World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, the top seed at the Aircel Chennai Open, successfully defended his title today with a straight sets victory over 44th-ranked Borna Coric, who was playing his first ever ATP final.
The 19-year-old, who is the youngest player inside the ATP top 50, came into the tournament seeded 8th, and beat last year’s runner up Aljaz Bedene in the semi-finals to play Wawrinka. Going into the tournament, the teenager had said it was his “dream” to make the finals against Wawrinka, and some well-fought battles saw him play quite the match against the Swiss.
But Wawrinka had beaten Coric on each of the two previous occasions the pair had met. And even though the young Croat had managed to pose a challenge to the Swiss most recently, scalping a set off him, Wawrinka was in no mood to let today's match stretch too long. At the end of the day, the World No. 4 had his arms draped around the fourth Chennai Open title of his career and the third in a row.
The match started off fairly routinely, with each player managing to hold serve. Coric belied his age and experience to stay neck-and-neck with the significantly more experienced Wawrinka, who would eventually draw first blood.
The Swiss broke Coric to go 4-2 in the first set with a precise, effortless half-volley that outfoxed his young opponent. He capitalised on that break to win the next game, and stole a 5-2 march on the 19-year-old, who played out of his skin to stay in the first set.
Coric eventually did manage to go 5-3 after being at deuce a staggering six times. But Wawrinka held on in the next game, winning the first set with relative ease, 6-3.
Each player again held serve in the second set, with Coric now upping his game to take the lead from Wawrinka 2-1.
The set continued in this fashion, but the Swiss was merciless as he rained aces on the court in what appeared to be effortless fashion. Although Coric led Wawrinka at 5-4, the Swiss held to equalise, and then broke the Croat to take a 6-5 lead.
Now serving for the match, Wawrinka wrapped things up with ease to take a straight sets victory over his young challenger. The fans were rewarded with a win for their favourite, but they were also treated to a fine performance from a potential future Slam champion.