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Prižmić just needs to keep up the good work

by Goran Ivanišević


The quarter-finals in the singles competition are now behind us, and everyone who came to Stella Maris on Friday left more than satisfied. Amazing tennis and an awesome atmosphere went hand in hand.
Stan Wawrinka received a standing ovation, and the atmosphere at the grandstand was, to quote Lorenzo Sonego, “crazy”. We sadly had to say goodbye to our top-seeded player Jiří Lehečka, and given that I haven’t been able to shut up about Matteo Arnaldi and his potential, this wasn’t surprising to me, let alone a sensation. Ever since the tournament started, I’ve seen him as a dark horse with a chance to make something big happen. No one was talking about him at the beginning, but now he’s in the semi-finals, and there could possibly be still more to come.
Lorenzo Sonego won after three sets and will play in the finals, but I don’t know what happened to him in the first set when he lost the first 5 games. He managed to recover in time, so all’s well that ends well. Stan played just like he was supposed to against a very tricky opponent who keeps his cards close to his chest, and can easily kick it into high gear. He’s playing well, the audience loves him, everything is coming up Stan in this year’s tournament. He has already won the title in Umag once, and I’m sure he’d love to do it again. The way he’s playing, I don’t see why not, but the biggest challenges are still ahead of him.
What can I say about Prižmić: he played just like I expected him to. It’s clear that he hasn’t played enough matches at this level. You don’t get this experience overnight, it needs to happen gradually, but it will happen if he keeps it up. He is fully dedicated to tennis, which is sure to pay out, but his opponent today had what Dino doesn’t have – experience – playing matches like these week in and week out. Maybe Dino could’ve made it back if he had won the first set, after coming back from 3:5, but he was overly passive in the tie break. You can’t expect that a player like Popyrin will miss in situations like these. But, like I said, it was all a good lesson. Prižmić is in the right headspace and he is fully dedicated to tennis, so I expect him to grow into an excellent player.
The doubles finals are also played on Saturday. Nino Serdarušić and Blaž Rola already achieved a tremendous result, and it would be really nice if they won the title.


Goran Ivanišević

Goran Ivanišević is the most famous name of Croatian tennis and a 2001 Wimbledon winner. He started playing tennis in 1988 and finished his professional career in 2004 with 22 single titles and nine pairs titles. As of 2016, the ATP stadium in Umag carries his name.

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