Ohio was therefore a land of rebirth. After the breathtaking adventure of Caroline Garcia, heroine of the women’s draw in Cincinnati coming out of qualifying, it was the Croatian Borna Coric (152nd, 25 years old) who tore with a bang the veil of shadow in which he had been entangled for more one year.
Sunday, in Cincinnati, the Croatian won, to everyone’s surprise, the third title of his career after Halle (2018) and Marrakech (2017), dominating with authority and determination the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final (7-6 , 6-2). Injured in the right shoulder, operated on in May 2021 and absent from the courts for almost a year, Coric, who had not done better so far this season than a quarter-final in Hamburg, thought he was still at lay the small pebbles on the way to full and complete rehabilitation.
Three top 10 players eliminated
In Cincinnati, the former 12th in the world suddenly accelerated everything. At the end of a crazy week, he has put his game back in place, his head in order, his legs in motion! By pinning three top 10s (Nadal, Auger-Aliassime, Tsitsipas) and an 11th in the world (Norrie), Coric has, in one week, regained full light, to seek his first title in four years, at the end of his eighth final !
The story is daunting, the ascent simply dizzying. This success makes him, 152nd in the world at the start of the week, the lowest ranked player to win this type of tournament since 1990. And Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost his third final out of the five played this season (titled in Monte- Carlo and Majorca) looked crestfallen on leaving.
It must be said that the Greek, very clean in his patterns of play, had first seemed to fly in this final, winning twelve of the first fourteen points disputed to lead very quickly 3-0. But Tsitsipas, like a recurring evil, then went on to get his brushes tangled up a bit, until he gave up his service at 4-2. Not successful on the backhand side, embarrassed by taking the ball early and the dynamism of Coric’s forehand, Tsitsipas gradually left the lead of the match to his opponent, before releasing a disastrous tie-break, lost fanny!
An increase of 123 places and a 29th place in the standings on Monday!
Despite three break points from the second set, not materialized, the Greek was clearly affected. Mentally, but also physically. Coric now regularly managed to move Tsitsipas, who clearly gave up some points, tired of the fight, before letting go of his serve on a double fault at 2-3. “I played the best set of the whole year”advised the Croatian about his second run, without yet fully realizing what he had just accomplished.
Coric, who lost again against the 311th world, Nicholas David Ionel, at the Challenger of Iasi (Romania) in mid-July, achieved in Cincinnati a brilliant blow and a dazzling comeback. For a giant leap of … 123 places, which will earn him tomorrow, Monday, the 29th world rank.