Rafael Nadal is a true legend on and off the court.
Borna Coric roared and roared after earning just his fifth ATP Tour-level victory since returning from shoulder surgery on Wednesday at the Western & Southern Open. But with this one, the former World No.12 of the world announced that he is back in the best moment of him.
The Croatian defeated Rafael Nadal 7-6(9), 4-6 and 6-3 to advance to the third round in Cincinnati, after signing a great battle of two hours and 51 minutes of play against a Nadal who also delivered a acceptable version in his first match after Wimbledon, but he did not achieve enough regularity to make a difference against a tidy rival.
“It was a very, very special game,” Coric acknowledged on center court. “I’ve been off the circuit for the last two years and I haven’t played on a big stage in front of the fans. Honestly, I was looking forward to playing this game having not done it in so long.
Now that it is won, it is something incredible.” The start for Nadal was with four consecutive points on serve, as if to put on the table that his intensity was the order of the day. However, on the other side of the net, there was a Coric who already knew what it is to complicate the Spanish and this Wednesday he brought a very solid version.
With the Croatian serving 4-5 0-15, the rain was present and the players had to return to the locker room. But after a part of almost an hour and a half, upon returning, the trend and parity were maintained, so much so that they even reached a memorable tiebreaker.
Coric started the tiebreak better, leading 4-2 in the first change, and when it seemed that Nadal was recovering, the Spaniard missed a costly volley with a swing being set in favor at 6-5, before the reaction of the Croatian to sign the first sleeve by 7-6 (9) after a tie-break that lasted almost 20 minutes.
Nadal talks about the US Open
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Rafael Nadal said that the tournament in Cincinnati hasn’t always been easy for him but added that he has always been well received. “It’s true that this tournament hasn’t been the easiest for me during all my tennis career, even if I was able to win one year.
But was the year that I was achieving almost everything. I make a couple more semifinals, I think, or one. Is true, I don’t know, for some weird reason this tournament, I never had the best feelings, but in the other hand, I felt very welcome here all the time,” he said.
“In terms of New York, I don’t know. It’s a Grand Slam. It’s a different kind of tournament. But at the same time it’s tennis, no? If I am not playing well, probably I will follow the same route than here,” he stated.