Sunday, 10 July 2022

Mili Poljičak Becomes First Croat to Win Wimbledon Juniors Title!

July 10, 2022 - Young Croatian tennis player Mili Poljičak, who will turn 18 in three days, has won the Wimbledon Juniors tournament!

In the final match, the young Split tennis player and the tournament's third seed defeated American Michael Zheng 7-6(2), 7-6(3).

Poljičak thus became the third Croatian tennis player in history to win a junior Grand Slam tournament. Previously, Marin Čilić succeeded in this in 2005 at Roland Garros and Borna Ćorić in 2013 at the US Open. Croatian female tennis players, on the other hand, have six triumphs in junior competitions.

The first set lasted almost an hour, and Zheng was the first to break. He first went up to 3-2 and then what seemed like an unattainable 5-2.

However, Poljičak was able to recover. Zheng served for the first set, which then went to a tie-break. Poljičak immediately made a mini-break. He subsequently escaped to 6-2 and quite convincingly won the final fight to win the first set.

In the second set, Zheng was the first to break and took a 3-1 lead. However, after missing two break points in the fourth game, Poljičak went 0-40 at 2-3. He used the third break point in that game and tied it to 3-3.

Poljičak was dangerous in the second set when leading 4-3 and 5-4, but the American somehow brought it to a new tie break.

Poljičak again held everything in his hands. He led 2-0 and 4-1 and firmly held his service until the end and a great victory. Both players made two breaks each, with Zheng having two break chances and Poljičak eight. The Croatian junior had a first-serve percentage of 80 percent and won six points more than his opponent (88-82).

Poljičak thus became the first Croatian tennis player to win the Wimbledon Juniors tournament. Croatian tennis has had two finalists so far, but both lost in the final - Ivan Ljubičić (1996 to Vladimir Volčkov) and Mario Ančić (2000 to Nicolas Mahut).

Poljičak also won the junior doubles tournament at Roland Garros this year with Lithuanian partner Edes Butvilas.

Source: HRT

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

Saturday, 9 July 2022

Mili Poljičak Becomes Third Croat to Book Wimbledon Juniors Final!

July 9, 2022 - In the Wimbledon Juniors final, Mili Poljičak will play against American Michael Zheng, who beat Spaniard Martin Landaluce in the semi-final match. 

Croatian tennis player Mili Poljičak advanced to the Wimbledon final in the junior competition, defeating Spaniard Pablo Rodenas 7-5, 6-2 in the semi-final match on Friday! 

The young Split tennis player, who will turn 18 in less than a week, dominated almost the entire match against Rodenas.

In the first set, he led 4-1 and had a break point for a 5-1 lead, but then came the only crisis period in the match for the young Croat. Rodenas saved that game, then returned to tie it at 4-4.

Fortunately, it only went up from here for Poljičak , who was able to solve the first set in the 10th game when he had two consecutive set points on the Spaniard's service. However, Rodenas managed to level the score at 5-5, but when Poljiček lead 6-5, he again put pressure on his opponent who made a double fault on the third set point for 7-5.

In the second set, Poljičak quickly raced to 3-0, only to take away Rodenas' serve once again at 5-2, thus achieving the greatest success in his career so far. It took the best Croatian junior an hour and 15 minutes to reach the final.

Poljičak is the third Croatian to reach the Wimbledon Juniors final. In 1996, Ivan Ljubičić lost to Vladimir Volčkov, and in 2000, Mario Ančić lost to Nicolas Mahut.

In the final, Poljičak will play against American Michael Zheng who beat Martin Landaluce in the other semi-final match on Sunday. 

Outside of the juniors competition, Croatia doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will defend their Wimbledon title in the doubles after defeating Colombians Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the semi-final of the third tennis Grand Slam tournament of the season. Mektić and Pavić won 6:7 (2), 7:6 (0), 4: 6, 6:2, 7:6 (10:4) after four hours and 22 minutes of play.

Mektić and Pavić will play after 16:00 on Satruday. 

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