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

Borna Coric 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 the Croatian didn’t take long to get on court, lapping Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 in just over 90 minutes to advance into his second Masters 1000 final. Coric is back in top form after shoulder surgery and will face world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev or fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in contention for his first title at this prestigious level.

“It was a very tough day but also 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 what Carlos Alcaraz couldn’t do consistently enough against Norrie in the quarter-finals, bullying his opponent in the rallies, and he didn’t let up in the second set as he won eight straight points to take a 4-2 lead went.

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 in the quarters on first serve as he won 31 points from 32 against Felix Auger-Aliassime, he won 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. With a win on Sunday against Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas, he could advance to 29th place.

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

Coric has lost just one set in his second round match against Rafael Nadal this week.

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