The 2nd of May is an important date in Madrid. 215 years ago, the city took up arms to defend what it believed was its own. On this day, Madrid rose as one in rebellion, and Borna Coric embodied this spirit in his defeat of Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Spain, Madrid, Masters 1000. Coric had a mountain to climb. Defeating a local hero who had never reached this point of a home tournament. Borna Coric, a higher-ranked player than the Spaniard, had already set foot a quarter-final in the Caja Mágica. In 2017, when he was playing as the lucky loser, he reached the quarters by beating world No. 1 Andy Murray in round three.
For his part, the Spaniard arrived in Madrid after losing to Carlos Alcaraz in Barcelona in an intense encounter that fell to the Murcia native. Davidovich had won their only previous encounter, in Indian Wells in 2022, but it is a deceptive precedent as the Croat had just returned from a year-long injury.
Today’s match would be decided on the finer details, with nerves also playing an important role. The significance of the encounter was reflected in the players’ tension and the tie started with four breaks in the first five games. The fans in the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium shouted, gesticulated and cheered, and Davidovich took advantage of the atmosphere to take the first set in a close tiebreak. Borna, though, was not about to back down. With two service breaks, he took the second set 6-3. In the decider, the Spaniard took the lead with a break that looked like it would be enough to seal the deal. But Coric broke back and the deciding set would go to another tiebreak. There, the Croat completed his comeback and, not without a small slice of fortune, earned himself the match point with which he would put the final nail in the Spaniard’s coffin.
Borna Coric now has a great chance to reach the semi-finals of a Masters 1000. Only Daniel Altmaier, the German world No. 92, stands between him and the penultimate round after beating Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-0. Coric has his sights set on the crown in Madrid and, so far, nobody has figured out a way to stop him.