Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić became the first all-Croatian pair to win a Grand Slam title in men’s doubles on Saturday night at Wimbledon.
A total of 15 Grand Slam tennis titles have been won by a Croatian since the nation’s independence in the early 1990s. This is an impressive effort for a nation with a population of only around 4 million people in what is one of the most competitive sports in the world.
Last night’s victory was Pavić’s 5th Grand Slam title and Mektić’s 2nd. Pavić and Ivan Dodig are now joint leaders when it comes to Croatians with the most Grand Slam titles with 5 each.
Seven Croatian players have won Grand Slam titles. Below are all the Grand Slam titles Croatians have claimed.
1998 – Mirjana Lučić – Women’s Doubles
Mirjana Lučić, who enjoyed a dream run at the 2017 Australian Open making it though to the semifinal, won the women’s title in Melbourne in 1998 with Martina Hingis. The pair were not seeded and upset the tournament’s No.1 seeds, Natasha Zvereva and Lindsay Davenport, in the final 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
2018 – Mate Pavić – Men’s Doubles & Mixed Doubles
2018 was Mate Pavić’s year at the Australian Open. Pavić first claimed the men’s doubles title when he teamed up with Oliver Marach to beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4, 6-4. He then joined Gabriela Dabrowski from Canada to win the mixed doubles title after they beat Timea Babos and Rohan Bopanna in the final 2–6, 6–4, [11–9].
2020 – Nikola Mektić – Mixed Doubles
Croatian Nikola Mektić teamed up with Barbora Krejčíková to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray in the final 5–7, 6–4 [10–1].
2021 – Ivan Dodig – Men’s Doubles
Ivan Dodig claims his fifth Grand Slam title after he and Filip Polasek from Slovakia beat 5th seeds Rajeev Ram (USA) and Joe Sailsbury (UK) in straight sets in the final 6:3, 6:4
1997 – Iva Majoli – Women’s Singles
Majoli won the 1997 French Open singles title, upsetting 16-year-old Martina Hingis in the final in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. On her way to the final Majoli also beat Sandra Kleinová, Alexandra Fusai, Ann Grossman, Lindsay Davenport, Ruxandra Dragomir and Amanda Coetzer.
2015 – Ivan Dodig – Men’s Doubles
Ivan Dodig become the first Croatian men’s tennis player to win a title at Roland Garros. Dodig, and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo, were too good for the world No.1 pairing of the Bryan brothers, winning 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.
2018 – Ivan Dodig – Mixed Doubles
Ivan Dodig claimed his second title at the French Open, this time in the mixed doubles when he teamed up with Latisha Chan. They would beat Croatian Mate Pavić and Gabriela Dabrowski from Canada in the final 6–1, 6–7, [10–8].
2019 – Ivan Dodig – Mixed Doubles
Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan defended their title in Paris in what was a repeat of the 2018 final. This time Dodig and Chan beat Pavić and Dabrowski 6–1, 7–6.
2001 – Goran Ivanišević – Men’s Singles
The most famous of all Croatia’s Grand Slam titles. Ivanišević beat Australian Patrick Rafter 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7 in a tense final. Goran became the first wild card to win a major and was ranked 125th in the world at the start of the tournament. Ivanišević had reached the final three times before (in 1992, 1994 and 1998) but lost each (to Agassi, and Sampras twice, respectively).
2019 – Ivan Dodig – Mixed Doubles
Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan won the title, defeating Robert Lindstedt and Jeļena Ostapenko in the final, 6–2, 6–3.
2021 – Mate Pavić & Nikola Mektić – Men’s Doubles
Mektić and Pavić beat Argentine Horacio Zeballos and Spain’s Marcel Granollers in the Wimbledon men’s doubles final. The Croatians, who were the tournaments no.1 seeds, beat the no.4 seeds 6-4, 7-6, 2-6, 7-5 to clinch the title.
2014 – Marin Čilić – Men’s Singles
Coached by Croatia’s last Grand Slam winner Goran Ivanišević, Marin Čilić won his first major when he beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Čilić and Nishikori were the two lowest-ranked seeds to reach the US Open final since Pete Sampras won the title in 2002 as 17th seed. Čilić was the tournament’s 14th seed.
2016 – Mate Pavić – Mixed Doubles
Mate Pavić won the US Open mixed doubles title with his German partner Laura Siegemund in New York in 2016. The Croatian-German pairing were too good for their American opponents Coco Vandeweghe and Rajeev Ram in the final, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Pavić and Siegemund did not lose a set all tournament leading up to the final.
2020 – Mate Pavić – Men’s Doubles
Mate Pavić and Bruno Soares defeated no. 8 seeds Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektić from Croatia in the final, 7–5, 6–3 to win the Men’s Doubles tennis title. This was the first time since the 2000 US Open that an unseeded team had won the US Open Men’s Doubles title. With this win, Pavić won his second Grand Slam men’s doubles title after having won the 2018 Australian Open.
**Before Croatia’s independence, Dragutin Mitić won a mixed doubles title at the French Open in 1938 and Nikola Pilić won a US Open doubles title in 1970.