UMAG, July 15, 2019 (Press Release)
Yesterday evening, the 30th anniversary of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag tennis tournament was celebrated in style, as is fitting, in Umag’s Trg Slobode square. Hours before the celebration, at a formal reception held at the City Hall, Umag Mayor Vili Bassanese presented a commendation to Slavko Rasberger, the first director of the ATP tournament in Umag.
“Thirty years ago, Slavko Rasberger had a vision, which he then made a reality in the best possible way, creating a globally recognizable event from a small tournament. The City of Umag would like to proudly congratulate our fellow citizen Slavko Rasberger for turning this tournament into a cradle of Croatian tennis,” Umag Mayor Vili Bassanese said.
The founder of the tournament in Umag could not hide his tears after receiving such a recognition, thanking everyone who had contributed to putting both Umag and Croatia on the world’s tennis map. “Firstly, I would like to thank my family for their support, as well as the best team in the world, who worked alongside me on developing this renowned tournament. This is one of the greatest recognitions I have ever received, which is why I am especially emotional today, but also proud of what this event has grown into,” Slavko Rasberger stressed in his speech.
On behalf of Plava Laguna, Rasberger was congratulated by the Chairman of the tournament’s Organizing Committee and President of the Management Board of Plava Laguna, Neven Staver. “I would like to congratulate Mr. Rasberger, the founder of the tournament in Umag, for his outstanding contribution not only to the development of this ATP event in Umag but also to the development of tennis in general, both in Croatia and abroad,” Staver stated.
Following the reception, the celebration of the tournament’s 30th anniversary continued in the nearby Trg Slobode with a diverse entertainment program. The celebration was attended by the members of the tournament’s organization and services, hard-working ball boys and girls, popular Umag hostesses, Umag locals and their guests. There was even a birthday cake there that was brought out and cut for the occasion. Singing the tournament’s traditional closing ceremony song What a Wonderful World, musician Goran Griff added to the welcoming and quite pleasant atmosphere in the square.
Finally, the hostesses gifted the locals and guests with the recognizable tennis balls, symbols of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, as a token of remembrance of the anniversary edition of Croatia’s oldest sporting event and the region’s most influential tennis event. Moreover, along with the many attractive surprises, the Free Dream Advanced dance company from Umag did a few dance numbers. Each year, the tournament in Umag attracts a growing number of visitors and has become one of the most event-packed festivals on one of the most beautiful locations on the ATP World Tour.