Gol.hr reports that the ATP Challenger Zagreb Open, a tennis tournament with a prize fund of 44,820 euros, to be held from May 9 to 15 at the Maksimir Tennis Center, was presented at the Sheraton Hotel in Zagreb on Tuesday.
It will be the first professional tennis tournament in the Croatian capital since 2015 and the last edition of Zagreb Indoors.
“Great love for tennis and enthusiasm and desire for men’s professional tennis to return to the city of Zagreb led to this tournament. I think this is a great thing for our city and Croatia and that the tournament will become a traditional and recognizable Zagreb sports event. Our wish is to reach the ATP 250 tournament status, but we are going step by step,” said the director of the Zagreb Open Goran Belošević when presenting the tournament.
The list of registered players is led by 29-year-old Argentine Federico Coria, currently the 92nd tennis player in the world, who is the younger brother of Guillermo Coria, once third in the ATP rankings who was a finalist at Roland Garros in 2004. Among the more famous names are 33-year-old Leonardo Mayer, who was the 21st tennis player in the world six years ago and played for the Argentine national team in 2016, which won the Davis Cup, 28-year-old Bosnian tennis player Damir Džumhur, who reached 23rd place in the individual ATP rankings in 2018, and Portuguese Joao Sousa, who reached 28th place in the world five years ago.
“The final list will be known only on Friday, but I can announce that it will be one of the strongest Challengers 80 this year,” said Belošević.
The organizers have at their disposal three invitations for the main tournament and the same number for the qualifications, most of which should be given to Croatian tennis players. One of them is 24-year-old Nino Serdarušić from Zagreb.
“I am glad that we finally have a tournament of this type in the capital. I think this is a great opportunity for the development of all players and, of course, for the future of Zagreb and Croatian tennis. I hope that the Croatian Tennis Pro Tournaments series will become a tradition because it is something. It means a lot to us tennis players. I am looking forward to the start of the Zagreb tournament,” said the Croatian Davis Cup national team member who reached the quarterfinals at last week’s ATP Challenger in Rome in the same category as the Zagreb tournament. At the same time, he won two of the three previous Croatian Challengers, two in Split and Zadar.
The Zagreb Open is also part of the Croatian Tennis Pro Tournaments series under the Croatian Tennis Federation (HTS), as part of which ten professional tennis tournaments for tennis players will be held in nine Croatian cities this year.
“We tried to bring as many professional tournaments as possible to Croatia. The Istrian Riviera series is well-known, organized for the 49th year in a row this year, and the Challenger was organized in Zadar for the first time. Zagreb has always had a women’s tennis tournament, and now is the time for the men’s tournament to return after a few years,” said the director of the Croatian Tennis Federation, Vlatko Jovanoski.
In addition to HTS, the Zagreb Open is supported by the City of Zagreb and the City Office for Sports and Youth.
“Tennis is a recognized sport in Zagreb, and I am glad that after Zagreb Indoors, another tournament is being held in our city. Sports events are an opportunity to send a positive message from Zagreb to Europe and the world, an invitation to tourists. No economic activity should also be neglected, which means a lot in these pandemic conditions,” said the acting mayor of the City of Zagreb, Jelena Pavičić Vukičević.
Due to anti-epidemic measures, the tournament will be closed to the public, and matches will be available to watch via the streaming service on the official website of the ATP Tour (www.atptour.com) and the social networks of HTS.
To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.
To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.