It wasn’t a victory that came down to a net cord on the final point, as was the case against Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich, but Wednesday’s win was a special one for Borna Coric, all the same. The Croat has sealed his passage to the Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals, which will see him cross paths with defending champion Carlos Alcaraz.
The seventeenth seed ended lucky loser Daniel Altmaier’s dream run in the match that ended the day’s play in the Manolo Santana Stadium. Coric needed one hour and fourteen minutes to shake off the German (6-3, 6-3) and claim his tenth win from fifteen matches in the Caja Mágica.
The Zagreb-born player is in the penultimate round of a tournament for the first time since Vienna last year. He has reached this stage of Masters 1000 tournaments on three previous occasions, in Indian Wells and Shanghai (2018) and Cincinnati (2022).
In China and Ohio he progressed to the final. To do likewise in Madrid he will face the considerable challenge posed by the home favourite. It will be the first time he has faced Alcaraz, who is in astonishing form, with nine consecutive wins on clay and, so far this year, sixteen victories compared with one defeat on the surface.
Coric has a great opportunity at this MMOPEN to open his Masters 1000 account and, should he do so, he will equal his career-high ranking by returning to ATP number twelve for the first time since 2018.