Borna Coric will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Cincinnati Masters after he downed Cameron Norrie pretty comfortably in straight sets.
The 25-year-old Croatian, who was only able to muster 21 matches in an injury-plagued 2021, showed that he is very much back at the top of his game with the impressive win over Norrie.
While the Brit had been very confident coming off a string of fine results, Coric simply had too much for him on the day in what ended up being a rain-affected but fairly straightforward match.
It was an emotional win for Coric given the career-threatening right shoulder surgery he endured last season. The Croat has been as high as No. 12 in the world rankings but is now down to No. 152 due to his persistent injury struggles.
The relief was palpable for him as he celebrated the victory over Norrie and realised that he was back in an ATP Masters 1000 final for the first time in four years.
“I was really working very hard in the last six months,” said Coric. “I think once you are in the top 20 or top 30, you can get a little bit sloppy and maybe get away with it.
“But once you fall down to No. 200 — I don’t know where I was, but I knew I needed to work probably three times harder than I used to work, and that’s what I did. For the last six months, I was really focused. I kept my head down even when I was losing.
“I don’t have much to lose,” he continued as he looked ahead to the showpiece final against Tsitsipas.
“I have done everything that I could this week and more than I expected, so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy my time tomorrow on the court.”
Tsitsipas said of facing Coric: “I’m prepared for it. I know it’s not an easy task playing against him.
“He’s coming back from an injury, he’s playing great tennis, and he’s going to work very hard for it.”