Media conference held on the occasion of the 10th edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors

Media conference held on the occasion of the 10th edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors Zagreb Indoors
Čilić: This tournament is my springboard and a firm basis for the season

From January 31st to February 8th, 2015, tennis balls will once again whiz around from morning to evening in the Dom Sportova Sports Hall, and Zagreb, thanks to tennis players and the jubilee 10th edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors will again be in the centre of public world sports.

It is an established tradition that the fight for the grandiose winner's trophy involves all the best Croatian tennis players joined by present and future world tennis stars. This tradition has not been abandoned for the tenth birthday of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors. On the contrary, the Dom Sportova Sports Hall will gather all active former winners, including Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig of Croatia, the Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, the Ukrainian Serghiy Stakhovsky and the Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Naturally, Ivan Ljubičić, the tournament's ambassador, will not miss the opportunity to return to the hall in which he became the first PBZ Zagreb Indoors winner. It is common knowledge that the first winners are always special.

Marin Čilić, the US Open champion currently ranked world number nine, has already celebrated victory in the Dom Sportova sports hall for a record four times. In February 2015 he will be after new records. The best Croatian tennis players will, under the guidance of his coach Goran Ivanišević, try to prolong the winner's series started in 2013 by conquering one tournament three times in a row for the first time in his career, just as his coach managed to do at the Croatian Indoors in Zagreb and Split, from 1996 to 1998.

"This is one of the most important Croatian tournaments, particularly for young players. It has always been my springboard and a firm basis for the season. After winning last year's titles, I continued the longest winning streak in my career at other tournaments as well. I am glad that all the best Croatian players will again get together, and I believe that there will also be a few wild cards for the young hopes", said Marin Čilić, defender of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors title.

In addition to Marin, the Croatian aces in the Dom Sportova Sports Hall will again include the longest-playing active ATP Tour participant Ivo Karlović; winner of the 2011 PBZ Zagreb Indoors, Ivan Dodig, who had his 30th birthday today; and 18-year-old Borna Ćorić, this year's recipient of the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award.

"When we thought about what to do for the tournament's tenth edition, one of the ideas put forward was to again gather all the best Croatian tennis players and the other was to gather all the former champions. We are happy that we have been able to do both. We have all the best Croatian players led by Marin Čilić, to whom we are especially grateful for managing to include the PBZ Zagreb Indoors in his busy timetable. There are also all the active former winners, as well as the tournament's ambassador Ivan Ljubičić, who will not be playing but will be with us all the way", said the tournament's director Branimir Horvat at a press conference held at the Westin Hotel. He and his team have managed to once again organize an event of world importance, from which the television picture and voice of Zagreb and Croatia will travel to 160 countries on five continents.

The significance of the tournament for Zagreb and Croatia was particularly emphasised by Zlatko Mateša, President of the Croatian Olympic Committee.

"The sports dimension of this event is unquestionable. There are very few such sporting events in Croatia and they should not be viewed as expenditure but as promotion. If we were to pay for the promotion over television broadcasts, the amounts would exceed the budget of the whole tournament", stressed Mateša.

Keen interest of foreign media is yet another example of the tournament's quality and atmosphere offered by Zagreb. Live broadcasts and repeats of the matches from Zagreb will be shown by 25 TV stations, with 150 countries from 5 continents confirmed so far. Potentially, over 72 million households will be able to watch the events from Zagreb via the leading TV stations.
This year, the City of Zagreb, which has been financially supporting the organisation since the first edition, does not have financial means allocated to the tournament in its budget for the first time, which was regretfully announced by Milan Čolić from the City Office for Education, Culture and Sport.

"In the current circumstances we are unable to financially support the tournament, which we are very unhappy about. Despite this, the organizer has persisted on holding the tournament, which testifies to its quality. I hope that we will manage to overcome the difficulties by next year and that we will again be able to support the tournament as we did in previous years."

This task will be made somewhat easier with the response and help of Croatian tennis lovers. The list of players participating in the 10th edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors is a guarantee for supreme tennis enjoyment. Affordable ticket prices ranging from 20 to 50 kunas are yet another incentive for the stands in the Dom Sportova Sports Hall to be full.