The world’s sixth ranked player, Denmark's Holger Rune, won’t be able to participate in what would have been his third Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag in a row. He withdrew on Friday due to a back injury.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play in the Croatia Open this year as I have been having issues with my lower back which prevented me from playing at my usual level this week. I will be starting treatment on Monday, followed by some much needed rest. I wish you an amazing tournament in Umag, and hope to see you again next year,” Rune said to tournament director Tomislav Poljak. Rune participated in the Hopman Cup in Nice last week, but he didn’t win a single set in four matches.

The final two players who will receive an invitation to the main tournament were confirmed on Friday, after the first invitation was sent to the winner of this year’s Roland Garros for junior players, Dino Prižmić. The other two invitations will be awarded to Duje Ajduković and Spain’s Martín Landaluce, meaning that there will be at least three Croatian players in the main round of the tournament starting on Monday, July 24th. Apart from Prižmić and Ajduković, one of the best Croatian players of all times, Marin Čilić, also returns to the court at Stella Maris.

“Earlier on, we promised an invitation to the main tournament to Prižmić, who made his ATP tournament debut right here in Umag last year, and we have just made our decision regarding the remaining two. Duje Ajduković is a logical choice, as he has been playing very well lately. He recently played in the semi-finals of the ATP Challenger in Troyes, France, and today he is playing the quarter-final match of the same level in Tampere, Finland. Two years ago he recorded his first victory at an ATP tournament right here in Umag, and this will be his third time participating in our tournament with the organiser’s invitation,” said tournament director Tomislav Poljak, adding: “Martín Landaluce is a 17-year-old player from Spain, who won last year’s US Open for junior player, and this season, in February, he was ranked first in the junior rankings.”

As regards invitations to the qualifiers, one was awarded to Nino Serdarušić, and the other will be given to the winner of the Road to Umag by Podravka, now a traditional overture to Croatia’s only ATP tournament. The first qualifying tournament was held in Split, the second in Karlovac, the third in Samobor, and its finals (the Masters) will be held in Umag. In the semi-final matches held on Thursday, Luka Mikrut won 6:1, 6:2 against Luka Curavić, while Jerko Brkić won 3:6, 7:5, 10:5 against Domagoj Bilješko. The winner of the final match between Mikrut and Brkić, to be played at 5 p.m. on Friday, will receive an invitation to the qualifiers of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open.