For the first time in seven years, Umag will welcome a member of the elite Top Ten club: Fabio Fognini cracked the Top Ten singles rankings a few weeks ago and will arrive in Umag ranked as the world number 10.
“This will be my eleventh time playing in Umag and I am glad I will be there for the celebration of the tournament’s 30th anniversary. I would like to congratulate the citizens of Umag and the organizers of the tournament on this special anniversary. I would also like to thank all the fans for the love and support that they have been showing me year after year. Hopefully, there will once again be a lot of Italians rooting for me on the courts in Umag in July,” said Fabio Fognini.
Borna Ćorić will compete at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag as number 14 in the world and Croatia’s top-ranked tennis player. It will be the first time since 2014, when Marin Čilić reached the semifinal, that the fans in Umag will be able to root for the best-ranked homegrown player.
Apart from the already announced players’ list, which includes two Top 35 players, Guido Pella (ranked 26th in the ATP world rankings) and Laslo Đere (world number 35), and the last three tournament champions, Fabio Fognini (2016), Andrey Rublev (2017) and Marco Cecchinato (2018), the organizers have also revealed the winners of the wild-card entries into the main draw: Viktor Galović, Nino Serdarušić and Jannik Sinner.
Viktor Galović, Croatia’s Davis Cup player and member of the team that won last year’s title at the oldest team competition in the world, will play in the main draw of the tournament in Umag for the very first time. Viktor is a Top 200 player and will have an opportunity to improve his career-best result, the quarterfinal of the ATP tournament in Gstaad in 2018.
Jannik Sinner is another debutant at the tournament in Umag. Late last year, this sensational teenager from Italy was ranked 770th, and today, at barely 18 years of age, he is number 210 in the ATP world rankings, and experts around the globe believe he will have a great tennis future.
The third wild-card entry has been awarded to Nino Serdarušić, the 22-year-old Zagreb native, who played in the main draw of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag twice before. Both times he put up quite a fight, and this year, he hopes he will get his career-first ATP win.
“We were quite pleased with the players’ list for the main draw, and I believe we have complemented it well with our wild-card entries. Viktor and Nino have deserved the wild cards as Croatia’s best candidates, and we always take good care of the homegrown players. Jannik, on the other hand, is the future of both Italian and international tennis. Hopefully, this will be the start of his long-lasting relationship with Umag. Last year, for instance, we awarded one of the wild-card entries to Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is today on the brink of entering the Top 20, one of the brightest young stars on the Tour and, most likely, a future Grand Slam champion,” explained the tournament’s director Lawrence Frankopan.
Along with the list of wild-card entries, the tournament also announced the preliminary qualifying players’ list, which has some very interesting names on it.
The list in question is topped by the 2013 Umag champion and former world number five, Spain’s Tommy Robredo. He is followed by Slovenia’s Blaž Kavčič, who will be back on court following a long injury break, as well as two extremely talented Next-Gen players, 20-year-old Frenchman Corentin Moutet and 19-year-old German Rudolf Molleker, among others.
All this guarantees that Umag will once again be a source of excellent tennis, right from the very start, on Sunday, July 14, when attendance to the qualifying matches at Stella Maris will be free of charge. The evening before, Umag will host an exhibition match starring the finalists of the first ever edition of the Umag tournament, Goran Prpić and Goran Ivanišević, while on Wednesday, July 17, the fans will be able to enjoy the second exhibition match – a repeat of the legendary 2001 Wimbledon final between Ivanišević and Patrick Rafter.