Marco Cecchinato lifted the big blue trophy intended for the winner of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open after defeating Guido Pella 6:2, 7:6 (4) in the tournament’s final. The Sicilian-born tennis player has thus become the second Italian with the title from Croatia’s only ATP tournament, the first one being his compatriot Fabio Fognini.
“This was a great week for me and I am thrilled to be leaving Umag with a trophy. This success is down to my whole team,” said the 25-year-old Italian. Cecchinato received the trophy from the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who had enjoyed the 29th Umag final from the front row in the stands, in the company of her Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska. President of the Management Board of Plava Laguna, Neven Staver, presented Cecchinato with his winner’s check.
This is the second ATP title for Cecchinato, who recently excelled at Roland Garros by advancing to the semifinals. With 250 new points from Umag, the Italian will post his career-highest ranking on Monday – no. 22 in the ATP Rankings.
Guido Pella has missed out on a title for the third time in his career but will not leave Umag unhappy as he will be going up by 15 places in the ATP Rankings. “Marco was too good this time. I played well but it simply wasn’t enough… I do, however, plan to be back in Umag. I love this tournament, the city, its beaches, everything. If I get the chance, I will definitely be back,” said the Argentinian.
The final match was played in front of the packed stands. In the ten days that Croatia’s biggest sporting event was taking place, Stella Maris has seen more than 100,000 visitors. The head of state, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, said the following: “I am having a great time in Umag this evening. This is a huge sporting event greatly contributing to the tourism promotion of Umag, Istria, and Croatia.”
ATP of the Year Award presented to Claudio Tomaz
Over the past ten days, the visitors have enjoyed not just top-quality tennis but also concerts by both Croatian and international music stars, and the best of Istria’s culinary and wine offer. On the day of the singles final, there was also the award ceremony for the latest ATP Wine of the Year. The award, presented by the head of state, went to Claudio Tomaz for his aged malvasia. The winning wine was selected by the tournament’s visitors at this year’s Hidden Charms of the Istrian Wines wine tasting events. The organizers have already announced that today, they will be starting their preparations for next year when the tournament in Umag will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.