January 22, 2019 – Croatia’s last remaining representative in the Australian Open, Mate Pavić, is in the mixed doubles quarter-final.
It hasn’t been the most impressive of runs at the 2019 Australian Open for Croatia’s tennis players. Recall, Croatia’s best tennis player Marin Čilić was eliminated in the round of 16 to Roberto Bautista Agut, and Borna Ćorić fell on Monday to Lucas Pouille in the same round.
In doubles and mixed doubles, Croatia was also mostly unlucky – Nikola Mektić lost in the men’s doubles round of 16, Franko Škugor fell out in the round of 32 in both, as did Ivan Dodig, and Petra Martić was unlucky in the women’s doubles round of 16 on Monday.
We do have one superstar of Croatian tennis left in the tournament, and that is Mate Pavić – the Split native who won the Australian Open title in both men’s and mixed doubles in 2018. Though Pavić and his men’s doubles partner Oliver Marach fell out of the competition in the round of 32, Pavić and mixed doubles partner Gabriela Dabrowski have advanced to the quarter-final of the tournament!
Pavić and Dabrowski defeated Jean-Julien Rojer and Chan Hao-ching in the round of 16 on Tuesday, winning both sets 6:4, 6:3. The Croatian-Canadian duo was brilliant, winning eight aces, 73% on their first serve and 94% on their second serve. Pavić and Dabrowski won 3 break points, and in total earned 59 points to Rojer and Hao-ching’s 42.
Croatia’s only remaining representative in the tournament will face British player Neal Skupski and his Spanish partner Maria Martínez Sánchez on Wednesday in the quarter-final.
Recall, in May 2018, Mate Pavić was named the No. 1 doubles tennis player in the world – and at just the age of 24! He was also the youngest player to accomplish such a feat since Australia’s Todd Woodbridge in 1996 and is the first Croatian ever to rank No. 1.
Before winning the 2018 Australian Open in men’s and mixed doubles, Pavić also reached the 2017 Wimbledon final in men’s doubles and won the 2016 French Open in mixed. Oh, and we can’t forget about reaching the final of the French Open in men’s doubles in 2018, too.
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