Tennis Article

Tomislav Poljak Named Umag Open Tournament Director

Tomislav Poljak Named Umag Open Tournament Director Photo: TT
Andrey Rublev playing at the 2019 ATP Umag Open in Croatia.

The ATP Tour tennis tournament held since 1990, has recently announced former tennis player Tomislav Poljak as Tournament Director.

It’s a huge honor and responsibility to take on the TD role at such a prestigious event,” he said to Sports Pundit.

Poljak succeeds Lawrence Frankopan, who stepped down from the role after six years running the event.

The owner of StarWing Sports Management will follow closely the ATP 250 tournament sponsored by Plava Laguna from an advisory role from now onwards.

I would like to thank Plava Laguna for their years of cooperation and am looking forward to continuing working on the tournament in an advisory capacity. Tomislav has been part of the team for years, and I believe he will meticulously handle the tasks before him, especially now that he has moved to Umag,” Frankopan stated.

From 2015 and during his administration, Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini, Andrey Rublev, Marco Cecchinato, and in 2019, Serbian Dusan Lajovic, were crowned champions.

The oldest tennis tournament in Croatia is played on clay courts, enjoying great success over the years.

In May, the ATP confirmed the tournament would not proceed as scheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Talking to Sports Pundit about the future of the tournament and his new role, Poljak explained: “Not much will change in the way we will run the event as StarWing Sports Management will continue to manage it like we’ve done for the past six years.”

He added: “I need to express my gratitude to Plava Laguna as the license owner for the trust and belief and also the CEO and founder of StarWing Lawrence Frankopan, who has passed the role on to me after successfully running the event since 2015.”

On the plans ahead of the 2021 edition, Poljak commented: “We are preparing for the event by familiarizing ourselves with detailed protocols that have been put in place by the ATP. They’ve done a fantastic job in putting these protocols together and made our lives as easy as they can be in this situation.

There are eight months left until the start of the 31st Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, and a lot can change by then, but we really hope Covid-19 will be a bad memory for all of us by July 2021, and that, like every year, thousands of spectators will be able to enjoy the biggest summer tennis party on the coast of the mesmerizing Adriatic sea.”

ANECDOTES FROM UMAG

In 2017, Rublev - who was 19 at the time - reached his first ATP Tour final to seal the maiden tournament victory of his career, and it all happened in Umag.

The Russian entered the main tournament as Lucky Loser, and from there, he took the event by storm, reaching the finals to lift his first ATP tournament trophy.

The Moscow native enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2020, capturing five ATP titles, which lead him to debut in the Nitto ATP Finals, ending the year, with a career-high of world No. 8 in the ATP Rankings.

In 2015, Carlos Moya, the retired world no. 1 tennis player, made an appearance at the Umag ATP stadium to play an exhibition game against Magnus Norman - Stanislas Wawrinka’s former coach.

The Spaniard prevailed over Norman, and despite it being a friendly match, it sealed the title that was already his “King of Umag.”

Rafael Nadal’s coach holds the record for most wins in the tournament, having triumphed on Croatian soil on five occasions, 1996-2001-2002-2003 and 2007.

The 31st edition of the Croatia Open Umag will take place from 16 to 25 July 2021.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and a journalist passionate about sports, particularly motorsport, tennis, and soccer

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