After struggling with a devastating shoulder injury that he picked up last year, Borna Coric announced his return in style on Sunday, winning his first-ever Masters 1000 title — the Western & Southern Open.
Hitting 37 winners and just 14 unforced errors, the former World No. 12 downed fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes in the Cincinnati Open title clash. The Croatian fought back from 4-1 down in the first set to force a tie-break, where Tsitsipas could not win a single point. He described the second set as his "best set of the whole year."
Coric converted three break points, while winning 84% of the points on his first serve. He entered the tournament using his protected ranking and became the lowest-ranked player — #152 — to emerge victorious in Cincinnati. On his way to glory, he defeated stalwarts like Lorenzo Musetti, Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie.
Tennis fans expressed their joy and were thrilled to see the Coatian back at his top level after missing a number of events due to injury.
"No one deserves it more than him after all the injuries, the 13 months without playing, all the withdrawals from so many tournaments he worked and fought so hard to be back, so incredibly proud of you," a fan tweeted.
"Borna Coric becomes the 1st player to win a challenger and a M1000 in the same season since Mikael Pernfors in 1993. This should absolutely seal the comeback player of the year award," a user posted.
"BRAVO, BORNA. A truly incredible week for Borna Coric! He wins the biggest title of his career in Cincinnati after defeating Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 6-2! Defeated 4 Top 10 seeds en route to the title and jumps from #159 to #29 after his crazy good run. Just wow," another tweet read.
Here are a few more reactions:
Also Checkout:- Cincinnati Open 2022 Results
"I was not ready for this speech five days ago" - Borna Coric
In the six matches that Borna Coric played at the Cincinnati Masters, he lost only one set, which came against Rafael Nadal in the second round. This was only the second ATP 1000 final for the Croatian, the first being the Shanghai Masters in 2018, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Coric now has three ATP singles titles to his name.
At the trophy presentation ceremony, the youngster thanked his entire team and family, while stating that he wasn't sure of getting past the first round.
"I was not ready for this speech five days ago. I thought I was going to lose in the first round. Thank you to my parents, who are not here, my sister and my team. It has been very tough for us. With my physio, if I didn’t have him I wouldn’t be on the court. Then of course to my tennis coach, Mate. We have been working very hard and now we are here," Coric said.