The next generation of tennis stars are quickly making their way to the top of the sport and our young Canadian players are no exception. Although we know that you will be cheering for Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov at Rogers Cup in Montreal, we encourage you to get behind their fellow NextGen ATP stars of tomorrow. Today we will be highlighting Borna Coric.
He may be only 20 years old, but Borna Coric of Croatia has been in the spotlight for some time already. In 2014, he became the youngest player to finish the season in the Top 100. He even did one better: he was the first 17-year-old to join this elite group since 2004.
Mentally tough and agile on the court, Coric has been racking up wins. This year, he secured his first ATP title at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh. In Madrid, he reached the quarter-finals of a Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career, ousting World No. 1 Andy Murray in the process.
Last year, in Cincinnati, he got the better of Benoit Paire (32), Nick Kyrgios (16) and Rafael Nadal (5) on route to an appearance in the quarter-finals.
The tennis elite don’t seem to intimidate Coric, seeing as he has already earned impressive wins on the professional tour. At only 17 years of age, he defeated his childhood idol Rafael Nadal. And at 18, he overcame Andy Murray for the first time in his career.
Former world no. 2 and 2001 Wimbledon champion, Goran Ivanisevic, predicts a bright future for his protégé, affirming that “he [Coric] can definitely win a Grand Slam”. He describes Coric as a tough player: “The way he plays points, the way he’s fighting, he’s like a pit bull. When a pit bull bites, he doesn’t let you go. That’s him”.
With all eyes on the number one ranking in the next few years, Coric is expected to continue his ascent and collect numerous titles along the way. This summer, tennis fans won’t want to miss him on the courts at Uniprix Stadium during Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
Coric will be making his third appearance at the tournament and his second in Montreal. Last year in Toronto, he overpowered his countryman Ivan Dodig in the opening round, but then fell to 5th seed Tomas Berdych.
Feature photo: ATP World Tour