PORTOROZ, August 12, 2020
The organizers of the traditional Zavarovalnica Sava Slovenia Open met in Portoroz on Monday to talk about the reasons for the cancellation of this year’s ATP Challenger tournament, while revealing plans for the future of Slovenia’s biggest men’s tennis competition.
“The tournament is a very important event for our municipality,” Đenio Zadkovic, the mayor of Piran, said during the press conference. “At the beginning of my term I pointed out that culture and sport will play a very important part for me. Our municipality has been known for many years as a tennis destination, where we have organized many competitions in the past. Last year it was very nice to see that our player Aljaz Bedene won the tournament. My wish is that Portoroz continues to develop tennis. Sports tourism is one of the goals of my tenure. That’s also why we continue to proceed with our project to build an athletic stadium and playgrounds for different ball games.”
Slovenia Open to return next year
The ATP Challenger event was supposed to start with the qualifying last weekend. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the uncertain situation in Europe and the rest of the world, however, the tournament was cancelled and postponed to 2021.
“We fought until the last day to host the tournament in Portoroz for the eighth time in a row, but at a certain point we had to make a decision. I believe that we will be even stronger after the coronavirus and that the tournament will be organized at an even higher level next year,” tournament director Aljaz Kos stated.
Kavcic and Rola attend Portoroz Tennis Festival
A couple of Slovenia’s best tennis players are also present at the Adriatic seaside resort and spa town. World No. 288 Blaz Kavcic, who has played quite a few national tournaments in Slovenia in recent months, will compete in this week’s Portoroz Tennis Festival, which began on Monday:
“It was a shock to the whole world,” Kavcic said concerning the pandemic. “We look at many things completely differently now. However, the slightly longer suspension of the tennis tour suited me. In the past I came back too quickly many times after injuries and I never took enough time to prepare well. Today, I feel good in the morning. I wake up without pain, I enjoy practicing. It is true, however, that perhaps this break was a little too long, so I can’t wait to get back to the usual tennis rhythm. My goal is to play at Roland Garros in Paris. I’m lucky to have a protected ranking that I can use for two tournaments. Until then, I will play in Slovenia, first here in Portoroz.”
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World No. 141 Blaz Rola said: “During the pandemic, I spent more time with my family. It was hard to prepare as we didn’t know when the tour would resume. I will not play in Portoroz, as I am going compete in the ATP Challenger tournaments in Prague, where strict protocols will apply. I will arrive as early as Thursday, where I will first undergo a corona testing. Let’s not forget, I competed in Belgrade, after which I had to go to a 14-day quarantine when I got home.”
The Tennis Festival in Portoroz started on Monday and will run until next Saturday. Competitions in all age categories will take place on the tennis courts of the local tennis club.