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.

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.

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.

Monday, 3 June 2019

An Interview with Organizer Feliks Lukas Ahead of 4th WTA Croatia Bol Open

June 3, 2019 - First class tennis returns to Brač with the 4th edition of the WTA Croatia Bol Open, which will run from June 3 to 9, 2019. Before Bol fully transforms into a haven for some of the world’s best up and coming female tennis players, TCN met with organizer Feliks Lukas about what we can expect at this year’s edition. 

We return to Bol this year for the 4th edition of the WTA Croatia Bol Open. What can we expect this year?

We try really hard every year to organize the tournament and make it better than it was in the previous year. This year I'm absolutely satisfied, because in sports terms, we have the best list of players to date, and as far as entertainment goes, we secured performances by big stars, so that our visitors can experience the perfect combination of the sun, sea, top-level tennis and entertainment when they come to the WTA Croatia Bol Open. 

How is this year’s tournament different than the last editions?

Like I said, the list of the players is the best yet, and we're very proud of that. The WTA Croatia Bol Open is becoming a matter of prestige; the players themselves are doing excellent marketing for us when talking to one another, they share their positive experiences from Bol and they want to participate in the tournament, and Bol is often a springboard for the girls who are working on getting into the Top 100 in the world. A lot of effort goes into organizing this tournament, and I'm extremely glad we managed to build an excellent image in the tennis world. 

As the biggest novelty for this year, I'd like to highlight that we'll start having nighttime matches, which will attract more viewers because it was often impossible to follow the matches in the strong June sun. Matches on the day of the first round will be played at 8:30 pm on the Central Court and Sunday's finale will start at 8:05 pm. 

You started the WTA Croatia Bol Open thanks to your passion for tennis and will to make something successful in a place like Croatia where so much seems impossible and is often an uphill battle. How has the tournament developed over the years? Are you happy with where it is now, or are you striving for more?

I don't believe it's easy to organize any sporting event, and especially an event of this scale, with all the rules and bylaws that the worldwide organization such as the WTA expects us to follow. The additional organizational challenge is the demanding process of negotiating with government institutions and advertisers. I'd be lying if I said we didn't have the support we need, I have to say that the Bol municipality, Croatian Tourist Board and Central State Office for Sport have recognized this project as an important sport, but also tourist event in Croatia. We also have numerous corporate sponsors, but it's still difficult to complete the financial package. It's a struggle that lasts all the way to April, sometimes even May, so we only have a month to organize the tournament, which is not enough time. Still, our tournament gets better each year, and I'm not giving up. I am still lead by a lot of enthusiasm, and the biggest motive for me are the positive experiences, first by the players, but also by the visitors. 


Once again, you’ve managed an impressive list of players for the 4th edition. Who is the most exciting up-and-coming talent to play in Bol this June?

Although she is not seeded, a serious contender for the title is Timea Bacsinszky. She was a top-ten player several years ago, but an injury stopped her and now she's making a come-back. I'd love to highlight Kaia Kanepi and Siegemund, who used to be top 15 and top 30 players. All three of the winners of the WTA Croatia Bol Open – Mandy Minella, Aleksandra Krunić and Tamara Zidanšek are also going to be at the tournament this year. 

Which of Croatia’s tennis representatives should we look out for on the courts in Bol this June?   

One of the aggravating factors for us is most certainly the week in which the tournament is played, which overlaps with the second week of Roland Garros, and no matter what, we always want our players to stay on the courts in Paris for as long as possible. This year we invited Tena Lukas, after she took full advantage of her invitation last year when she made it to the semi-finals with amazing support from the stands. Jana Fett, a very promising player who has the strength and quality required for a much better ranking than the one she has now.

 You’ve once again managed to couple excellent entertainment with tennis - can you tell us about the events we can look forward to in addition to the tennis this time around?  

Entertainment starts on Friday, June 7th, when our visitors will be able to enjoy the evening of klapa music, a concert by Klapa Šufit and Cambi. On June 8th, the star of the Saturday night in Bol will be Niki Belucci, who is performing at the Varadero Club. The finale of the tournament on Sunday starts at 8:05 pm and the fun at the Central Court will start an hour earlier when Nina Badrić will perform live for the WTA Croatia Bol Open crowd. The closing ceremony of the tournament will also be more lavish, as Lola Astanova, one of the world's best pianists will perform. She has intrigued the world, both with her talent and her attractive appearance. 

How has the support for the tournament been this year? From Bol and Bluesun to HTZ and sponsors?  

I am extremely grateful to all our sponsors for their support. I'd especially like to highlight the Bol Municipality and its head, Tihomir Marinović, as well as the Bol Tourist Board who have been alongside us this entire time. Also, without the great support by the Bluesun group and Mr. Jako Andabaka, this tournament would not be possible. This year we received strong support by Central State Office for Sport, and, just like in previous years, Croatian Tourist Board. There are several sponsors from the business sector, Kraš, Atlantic Group, Jadrolinija, T-HT, HEP – and I'd like to thank all of them. The tournament keeps growing every year, but we need to make the next step in terms of finances and sponsors, as that would increase the quality of the tournament in the end. We still don't have the title sponsor, which would allow for a bigger sense of security. 

So, can we expect the ‘25th edition’ of WTA Croatia Bol Open in the future? Or do you have plans to create other successful sporting events on the horizon?  

We will keep up our efforts to make this the strongest regional sports event, and there are realistic chances that we'll be able to get the tournament to a higher level. WTA is prepared to support us as much as possible, so all we need to do is find strong sponsors who would also support us in that effort. 


For tickets to the WTA Croatia Bol Open, visit here

To learn more about Feliks Lukas, you can check out our interview with him last year ahead of the 3rd edition of the tournament. 

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

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. 

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

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.

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

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!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

WTA Istanbul: Petra Martić Wins Her First Career Title!

Petra Martić has won her first WTA title!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

WTA Istanbul: Petra Martić Moves into Final Against Vondroušová!

Petra Martić will fight for her first WTA title in her third attempt.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

WTA Istanbul: Petra Martić Advances to Semi-final against Gasparyan!

April 27, 2019 - Croatian tennis player Petra Martić (WTA-40) advanced to the semi-final of the WTA tournament in Istanbul, where after three hours and 17 minutes of a great fight, she overcame French player Kristina Mladenovic (WTA-66) with a score of 7:6 (4), 4:6, 7:6 (2), reports HTS

Martić missed the 5:2 advantage in the first set but still won the first part of the match thanks to a tie-break. Martić had a break advantage in the second set, but in the 4:3 lead, she lost three games in a row.

In the decisive set, Martić led 3:0, though Mladenovic came back for 3:3. Two other times, at 4:3 and 5:4, Martić had the advantage of a break but failed to capitalize. When she served to go to the decisive tie-break, the 28-year-old Croatian did not give up. In the final game, she led 6:2 and welcomed the win after Mladenovic missed a backhand.

For a place in the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup final, Martić will play against 24-year-old Russian Margarita Gasparyan (WTA-72).

This is the second consecutive semi-final for Petra Martić after she was among the four best in Charleston, USA. Caroline Wozniacki eliminated her from the tournament. 

In other news, Donna Vekić will long remember the quarter-final match of this year's WTA tournament in Stuttgart, where Croatia’s best female player fought against the best tennis player in the world, Naomi Osaka, and had a massive advantage of 5:1 in the decisive set. However, after an enormous turnaround, Osaka found the way to victory and advanced to the semi-final.

Oliver Marach and Mate Pavić finished this week's ATP 500 Series tournament in Barcelona. In the quarter-final, the Austrian-Croatian duo lost to South African Raven Klaasen and Britain Joe Salisbury - 7:6 (8), 7:6 (4).

The crisis for Marin Čilić continued this week, and not even his performance at the 250 Series ATP tournament in Budapest could bring better news for Croatia’s best male player. Marin reached his fourth consecutive defeat, and this time, it was Uruguayan player Pablo Cuevas (ATP-73) to knock out Čilić in the second round of the tournament (Marin was the first-seed and was free at the start of the competition). Cuevas celebrated after three hours and 12 minutes of play - 5:7, 7:6 (6), 7:6 (3).

After Marin Čilić, Borna Ćorić lost to Serbian tennis player Filip Krajinović (ATP-105) in two sets - 6:4, 7:5 .

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

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