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PlayOut Tennis started as a group of three dedicated tennis enthusiasts and active players on the GLTA world tour. Initiated in 2018 by Goran Rakonjac, originally from Belgrade, Serbia, and joined by Kris Lazar from the Istrian coast, and Peter Matjašič originally from Slovenia, now living in Barcelona, PlayOut Tennis was founded.
We believe in the transformative power of sports and building bridges across cultures. As we wanted to give something back to the gay communities in the countries we grew up in, as well as offer our international tennis friends the chance to discover and explore new places, we have decided to take on the challenge to organize the first GLTA sanctioned tennis tournaments in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
In May 2019 we successfully kicked off our adventure in Belgrade with 85 players from 27 different countries. However, the Belgrade PlayOut Open was only the beginning. Although the global COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our initial plans for 2020, we managed to hold the second tournament - the Istria PlayOut Tennis Classic - in August 2021 in Pula, Croatia, featuring only 56 players from 15 countries. End of May 2022, we organized the third leg of our tour, when 120 players from 20 different countries joined us in Slovenia for the Ljubljana PlayOut Open.
After the initial rotation of all three countries, Goran decided to step down from the team due to personal reasons, but Kris and Peter decided to maintain the tennis tournament alternating between Croatia and Slovenia.
In June 2023, the tournament went back to Pula, Istria, this time as a masters series event. With more than 150 participants playing on 20 courts, it was our biggest event so far.