Croats in Australian Open: Čilić, Martić, Vekić Move Forward

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Great results for Croats in the Australian open as Marin Čilić, Petra Martić, and Donna Vekić advance to the second round. 

Croatia’s best tennis player Marin Čilić brilliantly opened the first Grand Slam tournament of the season with a win against Australian player of Croatian descent, Bernard Tomic, 6:2, 6:4, 7:6. Čilić has thus placed into the second round of the competition, reports on January 14, 2019. 

Although many pundits expected a much more difficult ride for Croatia’s best tennis player, Čilić sailed through the match relatively smoothly. Marin played excellent tennis in the first two sets and went 2:0 without any problems. In the third set, he led 5:3 and served for the match, but then played his weakest game of the match and allowed Tomic to return in the set.

The two players took the game to a tie-break, where Čilić soared to 7:3 and celebrated against the Australian player.

In the next round, Čilić will play against the American player Mackenzie McDonald, who surprised Russia’s Rublev and celebrated with 3:1 in sets. McDonald is ranked 81st in the world. 

Croatia’s female tennis players also prevailed in their opening games of the Grand Slam tournament. 

Donna Vekić defeated French player Kristina Mladenovic 6:2, 6:4, while Petra Martić was better than British player Heather Watson 6:1, 6:2. 

Martić will play in the second round against Czech player Marketa Vondroušova, who beat Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 6:3, 6:2.

Vekić, who is the 29th-seed, will play against 20-year-old Kimberly Birrell from Australia, who received an invitation from the organizer and defeated Spain’s Paula Badosa Gibert in the first round 6:4, 6:2.

Borna Ćorić and Ivo Karlović will play on Tuesday. 

In the latest ATP ranking release on Monday, Čilić remains 7th, Ćorić is 12th, and Karlović dropped to 73rd. Donna Vekić remained in the 29th position, while Petra Martić dropped two to 32rd. 

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


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