ZAGREB (Croatia): Spanish tennis star Carlos Moya was awarded a top state honour on Wednesday for helping promote Croatia abroad.
Moya, who has won the Croatia Open four times and is making his 10th appearance at the tournament in the northern Adriatic resort of Umag, received a medal of honour from President Stipe Mesic.
“Moya kept returning to Umag even in the years when many evaded the country out of fears from the perils of war, proving that he is a true friend of sport and Croatia,” Mesic said as he presented the medal.
The tournament in Umag has been part of the ATP Tour for 15 years but many players skipped it from 1991-95, when Croatia fought an intermittent war with minority Serbs, who opposed the country’s independence from Yugoslavia.
Moya, who won his first-round match against Roko Karanusic on Tuesday, has won 17 ATP tournaments, including the French Open.
“I have been coming here for 10 years and hope to come back for 10 more,” Moya, the world number four, said. – AP