open doubles final!

Not only did the spectators return to the stands yesterday, but they witnessed a showdown of three Croatian tennis players for a place in the final of the first Grand Slam of the season!

The untouchables Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić started the season very well, but in the end, it was Ivan Dodig and Filip Polašek to celebrate with 2-1 in sets (4-6, 6-4, 6-3). 

The Croatian-Polish duo got revenge on Mektić and Pavić for the Antalya final, where the Croatian pair won their first joint tournament. However, it didn't look as though the 9th-seed would do it. Especially not after the first set in which Pavić and Mektić routinely won 6-4 in 40 minutes.

Namely,  Mektić and Pavić took the first set after the break in the fifth game and held the lead to 4-4 in the second set, and then lost five consecutive games (up to 3-0 for Dodig and Polasek in the third set), which decided the match.

This is Dodig's first placement in the final of the premier Grand Slam tournament of the season, as he has so far lost twice in the semifinals (2015 and 2020). This is Polášek's first final in one of the four biggest tournaments. This is the second final for Dodig and Polášek this year after losing to Mektić and Pavić in the Antalya final.

Dodig and Polášek will play the winners of American Rajeev Ram / Briton Joe Salisbury - Briton Jamie Murray / Brazilian Bruno Soares in the final! Good luck! 

Source: HTS, 24 Sata 

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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Incredible Day for Croatian Tennis: Mektić, Pavić, Dodig, Jurak in Australian Open Semifinals!

February 16, 2021 - Mektić, Pavić, Dodig, Jurak have advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open in the doubles competition! 

A fantastic Tuesday for Croatian tennis in Melbourne, as Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, Ivan Dodig and Slovak partner Filip Polašek, and Darija Jurak and Serbian partner Nina Stojanović have all advanced to the Australian Open semifinals in the doubles competition! 

Nikola and Mate still have not tasted defeat in 2021 and reached the 12th consecutive victory in the quarterfinal celebration against the 8th seed, Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut - 6:4, 4:6, 7:6 (10:3).

The winners were decided by the tie-break of the third set, in which Herbert and Mahut took the 3:2 lead, and Mektić and Pavić then took eight consecutive points to celebrate in the end.

The 2nd-seeded team in the fight for the grand final will play against Ivan Dodig and Filip Polašek (9th-seed) who defeated the Australian team of Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith in the quarterfinals - 6:4, 2:6, 6:2. The Croatian-Slovak duo had a key break to win in the third game of the deciding set, and then drew 15:40 in the next game, after which the Australians no longer had a chance to return.

Darija Jurak reached the best result of her career at the age of 37. Namely, Darija and her 12-year-younger Serbian partner Nina Stojanović reached the semifinals of women's doubles competition after winning against the Serbian-Italian team Aleksandra Krunić / Martina Trevisan - 6:7 (3), 6:3, 6:2.

After losing the first set, Jurak and Stojanović did not have any problems on the way to a new victory. In the fight for the grand final, they will play the 3rd-seeded Czech team, Barbora Krejčíková and Katerina Siniaková.

On the way to the finals, the Croatian-Serbian women's doubles team also shocked the first seed Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strýcová. 

Bravo! 

Source: HTS

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Friday, 31 January 2020

Australian Open: Nikola Mektic in Mixed Doubles Final!

January 31,  2020 - Croatian tennis player Nikola Mektic has made it to the mixed doubles final of the Australian Open!

Croatian Davis Cup national team player Nikola Mektic has reached the final of the mixed doubles at the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. Namely, at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Mektic and his Czech partner Barbora Krejchikov defeated Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and Finnish player Henri Kontinen 3:6, 6:3, 10:5 in the semifinal on Friday.

Mektic and Krejchikov will face American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Briton Jamie Murray, who Mektic and Polish partner Alicja Rosolska lost to back in the US Open final in 2018.

Mektic is the final Croatian representative left in the competition.

Recall, Ivan Dodig was defeated in the semifinal of the men's doubles competition on Thursday. Namely, Dodig and Filip Polasek, who were the 4th-seed of the tournament,  surprisingly lost to Australians Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6:7(7), 6:3, 6:4. In the mixed doubles, Dodig and partner Latisha Chan lost in the quarterfinal to Gabriela Dabrowski and Henri Kontinen 7-5, 7-6(2).

Hungarian Timea Babos and Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic won the Australian Open for the second time in the women's doubles competition. They defeated first-seed Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbara Strycova on Friday 6:2, 6:1. Mladenovic now has four Grand Slam titles, and Babos one less.

Recall, Borna Coric was defeated in the first round of the Australian Open this year, while Petra Martic and Ivo Karlovic lost in the second round. Donna Vekic lost in the third round, while Marin Cilic lost in the round of 16. As for the doubles, Mate Pavic lost in the third round of the men's doubles with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.

The next Grand Slam tournament on the itinerary is the French Open, or Roland Garros, which begins in May.

Source: HTS

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Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Australian Open: Ivan Dodig into Doubles Semifinal, Mektic into Mixed Doubles Quarterfinal

January 28, 2020 - Ivan Dodig will play in the Australian Open men’s doubles semifinal with partner Filip Polasek, and the mixed doubles quarterfinal with partner Latisha Chan. Nikola Mektic will also play in the mixed doubles quarterfinal with partner Barbora Krejčíková.

Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek are in the semifinal of this year's Australian Open! The Croatian-Slovakian duo, who is also the 4th-seed of the tournament, was better than Salvadoran Marcel Areval and Briton Jonny O'Mara, with a convincing 6:3, 6:2 victory in the quarterfinal match. To reach the Australian Open final, they will play against the winner of the match between Gonzalez / Skupski - Purcell / Saville. Recall, Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek won the third round after defeating brothers Bob and Mike Bryan - 6:3, 6:4.

Dodig remains Croatia's last representative in the men's doubles competition as American Austin Krajicek and Franko Skugor lost to Santiago Gonzalez and Ken Skupski in the third round - 6:3, 6:4. The furthest Ivan Dodig has advanced in doubles at the Australian Open was back in 2015, though he made it to the final of the mixed doubles in 2017.

Tuesday was also a successful day for both Croatian tennis players and in the mixed doubles competition, with Dodig and Nikola Mektic advancing to the quarterfinal. Dodig and Latisha Chan defeated Slovenian Andrea Klepac and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6:3, 4:6, 10:8 in the second round, while Nikola Metic and his Czech partner Barbora Krejčíková topped American Amanda Anisimova and Australian Nick Kyrgios of Australia 4:6, 6:4, 10:8.

Finally, great success was achieved by Antonia Ruzic, a 16-year-old player from Cakovec, and Belgian Sofia Costoulas, who advanced to the doubles quarterfinal at the Australian Open Juniors after defeating Australian representatives Olivia Gadecki and Amy Stevens in the second round - 6:1, 6:3.

Antonia Ruzic lost her first singles match in the junior tournament, but managed to book the second round of the doubles competition after knocking out the 5th-seed team in the first round, Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra and Spain's Ana Mintegi Del Olmo - 6:3, 6:4.

Source: HTS

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Friday, 17 January 2020

Ivan Dodig Books First ATP Doubles Final this Season in Adelaide

January 17, 2020 - Croatian tennis player Ivan Dodig and his Slovakian doubles partner Filip Polasek will compete for the title at the ATP tournament in Adelaide.

In the semifinal match, Dodig and Polasek defeated British team Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski after a big fight with a score of 5:7, 6:3, 15:13. The Croatian/Slovakian duo saved three match points and thus opened the season in a significant way, reaching the final already in the first tournament.

This will be Dodig’s 30th career final, and for his 16th title and third title with Polasek, he will battle against Argentine-French duo Maximo Gonzalez and Fabrice Martin.

Franko Skugor failed to reach the doubles final at the ATP tournament in Auckland. Skugor and his American partner Austin Krajicek lost in the semifinal to New Zealander Marcus Danielle and Austrian Philipp Oswald, who celebrated 6:2, 7:6 (5).

Croatian player Darija Jurak is also left without the title at the WTA tournament in Adelaide, after missing two match points with Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski in the final against American player Nichole Melichar and Chinese player Yi-Fan Xu. Jurak and Dabrowski led 6:2, 5:2, at 5:3 had two match points, and at 5:5 two break opportunities, but Melichar and Yi-Fan celebrated 2:6, 7:5, 10:5.

Recall, Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, the 24th best tennis player in the world, stopped Donna Vekic in the quarterfinal of the WTA tournament in Adelaide after two sets - 6:4, 6:3. Yastremska took away Veekic’s serve three times - she won the first set after a break in the tenth game, and the second in the eighth game. Donna had only one break-point in the third game of the first set. This was their third match and the third victory for the 19-year-old Ukrainian.

The first round of the Australian Open begins on Monday in Melbourne. Marin Cilic will face Corentin Moutet, Borna Coric will face Sam Querrey, Ivo Karlovic will play Vasek Pospisil, Petra Martic will play Christina McHale, and Donna Vekic will play Maria Sharapova.

Source: HTS

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Wednesday, 8 January 2020

ATP Cup Sydney: Argentina Sweeps Croatia 3:0, Ending Quarter-final Dream

January 8, 2020 - The Croatia tennis team remains without the quarter-final of the premiere edition of the ATP Cup. 

After celebrating in the first two rounds of Group E, Croatia faced the worst-case scenario in Sydney on Wednesday. Namely, Croatia lost all three matches to Argentina (3:0) and thus ended their run in the group for second place. After losing both singles matches (Marin Cilic lost to Guido Pella, ATP 25th) 7:6 (1), 6:3, and Borna Coric lost to Diego Schwartzman (ATP 13th) - 6:2, 6:2, they needed a win in the last doubles match to be in the top eight as the best runner-up. However, Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic failed to record an important point and were conquered by Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni - 3:6, 6:3, 10:2.

Cilic started well in the first match, leading 4:1, but then lost his serve for the first time in the tournament, and later the first set. In the second, he held on to 2:2, but in the end, it was Pella to win for the third time in their fourth encounter. 

Coric lost to Schwartzman in 75 minutes. The Argentina player saved both of Coric’s breaks, while the Zagreb native scored just 12 points on his opponent’s serve. It was their fourth encounter and Schwartzman's second win.

In the final doubles match, Dodig and Mektic quickly won the first set (6:3), though Argentina woke up, started to play and smoothly took the second. With complete dominance in the decisive tie-break, Argentina concluded the duel in their favor.

Thus, Belgium and Canada placed second for a spot in the quarter-final.

The quarter-final of the first ATP Cup includes Australia - UK, Argentina - Russia, Serbia - Canada, and Spain - Belgium. All matches will be played at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.

Final standings in Group E: 1. Argentina 2:1, 2. Croatia 2:1, 3. Poland 1:2, 4. Austria 1:2.

Source: HTS

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