And how does Umag stand? I’m not saying this because it’s a Croatian tournament, nor because we’re here now, but it’s truly a great event for the players, and it’s no surprise everyone holds it in such high regard. It’s no coincidence either, because you can’t trick players into saying one thing if they think another. If they’re unsatisfied, there’s no escape, and if they’re satisfied, you don’t have to convince them. They’ll say it out loud.
I don’t know if anyone has ever said anything bad at a press conference in Umag. I suppose they don’t have a reason to, because this isn’t a tournament like all the others. The matches don’t start early, you have a chance to sleep in and still train well or play a match in the evening. The transfer service is perfect: if you say you need a car at a particular time, a driver will be waiting. The food is exceptional and free of charge, and many don’t know that isn’t the case at all tournaments.
It might look like a little thing, but it isn’t. This shows that the tournament takes care of its players, and they won’t forget that. It’s rare for players to have this kind of treatment at an ATP 250 tournament. The Croatia Open has won plenty of awards, and no one is giving them away for free.
Every year the organization team tries to do something different, to offer something it hasn’t before. In the rest area for players, there’s a board with various activities players can sign up for if they like, the tournament also has some promotional activities they can participate in, so there’s quite a lot of choice and it creates a great picture of the tournament. Maybe it has even spoiled players in some way, because we’re all human, and the more you give the more they want, but it still leaves a great impression. The sea is literally a few metres from the stadium, the accommodation is fantastic, the atmosphere is exceptional. Players recognise that and praise the tournament.