Monday, 5 April 2021

Mate Pavić Again #1 in ATP Doubles Rankings, Three Croats in Top 10!

April 5, 2021 - Split tennis player Mate Pavić is again at the top of the ATP doubles rankings after July 2, 2018!

The news comes after Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić won their fourth joint title, and the first in the Masters 1000 series tournament.

The world's best tennis pair in 2021 won the Miami Open after beating Britons Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski 6-4, 6-4 in 75 minutes during Saturday's final.

They also became the first Croatians to boast a doubles title at the Miami Open and did it without losing a set. Thus, in their 28th appearance this season, Mektić and Pavić reached their 25th victory (25-3) and are convincingly the best doubles team in 2021.

“This is our first joint Masters 1000 title. It means a lot to us. The match was great. They had a break in the first set, it wasn’t easy at all. We are satisfied with how we played," said Mate Pavić after the duel that brought him back to the top of the ATP doubles rankings.

"For the first time, I was number one for about ten weeks. I hope I can go longer now. We are also the first in the doubles ranking. We deserve it. I hope we can continue like this ", commented Pavić.

Recall, Pavić remained on the throne for weeks in his first ascent to No. 1 and has now reached 9,010 points, just ten more than second-placed Colombian Robert Farah and 100 more than third in the standings, Farah's partner Juan Sebastian Cabal. Nikola Mektić is fourth (8,910), and in the Top 10 is Ivan Dodig (6,710) in 9th! 

Mektić and Pavić also became the leading doubles team this season with 3,065 points, pushing Australian Open winners Ivan Dodig and Slovak Filip Polasek (2,780) to second place.

In the individual competition, the best Croatian tennis player is Borna Ćorić, who did not play in Miami and fell by three positions, so he is now in 27th place. Marin Čilić jumped two places with a breakthrough to the round of 16 of the Miami Open and is currently the 43rd tennis player in the world.

Novak Djokovic welcomed his 315th week at number 1. Behind the Serbian tennis player are Russian Danil Medvedev, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, Austrian Dominic Thiem, and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Among the top ten, the only change is that Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer swapped places - the German is now sixth and the Swiss player seventh.

Miami winner Pole Hubert Hurkacz made the jump from 21st place and is now in 16th, which is the best ranking in his career.

You could see the full ATP rankings HERE

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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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Marin Čilić against Andrey Rublev in Miami Open Round of 16!

March 30, 2021 - It will be Marin Čilić against Andrey Rublev in the Miami Open round of 16, while Croatian doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić have reached the quarters! 

Marin Čilić advanced to the round of 16 at the ATP Masters tournament in Miami with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Italian Lorenzo Musetti. It took Marin only 76 minutes of play.

Čilićwas dominant against 19-year-old Musetti, who is 94th in the ATP rankings and the youngest player in the company of the ATP's top 100.

Marin won the first set thanks to a tiebreak at 3-2 and went ahead in the second set after 4-4. The Medjugorje native was in a good mood for the game, recording 9 aces and a first-serve percentage of only 51 percent, while he saved both of his opponent's breaks. 

This was the first duel between Čilić and Musetti. 

In the round of 16, Čilić will play against the 8th-best tennis player in the world, Russian Andrei Rublev, who defeated Hungarian Martin Fuscovisco in the round of 32. 

Čilić never recorded particularly good results in Miami and went the furthest in 2013 - to the quarterfinals.

This was Čilić's fifth win in 2021, and for the first time, he has linked three Tour victories since the Australian Open last year. 

Direktno.hr reports that the most successful doubles team in 2021, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić advanced to the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 series tournament in Miami, where they defeated Americans Taylor Fritz and John Isner 6:4, 6:4 in the round of 16 duel. 

This is the seventh tournament for Mektić and Pavić this season, and they have reached at least the quarterfinals for the seventh time. In 25 matches played, they achieved 22 victories, suffered only three defeats, and won three titles (Antalya, Melbourne, Rotterdam), with one lost final (Dubai) to Colombians Cabal and Farah.

Ivan Dodig and Slovak Filip Polašek defeated them in the semifinals of the Australian Open, and the French team Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin defeated them in the quarterfinals of the Doha tournament, which is the only loss for the Croatian Davis Cup team in the quarterfinals of 2021.

To advance to the semifinals, Mektić and Pavić will have to beat Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic and Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Ivan Dodig and Filip Polašek will fight for the semifinals against Austrian Oliver Marach and Australian Luke Saville.

Source: HTS

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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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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Australian Open Round Two Recap: Donna Vekić Moves Forward, Ćorić Falls to McDonald

February 11, 2021 - Donna Vekić will play in the 3rd round of the Australian Open for the second time in her career! 

The 24-year-old from Osijek made it past last year's Roland Garros' semifinalist in the 2nd round, Argentine Nadia Podoroska (WTA-45) - 6:2, 6:2.

In a match that lasted only 62 minutes, Donna dominated from the very beginning - in both sets, she quickly took a 4:1 lead, and she kept that advantage without any problems until the end. During the match, she achieved four aces with a first-serve percentage of 61 percent and took advantage of six of the eight break points.

It was their second meeting (US Open qualifiers in 2016) and Donna's first victory. To enter the round of 16, Donna will play against Estonian Kaia Kanepi (WTA-65), who knocked out 4th seed defending champion Sofia Kenin in the 2nd round.

Borna Ćorić suffered a shocking loss in the 2nd round of the Australian Open. Croatia's best tennis player was unexpectedly defeated by the world's 192nd best tennis player, American Mackenzie McDonald - 6:4, 6:2, 4:6, 6:4.

Borna struggled from the beginning. McDonald had a 2-0 lead in sets after 64 minutes of play, and Borna had only one tie-break (in the second game of the 2nd set) until the beginning of the third set, which went unused.

However, at the end of the third set (10th game), Borna came back for 2:1 in sets. Though when a possible turnaround was expected, Borna struggled in the fifth game of the fourth set, which the American eventually used to advance to the 3rd round and his best result in Melbourne. Borna recorded 17 aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 67%.

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić reached their ninth consecutive victory in 2021 on Wednesday. The second-placed Croatian duo advanced to the 2nd round of the Australian Open after defeating Taiwanese player Yen-Hsun Lu and American player Sam Querrey - 7:6 (4), 6:3.

Their opponents in the 2nd round are Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul, against whom they will play on Friday. 

Recall Marin Čilić and Petra Martić were eliminated from the Australian Open in the first round. 

Source: HTS

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Sunday, 7 February 2021

Murray River Open: Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic Win Second Joint Doubles Title!

February 7, 2021 - Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic have won the 1st edition of the Murray River Open in Melbourne, a new ATP Series 250 tournament leading up to the Australian Open. 

Two tournaments together, two titles together

In their second joint appearance, Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic have reached their second title (the first was in Antalya in mid-January). Their eighth consecutive victory in 2021 was achieved in the Murray River Open final against the French duo Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin - 7:6 (2), 6:3.

Nikola and Mate took the first set with a convincing edition in a tie-break, while in the second, they reached two breaks (in the first and ninth games), and they lost only two points on their serve.

This is Mate Pavic's 41st doubles final of his career and the 19th title, while Nikola Mektic played his 18th final and won the ninth title.

This fantastic result is an excellent lead-in to the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, where the Croatian duo is the second-seed of the tournament. 

The 2021 Murray River Open is played on outdoor hard courts in Melbourne, Australia. It was organized as a lead-up tournament to the 2021 Australian Open and is held at the same venue. 

More soon...

Source: HRT

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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic Win First Joint Doubles Title!

January 12, 2021 - Great news from the Antalya Open, as Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic win their first joint doubles title!

Croatian tennis players Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic won the doubles title at the ATP tournament in Antalya!

In the final, they beat the Croatian-Slovak team of Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6:2, 6:4 in a match that lasted an hour and nine minutes.

Mektic and Pavic, who were the first seed of the Antalya tournament, beat Italians Salvatore Carus and Andrea Vavassori 6:1, 6:1 in the semifinals, while the second-seed Dodig and Polasek were better than Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6:3, 6:1.

This is the first joint title for Mektic and Pavic as they only began playing together this season. This is Pavic's 40th doubles final in his career and the 18th title, while Mektic played his 17th final and won his eighth title.

Dodig has won 15 doubles titles, and this was his 33rd ATP doubles final. He has played with Polasek in five finals so far, and together they have won two tournaments.

Source: HRT

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic Going After Olympic Medal as Croatian Doubles Team

November 24, 2020 - Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic will take on the tennis world next year as a doubles team, and an Olympic medal is certainly on their minds. 

HRT reports that the winner of the ATP Finals in doubles, Nikola Mektic, arrived in Zagreb on Monday evening and was greeted at the Franjo Tuđman Airport by the president of the Croatian Tennis Federation, Nikolina Babic, and numerous journalists.

Nikola Mektic and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof won the ATP Finals in London on Sunday after beating Austria's Juergen Melzer and France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 in the final match of the season. Mektic and Koolhof could not have wished for a better ending, and closed out their one-year collaboration with a triumph at the London Crown.

At the same time, with this victory, Mektic became the first Croatian to win the ATP Finals. The closest to the title so far was Ivan Dodig, who lost to Bob and Mike Bryan in the final six years ago with partner Marcelo Melo.

"I experienced my first welcome which indicates that I must have done something great. It’s an amazing feeling I’m not yet aware of. I did not expect this success since there were a couple of extraordinary situations, i.e., changes of partners, and before the start of the tournament we had to have a difficult conversation. I didn't know how everything would turn out in the end, but from the first match, we managed to do everything professionally. The first duel was a bit harder, we got out of it and then we got better from match to match. We believed that we could beat everyone, but we did not hope for such success," said Mektic and added:

"The first reactions are really strange and as soon as I went to my box I wanted to celebrate the victory with my boys who are equally responsible for all this. Those few minutes are an indescribable feeling. Now I’m going to dedicate a little to rest. I hope that the Australian Open will still happen in January, and preparations await us soon."

Next season, Nikola Mektic will play in pairs with Mate Pavic, another Croatian doubles expert.

"Mate Pavic and I used to talk about cooperation in the past, but it did not happen. We had a desire to play together and it suddenly happened. When Mate asked me I agreed because he is the best in the world and it’s a call I couldn’t refuse. I believe it will be an incredible partnership and I am looking forward to it," said Mektic.

One of the journalists' inquiries was whether Croatia can expect an Olympic medal in Tokyo from Mektic and Pavic.

"Yes, and our results speak in favor of that. The expectations of the public are high, but we have also set big goals. We are aware of our quality and we are ready for that challenge," said Mektic.

"This is a great success for Mektic, but also Croatian sports and tennis, and we are very proud. This is a continuation of the preparations for next year, in which the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the new Davis Cup await us, and every success is very important. We can say that this year our players have achieved success, both seniors and younger," said the president of HTS Nikolina Babić.

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Sunday, 22 November 2020

Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares End 2020 as Best Tennis Doubles Team

November 22, 2020 - Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares are the best doubles team in the world this year!

Croatian Davis Cup national team member Mate Pavic and Brazilian tennis player Bruno Soares are the best tennis doubles team in the world this year, which was confirmed on Saturday. Next year, they will hunt for trophies with other partners.

Pavic and Soares unhappily finished the group stage at the final tournament in London and did not make it to the semifinals thanks to a worse set-quotient than the remaining two pairs with two wins and one defeat. They came to the O2 Arena with only a 35-point advantage over American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury.

However, with the defeat of Austrian Melzer and Frenchman Roger-Vasselin in the semifinals, Ram and Salisbury remained behind by 35 points, so Pavic and Soares became the best doubles team in the world for the second time in their careers. Pavic did it two years ago with Austrian partner Oliver Marach, and Soares in 2016 with British partner Jamie Murray, with whom he will reunite next year.

In 2021, Mate Pavic will play with his teammate from the Croatia national team Nikola Mektic, who will fight for the title in London with Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof against Melzer and Roger-Vasselin.

"I am very happy that Bruno and I finished the year at number 1. It was a great partnership and a nice achievement for the end," said Mate Pavic, who has played with Soares as a permanent partner since the tournament at London's Queen's Club in 2019.

In a year and a half of joint performances, the Croatian-Brazilian duo won the US Open and the tournament in Montpellier in 2020, reached the finals of Roland Garros and the Paris Masters, and in 2019, won the Masters in Shanghai and lost the final in Stockholm.

"It is a special moment for us that we finished as number 1. I think it is a huge achievement that shows that we played well throughout the year, how constant we were, winning big tournaments. We will celebrate well and remember all the beautiful moments together on the court because we all went through a difficult year together," concluded Bruno Soares.

Source: HRT

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