Tomas Berdych met Borna Coric in Stadium 1 at the BNP Paribas Open. Oddly enough, this was supposed to be a day match but thanks to two long three-setters before their match, this match began when the night session was supposed to start. This was labeled as a “popcorn match” to many, but it failed to live up to that for most part with Berdych flying out to a commanding lead before Coric fought commendingly but lost in straights 6-1, 7-6(3).
Coric Fails To Hold Serve As Berdych Dominates Opener
Berdych opened up the match serving and was pushed to deuce but was able to hold to open up the proceedings. The Czech was able to open up a 0-40 lead on the Croat’s serve and drew the backhand error from Coric to go up an early break. The youngster earned the break right back though, after an erratic game from Berdych.
Oddly enough, the early goings of this game looked more like a WTA match rather than ATP match with yet another break as the 2010 Wimbledon finalist broke back for 3-1 and gave the match its first service hold since the opening game for a 4-1 lead. Another wild game from Coric gave the Czech number one a 5-1 lead. A love hold with a forehand winner, closed out the opening set for the Czech, 6-1 in a quick 24 minutes.
Coric Fights Back But Falls In Straights
The bleeding continued for Coric, getting broken to start the second. He had two break back points up 15-40, but sent the first one long and wide. However, a backhand error from the Czech leveled the second set at one apiece. The break fest continued as Berdych made it three straight breaks to open the second, breaking for 2-1 and consolidated with the first hold of the second. It went from bad to worse for Coric, getting broken yet again with the Czech leading 4-1 thanks to a forehand error.
Similarly to the first set, Coric had 15-40 for two break back points. He converted on the second as he looked to turn around his dismal 0/6 service games with a hold. After a massive ace down the tee gave him 30-15, Coric was unable to close out the game as it went to deuce. A great touch drop volley gave the Czech break point, but the Croat battled back for a game point, only to double-fault. He finally held for the first time in the match to cut the deficit to 3-4.
Whilst serving for the match, Berdych was forced to deuce after a brilliant hot shot from Coric with drop volley, followed by a spin. He was able to break after fending off two match points for five-all as there looked to be a new twist in the plot. At 30-all up 6-5, with Berdych serving, the Croat was just two points away from forcing a decider. He pushed the game to deuce but saw the second set head to a tiebreak instead.
Coric was the first to crack in the tiebreak, hitting a forehand six inches long to give the Czech number one the 3-1 mini-break lead. The Croat struck back with a phenomenal backhand winner down the line to get it back on serve at 3-4. However, a backhand error gave the mini-break right back. The Czech was able to close it out 7-3 in the tiebreak to move on to face Milos Raonic.
Coric was dismal on serve throughout the first set. He did not win a single service game, going 0/3 in that regard. Also, winning 20 percent of points on first and second serve did not help. The Croat performed much better on serve in the second and held his serve for the first times in the set. However, too many unforced errors did him in.