Thursday, 5 May 2022

WTA Makarska Open Bringing 22 TOP 100 Players for Strongest Tournament Yet

May 5, 2022 - Defending champion Jasmine Paolini, last year's finalist and top-ranked Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, and eight-time Grand Slam winner, 2019 doubles world number one and top 10 player in 2017 Kristina Mladenović will play at the WTA Makarska Open at Valamar this year! 

Clara Burel also comes from France, who, at the age of 19, played in the third round of Roland Garros in 2020. Marta Kostyuk, a young Ukrainian star under the leadership of celebrated Croatian ace Ivan Ljubičić, Anna Bondar, the best Hungarian tennis player, and Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz will also compete.


Along with the already mentioned Jasmine Paolini, Martina Trevisan and Lucia Bronzetti arrived from Italy. Furthermore, the legend of Italian and world tennis Sara Errani is on the waiting list. Again, the two best players from Slovakia - Kristina Kucova and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, announced their arrival, and the best Swedish tennis player Rebecca Peterson. 

Mayar Sherif, the best tennis player from Egypt, and the best-ranked Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, a doubles finalist at this year's Australian Open, join the list. Quinwen Zheng is coming from China; a young 19-year-old hope and currently the second most successful player in the country.


Bernarda Pera, who plays under the American flag, is also expected to compete while Antonija Ružić and Teni Lukas have been invited among Croatian tennis players, and Makarska's Marijana Dražić will play in doubles. 

Even more sports surprises are possible at the WTA Makarska Open hosted by Valamar because the two best Serbian tennis players are on the waiting list - 2017 winner Aleksandra Krunić and Olga Danilović, as well as the best Montenegrin tennis player Danka Kovinić and "miracle from Paris" Nadia Podoroska, the only tennis player to reach the Roland Garros semifinals from qualifying.

"Our goal is to grow from year to year. So we decided that the WTA tournament will be held in Makarska this year in partnership with the City and Valamar and with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Split-Dalmatia County, whom I thank once again for their support. The tournament is a step forward in terms of organization and logistics. This effort has been recognized, which can be seen in the applications of tennis players, because this year we have 22 tennis players from the top 100, while last year we had 13. Of course, the final list could vary and depends on the outcome at Roland Garros," said Feliks Lukas, tournament director. He added that tennis fans, locals, and their guests could expect an exciting entertainment program with top concerts and theater performances and numerous professional panel discussions and training in addition to the competitions.


Where will you be from May 30 to June 5?

Photos by Vladimir Dugandžić, archive WTA Makarska Open hosted by Valamar

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

Friday, 4 June 2021

Everything is Ready for the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Brač!

June 4, 2021 - Everything is ready for the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Brač, from June 7 to 12!

Next week, Bol becomes the center of women's sports again. After a one-year break, the WTA Croatia Bol Open returns to the tennis courts of Bluesun Hotels & Resorts. Along with the main tournament winners Sara Sorribes Tormo and Nadija Podoroska, five Croatian tennis players are coming to Brač thanks to the organizers' invitation, which is a record in the history of Croatian tennis, revealed today's press conference at Split's Artičok restaurant.


Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

"Along with Tereza Mrdeža and Tena Lukas, this year Ana Konjuh, Jana Fett and Bernarda Pera, from Zadar with a US passport, are also coming. Thanks to HRT's satellite broadcast, as many as 16 foreign televisions will broadcast the semifinals and finals from Bol to a hundred countries. This year's tournament was organized in impossible conditions. It was difficult to find sponsors when there was no audience, so I am immensely grateful to everyone who supported us," said Feliks Lukas, director of the WTA Croatia Bol Open.


Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

He added that 20 tennis players are already arriving on Brač today; the bus is waiting for them at Split Airport. They are being tested immediately in cooperation with one of the most famous epidemiologists, Dr. Marija Parčina. The results are ready by the time they arrive in Bol. Due to the top organization and strict adherence to all epidemiological measures, the WTA has recognized the Bol tournament as a Covid-free destination. This is the first WTA tournament without a bubble zone for tennis players.

The organizers were supported by the Croatia national team players Tereza Mrdeža and Tena Lukas, who achieved the best results in their careers in Bol. Teresa is in top form and is extremely happy that this year, thanks to the invitation, she will skip the qualifications, and Tena is emotionally attached to the tournament in which her entire family participates.


Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

"Bol and tennis are loved; they live together," said Markito Marinkovic, director of the Bol Tourist Board of Bol. He said that the tennis center is in a perfect environment, a few minutes from Zlatni rat, one of the most beautiful beaches, and announced a combination of sports and art in the week of the Bol tournament. Well-known photographer Jadran Lazić opens an exhibition of his works and presents his monograph on Thursday, and the Museum of the Dominican Monastery opens on Friday.


Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

"The tournament is the start of the season in our hotels, and I would like to thank all our employees who do their best in these challenging times to have successful results. We have great announcements, and we are recording record bookings, even better than in 2019," concluded Hrvoje Veselko, President of the Management Board of Bluesun Hotels & Resorts.

Joško Stella, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director, said that this part of Dalmatia has all the prerequisites for the development of sports tourism, and the WTA in Bol is an example of a great tournament organization and a great opportunity to promote Dalmatia and Croatia.


Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

This year's 15th WTA Croatia Bol Open, the fifth organized by Feliks Lukas, is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and with the support of loyal partners - Split-Dalmatia County and County Tourist Board, Bol Municipality Tourist Board, Bluesun Hotels & Resorts, Adriatic insurance and for the first time Studenac, a well-known Dalmatian retail chain.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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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 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. 

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

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Jana Fett Loses: "I Did Not Show Much, Made Many Mistakes"

June 5, 2019 - The first day and first match of the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Bluesun's central court did not go in favor of the home fans. Namely, Jana Fett did not have her day or a real answer to the game of Swiss player Stefanie Voegele, who defeated Fett 6:2, 6:2 in just over an hour. 

Fett came to 3:2 in both sets, had some good plays in the match but did not manage to maintain continuity in the game. She made so many mistakes that Voegele began to anticipate them. 

“I did not feel well on the court. I do not know, it happens, that's normal in sports. I had a few good games and then the system broke down," Jana said after the match. She also knows that she did not show her opponent was she is capable of.


"It did not show much, I made a lot of mistakes and that ruled the game,” Jana concluded, expressing hope that her performance in doubles would be better. After Bol, Jana awaits the season on grass courts and her appearance in Manchester.

One of the younger tennis players to appear on Wednesday is Slovenian Kaja Juvan, who entered the tournament on a high, defeating her fellow countrywoman Dalila Jakupovič 6:2, 6:0. Otherwise, Kaja Juvan is 18 years old, the 131st best player in the world, and is already under the auspices of the Starwings agency (Donna Vekić, Stan Wawrinka, and even Borna Ćorić). However, this was not her first appearance in Bol.

"I was here twice on vacation for a tennis camp when I was young and then I played the ITF tournament Lukas organized before this and achieved my first professional win,” concluded Kaja, adding and that she would have no objection to winning her first career WTA title in Bol.

J. Fett (CRO) - S. Voegele (SUI) 2:6, 2:6
K. Juvan (SLO) - D. Jakupovič (SLO) 6:2, 6:0

Y. Bonaventure (BEL) - P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) 6:3, 6:2

T. Zidanšek (SLO) -  M. Minella (LUX) 
A. Krunić (SRB) - Tamara Zidanšek (Slo)
L. Siegemund (GER) - T. Lukas (CRO)
E. Gorgodze (GEO) - V. Flink (RUS) 
A. Friedsam (GER) - L. Bošković (CRO) 

Find out more about the WTA Croatia Bol Open here

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

Monday, 3 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Four Croatian Players in the Tournament!

June 3, 2019 - An exciting draw at the Cocktail Bar Varadero in the center of Bol started the official program of the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Monday afternoon. 

"We want the tournament and tennis to live with the community, with Bol, that the whole town lives for tennis, and not that it only takes place on tennis courts that are far from the center of Bol,” said tournament director Feliks Lukas at the start.

The first-seed of this year's edition, last year's winner Tamara Zidanšek, was joined today by young Serbian player Olga Danilović and Croatia’s Jana Fett.

The draw began somewhat later than the previously announced 4:30 pm because at 4 pm, it was time to see which reported players are continuing their run at Roland Garros, explained supervisor Cristina Romero, the official WTA representative since the first edition of the tournament.

The first drawn pair is two winners of the Bol tournament, namely Zidanšek will play her first match against Mandy Minella from Luxemburg. Furthermore, Jana Fett awaits the winner of this match if she overcomes Switzerland's Stefanie Voegel.


The 2017 winner, Serbian player Aleksandra Krunić, will play against the young Danilović, while Slovenians, Kaja Juvan and Dalila Jakupović, will also play against each other.

Croatia’s Tena Lukas will measure power with Laurom Siegmund, Teresa Mrdeža will play against Czech player Denisa Allertová, and the young Ana Bošković awaits German Anna Lena Friedsman.

"The atmosphere is great, relaxed. The draw could be worse and better for me, but in the end, my result will depend mostly on my game,” said Jana Fett honestly at the end of the draw.


"The beginning of the year was not the best. I was in the top 100, but then there were some problems, I had injuries, and I hope I can get back closer to the top," Fett added.

Matches on the Bluesun tennis courts at Zlatni Rat start on Tuesday, June 4 at 1 pm. 




BLUESUN start at 13:00 

B. Schoofs (NED) vs [4] A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 

B. Haddad Maia (BRA) vs [2] S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 

A. Tatishvili (USA) vs [7] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 

Not Before 20:30
D. Allertova (CZE) vs T. Mrdeza (CRO) 

KRAŠ start at 13:00 

[WC] A. Danilina (KAZ) vs [5] A. Sharma (AUS)
[6] J. Teichmann (SUI) vs I. Begu (ROU)
After Rest - Y. Bonaventure (BEL) / B. Schoofs (NED) vs D. Jakupovic (SLO) / T. Lukas (CRO)
After Rest - A. Bogdan (ROU) / C. Skamlova (SVK) vs [4] A. Danilina (KAZ) / Y. Sizikova (RUS) 

LUKAS start at 13:00
A. Bogdan (ROU) vs [WC] M. Djakovic (SRB)
V. Strakhova (UKR) vs N. Hibino (JPN)
After Rest - [WC] L. Boskovic (CRO) / M. Djakovic (SRB) vs O. Danilovic (SRB) / T. Zidansek (SLO) 

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

Thursday, 23 May 2019

List of Players Announced for WTA Croatia Bol Open!

May 23, 2019 - At the Zagreb hotel Palace, a press conference was held with announcements about the upcoming WTA tournament on Bol, including the list of players participating this year. Tournament director Feliks Lukas, mayor of Bol Tihomir Marinković, head of the Sports Development Sector at the Central State Office for Sports Darko Vučić, and Dubravko Šimenc from the Croatian National Tourist Board head office addressed the media, including Croatian Fed Cup representatives Jana Fett, Tena Lukas, and Ana Konjuh.

"Judging by the list of players who announced their participation for the tournament in Bol, this year we are expecting a fierce battle on the tennis courts of the BlueSun tennis center at Zlatni Rat. The first seed is the 55th best player in the world, Daria Gavrilova, who two years ago won the premier title at the New Heaven tournament, and during her career has defeated big names such as Muguruzo, Ostapenko, and Petra Kvitova. Although not a top-seed, a serious candidate for the title is Timea Bacsinszky, a player who was a top 10 tennis player in the world a few years ago. She had great results from 2015 to 2017, when she defeated the world's best players and has won four WTA titles, though an injury halted her career. Now, however, she is back,” Lukas said, adding that Larsson is continually at the top of world tennis, and Kanepi and Siegmund are former top 15 and top 30 players in the world. Bol will also welcome Kristyna Pliskova, her sister Karolina, as well as all three winners of the WTA Croatia Bol Open - Mandy Minella, Aleksandra Krunić and Tamara Zidanšek.

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Otherwise, the interesting story of the press conference was related to Timea Bacsinszky, who a few years ago was the main topic of sports and world media for her so-called "Cinderella story". Namely, from 2011 to 2013, when she gave up on her tennis career, she was employed at a hotel and asked her employer at the time for free days to qualify for Roland Garros. When she finally qualified, her career continued uphill - and the rest is history. 

The mayor of Bol Tihomir Marinković expressed his full support to the project on this occasion, saying that Bol was recognized by excellent sports conditions and thanked the sponsors and everyone who contributed to the WTA Croatia Bol Open this year, inviting everyone to come to Bol as the people of Bol will welcome them warmly. 

"By working with the WTA Croatia Bol Open, I have to admit that the organizers also make a significant contribution in showing new models of functioning sports events, as well as bringing sports closer to the general public. I hope that the program will not only inspire the people of Bol and Brač to get to the games each day, but all the others. I want to emphasize that through our programs, in cooperation with the tournament, we will encourage the youngest to be active in the sport,” said Darko Vučić in front of the Central State Sports Office, wishing luck to the organizers, and especially the tennis players present. 

On behalf of the HTZ headquarters, Dubravko Šimenc pointed out how our tennis players are lucky to have a tennis tournament in Croatia in the fantastic ambiance of Bol.

"In the project ‘Croatian Sports’, the Croatia WTA Bol is important because it is our goal once again to show the beauty of Brač and Bol to the public. The unique beauty of Bol, safety and especially hospitality are appealing to every visitor, and I remind everyone that Bol is not far away, and it is a privilege to be able to support our girls in such an environment,” said Šimenc.

Although she cannot compete in the tournament due to an injury, Ana Konjuh thanked Lukas, who continued to promote women's tennis and women's sports. 

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"It is a special feeling to play in front of the Croatian crowd and it is very important to have a WTA tournament in Croatia, so I would like to thank the companies and sponsors who invest in sports and tennis," Konjuh said.

Jana Fett is also optimistic before the start of the tournament: “Last week I finally came to a victory, and I'm playing well. It will be my first appearance in Bol and I hope to have great games and a great tournament,” she said.

"I expect the best possible placement and that I will reach the final this year," Tena Lukas added, stressing that she was ready to play and could not wait for the tournament to begin.

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With the announcement of Croatian tennis players, we hope at least one Croatian representative makes it to the final.

This year, there will also be evening games in Bol. Thus, first-round games will be played from 20:30 on the Central court, and from 20:05, the Sunday final will be played with a direct transfer to HRT2. The program on the Central court will begin on Sunday night an hour before the final with a concert by Nina Badrić. The closing ceremony will also feature top pianist Lola Astanova, one of the best pianists in the world.

Tickets will also be available online this year at

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

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Big in Budapest: Petra Martić Advances to Quarterfinals of Hungarian Open!

Croatia’s Petra Martić goes one step further at the WTA tournament in Budapest.