2016-05-31 14:22:00 CEST
Croatian stars pining for Poreč success
They say that there’s no place like home.
And for the 10 Croatian teams currently entered for this year’s Poreč Major at the end of June, they hope to make home advantage count on the sand this year.
Twelve months ago the beautiful spot on the Adriatic coastline hosted a Major Series event for the first time. It was, pardon the pun, a major success – and that’s a pretty damn good reason why we’re going back again this year!
It might have been a scorching week on and off the sand but it wasn’t quite as hot for the host nation when it came to digging and diving with a beach volleyball.
As hosts, Croatia had six teams entered into the competition with four (two men’s, two women’s) given wildcards to the Pool Play. None of the teams managed to win a match – but then again they were competing against the world’s very best.
In the main draw Maja Rosko and Antea Tadic had to take on Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug (ARG) and Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth (ITA), while Tea Juric and Dalida Vernier were handed an even tougher assignment against Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca (BRA), Emily Day and Jennifer Kessy, (USA) and Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan (CAN).
And it wasn’t any easier for the Croatian guys either. Filip Silic and Ivan Zeljkovic had to face Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov (RUS) and Evandro Gonçalves and Pedro Solberg (BRA) in the main draw.
Meanwhile Niksa Dellorco and Ivan Djordjevic were thrown in at the deep end as they not only had to take on Canadians Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter and Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk but also Brazilian World Champions Alison Cerutti and Oscar Bruno Schmidt.
Despite the disappointment, the Croatians are hoping for better luck this summer – especially in the women’s competition with the formation of three brand new teams as they aim to give the Croatian fans something to shout about.
The experienced Dina Becic, 29, will now pair up with Jurja Vlašic, 22, while Maja Rosko, 24, joins forces with Martina Kovacevic, 21. And there are two new faces this year in the shape of Sara Radanovic, 24, and 20-year-old Samanta Fabris. Also throwing their hat into the entry ring are 17-year-old pair Franka Jakolis and Ana Sutalo. Could the teenagers be the answer?
All three men’s teams from last year aim to go toe-to-toe with the super stars of the World Tour, while teams consisting of Ivan Cosic/Mate Glaurdic, Marko Matic/Marko Vujnovic and Josip Pribanic/Matej Mudrovcic have also entered their home tournament.
All 10 teams crave the glory for their home nation, but regardless of what happens on the court, one thing you can guarantee in Poreč is sun and smiles. The Croatian venue radiated happiness and oozed class last year and you can bet it will do more of the same on the sand this time around.
We can’t wait!
See you soon in Poreč!