Although Goran Ivanišević may have never won Umag, in the end, Umag won him. The large tennis stadium located right on the beach at Stella Maris resort, where the ATP Plava Laguna Croatian Open has been held since 1990, bears witness to this endless love. In 2016, Umag’s central, seashell-shaped stadium received a new, but already famous name – Goran Ivanišević ATP Stadium.
About the stadium
- Built in 1990
- Designed by famous Croatian architect Marjan Videc.
- Has 4,000 seats.
- Located on the beach at Stella Maris resort.
- 2km from the centre of Umag.
- Shaped like a seashell.
Goran and Umag, Umag and Goran
The famed Wimbledon champion faltered in the finals at the ATP tournament in Umag, but Umag didn’t hold his loss against him. Quite the contrary – he continued to visit Istria’s tennis oasis and promote the tournament across the world. This fateful connection has finally been immortalised in the beautiful shell of the stadium that bears his name.
The biggest names in tennis
Umag’s championship trophy has been raised by Thomas Muster, Stan Wawrinka, Carlos Moya, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marcelo Rios, Nikolaj Davidenko, Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem, and Goran’s student Marin Čilić. The list of greats who have succumbed on Umag’s demanding clay is equally impressive: Rafael Nadal, Novak Đoković, Juan Martin Del Potro, Gustavo Kuerten, Sergi Bruguera, David Ferrer and Gaël Monfils – just like Goran, they never heard “What a Wonderful World”, the unofficial hymn of the tournament’s closing ceremonies, played in their honour.
Tennis… and much more!
But this isn’t the only song you can hear at Goran Ivanišević stadium. Numerous performances by local and international stars of various genres have been held as a part of the tournament’s Party Nights music programme, from heavenly arias performed by opera primadonna Montserrat Caballé to the fiery atmosphere provided by famous DJ Redfoo. The pearls from Umag’s shell thrill the town’s residents and guests alike during the rest of the year as well. In cooperation with the popular Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is held there, drawing thousands of young people to Umag every spring and turning the stadium into the happiest stage in Europe.