Saturday at the Tennis Center Firule was the day of the draw for the main tournament of the ATP Challenger Split Open 2021 in the individual competition, qualifications and doubles competition.
Unfortunately, due to a back injury, last year's semifinalist Borna Gojo will not perform, so instead, the invitation for the main tournament went to 16-year-old Mili Poljičak, who will play against Australian Aleksandar Vukić in the first round. The second invitation went to another Split trump card, Duje Ajduković, who is defending last year's semifinal against the popular German of Jamaican origin, Dustin Brown, once the 64th tennis player in the world. Brown became famous in 2015 when he shocked Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. The third invitation from the organizers went to Nino Serdarušić, who opens against the British Jay Clarke.


The first holder, as last year, is the Portuguese Pedro Sousa, who then lost in the final to Francisco Cerundol. His first opponent is the Pole Kacper Zuk. The main star of the tournament, Bernard Tomić, is connected with the seventh seed, Kimmer Coppejans from Belgium. The famous Czech, Lukas Rosol, who, like Brown, also defeated Nadal at Wimbledon (2012), is playing against fifth seed Danilo Petrovic, and the former double junior Grand Slam finalist, Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was eliminated in Miami three years ago, will also perform in Split. Roger Federer. His opponent is eighth seed Filip Horansky from Slovakia.


Ajduković, Serdarušić and Poljička will be joined through the qualifications by four compatriots - Matija Pecotić and Božo Barun, who won the pre-qualifications, and Luka Mikrut and Jerko Brkić, to whom the organizers handed out invitations.


Nineteen-year-old Baron has the toughest possible opponent, No 1seed and Slovenian routine player Blaž Kavčič, a former Top 100 tennis player. Pecotić, who is set for the No 6 seed, is moving against the Frenchman Matteo Martineau, 16-year-old Mikrut will try to offer the best possible resistance to the No 2 seed Tung-Lin Wu from Chinese Taipei, while Brkić goes to the No 4 seed Lukas Klein from Slovakia. To enter the main event, each tennis player has to overpower two opponents.

The first round of qualification is played on Sunday, Easter. The match between Mikrut and Wu is scheduled for 11 am on the Central Court of the Tennis Center Firule, where Brkić and Klein will play the third and last match of the day. From 11 am on field 3, Kavčič and Barun will play, and then Pecotić and Martineau.

As for the doubles tournament, last year’s winners Treat Huey and Nathaniel Lammons are missing this year, but we again have a few interesting names on the list of participants. Among them are four Croatian couples, three of whom received invitations from the organizers. These are mostly young forces, and the most difficult job will be done by Karlo Krolo and Luka Mikrut, who will go to the first seed Andrej Golubev and Aleksandar Nedovjesov from Kazakhstan. Golubev and Nedovjesov can boast victories in the Davis Cup against Federer and Wawrinka in Geneva in 2014 and Djoković and Zimonjić in Belgrade in 2016, and they have five joint titles at the Challenger tournaments.


Duje Kekez and Mili Poljičak will look for a surprise against the No4 seed Purava Raja from India and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn from Austria, while Duje Ajduković and Marino Jakić will go to the Czechs Zdenek Kolar and Lukaš Rosol. If both of our doubles win, they will play each other in the second round. Brothers Ivan and Matej Sabanov open against Danilo Petrović from Serbia and Mohamed Safwat from Egypt.


From the other players in the draw, we can single out Alban Olivetti from France, the owner of the second fastest serve of all time (257.5 km / h), the already mentioned Dustin Brown and the American James Cerretani and the Canadian Adil Shamasdin, who compete in doubles at all levels (ATP, Challenger, ITF ) combined to win as many as 66 tournaments, seven of them together.


Sousa (Por, 1) – Zuk (Polj)
Clarke (VB) – Serdarušić (Hrv, WC)
Kvalifikant – Kolar (Češ)
Kokkinakis (Aus, PR) – Horansky (Svk, 8)
Safwat (Egi, 4) – kvalifikant
E. Ymer (Šve) – Muller (Fra)
Vukić (Aus) – Poljičak (Hrv, WC)
Tomić (Aus) – Coppejans (Bel, 7)
Petrović (Srb, 5) – Rosol (Češ)
Domingues (Por) – Marterer (Nje)
Bolt (Aus) – kvalifikant
Collarini (Arg) – Ofner (Aut, 3)
Rola (Slo, 6) – Popko (Kaz)
Ajduković (Hrv, WC) – Brown (Nje, PR)
Kvalifikant – Ilkel (Tur)
Haase (Niz) – Polmans (Aus, 2)


Kavčič (Slo, 1) – Barun (Hrv, WC)
Martineau (Fra) – Pecotić (Hrv, 6)
Wu (Tpe, 2) – Mikrut (Hrv, WC)
Veldheer (Niz) – Ignatik (Bje, 7)
Santillan (Aus, 3) – Wang (Fra, PR)
Zekić (Srb) – Fatić (BiH, 8)
Klein (Svk, 4) – Brkić (Hrv, WC)
Doumbia (Fra) – Bašić (BiH, 5)


Golubev/Nedovjesov (Kaz, 1) – Krolo/Mikrut (Hrv, WC)
Coppejans/Martos Gornes (Bel/Špa) – Brown/Margaroli (Nje/Švi)
Raja/Weissborn (Ind/Aut, 4) – Kekez/Poljičak (Hrv, WC)
Ajduković/Jakić (Hrv, WC) – Kolar/Rosol (Češ)

Doumbia/Reboul (Fra) – Walkow/Zielinski (Polj)
Cerretani/Shamasdin (SAD/Kan) – Galloway/Lawson (SAD, 3)
Petrović/Safwat (Srb/Egi) – I. Sabanov/M. Sabanov (Hrv)
Bolt/Polmans (Aus) – Olivetti/Reid (Fra/Aus, 2)