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Aircel Chennai Open 2016: Five things we learned from this year's tournament

Borna Coric Aircel Chennai Open 2016

19-year-old Coric has the world at his feet

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 12 Jan 2016
Top 5 / Top 10

The 20th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open concluded on Sunday evening beaming across images similar to those of last year and the year before. Stan Wawrinka stood beaming, trophy in hand, having successfully completed a hat-trick of titles at the event.He has four overall and is the most successful singles champion at this event.It was a fourth different final opponent though for the Swiss, this time 19-year-old Croat Borna Coric the latest to try an attempt to dethrone Wawrinka.Seven days and over 15 matches later, some thoughts on this year’s edition.

#1 A bright future for Borna Coric

At just 19 years of age, Borna Coric is the youngest player in the current Top 100 in the ATP rankings. Breaking into the top 100 by the end 2014 after rising 276 places the previous year, Coric was presented with the ATP Star of Tomorrow award and in 2015 made further progress, breaking into the Top 50 to finish the year ranked 44.

He was the most successful teenager on tour last year in terms of match wins. On the back of his run to the final this year, his ranking has jumped four more places, to be 40 in the latest rankings released today.

Improvements in Coric’s game came not just with where he got to, but also in his game. At this same event last year, he was no match for Wawrinka in the second round. And yesterday, he was able to trouble the Swiss somewhat, despite eventually ending up on the losing end. 

His athleticism is amazing; in the quarters and semis, he played some outstanding points against Roberto Bautista-Agut and Aljaz Bedene respectively, that were borne out of pure physical prowess and on-court quickness.

There were so many points that you thought he wouldn’t get to, yet he did. Coric’s forehand is now bigger and is able to move opponents out of position more effectively. Realizing the importance of putting points away when dominating, he’s also come to the net much more this year. 

Coric 2016 is definitely an improvement on Coric 2015 and with the consistent upward trend he’s showing, there is no doubt he could very well achieve the success he has been marked out for.

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Published 11 Jan 2016
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