The US Open 2018 can already be chalked up as a step forward for 21 year old Croat, Borna Coric. He faces the giant Argentian Juan Martin Del Potro in the 4th round. Having never been beyond the 3rd round of a slam, previously.
New Slam Territory for Borna Coric
Borna Coric’s impressive victory over fellow NextGen ace Daniil Medvedev in straight sets is a leap forward. His form had taken a dip since winning the title in Halle. Coric has only dropped one set in three matches and is starting to find his range. Djokovic-esque defense and controlling points from the baseline with his potent forehand have been his strategy.
What’s notable, when increasing his head-to-head advantage over Medvedev to 3-1 – is his return points won. Performance in this area rose to 46% from 33% in his last loss against Kyrgios at Cincinnati. This needs to be in the early forties, percentwise, if he is to pull off arguably, his biggest win to date against Del Potro.
Del Potro Looking to Turn Back Time to 2009 at US Open This Year
2009 Champion Del Potro has looked close to his best at times this season. Tiredness, nothing else accounted for his quarterfinal five set loss to Nadal at Wimbledon. Make no mistake about it, Del-Potro needs to be taken seriously as a contender here. The way he dominated Federer in the quarterfinals here last year, shows he still has an affinity with Flushing Meadows.
Coric Needs to Find a Way into Points on the Del-Potro Serve
Del Potro’s first serve won percentage is normally around 80%. That dipped in defeat against returner Goffin in Cincinnati and also against Young in the first round. This area is the key against Coric. If the Croat is able to work his way into rallies on the Argentian’s serve – then this could make things tricky for the 3rd seed.
This match could be akin to Serena Williams v Kerber – the ultimate server against returner. We could be in for a classic.