Two Croatian Fed Cup players, Tena Lukas and Lea Boskovic, received wild cards into the Bol Open. Tournament Director Feliks Lukas shared the news at a press conference in Split on Wednesday, May 23 where he announced the full tournament entry list.
The wild cards came at the request of Croatia’s most successful tennis player and current Fed Cup Captain Iva Majoli. She also participated in the press conference along with her players. Lukas and Boskovic’s most recent appearance on the Croatian Fed Cup team was in February 2018 when they suffered a shocking defeat to Estonia in the fifth place playoff match. The team finished the weekend in seventh place with Bulgaria.
Since Croatia’s team missed out on making the 2019 World Group, they will remain in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I for next year’s competition. Due to the team’s surprise loss, Majoli thinks Lukas and Boskovic deserve wild cards in Bol to gain more match play. She says, “This is a chance to promote our country on a global scale because everyone on tour is constantly talking about the tournament. Playing in front of a local audience is a huge benefit for our tennis players, and this [opportunity] means a lot to our girls.”
Lukas, currently ranked no. 320 in the world, will return to the WTA Croatia Bol Open for the third time this year. The 23-year-old from Kaštela has four ITF singles titles and four ITF doubles titles. She won her most recent singles title at the ITF $15K event in Antalya, Turkey in December 2017 (d. Ormaechea 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-1). At the end of April, she made the final of the ITF $15K event in Tučepi, Croatia where she lost in three sets to Boskovic.
Currently ranked 591 in the world, Boskovic is an up and coming player new to the tour. In 2017 she wrapped up her career on the junior circuit where she achieved a combined ranking of world no. 19 in June, and reached the U.S. Open Girls’ Doubles final in August, partnering with Wang Xiyu from China. So far in 2018 she made her Fed Cup debut and reached the finals of three ITF $15K singles events. The 18-year-old from Zagreb won two of those tournaments in Hammamet, Tunisia in March (d. Shinikova 6-7(9), 6-3, 6-4) and in Tučepi, Croatia in April (d. Lukas 1-6 6-0 6-4), respectively. The 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open will be Boskovic’s first WTA tournament.
The last wild card for the 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open was awarded to former world no. 5 Eugenie Bouchard. The Canadian will make her first appearance in Bol next week.
The 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open takes place from Tuesday, June 5 through Sunday, June 10. Tickets to watch Croatia’s Fed Cup players in action can be purchased via ticketshop.hr.