Slovenia’s top tennis players threw their collective weight behind the newly created Mima Jausovec Cup earlier this month, relishing the opportunity to get back on court while raising funds for the 1977 Roland Garros champion’s charity foundation.
Representing both professional tennis tours, 20 experienced and up-and-coming players – including WTA stars Polona Hercog, Tamara Zidansek, Kaja Juvan and Andreja Klepac – signed up for the special competition at RCU Lukovica, a private club outside the nation’s capital, Ljubljana. The players were divided into two teams, East and West, with singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches on the three-day schedule for the unofficial event.
“The initiative came from the players,” said Jausovec. “When they thought about what to call the trophy they asked if they could name it after me, which was a privilege and honor.”
The former World No.6 continued: “Everything was pulled together in three weeks – sponsors, banners, team shirts – and in line with current safety and hygiene restrictions, which permit gatherings of up to 500 people. While big crowds were not allowed, people came as they found out about it, and tried to keep their distance.
“Most of the press came to site all three days, and the Sports Plus channel provided great coverage on TV. Team East, led by Blaz Rola and Polona Hercog, won the event which overall was a huge success.”
The Mima Jausovec Foundation supports young sports talents in need of financial assistance. Highlights of the charity auction held around with the exhibition weekend include a €2,000 bid on a wooden racquet used by Jausovec at Wimbledon in 1974, with racquets donated by Hercog and the ATP’s Aljaz Bedene raising €1,000 apiece.
Bidding on jerseys signed by NBA Dallas star Luka Doncic and FC Barcelona star Leo Messi remains open until the end of June; fans interested in making an offer can email [email protected] for details.