Iva Majoli is our last player that won WTA title. It happen in Charleston 2002. In that time, it was Tier I tournament (equivalent of today's Premier 5). In final she beat Patty Schnyder (who beat 3 top players before final, including no 1, Jennifer Capriati, before fail to Iva in the final).
After Iva's era we (have) had good players with Karolina Sprem and Jelena Kostanic Tosic. In period 2003.-2006. they were playing good and made several finals (Sprem:
Strasbourg, Vienna, Kolkata, Kostanic:
Helsinki, Pattaya, Bangalore). Unfortunately, injuries stopped both of them to continue such runs and attack more titles. Although Sprem was slumping in 2005. she started good in 2006. but then was forcing come back and just made worse her injury. About Sprem, maybe she would win title if compete at "Interational" level in 2004. when she was on her peak (beating Venus Williams on road to Wimbledon QFs and becoming 2nd best CRO women ever when she reached no. 17 in WTA ranks). But Karolina was aiming only biggest stages then.On other side, Kostanic Tosic, while was on her peak (just after Pattaya and Bangalore's finals) got injury and never came back at same level. Jelena's run in Bangalore was the closest try of our girl to win a title! She lost 3-6 7-6(7) 6-3 to in-form Santagelo.
2007.-2010. was difficult period for Croatian women tennis! With slumping Sprem and Kostanic as leader of our girls we basically did not have player able to compete at WTA level. Also, at one period we were without player in top 100.
Lucic started her comeback but was struggling to find good form until 2010. Still, she still hasn't shown some deep run at WTA tournament. In this period, at least we had good juniors in Petra Martic and Ajla Tomljanovic. Although they were showing their talent with respectable junior careers, they were too young.
But finally came period: 2011.-2014. when Ajla and Petra have shown what they are capable for! Both were struggling with healthy problems but they definitely have shown their talents and that are able to beat best players! Martic already beat some top 20 players and in 2012. made final in Kuala Lumpur but were not able to close out match against Hsieh (2-6 7-5 4-1 ret.). That is the only final of newer period that is made by our girl. It was really painful loss cause fans hoped after 10 years our girl will win a title.
That CRO womens tennis is definitely out of crisis is confirmed with showing of our new youngsters and even bigger talents than Ajla and Petra! Ana Konjuh and Donna Vekic already are very known in world of tennis and mostly like the youngest players in top 100 and top 250! Donna also made two WTA finals (Tashkent, Birmingham) and Konjuh had brilliant junior career with two singles slams. And this week she had breakthrough on WTA tour after beating world number 14 Roberta Vinci in her first WTA match ever!
With many young players with a lot of potential, future really looks bright for our womens tennis! Martic, Tomljanovic, Vekic, Konjuh are all very young and still have many years to compete on tour. But most important of everything: they are all HUGE and BIG talents and all of them have potential to win WTA title! With expirienced Mirjana Lucic Baroni (with respect to her who is the only active Croat who has won WTA title and has game to beat any player when she is on so maybe she will get her fabulous run somewhere and surprise all of us one more time) at this moment we have 5 girls that can be top 100 and compete on WTA tour! Considering their potential I say final statement of this long text (sorry but I got inspiration
IT IS QUESTION OF TIME WHEN SOME OF THEM WILL WIN FIRST WTA TITLE!
But who is going to be that one? Will this finally going to happen this year??
(if not I will rename thread next year in "after 13 years"