Borna Coric ‘very, very happy’ as he comes through 26-shot match point against Joao Sousa

Borna Coric

It took Borna Coric two hours and 55 minutes to keep his title defence alive at Halle as he saw off the challenge from Joao Sousa.

It was a tough afternoon for the defending champion as he faced nine break points, but managed to save seven of them while he also had a medical timeout for a rib injury in the third set tie-breaker.

However, he prevailed as he came out on top of the 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) scoreline.

The best point of the match was saved for last though as Coric and Sousa produced a 26-shot rally on match point.

“I’m just very happy… It was not an easy match, but I got the win, that’s what’s most important,” the Croatian said.

He added: “I was losing 4/2 in the tie-break. I was feeling like I’m actually losing the match. So now to turn it around, I must be very, very happy.”

Coric will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the semi-final after the Frenchman beat qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.

Third seed Karen Khachanov also had to battle for his win as he beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 while David Goffin beat Radu Albot 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Follow us on Twitter @T365Official and like our Facebook page.

More from Tennis365: