Borna Coric (CRO) vs.  Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
It was the first meeting between a current upstart versus a former upstart. A professional player since 2013, Coric was the veteran; however, it was the eighteen-year-old who played with the composure of a veteran. There is a quiet composure about the young Canadian, a sense that despite his age, he knows that he belongs. Where does that come from? Is it something that he was born with or was it something that developed after the work he has put in to develop his game? Perhaps it is a combination of both, Roger Federer is impressed with his mental strength and that speaks volumes.
Not discouraged after losing his break advantage in the first set, Auger-Aliassime simply redoubled his efforts and forced the set to a tiebreak. He disrupted the Croatian’s rhythm so much, that Coric lost his cool in frustration. The Canadian served big, mixed up his attack and befuddled the Croatian. It was not a blow-out tiebreak; however, it was a dominant performance from the young Canadian.
Coric is a fighter and we expected to see him mount a comeback in the second set; however, Auger-Aliassime had no desire to give him such an opportunity and kept the pressure on from the start of the second set. He broke early and jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Croatian finally won a game. Coric was confused, he could not find a way to attack the Canadian’s serve and he started pressing a bit, which resulted in more errors.
He fought off match points on his serve at 1-5 down in the second set; however, that was a short-lived reprieve, the end was inevitable for the Croatian. The telling stat was the second serve points won, and Coric won less than forty-five percent of his second serves compared to Auger-Aliassime, who won sixty-one percent of his second serves. With the 7-6(3), 6-2 victory, the Canadian became the youngest semifinalist in the Miami Open’s tournament thirty-five-year history.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally originals (Felix Auger-Aliassime)