Croats in Australian Open: Čilić, Martić into Final 32, Vekić Out

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Croatia’s best tennis player Marin Čilić advanced to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, though it was no walk in the park. 

Mostly good news for Croatia’s representatives on this Australian Open Wednesday as Marin Čilić and Petra Martić have moved into the third round of the tournament. Donna Vekić, however, was unlucky. 

First up, Croatia’s best tennis player Marin Čilić secured the third round of this year’s Grand Slam tournament after defeating MacKenzie McDonald 7:5, 6:7 (9), 6:4, 6:4. Čilić sealed the victory after three hours and 37 minutes of play. 

Čilić had a break at the start, but in the next game, McDonald returned (2:1). However, in the twelfth game of the first set Marin’s pressure paid off and he took back the service at 7:5 to win the first. The second set was decided with a tie-break in which McDonald was more successful at 11:9. The third set was equally as exciting, where both tennis players lost their service, but Marin was more successful in the end and had one break more (3:2).

In the fourth set, Čilic took McDonald’s serve to serve for the victory. Marin had 25 aces in the match, while McDonald had nine. Čilić had six double faults, while McDonald had only two.

Čilić will play 35-year-old Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in the round of 32 on Friday. 

Croatian female tennis player Petra Martić will also take part in the third round of this year’s Grand Slam tournament, after winning 6-4 and 7-5 against the Czech player Markéta Vondroušová. It was another great performance by Petra Martić, who is also going into the third round without losing a set.

In the first set we saw a series of breaks on both sides, and only at a score of 4:3 did Martić manage to keep the service and gain the advantage. In the end, she managed to win the set at a score of 5:4.

In the second set, Martić had the first break at 3:3, but when serving for the match, she lost her starting kick. Nevertheless, at 5:5, Martić won the next two games to claim victory and pass into the next round.

In the next round, Martić will play against American Sloane Stephens. Recall, in the first round of the Australian Open, Martić overcame British player Heather Watson 6:1, 6:2.

Croatia’s other female tennis player in the tournament Donna Vekić failed to advance any further. In the second round, the Osijek native lost to Australian Kimberly Birrell 4:6, 6:4, 1:6.

On Thursday, Borna Ćorić will face Márton Fucsovics, Ivo Karlović will meet Kei Nishikori, and 2018 Australian Open winner Mate Pavić will team up with partner Oliver Marach for a doubles match against Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi. 

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