Željko Krajan

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Željko Krajan (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈʒeːʎkɔ ˈkrajan]) (born February 3, 1979) is a Croatian tennis coach and former professional tennis player.

Krajan, a native of Varaždin, began playing tennis at age six.[1] His greatest success as a junior player was winning the Orange Bowl doubles tournament with Ivan Ljubičić in 1995.[2]

Krajan started his pro career at the ATP Tour in 1997.[1] His highest ATP ranking was No. 88 in August 2002.[1] In 2003 Krajan was sidelined following a shoulder surgery.[3] In 2004 he suffered a serious quadriceps tear, which ultimately caused his retirement from professional tennis in 2005.[3]

From 2005 on, Krajan turned to coaching, at first working with Saša Tuksar, a young Croatian tennis player, and then with German junior players as Heinz Günthardt's assistant coach.[3][4] In 2006 and 2007 he played in the German Regionalliga Süd-Ost for TC Ismaning.[citation needed] In October 2007, upon recommendation by Ivan Ljubičić, he became the coach of Dinara Safina,[3][5] who was at the time at a psychological low point of her career, ranked No. 17 in the world, and close to retiring from tennis.[4][6] Under Krajan's lead, Safina scored good results in the early 2008 season and placed runner-up in the 2008 French Open. After the 2008 French Open, Krajan was joined by Dejan Vojnović, retired Croatian Olympic sprinter, who became Safina's fitness coach.[7] Her continued string of good results earned her the 2008 WTA Most Improved Player award, and the World No. 1 spot in April 2009.[8] Safina described Krajan as "totally different from any other tennis coach" due to his patience and positive approach, as opposed to being preoccupied with correcting flaws in one's game.[6][9]

Safina and Krajan parted ways in May 2010.[10] In June of the same year Krajan started coaching Dominika Cibulková.[11] Krajan ceased working with Cibulkova in April 2012.[12] In January 2012 Krajan took over coaching of the Croatian Davis Cup team.[13] From April to June 2012 Krajan worked with Jelena Janković on trial basis.[14] In August 2012 Krajan began coaching Laura Robson.,[15] until they parted ways in May 2013, before the Mutua Madrid Open.[16]

Since May 2013, he returned to work in the ATP, currently coaching Former World No. 8 and Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.[17]


  1. ^ a b c Željko Krajan at the Association of Tennis Professionals. Retrieved on June 9, 2008
  2. ^ "Matea Mezak nova nada hrvatskog tenisa" (pdf). Vjesnik (in Croatian). December 30, 1999. Retrieved September 19, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "Rad sa Safinom pravi je užitak" (in Croatian). April 22, 2008. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Sinovčić, Dean (April 21, 2009). "Varaždinac doveo Safinu do vrha" [Native of Varaždin leads Safina to the top] (in Croatian). Nacional. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ Gabrovec, Gordan (June 8, 2008). "'Dinara igra kao muškarac'". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Safina: Krajan mi je možda i spasio karijeru!". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). September 30, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  7. ^ Bilić, Marko (June 21, 2008). "Najbrži Hrvat uzima Dinaru Safinu pod svoje". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved August 29, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Dinara Safina info". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Kako je Željko Krajan od Safine napravio svjetski broj 1?". Dnevnik.hr (in Croatian). June 5, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Dinara Safina Breaks Up With Coach Zeljko Krajan". gototennis.com. May 23, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Safina's ex-coach Krajan signs with Cibulkova". tennis.com. June 14, 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Cibulkova splits from coach Zeljko Krajan". tennis.com. April 14, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Željko Krajan potvrđen kao izbornik hrvatske Davis cup reprezentacije". Index.hr (in Croatian). March 3, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jankovic hires Zeljko Krajan on trial basis". tennis.com. April 16, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Robson follows up Olympic success by appointing Krajan as new coach". Daily Mail. August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Laura Robson splits from coach Zeljko Krajan after nine months". BBC. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  17. ^ http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/05/20/Coaching-Change-Baghdatis.aspx

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