Photograph: Getty Images
Borna Coric capped off a dream week by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 6-2 to claim his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open.
The 25-year-old, who, in recent times has been cruelled by injury, did not play any tennis from February 2021 to March 2022. The world No. 152 will be ranked inside the world’s Top 30 and remarkably be seeded at the upcoming US Open.
Coric’s first tour-level title on hardcourt ensures he has now won a title on all three surfaces. The Croatian is also the first player since 1993 to win a Masters 1000 title and an ATP Challenger title in the same season.
En route to the final, Coric stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round and scored impressive wins over the inform Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie.
Tsitsipas got off to the perfect start, breaking Coric in his first service game to race out to 3-0 in the first set. Coric began to settle into the set and started to find his rhythm on serve. The Croatian managed to level the set at 4-4 after breaking Tsitsipas in the seventh game of the set.
In the first set tiebreak, Tsitsipas gifted Coric points with some uncharacteristic errors and the Croatian was able to capitalise and close out a dominant tiebreak.
From 2-2 in the second set, Coric lifted his game to another level to win the next four games and claim the biggest title of his career. Incredibly, Coric only hit 14 unforced errors throughout the match.
Post-match, Coric was full of appreciation for those that helped him through his injury troubles.
“Thank you to my parents, who are not here, my sister and my team. It has been very tough for us,” Coric said.
“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.”
Tsitsipas will look to continue his strong hardcourt form at the US Open where will aim to make it to the second week in New York for the first time in his career.
After some time apart due to injury, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury defeated Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-6(4), 7-6(5) to win their third ATP Masters 1000 doubles title together.