UMAG, July 23, 2015
The second round concluded on Day 4 at the Konzum Croatia Open in Umag with the remaining six singles matches, which again took place in hot conditions combined with high humidity.
Local hero Borna Coric defeated Aljaz Bedene in front of his thrilled home crowd on centre court, winning 6-4, 6-4. Both players were pretty solid on their first serves but the 18-year-old Croat won 55% of his second service points and capitalized on three of his eight break point chances, converting his first match point after one hour and 24 minutes. Coric advanced to his third quarterfinals of the season, following Estoril and Dubai, where he finally made it to the semis.
“I didn’t start the match as good as I wanted but I know I can’t play excellent every time,” Coric said. “I really liked the atmosphere tonight. People were cheering for both of us which made it really electric out there.”
The teenager will face second seed Roberto Bautista-Agut. The 22-year-old Spaniard cruised past Blaz Kavcic, winning 6-1, 6-2 to open his Umag campaign. Bautista-Agut didn’t have to face a break point and converted for of his own to seal victory in only 53 minutes.
Top-seed Gael Monfils won his first match in Umag through a straight sets victory over Austrian qualifier Bastian Trinker, winning 6-4, 6-0. The 28-year-old Frenchman was untroubled, hit seven aces, saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on five of his own to finish the match after only 52 minutes.
“The conditions tonight were better as it was a bit cooler,” said Monfils, who played the final match on centre court. “I am glad I am through. I will see how I feel in the morning as I haven’t played a match since Wimbledon. Philipp is a really good player. It will be a tough match tomorrow. If I feel good it could be long.”
Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Paolo Lorenzi a second time on the tour, following his victory in Metz in 2014, winning 6-2, 7-5. The 31-year-old German was in control of the match right from the beginning, winning 78% of his second service points to close the match out after one hour and 25 minutes.
“I am really pleased with my performance today, as I dictated the match almost the entire time. I just struggled a bit in the second set, when I already had been up a break and then had to the chance for another, but I couldn’t convert. At that moment, I wasn’t that aggressive anymore and consequently Paolo found his way back. Everyone knows that he is a fighter,” Kohlschreiber analysed afterwards. “It feels good to be back on clay. I already had a couple of good matches this season on this surface. For sure, reaching the final in Munich has been the highlight,” he told and added that Umag is special stop on the ATP World Tour.
“The atmosphere here is pretty funny. There is a lot of party going on around the courts. Matches start very late and sometimes end at night. People are in a good mood and have fun, it’s a special flair,” the German enjoys playing in the coastal city in Istria, but stated that the sea is just too warm in order to get some cooling. “Of course I went swimming, as the sea is right next to the venue and it was really hot here and the humidity is still there at night. Nonetheless, I prefer when it’s warm instead of playing in chilly and windy conditions.”
Kohlschreiber played last weekend at the German team competition and also attended Austria’s Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands and will meet with Monfils for the third time this season. Kohlschreiber couldn’t manage to gain a victory in 2015 but is looking forward to the quarterfinals match on Friday. “All good things come with threes,” he just said.
Here is the original interview with Kohlschreiber for Tennis TourTalk in German:
Dominic Thiem and Andreas Haider-Maurer set an all-Austrian-affair for Friday’s quarterfinals. Fourth seed Thiem defeated Dusan Lajovic, leading 6-1, 3-1 when the Serbian was forced to retire due to heat sickness after exactly one hour of Play.
Haider-Maurer knocked out eighth seed Martin Klizan, winning 6-4, 6-4 in their second meeting. The previous one, held at the ATP Challenger in Rome back in 2011, was won by the Slovakian but the Austrian was in command today, gaining four breaks to seal victory in one hour and 36 minutes.
On Wednesday, the Executive Director of the ATP Chris Kermode has visited Umag for the first time since he took the office two years ago. He stressed that he was very impressed with the organization, atmosphere and natural beauty. On arrival in Umag, the tournament director Lawrence Frakopan thanked him personally and expressed his wish to see him visiting the tournament every year.
There is also the tournament’s request to change the surface to hard courts. “I understand the desire of the organizers to join the tournament within the hard court season, like the US Open. On the other hand, Umag is popular and well-positioned as a tournament played on clay, so even if the request does not pass, it would not be a big problem for the success of the tournament in the future,” Kermode explained.