Borna Coric shocks Stefanos Tsitsipas to win first Masters title in Cincinnati
Borna Coric downed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 6-2 to win the Cincinnati Masters final and his first ATP 1000 level title on Sunday.
Coric slipped to 1-4 in the first set but would fight back to win a tiebreak before taking the second to win the match and the championship.
The Croatian was brilliantly aggressive and his positivity paid off in just his second Masters series final.
Coric kicked off his campaign with a victory over Nadal and has also gone on to record a further three top ten wins at the tournament.
After he was allowed to enter the ATP 1000 tournament with a protected ranking after dropping out of the top 150 through an injury layoff.
Coric will surge up from World No 152 to World No 29 this week after his epic run at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre.
Despite declaring that all the pressure was off him in the final, Coric made a nervous start and allowed Tsitsipas to get out to an early lead before he turned things around.
Coric appeared to find his range on serve which inspired him to fight back into the match.
After taking the first set, Coric was strong on the ground to open the second and gained the decisive break in the sixth game of the set against a flagging Tsitsipas.
Coric notched just 14 unforced errors throughout the contest and would break Tsitsipas again to clinch the biggest win of his career to date.
During his run to the Cincinnati Masters final Coric dropped just one set in wat was his sixth appearance at the hard-court event.
Coric also defeated Lorenzo Musetti, Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie during his stupendous run to the Masters title.
The title clinched in Ohio is Coric’s third tour-level title, having soared to success in Marrakech in 2017 and Halle in 2018 as a young player.
Tsitsipas had set out to capture his third Masters 1000 title and 10th tour-level trophy but was frustrated by the efforts of Coric.
The World No 7, who succesfully defended his Monte Carlo title in April this year, edged Daniil Medvedev in a ding-dong classic in the last four and will move up two places to No 5 in the ATP Rankings.
Tsitsipas has also risen to second in the ATP Race To Turin as he looks to qualify for the ATP Tour Finals for a fourth consecutive season.
Coric can’t account for how he finally came to win an ATP Masters title and ended a four-year wait for a title.
When asked what he did to turn things around, Coric told Amazon Prime: “I’m not sure to be honest.
“Like I said many times this week, I didn’t come into this with much confidence.
“I was not playing my best tennis and I was struggling.
“I just went match by match and that’s how I did it.
“It has happened to me before where I’ve beaten big players and then lost the next day.
“So, I was very calm and focused.
“I knew it wasn’t the end of the tournament and wanted to stay calm and focused and I think that’s what I did.”
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