UMAG, July 17, 2016
Saturday night’s spectacular opening of the 27th ATP tournament Konzum Croatia Open Umag exceeded all expectations. Even though the introductory program had been excellent, what the main event brought offered so much more. The sporting peak of the day was the exhibition match between tennis legends Goran Ivanišević, Andre Agassi and Juan Carlos Ferrero, and everything just exploded when over 15,000 gathered at the Dance Arena to have fun with Jelena Rozga and Halid Bešlić until late in the night. It was a perfect ending to a day that had offered a tiny spectacle every hour on the hour.
In the morning, Andre Agassi was welcomed to Umag by Mayor Vili Bassanese. It was an opportunity for one of the greatest tennis players of all times to walk around Umag in the company of Goran Ivanišević and Juan Carlos Ferrero, and he fell for the place right away. He shared his impressions at the press conference right afterwards, immediately announcing his return to Croatia with his wife, the legendary Steffi Graf.
Early afternoon hours were dedicated to the youngsters. This year’s Kids’ Day was the biggest ever, with stands packed with people watching as around 500 children tried their hand at hitting the ball with Agassi, Ivanišević and Ferrero. It was the start of the remainder of the day during which a stampede started every time the three greats appeared somewhere. The meet at the Social Arena was too brief for giving autographs and taking photos with everyone but eventually they all had at least a moment in the company of these tennis legends.
The introduction to the main event of the evening was the renaming of the ATP Stadium to Goran Ivanišević Stadium, and already the emotions were sky-high. An hour later, when Ivanišević and Agassi went out onto the court, the stands exploded. Even though the American was prevented by a back injury from playing long with Goran, everyone just kept singing “how good it is to see you again…”
An added bonus were two young tennis players, Marc Majdandžić and Dino Prižmić, who showed that the Croatian tennis not only had a great past and present but could also look forward to an amazing future.
Immediately after the sports stars came the icing on the cake in the form of a musical spectacle. Jelena Rozga opened, with over 15,000 people singing her biggest hits until it was time for the music legend Halid Bešlić to come onto the stage.
Thus, the 27th Konzum Croatia Open Umag announced in the best possible way the outstanding week that is ahead of us. It will provide us with a number of excellent matches, another exhibition match, this time between Donna Vekić and the US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, and an excellent gourmet and party program with something for all visitors.