Borna Coric of Croatia started his BNP Paribas Open campaign with a solid 6-2, 7-5 win over Lucas Pouille of France. The 19-year-old Croat, who is one of ATP’s Next Generation players had his serve going well in his first round match at Stadium 1. Coric didn't have any problems disposing Pouille in under 79 minutes. He will face Thomas Bellucci of Brazil in the second round.
Coric gets an early break to win the first set
Under the bright sun, the first match on Stadium 1 between Coric and Pouille got underway with both players holding their first service games comfortably. Tied 1-1, Coric in his red and white Nike kit got two break points after Pouille sends a forehand long. The Frenchman, who was wearing a red and orange Adidas kit, net his next shot to give Coric an early lead. Coric consolidates the break in the following game to go up 3-2.
The Croat didn’t show any signs of fatigue as he was fresh out of his Davis Cup match on Sunday. He didn’t have any time to prepare and condition himself on the hard courts of Indian Wells.
The Croat leading 4-2 gets another chance to go up a double break after he gets a break point as Pouille hit a forehand error in the third deuce game. Coric capitalized the break point and converted it with a massive forehand return in Pouille’s weak second serve.
Coric, ranked 47th in the world and the youngest player in the Top 50, closed the set comfortably in 27 minutes. The Croat had his forehand working well all throughout the first set. He was serving well with 84 percent of his first serves were in compared to Pouille’s 46 percent. Coric won 88 percent of those first serves. He hit seven winners and only four unforced errors while Pouille hit eight winners and 16 unforced errors.
Coric keeps the momentum going in the second set
Coric kept the momentum going from the first set as he got a break point on an error from Pouille during the first game. The Croat got the break after Pouille sent a forehand long. He consolidated the break in the following game to go up an early 2-0 lead. Coric was playing well behind the baseline, winning 21 points compared to Pouille’s six baseline points.
Coric continued his strong service game from the first set. He got most of his first serves in and hit most of his shots cleanly. However, the Frenchman seemed to found his game as the set progressed. Down 3-4, Pouille hit back to back winners to go up 30-0 in Coric’s service game. The Croat would get broken at love as he hit back to back errors on the next two points to level the set.
Tied 5-5, Coric got two break points after Pouille committed another error. However, the Croat couldn’t convert both break points. After four deuce games, Coric got his sixth break point on another Pouille error. In the next point, the Frenchman sent a forehand long to give Coric the break. The Croat didn’t have any problem closing the match in the following game to book a second round match against Bellucci.
Coric was serving consistently during the match with 71 percent of his first serves were in compared to Pouille’s 55 percent. The Croat won 86 percent of those first serves while the Frenchman won 63 percent. Coric hit 18 winners and unforced errors while Pouille hit 19 winners and 33 unforced errors.