Worth the Wait: Borna Coric Cruises in Cincy Final | ATP Tour

Borna Korik waited almost four years to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 semifinal. It’s no surprise that he endured another several-hour delay on a rainy Saturday at the Western & Southern Open.

But it didn’t take long for the Croatian to get onto the pitch and pass Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 in just over 90 minutes to reach his second Masters 1000 final. Coric is back in top form after shoulder surgery and meets world No. 1 Daniel Medvedev or fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas as he bids for his first title at this prestigious level.

“It’s been a very tough day, a very long day,” said the former world No. 12 after the game. “I wasn’t expecting to play at 7:30. I got here at 3:00 p.m. thinking I’d play a little earlier. Then I thought I’d play later because of the delay.”

“It was a crazy day, but in the end it ended very well. I was obviously very happy with my tennis today, I played extremely well.”

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Originally scheduled to be a day game on Center Court, Coric and Norrie instead went to the stands just after 7:30 p.m. in Cincinnati when the schedule changed in response to the rain. Norrie started bright under the lights as he built a 3-1 lead in the opening set, but Coric chimed in to win five straight games and run away with the set.

“I wasn’t there at the beginning, I didn’t feel the ball that well,” said the Croatian. “Then I found my rhythm. I started serving better, I started playing much better and I think that was the key to the game.”

The Croatian did something Carlo Alcaraz couldn’t be consistent enough against Norrie in the quarterfinals, bullying his opponent in the rallies, and he didn’t let up in the second set either as he won eight straight points to take a 4-2 lead.

Coric’s baseline brilliance caught up a 43 percent share on first serve, and he saved the only break point against him in set number two before dropping just three points in his last four service games.

While the Croatian didn’t repeat his near-perfect performance on the first serve in the quarters as he beat himself 31 from 32 points Felix Auger-Aliassime, he gained a healthy 79 percent of the exchanges behind his first delivery against Norrie. He ended the match with 22 winners, including seven aces.

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After entering Cincinnati’s main draw with a protected ranking, Coric has moved up 104 spots to No. 48 in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings this week. He could move up to 29th with a win against Medvedev on Sunday Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Croatian leads Medvedev 4-2 in their ATP Head2Head series and is tied 1-1 with Tsitsipas, including a fifth-set tiebreak win in their last clash of 2020 US Open.

Coric has lost just one set in his second-round surprise this week Rafael Nadal.

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