Istria - tennis destination

Istria’s long tennis tradition

Although best known for both its gorgeous coast and inland areas, its top-quality wines and its olive oils, Istria has many other charms and has been an extremely popular destination for recreational and professional tennis players for decades.

Istria’s tennis history began at the end of the 19th century in Pula, and the Austrian baron, Gottfried Meyern Hohenbergat is credited with its beginnings.

Since the 1960s, a significant number of tennis courts have been built on the western coast of the peninsula, and then in other parts of Istria, along with an accelerated development of tourism there. Due to its excellent year-round climate, this area has proved to be perfect for clay tennis courts, which are often located not far from the sea, near pine forests, beaches, campsites or hotels.

Tennis courts in Umag and Novigrad, on the Poreč Riviera, in Vrsar and Rovinj, in southern Istria and Rabac, as well as in the central part of the Istrian peninsula, are sure to delight recreationists, and are an excellent choice for tennis clubs and individuals for training and preparation.

The abundance of courts and favourable climate here have contributed to the fact that in the early 1970s the first international tennis tournament in Croatia took place in Istria - the Istarska rivijera, a sporting event with a rich tradition and continuity. Goran Ivanišević, Boris Becker, Thomas Muster, Goran Prpić, Cédric Pioline, Magnus Gustafsson, Nicklas Kulti, Petr Korda, Bohdan Ulihrach and many other famous titans of the sport took their first steps in the professional world of tennis at this tournament. Even today, young tennis players at the Istarska rivijera tournaments gain their first professional experience and points on the ATP rankings.

One of the most famous tennis matches in this part of Europe is the glamorous Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, part of the ATP World Tour 250 series, which has been taking place in the Istrian city of Umag since 1990. It has been won by Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya, Stanislas Wawrinka, Tommy Robredo, Nikolay Davydenko, Marin Čilić and many others, and is played at an attractive tennis complex just a step away from the sea.

The Croatia Open Umag is a unique combination of tennis matches, concerts and entertainment as well as the finest gourmet offer, which is combined into unique experiences for all ages that make it one of the most visited events in Croatia and the crown of a long tennis tradition in Istria.