Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic vs Borna Coric
Date: 28 October 2020
Tournament: Erste Bank Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Vienna, Austria
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €1,409,510
Match timing: Not before 5.30 pm local time, 10 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony ESPN
Novak Djokovic vs Borna Coric preview
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic kicked off his campaign at the Erste Bank Open with a straight-sets victory over compatriot Filip Krajinovic on Tuesday. This was the first match the Serb played after the Roland Garros final, where he was railroaded by Rafael Nadal.
As shocking as the 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 scoreline was though, it was an anomaly in what has otherwise been an excellent tennis season for Djokovic so far. The 33-year-old has a 38-2 win-loss record this year, with one of those losses coming in the form of a default at the US Open.
Djokovic has been in excellent touch throughout 2020, but the doubts from the French Open final did seem to creep into his game against Krajinovic. He went 3-5 down in the first set and also conceded a set point in the tiebreaker. The Serb eventually managed to find his best tennis against his in-form opponent, beating him 7-6(6), 6-3.
Coric, on his part, has been in good form of late. He comes into Vienna on the back of a splendid week in St. Petersburg, where he made his fifth ATP final. The 23-year-old ended up losing to Andrey Rublev in straight sets, but not before he gave an impressive account of himself through the tournament.
Coric kicked off his campaign at Vienna with a solid 6-4, 6-4 win over Taylor Fritz. He had a couple of shaky moments in the match, but played well enough to protect his serve throughout.
Coric has a win-loss record of 11-6 on hardcourts this year.
Novak Djokovic vs Borna Coric head-to-head
Novak Djokovic and Borna Coric have met on tour thrice before, with the Serb winning every single time to lead the head-to-head 3-0.
Their first encounter was at the Madrid Masters back in 2016, where Djokovic clinched a 6-2, 6-4 win. The Serb followed that up with another straight-sets victory at the 2018 Monte Carlo Masters.
Their latest encounter was in the final of the Shanghai Masters that same year, which Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic vs Borna Coric prediction
Novak Djokovic is one of the most complete players on tour at the moment, and he has proven that repeatedly in 2020. The 33-year-old's groundstrokes off both flanks seem to have gotten even better, while his return remains a deadly weapon. Djokovic has also made big strides on his serve of late, turning it into one of his most reliable shots.
Borna Coric's playing style is similar to that of Djokovic, in that he too likes to counterpunch from the baseline. Coric is also a excellent mover on the court and fights for every point, while his groundstrokes are pretty consistent.
However, considering Djokovic's form this year, coupled with the fact that Coric has never taken a set off him, the Serb remains a heavy favorite.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.Published 28 Oct 2020, 00:24 IST