Other than numerous natural beauties, Istria is especially sought after during the summer, when it is the venue for the first-class sports and social event, the popular ATP Croatia Open Umag tennis tournament, which makes this green peninsula Croatia's and Mediterranean first tennis destination, while the town of Umag is called Croatia's capital of tennis, and rightly so. Thanks to this flattering title, tennis has become the most important of all unimportant things in Istria, where amateurs and professionals compete and enjoy themselves regardless of the time of the year.
Croatia can proudly say that it has welcomed many famous tennis players to its ATP tour, from Goran Ivanišević, Andrej Medvedev, Carlos Moya, Sergio Bruguera, Felix Mantilla, Javier Sanchez, and many more to come. Thanks to the favourable Mediterranean climate and good traffic connections, Istria has been attracting tennis pros and amateurs from the country and abroad for decades. Slovenia, Italy and Austria are close-by, while Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Hungary and Czech Republic are only a little farther away. Trieste, Venice, Zagreb or Ljubljana are only a few hours away by car, and the trip from Graz, Innsbruck, Munich or Budapest is only slightly longer.
It is assumed that the name of this royal sport comes from the Egyptian city of Tinnis, while the word racquet is assumed to have been derived from rahat, the Arabian word for palm. This popular sport was first played by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans; a little later, in 1874, English major Walter Clopton Wingfield defined the rules and formally patented them.
Stay in Istria's luxurious villas and apartments and take part in tennis events or play tennis with your loved ones amid birdsong and the smell of pine trees, a stone's throw away from the magical Adriatic. If you want to play tennis but have never picked up a racquet, be sure to contact experienced trainers, who give private lessons or teach beginners courses.