September 22, 2020 – Split Open, part of the ATP Challenger Tour, will be held at the Firule tennis center from September 28 to October 4, 2020. For the first time in history, an international world-class tournament from the ATP system will be held continuously in Split.
When Roland Garros begins, an ATP Challenger Tour will be held in the Firule area of Split from September 28 to October 4, 2020. Thus, tennis returns to Split after 22 years, and one of the most deserving people for that is the tournament director Ismar Moralic, a tennis fan who lives in Zagreb.
“The tournament was supposed to be played in April, but due to the coronavirus, we managed to fight for a new tournament. Qualifications for the main tournament begin on September 26. We are glad that the tournament is of exceptional quality, even though it is played in the week of Roland Garros. The last tennis player to enter the main draw is 180th in the rankings. This is a fact that even some tennis tournaments from the main series of $500,000 cannot boast,” said Moralic, and then added:
“The tournament is played under extremely strict measures prescribed by the ATP and the Croatian Institute of Public Health. We will strictly adhere to them. We are happy that the spectators will be in the stands, and we will know how many there will be 48 hours before the start of the tournament. Some of the special features of the tournament are the reduced number of people on the court. During the matches, the line umpires will not be until the semifinals. From the semifinals, only three line umpires will be allowed alongside the chief umpire and a smaller number of children to collect. From the first day when this tournament was proposed, the City of Split, the County, the Split Tourist Board, and the Public Institution Sports Facilities stood behind us.”
The importance of this tournament for the city of Split was emphasized by the department head for social activities, Mate Omazic.
“At the first idea when Mr. Moralic called us, we reluctantly accepted it to give a boost to tennis. We know that the club has young talents, and they are trying to restore the splendor of Split tennis. I hope this will contribute to the development of the sport. The plan was late April, early May. It is an ideal term, pre-season, we hope that we will have that term from 2021. We expect good tennis,” said Omazic.
County head for education, culture, and sports Tomislav Đonlic pointed out his satisfaction that tennis is returning to Firule.
“Firule gave birth to big names in Croatian and international tennis. Goran, as the greatest we all carry in our hearts, but also those before and after him. I am glad that this initiative has not been abandoned. Congratulations to everyone involved in the organization. We hope for this to become a tradition. The county will be there as a partner in the implementation of this project,” said Đonlic.
On behalf of the Sports Facilities Sports Institution, Tomislav Borozan pointed out the good cooperation with the Split Tennis Club 1950.
“From the day when the City of Split fully entrusted us with the maintenance of this tennis center, we have taken our work seriously. One tournament like this is an added wind at our backs. Our cooperation with TK Split 1950 is at an excellent level; we are very satisfied. We were sorry that the tournament was postponed, and these days we will work if necessary in three shifts to get everything ready.”
On behalf of the Split Tennis Club 1950, President Ivica Kekez spoke about history.
“This year, we are celebrating 70 years of playing tennis in this area. The founders were tennis enthusiasts and devoted their entire lives to working with children. This has resulted in people like Nikola Pilic. I assure you that our coaches, all of them who work with children, can work in any international center. We now have a tournament that is a stimulus for all children to continue to develop and have strong players in the future, which will be good for Croatian sport.”
Source: Dalmatinski Portal