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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Monday, 11 April 2022

Billie Jean King Cup: Croatia Women's Tennis Team Defeats Sweden 3-0

April 11, 2022 - The Croatia women's tennis team defeated Sweden 3-0 in the 1st round of Group B at the Billie Jean King Cup, hosted in Antalya from Monday to Saturday.

The first point for Iva Majoli's team was brought by the best junior in the world, 16-year-old Petra Marčinko, who defeated Jacqueline Cabaj Awad 6-0, 6-4 in her debut for the senior national team. Croatia's victory was secured by Ana Konjuh, who defeated Caijs Wilda Hennemann 6-1, 6-3, coming back from 0-3 in the second set.

Petra Martić and Donna Vekić secured the final 3-0 without losing a set, beating Fanny Oestlund and Kajsa Rinaldo Persson 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles match.

After the first round, Croatia took the leading place in the group, ahead of Slovenia and Austria, which also started with victories. After the singles matches, Slovenia secured a victory against Georgia, and Austria did the same against Bulgaria. 

Bulgaria will be the next rival for Croatia, scheduled for Tuesday, starting at 9 am Central European Time.

After Bulgaria, Croatia will face Slovenia on Wednesday, Georgia on Thursday, and Austria on Friday.

 The group winner will directly qualify for the playoffs for the 2023 Final Tournament, while the second-placed team from Group B will play against the second-placed team from Group A for the last, third place leading to the playoffs.

Playoff matches are scheduled for November this year and are played on a host-away system.

"I am glad that we are all together and in the strongest lineup after a long time. Our national team includes Petra Martić, Ana Konjuh, Donna Vekić, Petra Marčinko, and Tara Würth, and Antonia Ružić is traveling with us. This year, the competition format is challenging; we are looking for first place in the group with five other national teams. We are one of the favorites on paper, but it should be confirmed on the court. We must not underestimate anyone; surprises are common in a competition like this. Let's remember last year's success of our Davis Cup national team," said coach Iva Majoli before the tournament. 

"The fact that we will be in the strongest team is a great advantage. Five matches should be played in six days, and all players will compete."

Source: HRT

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Monday, 14 March 2022

Petra Martić Knocks Out US Open Winner for Indian Wells Masters Round of 16

March 14, 2022 - Petra Martić advanced to the round of 16 of the Indian Wells Masters, defeating the current winner of the US Open, 18-year-old British Emma Raducanu (WTA - 13th) in the 3rd round with 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7 -5 after two hours and 46 minutes of play. 

Martić thus reached the round of 16 in Indian Wells for the second time in her career. The first time she managed to do so was in 2018 when she made it to the quarterfinal when the world's best tennis player Romanian Simona Halep topped her in three sets. 

For a spot in the quarterfinal, the 31-year-old will play against the Russian Ludmilla Samsonova, who defeated Montenegrin Danka Kovinić 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the 3rd round. Their history of joint meetings is on the side of the Croatian tennis player who has celebrated in all three of their previous matches, but Samsonova has advanced in the meantime and reached 32nd in the WTA rankings.

Unlike Samsonova, Martić dropped to 79th place and only managed to win three in Indian Wells, which happened to her for the first time since last year's WTA 1000 tournament in Rome.

Martić took a 3-1 lead against Raducanu in the first set and lost four games in a row. With a new break, she managed to extend the set to 4-5 and take it to a tie-break. After that, however, the British tennis player was more precise, and after an hour of play, she reached the initial advantage.

Raducanu took a 2-1 lead with a break in the second set. Martić scored three games and lost the serve again. However, with a 5-4 lead, Petra managed to win the third set with a new break.

She opened it with a 2-0 lead but immediately allowed her opponent to come back. Raducanu took a step towards victory when in the ninth game, she took the service away from Martić for the sixth time in the match. But she did not reach the match point. Instead, Martić used the third opportunity to break in the tenth game and then profited from a series of mistakes that the 18-year-old Briton made in the last two games in which she won only two points.

The final statistics showed more errors by Martić (51-41) and more direct points (36-28). However, the decisive factor was that at no time, regardless of the result, did Petra lose her concentration and faith and eventually turned the match around in her favor. 

Marin Čilić failed to make it to the third round of Indian Wells. The best Croatian tennis player (24th place) was stopped by Serbian Miomir Kecmanović, the 61st tennis player in the world, after a dramatic finale - 6-7 (7), 6-3, 7-6 (6).

In the decisive tie-break, Marin missed two match points (6-4) and did not reach the point by the end of the match.

He scored a total of 13 aces with a modest first-serve percentage of 48 percent and used just one of 13 break points in the match.

Source: HRT

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Saturday, 12 March 2022

Petra Martić Tops World No. 22 for Indian Wells 3rd Round

March 12, 2022 - Petra Martić is in the 3rd round of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells, while Borna Ćorić was knocked out in his first match back in 369 days. 

Croatian tennis player Petra Martić advanced to the 3rd round of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells, defeating Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek 7-5, 7-6 (8) in two hours of play.

Martić (WTA-79) knocked out the 22nd player in the world and the 19th-seed of the tournament in two close and dramatic sets. Petra could have won earlier because she led 5-3 in the second set and served 5-4 for the match.

Petra also missed two match points in the tie-break but used the third for the round of 32 of this prestigious tournament. In the first set, Martić came back from 1-3, and in the 12th game, she used only the fourth set point. 

Petra took advantage of 4/10 break points and had only one ace. This was their third clash and the third victory for the Croatian player, who will meet British tennis player Emma Raducanu in the 3rd round. Raducanu topped French tennis player Carolina Garcia in the round of 64. 

Ana Konjuh said an early goodbye to the WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells. The current best Croatian female tennis player handed over the first-round match to the British qualifier Harriet Dart (122nd on the WTA list), 6:1 and was 3:1 behind in the second set.

Darija Jurak also finished her performance at Indian Wells. She and Slovenian Andreja Klepač (4th seed) lost in the first round to Taipei's Hao-Ching Chan and Poland's Magda Linette (6:3, 2:6, 12:10) after missing the match point at a 9-8 lead in the tie-break.

Borna Ćorić lost in his comeback match in Indian Wells.

Borna Ćorić failed to win his first match after a 369-day break. The 25-year-old from Zagreb was defeated in the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells by Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 45th on the ATP list - 6:7 (5), 6:0, 7:5.

Borna had an excellent opportunity to succeed in the match - in the eighth game of the deciding set, he was the first to reach the break and, at 5:3, served to advance to the second round. However, the Spaniard remained strong enough and got the victory by the end of the duel with two breaks.

Ćorić scored seven aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 66 percent, and he used three of the seven break points.

Ćorić will have a new opportunity to return to the top of the world at the end of March at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami.

Croatia will also be without representatives in the second round of the doubles competition in Indian Wells. 

Nikola Mektić and Mato Pavić were defeated by the Americans John Isner and Jack Sock in the first round (7:6 (2), 3:6, 10:7), and Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo were stopped by the winners of the Australian Open, Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios - 7:5, 1:6, 10:2.

Petra Martić and American Shelby Rogers were defeated by Greek Maria Sakkari and Ajla Tomljanović in the women's doubles - 4:6, 6:4, 10:2.

Source: HTS

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Monday, 24 January 2022

Australian Open 2022: Marin Čilić Out, Petra Martić and Ivan Dodig into Doubles Quarters

January 24, 2022 - The latest at the Australian Open 2022, as Marin Čilić ends his campaign in the last 16, Petra Martić moves to the women's doubles quarters and Ivan Dodig to the mixed doubles quarters. 

Croatia's best tennis player Marin Čilić lost to Canadian tennis player Felix Auger Aliassime 2-6, 7-6 (9), 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the Australian Open last 16 on Monday.

Marin played a great first set to take the lead. In the second, he had a set point in the tie-break at 6-5, but Auger Aliassime returned to win the second set and ultimately turn the match in his favor. 

In the third set, there was no chance to break until the third game. Čilić then saved four break points for a turnaround but failed on the fifth. Auger-Aliassime broke in the seventh game and won the third set on his serve. Čilić was unable to come back.

At the beginning of the fourth set, Čilić saved two break points, and the set ended in a tie-break. In the 13th game, Auger-Aliassime took a 3-0 lead which he maintained to win the match 6-4 and advance to the quarterfinals.

This was Auger-Aliassime's first victory in his fourth match against Čilić, who had won in the previous three matches. Čilić missed the opportunity to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the third time in his career. In 2010, he played in the semifinals, and in 2018, he lost in the final to Roger Federer.

Auger-Aliassime will play in the quarterfinals against the second-best tennis player in the world, Russian Daniil Medvedev, who defeated American Maxim Cressy 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-5.

Petra Martic and Shelby Rogers have reached the women's doubles quarterfinals in Melbourne, beating the fifth-seeded side, Chilean Alex Guarachi and American Nicole Melichar-Martinez in two sets (6-2, 7-6 (2).

This is their second joint quarterfinal of a Grand Slam tournament after they managed to do the same last year at Roland Garros. They will face Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara for a spot in the semis. 

Ivan Dodig will play in the Australian Open mixed doubles quarterfinals. Dodig and French partner Kristina Mladenovic defeated the Australian combination of Arina Rodionova and Marc Polmans 6-2, 6-7 (8), 10-8.

They will play against Erin Routliffe and Michael Venus for a spot in the semis. 

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.

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Tuesday, 18 January 2022

2022 Australian Open: Marin Čilić and Ana Konjuh Move to 2nd Round, Vekić and Martić Out

January 18, 2022 - Marin Čilić and Ana Konjuh have advanced to the second round of the 2022 Australian Open, while Donna Vekić and Petra Martić ended their run in the first round. 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić (ATP - 27th) advanced to the second round of the Australian Open, defeating Ecuadorian Emilio Gomez 6:3, 6:1, 6:2 after one hour and 43 minutes of play.

The only Croatian representative in the men's competition easily topped the 153rd tennis player in the world, who won a place in the main tournament through qualifications.

Čilić lost only six games and took advantage of seven break opportunities out of 11. Gomez made one break in the first set.

In the second round, Čilić will play against Slovak Norbert Gombos (ATP - 117th), also a qualifier, who defeated Timofey Skatov 6:3, 6:2, 1:6, 6:4 in the first round.

Ana Konjuh (WTA - 58th), the last Croatian representative in the main part of the tournament, advanced to the second round in the women's competition.

After two hours and 19 minutes of play, Konjuh defeated American Shelby Rodgers (WTA - 36th) 4:6, 6:3, 7:5.

In the third set, Konjuh was the first to break and served at 5:4 to end the match in her favor. However, Konjuh did not use three match points, and Rodgers returned. But Konjuh broke gain, won eight points in a row, and advanced to the second round. Konjuh had 5/9 on break points, and Rodgers 4/8. 

This was her first Grand Slam victory since Wimbledon in 2017. In the second round, Konjuh will play against the match winner between Danielle Rose Collins and Caroline Dolehide.

Donna Vekić finished her jubilee, 10th appearance at the Australian Open in the first round It was her premiere performance of the new season. Vekić lost to American Alison Riske (46th on the WTA list), winning only four games - 6:2, 6:2. Donna scored three aces, had a first-serve percentage of 44 percent, and did not reach a single break point. This was their sixth meeting and the third victory for the 31-year-old American.

After Vekić, Petra Martić was easily defeated in the first round after two sets against Jil Teichmann, 37th on the WTA list - 6:3, 6:3. Petra started the match with a break, only to lose her serve twice by the end of the set. The second set was decided after breaks in the third and ninth games. Martić scored two aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 55 percent and used one of four break points.

This was Petra's 11th appearance at the Australian Open and seventh defeat in the first round.

Source: HTS 

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Friday, 25 June 2021

Croatian Tennis Players Find Out Wimbledon Opponents!

June 25, 2021 - Croatian tennis players have found out their Wimbledon opponents! The tournament will be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021. 

The only Croatian representative in the men's competition at this year's Wimbledon, Marin Čilić, will face Salvatore Caruso in the 1st round, while both Croatian representatives in the women's competition will compete against 20-year-old Russians - Donna Vekić v. Anastasia Potapova and Petra Martić v. Varvara Gracheva, was determined by a draw on Friday, reports Gol.hr.

Čilić, the 2017 Wimbledon finalist, was appointed the 32nd-seed of the tournament after Austrian Dominic Thiem pulled out on Thursday, so he was faced with slightly easier rivals at the beginning of the tournament.

In the 1st round, he will play against the current 97th player in the world, Caruso, who lost in the first round in his only appearance so far at Wimbledon two years ago. If he wins against Caruso, Čilić will play in the 2nd round against the better of the two qualifiers, Argentine Marco Trungelliti and Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, but in the 3rd round, he could face the second-best player in the world, Russian Danilo Medvedev.

Donna Vekić also received a not-too-demanding rival in the first round, 20-year-old Russian Potapova, the 82nd player in the world, who has played twice at Wimbledon so far and achieved only one victory.

However, in the 2nd round, the 25-year-old from Osijek will have a much more demanding task because she could play against the eighth seed, Czech player Karolina Pliškova or the Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek, who recently reached the semifinals of Roland Garros.

Petra Martić, who is set to be the 26th seed, will play against Gracheva, who currently holds 82nd place in the WTA rankings. This will also be her Wimbledon debut. If she wins against Gracheva, Martić will play in the 2nd round against the Romanian Irina Begu or the qualifier.

Vekić and Martić could be joined in the first round by Ana Konjuh if she defeats the Bulgarian Cvetana Pironkova in the last round of qualifications.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Australian Open Round One Recap: Borna Ćorić and Donna Vekić into 2nd Round

February 9, 2021 - Marin Čilić and Petra Martić have been eliminated from the Australian Open after the first round, while Borna Ćorić and Donna Vekić have advanced to the second. 

Marin Čilić was quickly eliminated in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. The finalist of the 2018 Australian Open ended his performance in the first round this year, and was convincingly defeated in three sets by the 18th seed, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov - 6:4, 6:2, 7:6 (5).

Marin had only four breaks during the match and used only one in the eighth game of the third set. At 5:3, he even served to win the set, but Dimitrov did not allow him to get back into the game. Marin had four aces (Dimitrov 19) during the match and recorded a first-serve percentage of 58 percent.

Fortunately, there was a good start for Borna Ćorić at this year's Australian Open. The 24-year-old from Zagreb (22nd-seed) knocked out Argentine Guido Pella (ATP-44) in the first round without losing a set - 6:3, 7:6 (5), 7:5. Borna had the most problems in the second set in which Pella had a 2-0 lead, and in the tie-break of the same set, he was only two points away from making the match even (5:3). However, Borna remained strong enough and, in the end, managed to win 3:0.

He recorded 23 aces with a high first-serve percentage of 70 percent during the match and used four of the 11 breakpoints in the match. It was their second meeting and the first victory for Ćorić, whose next opponent will be American Mackenzie McDonald, the world's 192nd best tennis player.

It took Donna Vekić two hours and 40 minutes to pass the 1st round of the Australian Open; after a great fight and three sets, the Osijek native managed to find a winning combination against Chinese rival Yafan Wang (WTA-98) - 4:6, 6:3, 6:4.

Donna started the match well, led 3:2, but then lost her serve twice and fell behind in sets. Wang took the lead in the second set with 2:0, and it seemed that she was surely stepping towards victory, but Donna turned around and took the second set.

In the decisive set, which was played for more than an hour, Wang had a 3:2 advantage, but Donna ultimately won with a final break in the 10th game.

In the second round, she will face last year's Roland Garros semi-finalist, Argentine Nadia Podoroska, currently the 45th best tennis player globally.

Petra Martić finished her time at the Australian Open and was surprised by the Serbian qualifier Olga Danilović (WTA-183) - 7:5, 3:6, 6:4. Petra lost the first set, but by winning the second, she was back in the match. She even led 3:1 in the decisive set but managed to win only one game until the end of match.

Danilović took a 4:3 lead, Martić equalized at 4:4, but no longer had the strength for the victory.  

Source: HTS

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Friday, 5 February 2021

Australian Open Draw: Croatian Tennis Players Ready for First Grand Slam of Season

February 5, 2021 - Croatian tennis players are ready for this year's Australian Open, which begins on Monday, February 8, in Melbourne. 

Gol.hr reports that the draw for the Australian Open, which begins on February 8, took place in Melbourne Park. Croatia will have four representatives in the singles competition at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the season. Borna Ćorić and Marin Čilić in the men's competition, and Petra Martić and Donna Vekić in the women's competition.

Borna Ćorić, who is the 22nd seed, will play in the first round against Argentine Guido Pella, while Marin Čilić will face a tough opponent, 18th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Serbian Olga Danilović will meet Petra Martić in the first round, while Donna Vekić will play against Chinese player Yafan Wang.

Ćorić played once against the 44th tennis player in the world and lost. It was 2017 in Chengdu, China.

Borna has dropped out five times in the first round in his six appearances at the Australian Open so far, and in 2019 he reached the fourth round.

Čilić and Dimitrov have played six times so far, and the Croatian tennis player leads 4-2 in victories. The last time they played was in 2019 at Roland Garros, and Dimitrov celebrated. They have already played in Australia once, but in Brisbane in 2014, where Čilić was better.

It will be Marin's 13th appearance at the Australian Open. He went the furthest in 2018 when he lost in the final to Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer in five sets.

Serbian Olga Danilović will play Petra Martić in the first round. Martić and the 20-year-old Serbian tennis player have not met so far. Martić has played in Melbourne nine times so far, and she achieved the best result in 2018, reaching the fourth round.

Donna Vekić and Yafan Wang had played once, in 2019 in Acapulco, when Wang won. Wang is currently the 96th best tennis player in the world.

The first-seed of the tournament, the eight-time winner of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, will play in the first round against the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Rafael Nadal, the second-seed, will start against Serbian Laslo Đere.

Last year's finalist, Austrian Dominic Thiem, is the third seed of the tournament and will face Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

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