Tommy Robredo won the tournament in Umag in 2013 and was the runner up in 2014 (Pablo Cuevas won the title that year). So he must have good memories of Umag. However, there may be a spot on this good memeories since his match this year against Salvatore Caruso. The former number 5 (2006) of the world won the first set (7-5) and was in the lead (3-0) in the third, but lost six games in a row. At 3-3 Caruso received a warning for time violation. It was crystal clear that the Italian found this completely unjustified. Of course his complains didn’t change the referee’s decision, but it seemed that the incident had a positive influence on the game of Caruso. He continued with full energy and Robredo did not won a single game anymore and lost the match.
The defending champion, Marco Cecchinato faced Aljaz Bedene from Slovenia in the first round. Cecchinato, number 40 at the ATP ranking, is an excellent player on clay. In 2018 he defeated Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and reached the semifinals. Nevertheless, the first round on the clay of Umag turned out to be his last round this year. The fact that Umag is a place very near the border with Slovenia was noticeable by the support of the crowd for Bedene. He allowed the Itialian to win only five games and defeated his opponent in straight-sets (6-3, 6-2). So the first round is the end of the line for Marco Cecchinato. A great perfomence of Aljaz Bedene.