ATP Cincinnati: Nick Kyrgios dismisses Borna Coric in emotional match
Kyrgios' flair and strength endeared him to the Midwestern crowd (Photo: Noel Alberto/VAVEL USA)

ATP Cincinnati: Nick Kyrgios dismisses Borna Coric in emotional match

23-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios defeats Borna Coric of Croatia 7-6(1) 0-6 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes.

jakub-bobro
Jakub Bobro

Day three of the Western and Southern Open was riddled with rain, but fans still filled Court 10 to the brim for the intriguing second round between two super-talents, Nick Kyrgios and Borna Čorić

Kyrgios entered his second match after a 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 battle with American qualifier Denis Kudla, which lasted just over two hours. The Australian struggled with movement due to a knee injury, and many expected him to retire after dropping the first set, in order to be fit for the U.S. Open. Kyrgios fought back and advanced through to the second round.

Coric had admittedly a simpler opening match against a fellow #NextGen player and qualifier Daniil Medvedev. The Croat put up a strong performance, winning 6-2 6-3 in just an hour and 11 minutes, causing him to be the bookies' favorite in this match.

Kyrgios edges tiebreaker

Nick Kyrgios came into the match with both knees heavily taped and seemed to be somewhat limited in his movement. The 23-year-old did make up for it with flair throughout the match, drop shots, tweeners, and jumping forehands galore.

There seemed to be a feeling-out process in the first six games, as both players held without going to deuce until 3-3. Kyrgios got two break points on Coric's serve, but the Croat saved both and held his serve. Coric served first, so he was in the better position as the set progressed, putting pressure on Kyrgios to serve to stay in the set. The Australian dealt with it well, not giving Coric a breakpoint, taking the opener to a tiebreaker.

Coric did his best to fight back, but it just wasn't enough in the end. (Photo: Noel Alberto/VAVEL USA)

Coric did get a look at 5-6, as Kyrgios went down 0-30 on his serve. The Australian won the next four points, winning the game and coming into the tiebreaker with all the momentum. He confirmed it by winning four more, going 4-0 up. The streak stopped there, as Kyrgios decided to go for a tweener lob on an approach shot and fired it long. The 4-1 scoreline did not scare him as the Australian went on to win the first set tiebreak 7-1.

One line call turns Kyrgios off

Coric left the first set behind and bounced back right away with a break on Kyrgios' serve and confirmed it right away, going up 2-0. In a key point in the next game, Kyrgios got passed by Coric at the net, and the umpire refused to overturn a questionable call. From the TV angle, it did seem out. The young Australian did not take this well and argued the call with the umpire and fired a ball out of the court once the umpire refused to change his decision. Kyrgios went on to lose the game, and according to reporter Reim Abulleil turned around to his team and said:  "You'll never see a bigger tank than the next three games". 

It was a match full of ups and downs for Nick Kyrgios. (Photo: Noel Alberto/VAVEL USA)

As it was promised, so it happened, and Kyrgios did lose the second set 6-0. During this set, he had some short exchanges with fans between points as well as a rant about the chair umpire to the ATP supervisor, who was standing courtside. According to Kyrgios, "if you heard the things he says about me in the locker room, he wouldn't be doing this match." He also said that the chair umpire was a "laughing stock", that "no one likes him" and "no one wants him to do their matches."

The bar is raised, Australian victorious

Kyrgios came into the final set a new man, firing three aces to go up 40-0, getting the crowd entirely on his side and getting the opening game. Coric continued to be consistent, as he was throughout the match, but Kyrgios found a new gear, forcing the 21-year-old Croat to also push himself, producing some wonderful winners. The crowd seemed to be behind Kyrgios for most of the match as he played with flair and was very talkative with the crowd, but they really became a factor with their support in the deciding set.

Coric was looking amazing at 1-2, 40-15 in the third, but it seemed like the crowd and the occasion got to him, dropping four straight points and letting Kyrgios break for 3-1. The Australian had a quick start to the next game, going up 30-0, but Coric kept fighting back for every single point, so despite Kyrgios winning the game for 40-30, it was still a tough and important hold.

Kyrgios really put the pressure on Coric in the next game, as another break would let him serve for the match. The Croat did well to keep ahead throughout the game and held for 4-2 after one deuce. It was now Coric putting a lot of pressure on Kyrgios to hold as the Australian went down 0-30 on his serve and had to fend off a break point at 30-40. Kyrgios held on and was up 5-2. 

Coric didn't mess around and won the next game to love on his serve. After not looking particularly convincing in his previous service game, Kyrgios looked cool, calm, and collected, probably for the first time in this match. He put out four points of great quality and the match was his, 7-6(1), 0-6, 6-3 after an hour and 50 minutes.

In the third round, Kyrgios will face either fourth-seed Juan Martín del Potro or Hyeon Chung of South Korea.

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