POREC, March 13, 2016
Zdenek Kolar captured his maiden trophy on the ITF Pro Circuit, winning the $10,000 event in Porec, the second stop on the ISTARSKA RIVIJERA clay court swing during March.
The 19-year-old Czech rallied back against Yannick Maden in Sunday’s final between two unseeded players, celebrating a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory. In front of about 30 spectators, Kolar had the better start into the match when he capitalized on his first break point in the second game but the 26-year-old German gained the re-break. Kolar was very aggressive but overcooked a couple of baseline shots and lost his serve in the seventh game again. Maden served the set out in the 10th game.
In the following, Kolar found better length in his shots, gaining a 4-0 lead in the second set and was more powerful, putting a lot of pressure on his opponent. The teenager, who appeared in his first final on the ITF Pro Circuit converted his first match point after two hours and 17 minutes.
“In the beginning I made a lot of errors and Yannick played really strong. I improved during the second and third set. I was more solid and Yannick produced a couple of easy mistakes, which helped me as well. I am very happy to claim my first title here,” Kolar was satisfied after lifting the trophy. “I will stay here in Istria for the next two weeks, playing in Pula and Opatija.”
Kolar is a promising player from a country, which has already produced a lot of tennis stars. “Of course I like Tomas Berdych but also Rafael Nadal. He is mentally very strong and plays great tennis, in particular on clay courts. Tomas is hitting hard playing very aggressively. We were on the same team during the Extra League in December. This was a great experience,” the world number 554 said. He takes away $1,440 in prize money as well as 18 ATP ranking points.
Maden played his second final of the season after he had won the title in Shrewsbury. “Conditions were pretty difficult today with the wind, which was changing a lot. Courts were actually pretty good but there were also some bad bounces. He managed to play in a way I don’t like, very fast with flat shots. He was aggressive and deserved to win,” the German was a fair loser.
“I will have one week off now. Then I will probably go to Turkey and Bahrain, back on hard courts. So I will stay on the Future Circuit in order to gain a couple of more points,” he added.
The Istrian clay court swing moves on to Pula, the largest city of the peninsula. The organizers of the oldest tournaments in Croatia, which are in their 44th edtion are optimistic that the series will continue next year as well. “With the increase in prize money it will be tough, but we try to manage it,” tournament director Mirna Grozdanic said.