Ohio City (US): Croatian teenager Borna Coric brushed aside world No.5 Rafael Nadal 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati here. Playing his second match since participating in the Rio Olympics, where he won gold in doubles and came in fourth in singles, the 30-year-old Nadal was out of sorts against his 49th-ranked opponent on Thursday, Efe news reported.
Coric fell behind 1-0 but then raced through the rest of the first set against a rival who made an uncharacteristically high number of unforced errors and lost his serve three straight times. The Croatian player then got two more service breaks to grab a 4-0 lead at the start of the second set thanks to continued erratic play by Nadal, who received treatment from the trainer for problems with his left wrist.
The third-seeded Nadal managed to trim Coric’s lead to 4-2 with a service break and play more evenly over the remainder of the contest, but the Croatian was still able to seal the victory in an hour and 12 minutes and book his first-ever quarterfinal berth at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. Coric won his first-ever meeting with Nadal at a 2014 hard-court event in Basel, Switzerland, but the Spaniard defeated the teenager in the first round of last year’s US Open. The Croatian teen is the youngest player to reach an ATP Masters 1,000 quarterfinal since Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, the current world No. 1, made the final eight at an indoor event in Madrid in 2006. –IANS
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