Hopefully, this euphoria will last a bit longer as this is the most beautiful thing that has happened to us since our independence. I can’t remember us ever being this united since the Homeland War, and I would like this to be the first of many great and beautiful things in the years to come.
The ATP tournament in Umag has been going on for some time now, nearly 30 years, and successfully, if I might add. That is because we have a team of people with considerable experience, who work as a well-oiled machine. Still, every edition of the tournament is a story unto itself , and this year, we will have something for everyone, as far as tennis and players are concerned.
I am glad that we have two Croatians in the tournament and that the invitations had gone to them. Hopefully, both Nino Serdarušić and Franko Škugor will use them in the best possible way. I am a bit sorry that Nino’s first opponent is a tough one, Ramos Vinolas. Moreover, due to the recent changes in the draw, his next opponent is equally dangerous: Maximilian Marterer has been getting better lately and our Nino will have a hard time beating him. Still, he has nothing to lose.
Umag is his city, and the fact that he is playing at home should not be a burden to him. When you play well, it doesn’t matter where you come from or where you are. I am confident he can surprise Marterer as he will be playing in a match that is the best and the easiest to play. The German is the favorite and he has to win the match, which means the pressure will be on him, not Nino. Nino will hopefully be able to turn that to his advantage. Over the years, Umag has shown us that surprises are more than possible.
Franko Škugor will play against Marco Trungelliti, an Argentinian that likes playing on clay. He advanced past the qualifiers and to the first round of this year’s Roland Garros, which means he will also be a tough opponent. Still, Škugor has his own trump cards and I expect their match to be an interesting one.