Monday, 23 January 2023

Fantastic Donna Vekic Advances to Australian Open Quarterfinal

January 32, 2023 - Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic advanced to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open after defeating the 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova in the fourth round with 6:2, 1:6, 6:3 after two hours and seven minutes of play.

As Index writes, Donna Vekic played the first set brilliantly against the young Czech, hitting winners from all positions, but in the second part of the game, there was a big drop in the game of this 26-year-old Osijek player.

She lined up with unforced errors, so the third set decided the winner. Before the final set, Vekic went to the dressing room and took almost ten minutes of rest, which had a positive effect. For Vekic, this is her second entry into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament after the US Open in 2019.

Her opponent will be fifth seed Arina Sabalenka, who knocked out Olympic winner Belinda Bencic 7:5, 6:2 in the fourth round. Vekic and Sabalenka have played six times so far, with the Croatian tennis player winning five times.

They met in the quarterfinals of San Diego (2022), at the Olympic Games (2021), in the semifinals of San Jose (2019), in the second round of Cincinnati (2017), and the first round of St. Petersburg (2016), and in the semifinals of the same tournament (2017).

"This is the first time I feel like I can win a Grand Slam"

Vekic knocked out Oksana Selehmetova, Ljudmila Samsonova, Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, and Linda Fruhvirtov on her way to her biggest success at the first Grand Slam of the season. Here is what Donna Vekic stated before the match with the Czech player:

"Everything started to fall into place at the end of last year. I played really well after the US Open; I improved a lot in Thailand and San Diego, where many wins inspired a lot of confidence. I saw that I could play at the top level again. After the surgery, it took me a year to get back to that level, and I'm glad it continues at the beginning of 2023."

"Perhaps because of all the difficulties I had with injuries, I now appreciate it more when I have the opportunity to play, especially in the biggest stadiums and tournaments. Of course, it's even better if I win; I have a clear goal in my head, tennis fulfills me, and I'm completely dedicated to achieving that goal," said Donna Vekic, then explained what that goal was.

"Every tennis player's goal is to win the Grand Slam, but the difference is that for the first time in my life, I believe I can do it," concluded the currently 64th player in the WTA ranking. The best ranking in her career was 19. She won three singles tournaments, where she earned almost 5.7 million dollars.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Sport section.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

Croatia's Petra Martić Wins WTA Lausanne Tournament

ZAGREB, 17 July 2022 - Croatia's tennis player Petra Martić on Sunday beat Serbia's Olga Danilović in the final match at the WTA International Ladies Open Lausanne tennis tournament with the result 6-4, 6-2, thus winning the second WTA tournament in her career.

The 31-year-old Croatian captured her first WTA title in Istanbul three years ago.

Martić is the first Croatian winner of the WTA International Ladies Open Lausanne tournament which started in 2016.

The prize money for the winner is $33,200 and Martić also won 280 WTA points.

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

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

32nd Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag Brings Best of Tennis to Istria in July

July 5, 2022 - The 32nd Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag tournament will be held from July 22 to 31!

Top tennis, an attractive music program, excellent culinary delights, and the great promotion of Umag, Istria, and Croatian tourism - all this will mark the 32nd edition of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag tournament, which will be held this season from July 22 to 31, reports HTS. This is guaranteed by some of the best tennis players in the world, such as Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, Italian Jannik Sinner, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dane Holger Rune, and Croatian representative Borna Ćorić, whose arrival was announced at a press conference held in Zagreb.

"With such a stellar line-up of players on the list of registered participants, we can say that a top tennis event awaits us in Umag. Carlos Alcaraz is the biggest tennis story of today when talking about young players who should have a great career ahead of them, and Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune go with him in the same sentence. So we will have three of today's biggest young stars at the tournament but at the same time players who are already doing great things in professional tennis. There is also Georgian tennis player Basilashvili, last year's Indian Wells finalist, the ever-improving Argentinian Sebastian Baez, the winner of Umag in 2016, Italian Fabio Fognini, and of course, Croatia's Davis Cup representative Borna Ćorić. Borna will receive an invitation to the main tournament, and Umag is very important to him after returning from injury. He recently won the ATP Challenger in Parma, which shows that he is returning to his old form, so we believe he will be among the main candidates for a top result in Stella Maris. Together, we can announce a fantastic tournament," said tournament director Tomislav Poljak.

The Umag ATP tournament will be a great link between sports and tourism again this year, with a live broadcast in more than 140 countries worldwide. This makes it an excellent tennis event and an important promotional one.

"The Umag ATP tournament is one of the longest-running major events in Croatia that combines tourism and sport. Being part of the ATP tournament is no small thing, and we are proud to have such a tournament in Croatia. On the other hand, large sporting events are also the reason for visiting the destination, and we believe that Umag and this tournament bring Istria and Croatia additional promotion worldwide. That's why the Ministry of Tourism and Sports stands by this tournament, and we will continue to nurture cooperation for such a big event," said Josip Pavić, special advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Sports.

Dubravko Šimenc, a specialist for the Croatian Tourist Board's marketing projects, agreed.

"This is precisely the backbone of our cooperation with the organizers of the tournament because basic tourist products, such as the sun and the sea, are no longer a sufficient motive for coming to a destination, but we must all work together continuously to create and market competitive tourist experiences, and Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, as the oldest tennis tournament in Croatia, is certainly one of them."

This year, Umag will also be the center of tennis where, in addition to the players in the main tournament, 600 recreational players will compete in side tournaments such as the traditional VIP tournament, the HEPi tournament, the Umag Stars Open, and the third ITF wheelchair tennis tournament. It continues with the Road to Umag, a series of tournaments around Croatia that has its final at the Umag tournament. Furthermore, this year's ATP Umag edition will, for the first time, provide all tournament enthusiasts with a fully digital experience through the official WhatsApp chatbot provided by Vodnja's Infobip, the leading IT company in the region and the tournament's technology partner. Through the WhatsApp chatbot, visitors will receive the necessary information about the tournament and the players and a variety of video content. In addition, they will have the opportunity to buy tickets, participate in prize quizzes, and more.

You can follow the news about the tournament at

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

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Exposure of Female Athletes in Croatian Media: Can We Do More?

February 3, 2022 - Croatia has had unbelievable success in multiple sports since independence, regardless of funding, the size of the country, and various other factors. Football comes to mind, handball, water polo, and many more. However, some of the biggest success Croatia has ever had was achieved by female athletes. Why do we hear so little about them and can we do more? A look at the exposure of female athletes in Croatian media.

The number 4. It symbolizes a lot of things in the world: Marvel comic book heroes Fantastic Four, four sides of the world, Croatian band Four Aces (4 Asa), four medals Janica Kostelić won in the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and so much more. However, besides this last great achievement number four represents for Croatian sports history, it also displays an abysmal percentage of media coverage of female sports in Croatian media. A

According to the analysis “Equality Between Men and Women in Sports Programs of Audiovisual Media”, conducted by Electronic Media Agency in 2019, across the three major TV stations (HTV, RTL, NOVA TV), the majority of media coverage (during sports news) is spent on men’s football, and men’s sport, in general, takes over 80 percent of the informative sports news. It dominates on commercial TV stations like RTL and NOVA TV. This sample is taken over three months in 2016, where they analyzed over two and a half hours of news footage. The agency also included other factors like female athlete speeches during informative sport news, which amounted to around six percent. After football, the most represented sports are basketball and tennis. Although in modest proportion, news about female athletes and their successes is still present. Television reports and articles that are dedicated to “unrepresented” sports like gymnastics, alpine skiing, archery, and athletics, have female athletes, however, they are always reported with men.

The only time female athletes are covered in the media is when the “miracle run” happens; e.g., Croatia women's handball team winning the bronze medal at Euros in 2020, or a Croatian female athlete becomes an internet sensation because of her beauty e.g., Antonija Mišura in the London Olympics in 2012.

The Electronic Media Agency also forwarded a survey with two main questions to sport federations and media representatives: “Do you think that women's sport in Croatia is sufficiently represented in the informative program of Croatian electronic media” and “What should happen or improve to make women's sport more represented in electronic media? Where do you see the problem and the possibility for improvement?”.

In conclusion, all sport federations agree on a few things. The amount of women’s sports content on their official social media and websites is almost equal to men’s but the media is not trying enough to do the same. Oversexualizing news about female athletes is, unfortunately, a common thing - emphasis on the looks, the way they dress, who are their partners, and more. Furthermore, no television coverage, e.g. Croatia women’s handball team didn’t have TV coverage for most Croatian viewers during their incredible run at European Championship in 2020, until they reached the semifinals of the tournament. Most of the women’s sports games are aired during night as replays, which is still not good enough. In their response to the survey, they also emphasized the effort they are putting in making women’s sports more popular in Croatia and sent a message to the media to start covering female athletes in an appropriate manner.

On the other hand, media representatives agree with sports federation pleas but also express their obstacles in doing proper media coverage for women’s sports. Particularly, the market trends in the media sphere. They have statistics and parameters that show distinctly more hits and clicks on articles about men’s sports, in this case, football. Also, the situation in other countries is not better - there are struggles as well in reporting women’s sports news. In the end, media representatives still feel like they could do a lot more in informing the Croatian public about successes their female athletes achieve and hope, with the support of other institutions and Croatians will, that the future is bright for reporting about women in sports.

How can we, as the media, make sports events and news more diverse, interesting, and appealing for everyone? How can we expand the interests of Croatians to female sports as well? Again, the question from the beginning of the article is - can we do more? Yes, but we cannot do it alone. It is well known that Croatia has incomparably fewer money investments in sports than other countries in Europe and if it isn’t for our amazing athletes' will and passion, we would not be where we are now. Croatia still doesn’t have appropriate marketing campaigns for women's sports nor regulations which would encourage more media coverage.

Nevertheless, journalists and media also need to do better. Oversexualizing every aspect of female athletes and bigotry through Croatian media probably won’t go anywhere soon but with future regulations and by joint efforts with other sports and governing institutions, the media atmosphere will be much more favorable for female athletes.

If we can celebrate them when they are on top of the world, we can at least give them a platform to show them that there are people who care and support them regardless they are best or not. These surveys studies showed that every representative in Croatian sports media and sports itself know about the issue. The talk is in progress and slowly but surely the act is in motion. We can start here.

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

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Croatia Advances to Davis Cup Quarterfinals, Leaving Canada in its Trail

After a sensational turnaround in couples on Saturday, when Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig won for a 2:1 lead in matches in the 1st round of the Davis Cup World Group, a new tennis drama was expected on Sunday

Monday, 15 January 2018

Three Croatian Tennis Players Advance to Second Round of Australian Open!

A good start for some of Croatia's best tennis players in Melbourne for the Australian Open!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Borna Ćorić on to Semi-finals of ‘Next Gen’ in Milan

A big turnaround for the Croatian tennis player gave him his third victory at the tournament

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Marin Čilić Brushes Aside Tenth World Player and Enters Quarterfinals of Rome

The Croatian tennis player is through to the quarterfinals of the ATP tournament in Rome after defeating Belgian David Goffin on Thursday with 6-3, 6-4 after an hour and a half of play

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sensational Win by Borna Ćorić over Andy Murray!

Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić defeated Andy Murray, the best tennis player in the world, in the eighth finals of the tournament in Madrid

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Čilić and Karlović out of Madrid in Second Round

Marin Čilić and Ivo Karlović failed to move on to round three of the ATP Master Series tournament in Spain

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