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Coric stuns Nadal in second round of Cincinnati Masters

Borna Coric pulls off the upset of the tournament by beating Rafael Nadal in three sets at the Cincinnati Masters on Wednesday. Another Spaniard — Roberto Bautista Agut — is next up for Coric.

Borna Coric, Saint-Petersburg 2020 Borna Coric, Saint-Petersburg 2020

Heading into Wednesday’s night session, there had already been a whole host of upsets at the Western & Southern Open. And then another one — the biggest one — occurred.

Rafael Nadal’s first tournament since Wimbledon came to an end before it even really began, as the 36-year-old Spaniard lost his opening match to Borna Coric 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3. Coric pulled off his biggest win in several years after two hours and 55 minutes of play.

First set proves costly for Nadal

Nadal had plenty of chances to get off to a fast start. Coric twice had to serve to stay in the first set, including at 4-5 following an hour and a half rain delay. The Croat successfully did so in that game and again at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker. Nadal got a look at what should have been an easy swinging forehand volley on his set point at 6-5 in the ‘breaker, but he sent it well wide. The Spaniard eventually double-faulted on his opponent’s set point at 9-10.

Nadal briefly turned the tide in set two, but because of his hiccup in the opener he was still forced to play a third. One break was enough for Coric in the decider, as the underdog was flawless on serve throughout.

“It’s very, very special,” Coric assured. “I was out for the last two years and I didn’t play on the big stage. I was really looking forward to this match because I haven’t had that the last two years. It was crazy, I would say.”

Cincinnati Masters 100, other second-round matches and results

  • Frances Tiafoe vs. Sebastian Korda
  • Roberto Bautista Agut beat Marcos Giron (Q): 6-3, 6-3
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) beat Filip Krajinovic: 6-3, 6-4
  • Taylor Fritz (11) beat Nick Kyrgios: 6-3, 6-2
  • Ben Shelton (WC) beat Casper Ruud (5): 6-3, 6-3
  • Jannik Sinner (10) beat Miomir Kecmanovic: 7-5, 3-1 ret.
  • Denis Shapovalov beat Tommy Paul: 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
  • John Isner beat Hubert Hurkacz (8): 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-2
  • Cameron Norrie (9) beat Andy Murray: 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Andrey Rublev (6) beat Fabio Fognini (LL): 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 6-2
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) beat Alex De Minaur: 6-3, 6-2
  • Diego Schwartzman (13) beat Aslan Karatsev: 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2
  • Daniil Medvedev (1) beat Botic van de Zandschulp: 6-4, 7-5
  • Marin Čilić (14) beat Emil Ruusuvuori: 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5
  • Carlos Alcaraz (3) beat Mackenzie McDonald (WC): 6-3, 6-2

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