Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Cincinnati Masters: Awful Start for Croatian Players as Čilić, Karlović, Martić Out

August 13, 2019 - Marin Čilić, Ivo Karlović, and Petra Martić are out in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters. 

Croatian tennis players did not have the best start to the Cincinnati Masters on Monday, known as the oldest tennis tournament in the United States played in its original city, announces HTS.

Namely, Marin Čilić had a swift goodbye to the Masters 1000 Series tournament in Cincinnati. The 2016 winner of the competition and 14th seed was knocked out in the first round by Moldovan Radu Albot (39th on the ATP list) - 6:4, 7:6 (6).

It was an unconvincing and underwhelming performance by Čilić who managed 41 unforced errors during the match (Albot only had 21) and did not use any of the six break points. He lost the first set after the break in the third game, and in the second set, he missed six set points - two at the 5:4 lead, two at 6:5 (15:40), and two in the tie-break leading 6:4. Čilić managed a double fault on his only set point on his serve (6: 5 in the tie-break). 

It was their second encounter and the first victory for the Moldovan player. Marin did not defend points from last year's semifinal, and with this defeat, he has dropped out of the top 20 in the ATP list and is currently ranked 22nd.

After Toronto, Petra Martić finished her performance in the first round of the WTA portion of the tournament in Cincinnati. Croatia’s best female tennis player lost to the ninth-best tennis player in the world, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka - 6:1, 6:4.

Petra couldn’t catch the right rhythm throughout the match - the first set was settled after the Belarusian led 5:0, though it was a much more equal encounter for the remainder of the match. Martić had a break point to lead 3:2, but in the next game, she lost her first strike, which decided the match. In the 10th game, Petra had three break points (0:40) to return to the match, but Sabalenka managed to keep her serve (saving all seven break points in the match) and the winner was decided in two sets.

After brilliantly completing two qualifying rounds, Ivo Karlović was not able to continue his run in Cincinnati on Monday. Karlović struggled to find the right solution for the ever-better German Jan-Lennard Struff (36th on the ATP list), who dominated Ivo in two sets - 7:5, 7:6 (4).

The only break in the match occurred in the 12th game of the first set, with both players holding their first strikes for the remainder of the game. The game was ultimately decided in a tie-break where Ivo led 4:3, but by the end of the match, he had not even won a point. The Zagreb native achieved 16 aces, had a first-serve percentage of 62 percent,  and did not have a break point during the match.

However, not all hope is lost. The first-round duel of Borna Ćorić and American Reilly Opelka was interrupted by rain at 6:4, 3:6, 4:3. The American player is serving in the eighth game of the third set, and Ćorić has a 0:15 lead. The winner of the match will play against Alex de Minaur of Australia who defeated Italian Marco Cecchinato (5) 6:7, 6:1, 6:2.

The remaining Croatian female representative, Donna Vekić, will play her first-round match at 5 pm Croatian time on Tuesday against Czech Katerina Siniakova.

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

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

New ATP and WTA Rankings Out: Ćorić and Vekić Move Up!

Croatia's best tennis player Borna Ćorić advanced one place in the latest ATP rankings released on Monday and is now the 14th best tennis player in the world, while Marin Čilić remains in 17th place, reports HRT on July 29,  2019.

Ivo Karlović also registered progress and has climbed to the 80th position, while Viktor Galović dropped 21 places and is now the 221st best tennis player in the world. Nino Serdarušić advanced three spots to the 269th position.

This ATP ranking also showed no changes at the top. The top spot is convincingly held by Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, while Spanish player Rafael Nadal is in second and Swiss player Roger Federer is in third. 

ATP Ranking, July 29, 2019:

1. (1) Novak Djokovic 12.415 

 2. (2) Rafael Nadal 7.945

 3. (3) Roger Federer 7.460

 4. (4) Dominic Thiem 4.595 

 5. (5) Alexander Zverev 4.415

 6. (6) Stefanos Tsitsipas 4.045

 7. (7) Kei Nishikori 4.040

 8. (8) Karen Chatschanow   2.890

 9. (10) Fabio Fognini  2.625 

10. (9) Daniil Medwedew 2.625


14. (15) BORNA ĆORIĆ 2.195    

17.(17) MARIN ČILIĆ 1.940    

 80. (81) IVO KARLOVIĆ 659

 221. (200) VIKTOR GALOVIĆ 211

 269. (272) NINO SERDARUŠIĆ 147

Croatia's best female tennis player Petra Martić remains in the 21st position in the latest WTA rankings released on Monday, while Donna Vekić has advanced one place and is now the 25th best female tennis player in the world.

Teresa Mrdeža has advanced six places, from 210th to 204th, and Jana Fett jumped 26 spots to be the 290th best in the world. Tena Lukas dropped eight places to 371st.

There are no changes among the WTA leaders. At the top is Australian Ashleigh Barty, followed by Japanese player Naomi Osaka, and Czech player Caroline Pliskova in third. 

WTA Ranking, July 29:

1. (1) Ashleigh Barty 6.605

2. (2) Naomi Osaka 6.257

3. (3) Karolina Pliškova 6.055

4. (4) Simona Halep 5.933    

5. (5) Kiki Bertens 5.130

6. (6) Petra Kvitova 4.785

7. (7) Elina Svitolina 4.638

8. (8) Sloane Stephens 3.802

9. (9) Serena Williams 3.411

10.( 10) Aryna Sabalenka 3.365


21.(21)    PETRA MARTIĆ 2.156

25. (26)    DONNA VEKIĆ 1.950    

204. ( 210) TEREZA MRDEŽA 294

290. (316) JANA FETT 176

371. (363) TENA LUKAS 109

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Monday, 8 July 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Ivan Dodig in Men's Doubles Quarter-final!

July 9, 2019 - Ivan Dodig has made it to the men's doubles quarter-final of Wimbledon, while he also joins Nikola Mektić and Marko Škugor in the mixed doubles round of 16. Mate Pavić and partner Gabriela Dabrowski will finish their second-round mixed doubles game on Tuesday after it was suspended on Monday, announces the Croatian Tennis Federation.

Ivan Dodig and his Slovakian partner Filip Polašek have made it to the men’s doubles quarter-final of Wimbledon! 

In the third round, they overcame the 6th seed of the tournament and Croatian duo Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor - 7:6 (5), 6:4, 7:6 (3). Their opponents for a spot in the semi-final will be New Zealander Marcus Daniell and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof.

However, not all hope is lost for Mektić and Škugor at this year’s Wimbledon. 

On Monday, Croatian tennis players recorded three wins in the mixed doubles portion of the tournament. Nikola Mektić and Polish partner Alicja Rosolska  (6th seed) defeated Indonesian Christopher Rungkata and Japanese player Shuko Aoyama (7:5, 6:4). In the round of 16,  they will play against Franko Škugor and Romanian Raluca Olaru (12th seed) who overcame. American duoFrances Tiafoe and Venus Williams 6:3, 6:1 on Monday. 

Also successful were the Roland Garros winners Ivan Dodig and his Taiwanese partner Latisha Chan (8th seed) who in the 3rd round defeated Taipei Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Su-Wei Hsieh 6:3, 6:2. The next rivals will be Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Slovenian Andreja Klepač. 

Mate Pavić and mixed doubles partner Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski will end their second-round game on Tuesday against Briton Jamie Murray and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands as it was interrupted due to the darkness at 6:4, 3:6, 4:3.

Recall, Croatia no longer has any representatives in the singles competition of Wimbledon after Petra Martić lost on Monday in the round of 16 to the number 8 tennis player in the world, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina – 6:4, 6:2.

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

Friday, 5 July 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Petra Martić Moves into Round of 16!

After Marin Čilić was eliminated on Thursday, Petra Martić remained Croatia’s only representative in the singles competition of the Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon.

In the third round of Wimbledon on Friday, Petra Martić met American Danielle Collins, the 25-year-old from Florida who is currently 34th on the WTA ranking, reports 24 Sata on July 5, 2019.

Martić immediately took her opponent's serve in the first game of the match and did not give up her advantage until the end of the first set. Martić did not allow Collins a single opportunity to break her and took the first set with a score of 6:4 after 37 minutes of play. 

In the second set, Collins broke Petra in the sixth game. Martić had the chance to break Collins in the next game and the ninth game, though she was unable to execute and allowed Collins to take the second set at 6:4.

There was no denying that Petra was the queen of the third set. To date, Petra has won 11 third sets in a row, and it only seemed reasonable that this figure would climb to 12.

On the wings of the second set, Collins entered the third and immediately took Martić’s serve in the first game to confirm a 2-0 lead. Collins’ game rose, and Petra’s fell, but it didn’t take long before the fighter in her shined -  Petra won three gems in a row for a brilliant comeback. 

Both players had convincing serves and gave few opportunities to one another. However, Martić led 5-4 and put pressure on Collins. Her nervousness was visible, and Collins missed two easy backhands to help Martić win a spot in the round of 16 with a score of 6:4, 3:6, 6:4.

Thus, Petra’s dream season continues. This year, she won her first WTA title in Istanbul, reached the quarters of Roland Garros as her best result at a Grand Slam tournament, and lost in the semifinal of Birmingham.

The last time Petra played in the round of 16 at Wimbledon was in 2017 when she played a brilliant match against Rybáriková but lost in the third set. 

More soon...

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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Petra Martić into 3rd Round, Čilić and Karlović Out

July 4, 2019 - Petra Martić is Croatia's last remaining hope in the singles competition of Wimbledon. 

Another victory for Petra Martić at Wimbledon! After defeating American Jennifer Brady by coming back from 0:1 in sets, Martić defeated18-year-old Russian Anastasia Potapova (71st on the WTA ranking) with a score of 3:6, 6:3, 6:4 for a spot in the 3rd round.

After losing the first set, Petra lost her service at the start of the second set, and things weren’t looking too promising. However, Petra woke up and started to play, and held her first strike firmly until the end of the match. In the decisive set, Petra broke her opponent already in the first game - and Potapova saw no return. 

On her way to the victory, Martić hit one ace, realized 60 percent of the first serve, and executed four out of nine break points (Potapova only three out of 17). With this win, Petra has reached a new career ranking - and is currently the 19th best female tennis player in the world. In the third round, Petra will play against American Danielle Collins.

After defeating the 7th seed Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas, it was Thomas Fabbiano (89th on the ATP ranking) to advance to the third round of this year's Wimbledon after he defeated Ivo Karlović in a big battle of five sets and more than three hours of play. Fabbiano won 6:3, 6:7 (6), 6:3, 6:7 (4), 6:4.

Fabbiano took Karlović’s serve on three occasions during the match, and Karlović had only one break point in the ninth game of the decisive set - Ivo played an excellent volley, but the Italian came back with a brilliant backhand on the line. Fabbiano won in the next game. In the end, Ivo managed 38 aces and realized 64 percent of his first serve.

Just like last year, Marin Čilić finished his Wimbledon tournament in the 2nd round. Namely, Portuguese player Joao Sousa (69th on the ATP ranking) defeated the 13th seed of the tournament and former finalist in an easy three sets - 6:4, 6:4, 6:4.

To make matters worse, before this game, Marin had not lost a single set in his four encounters against Sousa, though he was utterly helpless on Thursday. 

Namely, Čilić did not use any of the 12 break points in the match and made 46 unforced errors (Sousa only seven). He had nine aces (and realized 51 percent of the first serve) with as many as eight double faults. 

After this loss, it is almost impossible for Marin to keep his existing ranking  (18th) in the months ahead - and if we were to base his ranking on this year alone, he’d be 54th. 

In the doubles competition, Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor won in the first round,  as did Mate Pavić and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.

All results are courtesy of HTS.

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

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Marin Čilić, Ivo Karlović, Petra Martić into 2nd Round

July 3, 2019 - Marin Čilić, Ivo Karlović, and Petra Martić have all advanced to the 2nd round of this year's Wimbledon.

HTS reports that Petra Martić opened this year's Wimbledon with a win! Martić advanced to the 2nd round of the third Grand Slam tournament of the season after her success against American Jennifer Brady, 67th on the WTA ranking, with a score of 3:6, 6:3, 6:4.

After Brady led 1:0 in sets, Petra managed a complete turnaround. 

The second set was settled after she broke Brady in the sixth game, while third in the third set Martić had a decisive advantage in the third game. At 5:4, Martić missed three match points, but had no problem sealing the victory in the next game. In the second round, Martić will play against Russian Anastasia Potapova, 71st on the WTA ranking. 

Ivo Karlovic also had no problem opening Wimbledon with a win. The legendary 40-year-old will compete in the 2nd round of the world's most famous tournament after defeating Italian qualifier Andrea Arnaboldi,  219th on the ATP ranking, 6:4, 6:4, 7:6 (4).

The match was marked by the overwhelming dominance of Karlović who did not allow a single break point. He hit 24 aces with 72 percent of his first serve, and realized two of his four chances to break. In the 2nd round, Karlović must defeat Italian Thomas Fabbiano (89th on the ATP ranking) who surprised the no. 6 player in the world, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Marin Čilić opened his 13th appearance at Wimbledon with a victory. The former finalist and 13th seed of the tournament overcame Frenchman Adrian Mannarino (42nd on the ATP ranking) with a score of 7:6(6), 7:6(4), 6:3.

However, Čilić could have come to the victory much easier, as he led 5:3 in the second set and missed serving for the set a game later. Mannarino then failed to capitalize on a set point at 6:5 and paid for it later when the tie-break went in favor of Čilić.

The third set winner was decided thanks to a break in the sixth game, leaving Mannarino with no return. This was the fourth encounter and third win for Marin against Mannarino. Čilić will play against Joao Sousa (69th on the ATP ranking) in the 2nd round.

Donna Vekić has unexpectedly finished her performance at this year's Wimbledon. In the 1st round, Vekić lost to American Alison Riske, 55th on the WTA ranking, 3:6, 6:3, 7:5.

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

Friday, 28 June 2019

Wimbledon 2019: Croatian Tennis Stars Learn Opponents

Wimbledon begins on Monday, July 1 and the draw for the singles and doubles competition was held on Friday. Who will our Croatian tennis stars face?

The current best Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić, who is the 14th seed in the tournament, will play against the best Slovenian tennis player Aljaza Bedene in the first round of the third Grand Slam tournament, the draw decided on Friday.

This will be the fifth encounter of Ćorić, the 14th best tennis player in the world, and Bedene, who is 86th in the ATP ranking. In the past four matches, Ćorić achieved three wins.

If he passes to the second round, Ćorić will play the winner of German Jan-Lenard Struff and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. Against Struff, the 34th best player in the world, Ćorić has won twice in five meetings. Against Baghdatis, who is currently 138th ATP rankings, Ćorić celebrated in their only encounter. 

Marin Čilić, the 13th seed of Wimbledon, will play in the second round against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who he's played twice and defeated once. If Ćorić wins, he awaits the winner of Portuguese player Joao Sousa and British player Paul Jubb.

Ivo Karlović’s opponent in the first round is Italian Andrea Arnaboldi, the 209th tennis player in the world, who he has not met thus far. If the 40-year-old advances to the second round, he awaits the winner of Greek player Stefan Tsitsipas, the 7th seed of the tournament, and Italian Thomas Fabian.

In the women's competition, Croatia's best female player Donna Vekić will face American Alison Riske, 54th on the WTA ranking. If she advances to the second round, Vekić awaits the winner of Serbian player Ivana Jorović and Dutch player Lesley Kerkhove.

In the first round, the 24th seeded Petra Martić will face American Jennifer Brady, the 64th best tennis player in the world, for the first time. If she advances to the second round, Martić will play the winner of Russian Anastasia Potapova and Swiss player Jil Teichman.

In the first round of the doubles competition, Mate Pavić and Bruno Soares will meet Dutch duo Arends and Middelkoop, Ivan Dodig and partner Polasek will meet British duo Murray and Skupski, and Croatian duo Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor will meet Lithuanian Berankis and Hungarian Fucsovics.

Wimbledon begins on Monday, July 1, and will play until July 14.

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

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Čilić is Croatia's Top Wimbledon Seed in Singles, Pavić Top in Doubles

On Wednesday, the All England Lawn Tennis Club committee revealed the 32 singles seeds and 16 doubles seeds for Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, July 1. 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić is the 13th seed in this year's edition of Wimbledon, while the current best Croatian tennis player, Borna Ćorić, is 14th. The first seed of the tournament is also the best tennis player in the world, Novak Đoković, who will try to defend the title this year, reports Gol.hr on June 26, 2019.

Roger Federer is the second seed of this year's Grand Slam tournament, while the second-best tennis player in the world, Rafael Nadal, is confirmed as the third seed.

South African Kevin Anderson, who played in the final with Djokovic last year, is the fourth seed, even though he fell to the eighth place on the ATP ranking this week.

In the women's competition, the top seed is Australia's Ashleigh Barty, who is also the current best female tennis player in the world. From the Croatian female tennis players, Donna Vekić is the 22nd seed, and Petra Martić the 24th.

For the doubles seeds, Mate Pavić holds the top seed for Croatia in 4th with partner Bruno Soares, while Nikola Mektić and Franko Škugor are the 6th seed. 

As the third seed, two-time Wimbledon winner Rafa Nadal will have to pass both the Federer and Djokovic if he wants to win his first title at the All England Club since 2010.

The Spaniard has criticized the Wimbledon seeding system this week, saying it is "not good" to be the only one of four Grand Slam tournaments that do not follow the ATP rankings when determining the seeds.

Wimbledon, according to the form of the tennis player in the last 24 months, determines 32 players in the draw for the top tennis players in the tournament. 

And while the seeds are determined according to the place on the WTA rankings, Wimbledon retained the right to change it in the men’s competition to create a "balanced draw".

Thus, Čilić, who played the final of Wimbledon in 2017, is 13th, even though he fell to the 18th place on the ATP ranking this week, and Croatia’s best tennis player, Borna Ćorić, is the 14th.

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

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Birmingham Classic: Petra Martić Secures Career-Best Ranking Despite Loss in Semis

Petra Martić lost in the semi-final of the Birmingham Classic on Saturday to the 30-year-old German player Julia Görges. 

After Friday’s quarter-final of the Birmingham Classic, where Petra Martić was one set down, losing 4:0 in the second, and managed to save five match points for the win in an incredible turnaround against Jelena Ostapenko (6-7, 7-5, 6-1), she was unable to make the magic happen once again for a spot in the final.  

Namely, the Croatian female tennis player lost in the semi-final of the WTA tournament in Birmingham to Germany's Julia Görges, who is 19th on the WTA ranking. The eighth-seed of the tournament celebrated with a score of 6:4, 6:3 after less than 90 minutes of tennis, reports Gol.hr on June 22, 2019.

In the first set, both players held their service, but only until the ninth game when Görges used her first break point. Görges then used her first set point to lead the game 1:0 in sets. 

Martić opened the second set by losing her serve, which was followed by a series of winning two games and a break point for the 3:1 lead. Görges, however, came back to break the Croatian tennis player and ended the match by taking Petra’s serve. 

Petra ended the game without aces and hit 64 percent of her first serve. She also used one of two break points in the match, while Görges used four of the ten she had. 

This was the second encounter of Martić and Görges and the second win of the German player, who also celebrated in Portoroz in 2008.

Despite the defeat, Martić will progress one place on the WTA ladder, and from Monday will be the 24th best female tennis player in the world, which is her new career ranking. Only two places above her is Donna Vekić, Croatia’s best female tennis player on the ranking. 

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Friday, 21 June 2019

Birmingham Classic: Petra Martić Makes Incredible Comeback for Spot in Semis!

What a turnaround for Petra Martić! On the verge of conceding defeat, Martić came back stronger than ever and ultimately defeated Jelena Ostapenko with a score of 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 after a little less than two and a half hours of play in a true quarterfinal spectacle at the Birmingham Classic. Petra Martić was one set down, losing 4:0 in the second, and managed to save five match points for the win, reports HRT on June 21, 2019. 

Spectators were already impressed from the start of the first set. Ostapenko first took two of Petra’s serves and led 4-0, but Petra went on to win five games in a row for 5-4. The Latvian player then served for the set, but Petra pushed the match to the 13th game, where Ostapenko was better and won the first set 7-6 (4).

The madness continued into the second set. Ostapenko again led 4-0, but Petra made an incredible comeback! Ostapenko was ready to serve for the match, but Petra took it to 15:40. The game then went to 40:40, but Martić took advantage of her third break point. 

The 10th game saw no less drama - Ostapenko led 0:40, but Martić came back to 40:40. After the eleventh game, Martić secured the second set!

The decisive third set saw the full dominance of our Croatian player who took the serve of her opponent three times! After two hours and 26 minutes of play, it was Martić to celebrate and secure her spot in the semifinal of this WTA tournament.

In the next round, Martić will play against the winner of the game between Kazakhstan’s Yulia Antonovna Putintseva and Germany’s Juliet Goerges.

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