Thursday, 12 January 2023

2023 Australian Open: Borna Ćorić, Donna Vekić, and Petra Martić Learn 1st Round Rivals

January 13, 2023 - Croatian tennis players have learned their rivals in the 1st round of the 2023 Australian Open, which begins next week in Melbourne. 

Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić will open the first Grand Slam tournament of the season against Czech player Jiri Lehecka. In the first round, Petra Martić will face Swiss tennis player Viktorija Golubic, and Donna Vekić will meet Russian qualifier Oksana Selehmetova.

Ćorić, who is the 21st seed and who will be the only Croatian representative in the men's competition after Marin Čilić's withdrawal due to a knee injury, will fight to advance to the second round against Lehecka, 78th in the ATP rankings. The two have never met before. 

Martić (WTA - 37th) will fight for a spot in the second round against Golubic, the 81st tennis player in the world, whom she has met once so far and beat in 2015. 

Donna Vekić (WTA - 60th) will face the qualifier Oksana Selehmeteva, 179th in the WTA ranking. It will be Donna's first time playing against the Russian player. 

As for the favorites, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who returns to the Australian Open after last year's COVID-19 vaccination debacle, will face Spaniard Roberto Carballes (ATP - 75th) as his opponent in the first round. This year, Djokovic will try to equal Rafael Nadal's record, who has 22 Grand Slam titles.

Spanish tennis player Nadal, who became the first seed after compatriot Carlos Alcaraz pulled out of the tournament, will face Briton Jack Draper (ATP - 40th) in the first round.

The women's world number one, Polish player Iga Swiatek, will begin her campaign for her first crown in Melbourne against German Jula Niemeier (WTA - 68th).

Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur, second in the WTA ranking, will play against Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek (WTA - 88th), and the third best tennis player in the world, American Jessica Pegula, will play against Romanian Jaqueline Cristian (WTA - 143rd). 


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

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Marin Čilić Withdraws from Wimbledon after Testing Positive for Covid-19

June 28, 2022 - Marin Čilić has tested positive for Covid-19, meaning he too will miss this year's Wimbledon after Borna Ćorić pulled out from the tournament a few days ago. 

Croatia's best tennis player Marin Čilić canceled his performance at this year's Wimbledon, which started on Monday, due to coronavirus. Čilić posted on Instagram with the bad news and expressed great sadness that he had to end the season on grass in this way. 

"Hey guys, I am sad to share that I tested positive for COVID. I have been self-isolating and was hopeful I would be ready but unfortunately I am still feeling unwell & unable to compete at my best. I am heartbroken to be missing @Wimbledon & to see my grass season end this way. Looking forward to competing again next year!"

Marin Čilić was the only Croatian representative in the men's senior singles competition. He was the 14th-seed and in the 1st round, he was meant to play against American Mackenzie McDonald. McDonald will move on without a fight.

Čilić was one of the favorites to go far at Wimbledon this year. The Croat has already played in the Wimbledon final, and at the recent Roland Garros, he reached the semifinals and was said to be in his best form. 

Recall, Borna Ćorić will also miss this year's Wimbledon, where the draw in the first round awarded him the 15th tennis player in the world, Argentine Diego Schwartzman. Ćorić cited a shoulder injury as the reason for this decision. Ćorić will be replaced by the "lucky loser" from the qualifications in the main draw.

The Croatia national team player took a break for a year due to a shoulder injury that needed surgery. However, as points for the ATP rankings cannot be won at this year's Wimbledon, it is not worth the risk for Ćorić to expose his still not fully recovered shoulder to the efforts of playing three sets because his main mission now is to improve his ranking.

Ćorić currently ranks 203rd in the singles ATP rankings, and he pointed out a spot among the 100 best in the world as his goal, which would guarantee him direct entry into the main draw at the biggest tournaments in the world. 

The organizers of the Umag Blue Lagoon Croatia Open gave Ćorić an invitation so that he would not have to spend the quota of the remaining tournaments in which he could play with a protected ranking, and he could have his next performance in Umag. The Umag ATP tournament is scheduled for July 25-31.

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Friday, 17 June 2022

Marin Čilić Books Queen's Club Semifinal Spot!

June 17, 2022 - After a standout performance at Roland Garros, Marin Čilić continues with brilliant play in London to book a Queen's Club semifinal spot!

Croatia's best tennis player Marin Čilić advanced to the ATP tournament semifinals in London played on the grass of the Queen's Club. In the quarterfinal match, Čilić was better than Finnish tennis player Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6 (2), 6-4, reports HRT.

This quarterfinal match was a bit tough, although Čilić was up 7-6 (2), 5-1. Namely, the 23-year-old Ruusuvuori (56th in the ATP ranking) went from 1-5 to 4-5 in the second set and had 0-30 on Čilić's serve. However, the Croatian tennis player, otherwise the 17th player in the ATP rankings, prevailed.

There were no breaks in the first set, although Čilić missed four break opportunities. He ruled the situation in the tie-break and easily won that part of the game 7-2.

In the second set, Ruusuvuori won the first game, and Čilić's answer was winning five games in a row, which paved the way for the semifinal spot.

Čilić recorded a total of 11 aces with a first-serve percentage of 55 percent and used two of six break points. 

Recall that the two-time winner of the London tournament advanced to the Queen's Club quarterfinals for the ninth time in his career earlier this week. 

Čilić will play against Serbian tennis player Filip Krajinovic, who defeated Briton Ryan Peniston 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. It will be their first meeting.

The second seed, Italian Matteo Berrettini, and Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp will meet in the second semifinal.

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Thursday, 16 June 2022

Marin Čilić Books Queen's Club Quarterfinals for 9th Time!

June 16, 2022 - Two-time Queen's Club champion Marin Čilić has advanced to the Queen's Club quarterfinals for the 9th time in his career!

Two-time winner of the London ATP tournament, the best Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić (ATP - 17th), advanced to the quarterfinals on grass at the Queen's Club for the ninth time in his career. Marin defeated Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik (ATP - 37th) in the 2nd round with 7- 6 (6), 7-5 in 94 minutes of play. 

It was their third meeting and Čilić's third victory, after winning the previous two on clay at the Roman Masters.

Both tennis players were very confident in the first set, so neither game went to a draw and the outcome was decided by a tie-break. Bublik opened it brilliantly and took the lead at 5-0 to reach three set points at 6-3. But a big turnaround from Čilić stopped all set points and after swapping sides, Marin scored two more points and thus won the first set.

Still in shock about how the first set ended, Bublik was disoriented in the second and Croatia's best tennis player took a 3-0 lead after nine minutes of play. 

Everything pointed to the quick end of the match and Čilić's spot in the quarterfinals. However, Marin played the worst game of the entire match, and Bublik came to a break without losing a point, making the outcome of the match a bit uncertain again. 

Čilić did not repeat the mistake from the seventh game and with two more games, he secured at least one more tie-break. But there was no need for that. Bublik paid for his mishaps in the 12th game, and Marin turned the first match point into a victory that brought him a spot in the quarterfinals.

It will be Marin's ninth quarterfinal in his 15th appearance at the Queen's Club. For a spot in the semifinals, Marin will play against Emil Ruusuvuori (ATP - 56th), who defeated Jack Draper 6-2, 7-6 (2) on Wednesday.

It will be Čilić's first match against the 23-year-old Finnish tennis player, and the quarterfinal matches are scheduled for Friday.

Source: HRT

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Monday, 6 June 2022

Marin Čilić ATP Ranking Best Since 2019 - in Top 20 Again!

June 6, 2022 - The latest Marin Čilić ATP ranking reveals that the Croatian tennis player is back in the world's top 20 tennis players for the first time since 2019!

The best Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić is again among the top 20 in the world in the latest ATP ranking. Čilić has not ranked so well since August 2019!

Čilić advanced by six spots after reaching the semifinals of Roland Garros. Recall, Čilić failed to advance to the Roland Garros final. In the semifinals, Norwegian Casper Ruud won 3:6, 6:4, 6:2, 6:2 after almost three hours of play. Čilić had ten aces in the match, six less than Ruud, a first-serve percentage of 66 percent, 51 winners and ten more than his opponent, and 56 unforced errors, 35 more than the Norwegian tennis player. 

"I have to say my form has been on an upward trajectory in these few weeks. I felt excellent on the court; I connected six matches at a very high level. In addition, part of the semifinal match was definitely quite good. So I have to be very happy with that. Now it is also a challenge for me to maintain this level and continue to play this kind of tennis from week to week. Then I think that great victories will come," said Marin Čilić after losing in the semifinals.

By entering the main Garros tournament, Borna Gojo improved his ranking by 30 places and is now 192nd, Nino Serdarušić 183rd, while Borna Ćorić dropped 34 positions to 244th place.

Roland-Garros winner Rafael Nadal and his opponent in the final, Norwegian Casper Ruud, climbed one and two places, respectively, to 4th and 6th in the men's ATP rankings released Monday after the Paris tournament.

Novak Djokovic, who lost in the quarterfinals to Nadal, remains the best tennis player in the world, though his lead is declining. Namely, Daniil Medvedev, who was eliminated in the round of 16 by Marin Čilić, and Alexander Zverev, who was stopped in the semifinals against Nadal due to an injury, are getting closer to the Serbian tennis player. 

Source: HRT

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Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Marin Čilić Tops World No. 7 Rublev for First-Ever Roland Garros Semi-finals!

June 1, 2022 - Marin Čilić is in the Roland Garros semi-finals!

In a fantastic match, the Croatian tennis player defeated the 7th best player in the world Andrey Rublev 3:2 in sets, and achieved his best result at the Grand Slam tournament in Paris. Čilić won 5:7, 6:3, 6:4, 3:6, 7:6 in sets after more than four hours of play.

In the first set, both tennis players kept their serve until 5:5 until Rublev took the 6:5 lead. In the next game, he finished the set at 7:5 without losing a point.

Marin entered the second set brilliantly, with an early break he took the lead at 3:0, was up 4:1, and then 5:2. At 5:3, he used the fifth set point for 6:3 and 1:1 in sets.

Čilić continued with momentum in the third set. At 2:2 he had two unused break points. But a new opportunity soon followed. At 3:3 he reached a new break and was successful. He kept the advantage until the end of the set and at 6:4 went ahead 2:1 in sets.

In the fourth set, Čilić and Rublev went to 4:3. Rublev then broke at 5:3 and won the serve for 6:3 and 2:2 in sets.

In the dramatic fifth set, there was no chance for a turnaround until 5:4. In the tenth game, Čilić reached the match point, but Rublev won the game for 5:5. In the next game, Rublev had a break, but Čilić managed to win the game for a 6:5 lead. After Rublev won his serve, the match went into the thirteenth game.

As of this year, at 6:6 a tie-break of up to 10 points is played in the deciding set. Čilić was the first to go ahead after a mini break for 4:2, and then with a fantastic game he scored another six points for 10:2 and a spot in the semifinals.

By entering the semifinals, Čilić achieved his greatest success at Roland Garros. He has reached the quarterfinals twice so far (2017, 2018), but lost both times. He was eliminated five years ago by the Swiss tennis player Stan Wawrinka, and a year later by Argentine player Juan Martin del Potro.

Čilić played the last semifinal at a Grand Slam in 2018, when he reached the final of the Australian Open. Čilić is also the first Croatian tennis player to reach all four Grand Slam semi-finals. 

It was the seventh meeting between 33-year-old Čilić and 24-year-old Rublev and Čilić's third victory.

More soon...

Source: HRT

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Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Marin Čilić Beats No. 2 Seed Medvedev for Roland Garros Quarterfinals!

May 31, 2022 - Marin Čilić defeated the second-seed Medvedev for the first time in his career and a spot in the Roland Garros quarterfinals! 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić will play in the quarterfinals of this year's Roland Garros after a great match and a 6:2, 6:3, 6:2 victory against second-seed Danilo Medvedev.

This was the fourth match between the Croatian and Russian tennis players and the first victory for Čilić, who continues with great games in Paris this year. In his four victories so far, he has dropped only one set against the Hungarian Fucsovics. He also lost only three games against Balazs, five against Simon, and seven games against Medvedev.

Čilić did a great job throughout the match and did not allow the Roland Garros second-seed any chance. In the first two sets, Čilić had three break opportunities and used them all, while Medvedev did not even get a chance.

In both cases, Čilić made the first break at the same time, with a 3-2 lead. However, in the first set, he made another at 6-2, while in the second set Medvedev resisted a little longer. The introductory two sets were almost an hour of play.

Čilić did not slow down at all in the third set, moreover, the 20th seed Čilić won four games in a row and thus completely broke his respectable opponent.

Čilić had 33 winners and 22 unforced errors, while Medvedev stood at 15 winners and 28 errors.

The Croatian tennis player did not allow his opponent any chances to break.

In the quarterfinals, Čilić will play against seventh seed Andrey Rublev, to whom Italian Sinner handed over the match at the beginning of the third set and after 1-1 in sets.

Čilić and Rublev have played six times in their careers and the Russian has a 4-2 advantage, but Čilić won the last match which took place earlier this year at the Australian Open. The Croatian tennis player celebrated 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

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Friday, 20 May 2022

Croatian Tennis Players Learn 2022 Roland Garros First Round Opponents

May 20, 2022 - Croatian tennis players have learned their 2022 Roland Garros first round opponents, which kicks off Sunday in Paris! 

The best Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić will play against Hungarian Attila Balazs in the first round of Roland Garros, while Borna Ćorić will open the second Grand Slam of the season against Spaniard Carlos Taberner.

Ana Konjuh expects 19th-seed Romanian Simona Halep in the first round. So far, they have played once, in 2017 in St. Petersburg, when Halep celebrated. In her five Roland Garros appearances so far, Konjuh has never gone further than the second round.

Petra Martić will play against Czech tennis player Katerina Siniakova. In their previous match, the 31-year-old Czech celebrated.

Martic played 11 times in Paris and achieved the best result in 2019, entering the quarterfinals.

The 20th seed Marin Čilić will face 33-year-old Hungarian Attila Balazs. This will be Čilić's first clash against the 255th tennis player in the world. Marin has reached the quarterfinals twice in his 15 appearances at Roland Garros so far (2017, 2018).

Borna Ćorić will open Roland Garros against 24-year-old Spaniard Carlos Taberner. Ćorić and Taberner have not played each other so far. It will be Borna's seventh appearance at the Paris tournament, and he has never gone beyond the third round.

Donna Vekić and Borna Gojo have qualified for the first round of Roland Garros, though the qualifications are not yet over. Their path will be followed by Nino Serdarušić, who is waiting for the third round of qualifications on Friday. His rival is American Bjorn Fratangelo. 

The first seed of the tournament and defending champion Novak Djokovic will play against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka. In the quarterfinals, he could face 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal.

Round One Draw:

Borna Coric (CRO) - Carlos Taberner (Spa)

Marin Cilic (CRO / N.20) - Attila Balazs (Hungary)

Petra Martic (CRO) - Katerina Siniakova (Czech)

Ana Konjuh (CRO) - Simona Halep (Rum)

Source: HRT

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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

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Sunday, 27 March 2022

Marin Čilić Eases into Miami Open 3rd Round after Beating Alexei Popyrin

March 27, 2022 - Marin Čilić lost only three games on his way to the Miami Open 3rd round, defeating Australian Alexei Popyrin 6:0, 6:3 on Saturday.

Marin Čilić flew by Popyrin in the 2nd round of the ATP tournament in Miami on Saturday! Namely, it took only 55 minutes for Marin Čilić to win the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami. Croatia's best male tennis player lost only three games to the 92nd-best tennis player in the world, Australian Alexei Popyrin - 6:0, 6:3.

In the match, the posied Marin won the first nine games and quickly resolved all doubts about the winner. The Croatian tennis player immediately took a 3-0 lead in the second set and kept the advantage until the end for the final victory.

He scored six aces with a first-serve percentage of 68 percent. He also did not allow his opponent a single break.

Marin will face the new star of the tennis world, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (16th on the ATP list). This will be their second meeting, while Čilić won the first test last year. Carlos Alcaraz defeated Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6:3, 6:2 in the 2nd round. 

Recall, Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić lost to German Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami. It was their seventh meeting and the fourth victory for the world #4 player and the tournament's second seed. However, this match showed that Borna is slowly getting into the right shape after a long break due to injury. 

Furthermore, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić also advanced to the 2nd round of Miami. The best doubles team in the world last year surpassed the Georgian-Serbian side of Nikoloz Basilashvili / Laszlo Gere in the first round - 7-6 (3), 6-1. They will face Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Indian Rohan Bopanna in the round of 16 tonight around 22:00 Croatia time. 

Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo also had an easy victory in the first round of the Miami tournament. The Croatian-Brazilian duo defeated Belgians Sander Gille and Goran Vliegen in two sets - 6-4, 6-1. They will next meet Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the 2nd round. 

After an early defeat in the singles competition, Ana Konjuh successfully continued her performance in doubles at the WTA 1000 tournament in Miami. Konjuh and Swiss partner Belinda Bencic defeated Angelina Kalinin and Jelena Ribakina 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-7.

Konjuh and Bencic lost in the decisive super tie-break with 7-3, after which they won seven consecutive points.

Source: HTS

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