October 18, 2020 – Croatia’s best tennis player, Borna Coric, advanced to the final of the ATP tournament in St. Petersburg after defeating Canadian Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinal after an hour and 56 minutes of play.
Jutarnji List reports that this was the second meeting between Coric and Raonic in which Coric retaliated against the Canadian for losing in Delray Beach three years ago.
With the victory against Raonic, Coric repeated last year’s result in St. Petersburg, when he also reached the final. However, last year, Russian Danil Medvedev was more successful. On Sunday, Coric will also play against a Russian opponent for the title, but it will be Andrey Rublev.
Coric’s appearance in Sunday’s final will be his seventh final match on the ATP Tour. So far, he has won two titles, Marrakesh 2017 and Halle 2018, while his last appearance in the final was just last year in St. Petersburg in September.
Coric lost the first set very quickly, and the key was the second game, which lasted more than 10 minutes. Coric saved three breaks, each with an excellent serve, but on the fourth, he made a double fault. Raonic then quickly reached a 5-0 lead, and thus the set.
However, in the second set, the situation changed completely. Coric started to return Raonic’s powerful serve much better, and already with a 1-0 lead, he reached three breakpoints. He used the third for 2-0, which was Raonic’s first lost service game in the tournament. Coric did not stop there; with an advantage of 3-0 and three excellent winners, he reached an advantage of 15-40 on the opponent’s serve. Raonic missed one backhand, and Coric reached an unattainable 4-0.
At the beginning of the third set, Coric managed to save three breaks in his first service game in that set. After overcoming a small crisis, he played much better again and managed the 3-2 advantage. By the end of the match, Coric held his serve firmly for a significant victory.
“I don’t know if I ever played as badly as in the first set. In the second set, I found my rhythm, played better and in the end managed to win,” said Coric after the match, and then looked back at his next opponent, Rublev, against whom he’s lost in all three previous duels:
“Rublev plays perhaps the best tennis of his life. I hope I will be able to play my best match on Sunday as well.”
Rublev reached the final with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against another Canadian player, Denis Shapovalov. For the 22-year-old, it will be the eighth final in his career, and he has won five titles so far.
Coric and Rublev meet today at 15:30.
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