Saturday, 9 July 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Fail to Defend Wimbledon Doubles Title

July 9, 2022 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić were unable to defend their Wimbledon doubles title after a super tie break in the 5th set decided the match. 

Croatia's best doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić fought to defend their title at Wimbledon today against Australian duo Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell.

Both sides had a difficult journey to the final, and in the semi-final matches, they saved at least one match point. Mektić and Pavić came back twice after a set behind, while Ebden and Purcell managed to come back from 2-0 in sets and save five match points.

This was the first test between these two doubles teams. Mektić and Pavić entered as the second seed of Wimbledon.

The Australian pair were the 14th seed of the tournament and lifted their only trophy together in Houston this year. However, they played in the final of the Australian Open and came back from 2-0 in sets twice at this Grand Slam tournament, so they were by no means harmless.

The first set went to a tie-break at 6-6 and ultimately to the Australian side for 1-0. The Croatian side had three unused break points. 

Mektić and Pavić saved two break points for a 1-0 lead at the start of the second set. After another great fight and another tie break, Mektić and Pavič equalized in sets (1-1).  

Mektić and Pavić entered the third set with a 2-0 advantage. The Croatian duo kept their advantage and decided the set in the tenth game. At first, they failed to take advantage of three set points, the Australians turned it in their favor and got a chance to break, but Mektić and Pavić regained the advantage and used the fifth set point to lead 2-1 in sets. 

The fourth set went 1-1, 2-2, and 3-3 to keep it tight as ever. But the Australian side ultimately made it 6-4 to take it to the fifth set. 

And what a fifth set it was. It was 1-1 to start, then Mektić and Pavić led 3-2, and then 4-2 before the Aussie side tied at 4-4 then 5-5 and 6-6! 

A super tie break ultimately decided the winner, with Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell taking the final set 7-6 (10-2) for the Wimbledon doubles title. 

Mektić and Pavić have won four titles this year, and have a total of 13 titles together. 

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

Friday, 8 July 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Dramatically Advance to Wimbledon Doubles Final!

July 8, 2022 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are in the Wimbledon doubles final - again! 

Croatia doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will defend their Wimbledon title in the doubles competition after defeating Colombians Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the semi-final of the third tennis Grand Slam tournament of the season. Mektić and Pavić won 6:7 (2), 7:6 (0), 4: 6, 6:2, 7:6 (10:4) after four hours and 22 minutes of play.

Mektić and Pavić thus achieved their 11th consecutive victory at Wimbledon and are now just one step away from defending the title.

In the second semi-final, Australians Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell also defeated Briton Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram 3.6, 6:7 (1), 7:6 (9), 6:4, 6:2 after a five-set drama. Interestingly, Ram and Salisbury had five match points in the third set, but they did not use them, and later they lost the match.

Colombians Cabal and Farah won Wimbledon in 2019, during 2020 there was no play on the London grass due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Mektić and Pavić celebrated last year at the All England Club. The last to defend the title in the doubles competition was Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonjić in 2008 and 2009.

The semi-final match was fantastic and full of twists and turns, but with many interesting points. It was an unusual match in which Pavić injured his right hand, Mektić was hit on the lip with a racket, and after the third set there was a break to close the roof, but the mechanism got stuck, and everything was prolonged.

It started great for the Croatian side. Already in the first game, they took away the service from their opponents, but the Colombians immediately retaliated by tying the game at 1:1. By the end of the set, there were no more service breaks, so the thirteenth game was decisive. Farah and Cabal led 2:0, then 4:1 and 5:2 after which the set went to their side.

During the tie-break, Pavić slipped and fell on his hand and sought medical help. Despite the pain, he continued the match, and later he almost did not use his right hand at all except to throw on the serve.

In the second set, both sides held their serves, so the decision again fell in the tie-break, which Pavić and Mektic played perfectly, without losing a point (7:0).

A new accident for the Croatian side happened in the third set at 4:3 for the Colombians. Pavić ran into Mektić with a racket and tore his lip. After finishing the game, Mektić used his mobile phone to check the condition of his teeth and lip, and then took a selfie with Pavić to the delight of the audience. Unfortunately, that set went to the Colombian side at 6:4 with a break in the last game.

After the third set, the organizers decided to close the roof, but the mechanism got stuck, and everything took longer than expected. However, the break was obviously good for the Olympic gold medalists because Pavić and Mektic quickly brought the set to an end (6:2) with two breaks, tying the match at 2:2. 

In the decisive, fifth set, both sides firmly held their serves until the score was 5:4 when the Colombians reached the match point on Mektić's serve. Fortunately, the Croatian side pulled through and took the match to a super tie-break in which the Croatian duo won seven of the next eight points after 3:3.

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

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Book Eastbourne International Semi-final!

June 23, 2022 - The Croatian doubles side will play in the Eastbourne International semi-final match today around 1:30 pm. 

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will play in the doubles semifinals at the ATP tournament in Eastbourne, where they beat the American-French doubles side of Maxime Cressy - Hugo Humbert 7-6 (9), 6-1, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

This was the sixth consecutive victory for the current Olympic and Wimbledon winners who started their series last week at London’s Queen’s Club. In the first set, the Croatian duo missed the break advantage (4-3), and in the tie-break, they saved two set points (6-7, 8-9). In the second set, Mektić and Pavić took a 3-0 lead, and Cressy and Humbert only managed to catch a consolation game.

This is Pavić's tenth consecutive victory on grass. Before the title in London, he won the tournament in Stuttgart with partner Pole Hubert Hurkacz.

For a spot in their sixth joint final in 2022, and the 18th title match since they merged at the start of last season, Mektić and Pavić will play against Briton Jamie Murray and Brazilian Bruno Soares, who were better than the British-Finnish side of Glasspool - Heliovaara 6-4, 7-5. The Croatian side won against Glasspool - Heliovaara in Sunday's final at the Queen's Club.

Recall, after clinching the title in Rome and Geneva this year, Mektić and Pavić won the Queen's Club last weekend for their 12th joint title and 15th victory in the last 16 matches. The duo awaits Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season where they will work to defend the title. Last year, not only did these two win Wimbledon before celebrating in the historic all-Croatian doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics, but they finished the year as the best doubles team in the world. 

Ivan Dodig and his American partner Austin Krajicek will also fight for a place in the final. The Roland Garros finalists reached the semifinals by defeating French duo Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-2. The semi-final rivals of the Croatian-American team will be Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Australian Luke Saville.

Source: HRT

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Sunday, 19 June 2022

Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić Won the Queen's Club Tournament!

June 19, 2022 - After a big drama, the Croatians and the world's best tennis couple Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić celebrated winning the Queen's Club, beating the British Lloyd Glasspool and Finn Harri Heliovaaru in the final.

It started badly for Pavić and Mektić, as they lost 3: 0 right at the start and the first set went to Glasspool and Heliovaara 6: 3, reports tportal.hr.

But after the Croatian tennis players lost the first set, they won the second set in the 'tie-break' 7: 6 (3), and the decision on the winner fell in the extended period, called 'super tie-break'. Pavić and Mektić did not allow any surprises and in the end, they celebrated 10: 6, thus winning the third title this year after Rome and Geneva.

It was also the 12th joint title for Mektic and Pavic, and their 15th victory in the last 16 matches. This is great preparation for Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season where they will be defending the title. Before Wimbledon, they will play in the ATP tournament in Eastbourne next week, where they have the status of the first holders.

2021 was an absolutely incredible year for Croatian tennis, due mainly to the success of the doubles team Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić. Not only did these two win Wimbledon before celebrating in the historic all-Croatian doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics, but they finished the year as the best doubles team in the world!

Let us remind you that Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić won last year's Wimbledon after they defeated Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horace Zeballos in the final 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5 after two hours and 43 minutes of play.

In a year full of success, the 32-year-old from Zagreb and the 28-year-old from Split won nine titles, including the Wimbledon trophy and a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Mate Pavić and Polish Hurkacz Win Doubles Tournament in Stuttgart

June 12, 2022 - Croatian tennis player Mate Pavić won the doubles tournament with his partner from Poland, Hubert Hurkacz, this week at the grass ATP tournament in Stuttgart.

Third seed Pavić and Hurkacz defeated first-placed German Tim Puetz and New Zealand's Michael Venus 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) after an hour and a half, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The man from Split and the Pole had 13 aces, ten more than their opponents, and it is interesting that they did not offer Puetz and Venus a single tie break. 

For Pavić, this is the 29th doubles tournament won, and Pavić and Hurkacz played together for the first time in Stuttgart and immediately reached a triumph on the grass.

Let us remind you that this year Pavić, paired with the Croatian Nikola Mektić, won two national ATP tournaments, in Rome and Geneva, while the two of them still played in the finals in Dubai and Belgrade.

On the ATP ranking, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić finished 2021 as the world's best doubles team. Only American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury threatened to catch Pavić and Mektić, though thanks to the outcome of the Paris Masters, the Croatian duo was unattainable. 

It was the third time Pavić finished the year as part of the world's best doubles team, and Nikola Mektić is the third partner with whom Pavić reached the top. Last year, Pavić and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares were named #1, and in 2018, he was the best in combination with Austrian partner Oliver Marach.

"I'm thrilled. True, this is my third time in the last four years with a third partner, but I achieved it for the first time with a Croatian, which is a great achievement for us personally, but also for Croatian tennis in general," said Mate Pavić in a statement from ATP Tour at that time.

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

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Mektić and Pavić Win Geneva Open Doubles Title, Dodig and Krajicek Clinch Lyon Open

May 21, 2022 - It was a great day for Croatia's doubles teams, as Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić celebrated the Geneva Open doubles title, while Ivan Dodig and his American partner Austin Krajicek became Lyon Open champions!

Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić won the Geneva Open doubles title on Saturday, defeating Pablo Andujar Alba and Matwe Middelkoop 2-6, 6-2, 10-3 in the final.

The Olympic winners reached their ninth consecutive victory after an hour and nine minutes of play and celebrated their 11th title since joining forces. 

After losing the first set, Mektić and Pavić fought back in the second set and took the service away from the Spanish-Dutch side three times. The winners were decided in the third set, which Mektić and Pavić won 10-3.

This was their 11th joint title and a good announcement for Roland Garros, which they are entering with the highest ambitions. Just last week, Mektić and Pavić defended their title at the Masters 1000 ATP tournament in Rome, defeating American John Isner and Argentine Diego Schwartzman. It was their 15th joint final and 10th title in total, which they had been waiting for since the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But that's not all. Another Croatian tennis player celebrated today in doubles. A little earlier, Ivan Dodig won the tournament in Lyon with his American partner Austin Krajicek.

The Olympic doubles runner-up Dodig and partner Krajicek beat the Argentine-Brazilian side of Maxim Gonzalez and Marcelo Melo 6:3, 6:4 in the final. The match lasted an hour and 18 minutes.

Dodig and Krajicek achieved the victory by serving four aces, and Gonzalez and Melo recorded three double faults.

The top-seeded team reached the final by defeating the American Max Schnur and the New Zealander Artem Sitak with a smooth 6:1, 6:2.

Bravo to Croatian tennis players today! 

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

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

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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Saturday, 22 January 2022

Marin Čilić Knocks Out Andrey Rublev for Spot in Australian Open Last 16!

January 22, 2022 - Marin Čilić is in the Australian Open last 16 after beating one of the world's best tennis players, Andrey Rublev, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3!

Marin Čilić easily won the first two sets, complicated the following two, but ultimately served for the match and victory. Marin will face Félix Auger-Aliassime next. 

“I enjoyed every single second of the match. I had so much fun and played great tennis. I tried to be aggressive, you can’t give these top guys the chance to hit – and I think it worked. I’m feeling really excited, it’s going to get tougher," Čilić said after the match, as reported by The Guardian.

Petra Martić and American tennis player Shelby Rogers will play in the third round of the women's doubles competition after beating 11th seeded Ukrainian Lyudmila Kichenok and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. For a spot in the quarterfinals, they will face the 5th seeded Chilean Alexa Guarachi and American Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

The mixed doubles tournament also started, in which Ivan Dodig and French partner Kristina Mladenović reached the second round with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 10-3 victory over the Belgian pair Kirsten Flipkens - Sander Gille.

Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo did not advance in the men's doubles tournament, losing 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the second round to Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

The world's best doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić lost on Friday in the second round of the Australian Open to Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (8), 3-6 in a match that lasted an hour and 36 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić lost the serve at the beginning of the match, but they managed to get it back in the next game, and then broke for a 4-2 lead. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios immediately came back and the first set went into a tie-break. In the 13th game, the Croatian duo managed to save three set points, but the Australian side managed to realize the fourth.

The sixth game of the second set was fatal for Mektić and Pavić, in which they managed to save two break points, but not the third. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios took a 4-2 lead. By the end of the match, the Croatian duo did not have the opportunity to return and the Australians were able to celebrate their spot in the third round.

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

Friday, 3 December 2021

Croatia Tops Serbia for Davis Cup Final!

December 3, 2021 - Croatia advanced to the Davis Cup final after topping Serbia in the doubles match in Madrid on Friday! 

After Borna Gojo took the lead against Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals, the world's first tennis player Novak Djokovic defeated Marin Cilic 6:4, 6:2 and tied the score at 1:1, leaving the doubles match to decide the Davis Cup final team. 

Several dozen Croatian fans arrived in Madrid on Friday from various parts of Europe, including Sweden and Ireland.

In the first duel of the day, Borna Gojo defeated Dušan Lajović. 

"I had control of the match in the first set, but then I stumbled to 4:2, but the coach and the fans managed to bring me back and lift me to play better in the second and third sets," said 23-year-old Gojo immediately after the match.

"The Davis Cup is a special competition, the pressure is higher than usual, I played well here, but the most important thing is that I brought a point to the team," he concluded.

In the second singles match, Novak Djoković was better than Marin Čilić.

In the first set, Djokovic reached a break in the ninth game in which Čilić was 40-0. When he served to win the first set, the world's best tennis player saved four break points at 15-40 and gained an even better psychological advantage.

Djokovic won four games with two breaks in the second set and created an unattainable advantage. He reached a 6:4, 6:2 victory after one hour and 39 minutes of play. 

Čilić was judged by the poor realization of break points (0/8), while Djokovic used three of the eight break chances. 

It was the 20th match between Čilić and Djokovic in which Djokovic reached his 18th victory.

The national team that would secure their spot in the Davis Cup final was then left to the doubles, in which Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic met Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic.

The first doubles team in the world beat Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic 7:5, 6:1, bringing Croatia the Davis Cup final! 

Croatia will play against the winner of Germany and Russia. The final is scheduled for Sunday, December 5, 2021. 

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

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