Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Birmingham Classic: Petra Martić into Quarterfinal!

Croatian tennis player Petra Martić has advanced to the quarter-final of the WTA tournament in Birmingham after defeating her Russian rival Margarita Gasparyan 6:3, 7:6 (4).

Martić defeated the 24-year-old after an hour and 40 minutes of play, reports HRT on June 19, 2019. 

In the first set, Petra had a break for the 3:1 lead. However, after taking away her opponent’s service, Martić asked for a medical time-out for pain in her wrist. Fortunately, after she bandaged her wrist, she successfully continued the match.

The second set brought a lot more uncertainty. Petra had a break already in the first game, though Gasparyan immediately equalized at 1:1. At 3:2, Gasparyan once again took Martić’s service to lead 4:2, but Martić did not give up and equalized at 4:4, after which the set went into the thirteenth game.

In the tiebreak, both players had two mini-breaks, but at a 4:3 lead, Martić once again took her opponent’s serve for the 5:3 advantage, which she held for a place in the quarterfinal.

This was the second encounter for Martić and Gasparyan and the second win for the 28-year-old Croatian player. The two played for the first time in the semi-final of this year's tournament in Istanbul, where Martić reached her first WTA title.

Petra Martić will play last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who in the second round overcame British player Johanna Konta 6:3, 6: 4. Martic and Ostapenko have not played each other so far.

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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Roland Garros: Mate Pavić and Ivan Dodig in Semis, Petra Martić Out

June 4, 2019 - Petra Martić was eliminated by Markéta Vondroušová in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros on Thursday (7:6, 7:5), while Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić will play in the mixed doubles semifinals,  reports the Croatian Tennis Federation

Petra Martić failed to reach the semifinals of Roland Garros on Thursday after losing to 19-year-old Czech player Markéta Vondroušová 7:6, 7:5.

Petra served to win the first set at 5:4, and in the 6:5 lead had three connected set points, which she was unable to realize. This mentally pushed Petra, who fell against an excellent opponent; an opponent who Petra has defeated on all four previous occasions. Recall, Petra Martić won her first WTA Tour title after she defeated Markéta Vondroušová in the final, 1:6, 6:4, 6:1 just last month. 

In the quarterfinal match, Petra had only one ace and achieved a very small percentage of only 35 percent of the points scored after her second service. This was the fifth encounter between Martić and Vondroušová and the first win of the Czech player, who will face Briton Johanna Konta in the semis. 

In other news, Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić will play in the semifinals of the mixed doubles competition at this year's Roland Garros! Dodig and his Taiwanese partner Latisha Chan made it through the quarterfinal duel without any major problems. Dodig and Chan defeated French duo Amandine Hesse and Benjamin Bonzi - 6:4, 6:3. For a spot in the final, they will play against the first-seeded American Nicole Melichar and Brazilian Bruno Soares.

Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatia’s Mate Pavić (second-seed) entered the semifinals after defeating China’s Zhang Shuai and Australian John Peers - 1:6, 7:5, 10:8. Zhang and Peers served for the win at 5:4 in the second set, but Dabrowski and Pavić somehow found a way to success. In the semis, they will play against Ukraine's Nadiia Kichenok and Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi.

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Sunday, 2 June 2019

Roland Garros: Petra Martić into Quarters, Vekić Out

Petra Martić will play in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros! After a great battle in the round of 16, Petra came to the victory over Estonian Kaia Kanepi (WTA-88) after two hours and 14 minutes of play. Martić won 5:7, 6:2, 6:4 in her greatest career success, reports HTS on June 2, 2019. 

It was a match full of excitement, with ups and downs on both sides. Kanepi won the first set after Petra had the 3:2 advantage and service, while in the second set she led 2:0. It seemed then that Kanepi was going for the win, but Martić was able to come back, and with six consecutive games, she equalized Kanepi in sets. 

Kanepi started strong in the third set, and on her service, she led 3:0, but Petra again turned the game around and took the next three games to lead 3:2. Kanepi came back for 4:3 and had four break points for 5:3, but Petra came out of the hurdle and in the ninth game had a crucial break. At 5:4 she served for her first quarterfinal of a Grand Slam tournament - and that’s after her fifth appearance in the round of 16. 

With this victory, Martić achieved a new career ranking on the ATP list (23rd place) and in the quarters will play against Markéta Vondroušová, 38th on the WTA list. So far, these two have met on four occasions,and the last time a month ago in the final of Istanbul. Petra has won all four games. 

Donna Vekić was not as lucky and failed to overcome Johanna Konta in the round of 16. Konta celebrated 6:2, 6:4 after an hour and 25 minutes of play. It was their seventh match and the fourth win for Konta.

Throughout most of the match, the British tennis player was better and utilized her chances. In the first three games, we saw three breaks, and since Vekić served first, she was already behind. By the end of the first set, Vekić lost her service and missed five chances to break. All in all, Konta showed much more.

The players went six games without a break, then Konta took away Vekić’s service who immediately returned in the same way and leveled at 4:4. However, the British player then reached 0:40, Vekić saved two break chances, but not the third. After that, Konta easily concluded the match for the win. 

Croatia still has other representatives at Roland Garros. Namely, Nikola Mektić will play in the mixed doubles quarters with partner Alicja Rosolska on Monday, while Ivan Dodig will play in the round of 16 with Latisha Chan on Sunday. Mate Pavić and partner Oliver Marach will play in the men's doubles round of 16 on Sunday. 

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Saturday, 1 June 2019

Roland Garros: Borna Ćorić Out After Thrilling Five Sets in Round of 32

June 1, 2019 - After Friday’s thrilling performances by Petra Martić and Donna Vekić, which launched them into the round of 16 of Roland Garros, Borna Ćorić lost in the round of 32 on Saturday against German player Jan-Lennard Struff 6:4, 1:6, 6:4, 6:7(1), 6:4, 9:11, reports HTS.

It was a match that started well for Borna, who won the first set of the game with a score of 6:4. In the second set, Struff returned with 6:1 and although Ćorić won the third with 6:4, he lost the fourth in the tie-break.

In the fifth set, Ćorić had the break at 2:2, but Struff immediately replied. At 4:4, Ćorić had the chance to turn the game around, though he did not realize his chance. At 6:6, Borna had three chances to break, used the third and served to win, but the brave German returned - and at 8:7 he had 0 to 30 on Borna’s service. He did not use it then but did at 10:9, when his first match point turned into a win after four and a half hours of play.

It was the fifth encounter between the two players and the third win for Struff. 

Mate Pavić and his Austrian doubles partner Oliver Marach will also play in the round of 16 of Roland Garros after defeating French duo Elliot Benchetrit and Geoffrey Blancaneaux - 6:4, 7:5.

Ivan Dodig and his American partner Latisha Chan will play in the mixed doubles round of 16 after defeating American Abigail Spears and Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal - 7:6 (5), 6:2.

More soon...

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Friday, 31 May 2019

Roland Garros: Petra Martić and Donna Vekić into Round of 16!

May 31, 2019 - The incredible Petra Martić and Donna Vekić advanced to the Roland Garros round of 16, reports HTS.

What a victory for Petra Martić in the 3rd round of Roland Garros! Martić sensationally defeated the second-seed of the tournament, Czech player Karolína Plíšková with a convincing 6:3, 6:3. It was her 14th victory this season on clay. 

In the first set the result was leveled to 3:3, though Petra went on to win the next five games (and took the service of her rival three times) and reached 2:0 in the second set. Pliškova then won three consecutive games and it seemed that the favored Czech would still find a way to turnaround and win. However, Petra again lifted the level of the game and with a fantastic series came to great success and her third time in the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament (2012, 2017). With this win, Petra has jumped to 27th place on the WTA list, which is her best career ranking. Petra will play Kai Kanepi in the round of 16 on Sunday. 

But that’s not all. 

Croatian tennis will have two representatives in the round of 16 at this year's Roland Garros after Donna Vekić surprisingly overcame Swiss player Belinda Bencic (WTA-15) - 6:4, 6:1.

From the start of the match, the Osijek native had the lead - first at 3:0, then later 4:2, though Bencic managed to equalize at 4:4. Donna took the first set after a break, and after losing the first game of the second set, she won six consecutive games to make her second pass into the top 16 of a Grand Slam tournament. Recall, Vekić made it to the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2018. 

Vekić hit eight aces with 64 percent of her first service and used six out of a total of nine break-points. In the round of 16, Vekić will play against the winner of the Konta - Kuzmova match. Vekić reached a new career ranking after the win and is currently the 20th best female tennis player in the world. 

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Roland Garros: Martić and Vekić into Third Round, Čilić Out

May 29, 2019 - Petra Martić, Donna Vekić, and Marin Čilić played in the second round of Roland Garros in Paris on Wednesday, announces HTS

Petra Martić continues with great performances at this year's Roland Garros. After quickly overcoming Tunisian player Jabeur (in just 66 minutes), Martić defeated French national Kristina Mladenovic (WTA-53) in two games - 6:2, 6:1.

Two breaks in the first and three in the second set were enough for Petra to convincingly win over Mladneovic, who took Martić’s service for the first time in the first game of the second set, and then lost six consecutive games. Martić, who hit three aces with 70 percent of the first service, made only nine unforced errors during the match and lost only 13 points to her service. Petra’s next rival will be the second-best tennis player in the world, Czech national Karolina Plíšková. So far they've played on four occasions, and Petra has three wins. 

Donna Vekić also moves forward in Roland Garros. The Osijek native advanced to the round of 32 of the Paris tournament on Wednesday for the second time in her career after defeating Swedish player Rebecca Peterson (WTA-63) - 1:6, 6: 1, 6:2.

The first set convincingly went to Peterson, but we saw the dominance of Vekić who won 10 of the next 11 games, and was up to a 4:0 lead in the decisive set. Peterson managed to reduce Vekić’s advantage to 4:2, but that was all she was able to do in this duel. With this win, Donna moves to the 21st position on the WTA list, which is her new career ranking. Her chance to enter the company of the 20 best tennis players in the world will be in the 3rd round against the winner of the Bencic - Siegemund match.

Marin Čilić goes home early from this year's appearance at Roland Garros. Croatia’s best male tennis player lost in the second round after a giant five-set game (and almost four and a half hours of play). Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (ATP-46) won 6:7 (3), 6:4, 4:6, 7:6 (2), 6:3.

Marin played a good match and fought to the last point, but Dimitrov eventually found the path to success. Dimitrov was behind 2:1, but managed to get back and take the next two sets. In the final set, Marin lost his service twice and allowed his opponent to lead 5:2. Dimitrov then served to win, Čilić managed to break, but then lost his first strike and then the match. Čilić had 13 aces, with 53 percent of his first service and 58 unforced errors (Dimitrov had 45). It was their sixth meeting and the second win of the Bulgarian tennis player.

Borna Ćorić will face Lloyd Harris, while Ivo Karlović will face Jordan Thompson on Thursday in the second round.

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Monday, 27 May 2019

Roland Garros: Čilić, Ćorić, Martić, Vekić Advance to 2nd Round

May 27, 2019 - Roland Garros, also known as the French Open, kicked off at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. Croatia’s tennis representatives, including Marin Čilić, Borna Ćorić, Petra Martić, and Donna Vekić have all advanced to the second round. 

Marin Čilić skipped the first obstacle at this year's Roland Garros. Croatia’s best male tennis player and the 11th-seed of the tournament defeated Italian Thomas Fabbiano, the 98th best tennis player in the world, in three sets - 6:3, 7:5, 6:1.

Marin played a solid match and had the most issues at the end of the second set when he lost his service at 4:4 and Fabbiano served to equalize 1:1. However, Čilić immediately returned the lost service, and by the end of the duel, won nine of the 10 games. In the third set, the Italian led 1:0 after a break and then lost six games in a row. Čilic achieved 13 aces and realized 58 percent of the first service, and made 36 unforced errors (Fabbiano 34). Čilić will play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 64. 

In just over an hour, Petra Martić advanced to the second round of this year's Roland Garros after defeating Tunisian Ons Jabeur (WTA-56)  6:1, 6: 2.

Petra took the service of her rival six times and lost two games on two occasions. Jabeur made 27 unforced errors (Martić 8). Martić also realized 65 percent of the first service and easily made it to the 2nd round where she will face French player Kristina Mladenović. 

Donna Vekić, the 23rd-seed of the tournament, made it to the 2nd round of this year's Roland Garros. Croatia’s best female tennis player was too strong for the 'lucky loser' of qualifications, Russian Liudmila Samsonova(WTA-159) - 6:2, 6:4.

The Osijek-native settled the first set after breaks in the third and fifth games, while in the second set she only took Samsonova’s service in the third game. Samson had just one break-point (the fourth game of the first set) that she did not take advantage of during the match. Vekić finished the game without a double fault and with 59% of the first service and 17 unforced errors (Samsonova 35). Donna will play in the 2nd round against Swede Rebecca Peterson (WTA-63). 

Borna Ćorić will play in the 2nd round of Roland Garros for the fifth time. After almost three hours, the 22-year-old Zagreb-native defeated Slovenian Aljaž Bedene who took the duel to the fourth set - 6:1, 6:7(4), 6:4, 6:4.

During the match, Bedene lost his service to Borna on five occasions; Borna did not succeed only in the second set, which went to a tie-break in favor of Bedene. On the other hand, he saved all three of Bedene's breaks. In the round of 64,  Ćorić will play against South African Lloyd Harris. 

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Thursday, 9 May 2019

Madrid Open: Marin Čilić and Novak Djokovic to Meet in Quarters

Marin Čilić has made it to the quarterfinal of the Madrid Open!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Madrid Open: Petra Martić v. Donna Vekić in Round of 16

Croatian tennis players Petra Martić and Donna Vekić advanced to the 3rd round of the WTA tournament in Madrid after eliminating Angelique Kerber and Kristýna Plíšková, reports on May 6, 2019. 

Petra Martić made it to the 3rd round of the Madrid Open without a fight. After knocking out double Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruz in the first round, Martić was meant to play against Angelique Kerber, the fourth best tennis player in the world, who was forced to retire due to an ankle injury.

Donna Vekić defeated Czech qualifier Kristýna Plíšková. (WTA-94) with a score of 6-4, 6-4 after an hour and 26 minutes of play. After Vekić broke at 4-2, Plíšková managed to get back for 4-4. However, the Croatian tennis player took her opponents serve and the first set. 

In the second set again, Vekić was first to come to a break, but Plíšková still managed to return the lost service. At 3-3, Vekić once again took her opponent’s service and routinely ended the match with a victory. 

In the last 16, we will see Croatia's best female tennis players, Donna Vekić and Petra Martić meet on Wednesday afternoon. 

Marin Čilić will also play in the round of 16 of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid. Croatia’s best male tennis player secured two wins in a row (for the first time after the Australian Open) after defeating Slovakian Martin Kližan in the first round on Tuesday and German Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP-49) in the second round with 4:6, 6:3, 6:4. Marin’s next rival will be either Del Potro or Đere. Thanks to these results, Marin has also jumped one position on the ATP ranking and is again among the top 10 tennis players in the world.

Borna Ćorić was sent home early from Madrid after losing to Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the first round 6:3, 7:5.

Mate Pavić and doubles partner Oliver Marach defeated Croatian-French duo Ivan Dodig and  Edouard Roger-Vasselin after a big fight in three sets - 6:4, 3:6, 10:5. They will play in the quarter-final against Argentine duo Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos.

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Sunday, 28 April 2019

WTA Istanbul: Petra Martić Wins Her First Career Title!

Petra Martić has won her first WTA title!

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