‘I think will help Rafael Nadal’, says top analyst

Since March he had only won three games on the main circuit. After a forced hiatus due to shoulder surgery, Borna Coric had fought terribly to regain his confidence. Winning Rafael Nadal, also for the second time in Cincinnati after the first in 2016, could mean a ‘new life’ for the Croatian, who had splendidly beaten Lorenzo Musetti in the first round.

As if that were not enough, the Croatian tennis player managed to become the second active player to achieve a better score in heads-up against the 23-time Slam champion. The other is, of course, Novak Djokovic, who won 30 of the 59 matches played in total between 2006 and Roland Garros this season.

“I can’t say anything else, it’s special, very special, I had forgotten what it feels like after such a victory,” said the Croatian tennis player immediately after the win. After canceling a set point in the first set tie break, thanks in part to the Spaniard’s contribution, Coric recovered a gap in the second set and above all a 0-30 deficit in the opening set of the third.

“I’ve been away for two years and I still hadn’t been on such an important stage in front of all these people. I only thought about playing my best and enjoying everything around me. Now that I’ve won, it seems crazy to me,” he confessed.

In the round of 16, the Croatian tennis player will face Roberto Bautista Agut, who won with a double 6-3. “I will have to be even more aggressive than today because the match against Rafa [Nadal, ed] was very long and ended very late, and of course, I won’t have too much time to rest either.

It’s going to be a very tough match, I’m going to have to maintain this level to keep doing well.”

Rafa Nadal did not shine in Cincinnati

Speaking about the match in an interview with the Tennis Channel, sports journalist Jon Wertheim spoke about Rafael Nadal.

“Yeah, he can use the time off to sort of reassess,” Wertheim said. “What happened? There seems to be a lack of confidence. We were all looking at the serve and would that be impacted by this abdominal injury. That did not seem to be the case today, it really was just playing some tight big points,” he said.

“He’s going to New York, the player who ostensibly will be the number one seed. Djokovic would be the favorite, but Djokovic as of now is not in the draw and so Nadal has to be considered a favorite. This is not the tune up that he needed, but I do think an extra week off and sort of the best-of-five format, I think will help him, but this was not one of his prime performances tonight,” he added.

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