Croatian tennis success in New Zealand.
Croatian tennis player Mate Pavić and Michael Venus from New Zealand won the doubles title at the ATP tournament in Auckland. In the finals, they defeated Americans Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky 7-5, 6-4. For 22-year-old Pavić and Michael Venus, who was born and lives in Auckland, this is the second ATP title. Last year, they were the winners of the tournament in Nice. They have also played in two more ATP tournament finals, in Bogota and Stockholm, reports Index.hr on January 16, 2016.
Pavić and Venus won the tournament in Auckland just two days before the start of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, which will begin on Monday. The best Croatian tennis player Marin Ćilić will meet Thiem de Bakker from the Netherlands in the first round. De Bakker is currently ranked as 100th best player in the world. So far, they have played just one match, in September 2014 in the Davis Cup in Amsterdam when Ćilić won.
“I know what to expect from my opponent”, says Ćilić. “I have to concentrate on myself. I hope that my serve will be fine from the very beginning of the match so that I can rely on it in moments when I need it. I hope that the Australian Open will be yet another great Grand Slam tournament for me.” In the second round, Ćilić could play against another Croatian player Borna Ćorić, who will meet Spaniard Albert Ramos in the first round.
Ivo Karlović will play against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in the first round, while Ivan Dodig will meet with 19-year-old Frenchman Quentin Halys. In the ladies tournament, Ana Konjuh will play against Urzsula Radwanska, Mirjana Lučić-Baroni against Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens, while Donna Vekić will play against an opponent from the qualifying tournament.