Established in 1990, the ATP Tour included the new countries that didn't have the opportunity to stage the world's leading tennis players before. Yugoslavia was among those and they choose Umag as the perfect destination for their inaugural ATP event.
Located on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, Umag is one of the most beautiful places on the Adriatic coast and it has always been the favorite stops in the calendar for many players, including Thomas Muster and Carlos Moya.
The home players Goran Ivanisevic and Goran Prpic had led the first edition and they reached the final, with Prpic prevailing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to become the inaugural Umag champion. The 30th edition of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag will take place between July 15-21 and, as usual, the crowd will have the opportunity to see some exciting exhibition matches to keep themselves entertained in between serious battles for the ATP trophy.
On July 17, Ivanisevic will face Patrick Rafter in the repeat of that famous 2001 Wimbledon final that Goran won 9-7 in the fifth set on "People's Monday." Four days earlier, Ivanisevic and Prpic will compete against each other to celebrate a significant anniversary and that first Umag final from 29 years ago.
On Monday, the organizers have announced the first big names that will compete for the title, with 2016 champion Fabio Fognini and the home star Borna Coric signing to play Umag this July. The Italian recently won the first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo after beating Rafael Nadal in the semis, returning to Umag for the 11th time in the last 12 years, playing every event since 2008 except last year.
The semi-finalist in 2008 and 2011, Fabio advanced into the first final in 2013 when he won just three games against Robredo, coming back stronger three years later to grab four wins and lift that beautiful trophy. Borna Coric made his ATP debut in Umag in 2013 at the age of 16, returning a year later to reach the quarter-final and grab his first ATP wins.
Fognini was the one who toppled him after grueling two hours and 42 minutes and we could see them in the final in three months if they both deliver their best tennis. Coric has not played in Umag since 2015 and he can't wait to compete in front of the home fans once again.
"I made my first steps on the ATP Tour in Umag and I have fantastic memories of the event. With the change of Davis Cup format, Umag is the only place where we can play in front of our home crowd and you can see how much it means to us.
My best result in Umag is the quarterfinal and I will surely be extra motivated to do better than that. I would like to congratulate all the people of Umag on this important anniversary and promise I will give my best to make is extra special," said Coric.