Back 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 chose 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 one of 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, reaching the final that Prpic won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to become the inaugural Umag champion. Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag will host a strong field of players for the 30th time between July 15-21 and 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.
Fabio Fognini, Borna Coric, the defending champion Marco Cecchinato, Guido Pella, Laslo Djere, Dusan Lajovic, 2017 winner Andrey Rublev and Paolo Lorenzi should all be in the draw and the organizers have given the invitations to Viktor Galovic, Nino Serdarusic and the young Italian Jannik Sinner.
The 28-year-old Galovic has won just three ATP matches in a career (two of those in Gstaad last year) and failed to qualify here in Umag in five consecutive years between 2011-15. The 22-year-old Nino Serdarusic is ranked just inside the top-300, competing in only two ATP matches so far here in Umag in 2016 and 2018.
Jannik Sinner is one of the best players born in 2001, standing on the verge of the top-200 after winning back-to-back Bergamo Challenger and Trento and Santa Margherita Di Pula Futures crowns. In Budapest, Jannik grabbed the first ATP victory and became the first player of his generation with Masters 1000 win at home in Rome after prevailing over Steve Johnson.