Croatian players Petra Martić, Ana Konjuh, and Jana Fett want to play in the 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open. Tournament Director Feliks Lukas announced the news with the support of Bol Mayor Tihomir Marinkovic at a press conference held at the Zagreb Palace Hotel on April 24th.
Lukas shared his excitement, saying “Ana played the semifinals of our tournament [in 2016], which she unfortunately had to retire because of injury, Petra won Bol in doubles [also in 2016], and Jana has not yet played in Bol, but considering how much they are progressing from year to year, I have to invest more and more energy to follow them in their success.” At the time of the press conference Martić was ranked 36th in the world, while Konjuh was 90th and Fett was 108th.
The tournament director opened his remarks pointing out that the Croatia Bol Open is the only WTA event in the region, and serves as a great opportunity for rising Croatian tennis players to launch and improve their careers. “All that our girls achieve is the result of their work…in Europe there are 20 million tennis players and to be in and near the top 100 as our girls are currently, is indeed a remarkable result,” says Lukas. He aims to use his position to raise the caliber of the tournament to provide players with the best platform possible. His biggest challenge is that the Croatia Bol Open is held during the second week of Roland Garros. Lukas says “it is definitely in the interest of Croatian tennis that our girls will play longer in Paris.” To overcome the challenge of the tournament’s place in tennis’ busy calendar, he hopes to “raise the 125K [tournament] to a higher international level that would be of great use to Croatian tennis.”
Croatian players share his sentiment. Petra Martić, who, along with Ana Konjuh, has pleasant memories of playing in Bol says, “It’s a great tournament that I hope will be kept and developed every year.” Although the official entry list is not released until mid-May, Lukas revealed that Vera Zvonareva, the 2003 Croatia Bol Open Champion and former world number two, will play in Bol this year. Other players on the unofficial list include 76th ranked Italian Sara Errani, who played in Bol last year, and Danielle Collins, an American ranked 49th in the world who recently upset Venus Williams in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.
The 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open starts on Tuesday, June 5th, with the final taking place on Sunday, June 10th at 6pm. This year’s tournament will have a special charitable focus as total ticket revenue will be donated to a safe house located in Dalmatia that provides housing and care for female victims of domestic violence.