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Borna, again – Coric to play Alcaraz in Madrid semis

Borna Coric defeated Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday evening and will face Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, the top seed, in the next round

Borna Coric Madrid Open 2023 | AI / Reuters / Panoramic Borna Coric Madrid Open 2023 | AI / Reuters / Panoramic
Mutua Madrid Open •Quarter-final • completed
See draw

He entered the Madrid draw on a five-match losing streak, and winless since mid-February, but Croatia’s Borna Coric is back on the good side of things once again. The No 17 seed powered past German lucky loser Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-3 to move into the last four of the Madrid Masters at the Caja Magica on Wednesday evening.

The victory marks Coric’s fourth Masters 1000 semi-final, his first since he won the Cincinnati title last year, and his first on clay.

But things won’t get any easier for the world No 20 – he will play Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, the top seed, next.

Coric served magnificently in the contest, winning all but nine points on serve and never facing a break point. He broke Altmaier three times from five opportunities and hit 15 winners against 15 unforced errors (compared to 8 winners and 21 unforced for the 24-year-old German).

Extra time in Madrid making the difference

Losing in his previous five matches made for some short weeks. It triggered Coric to make a decision to come early to the Spanish capital and take some extra reps in the unique conditions. It has paid off handsomely.

“I always love to play here in Madrid,” he said. “I have also a very nice memories from here and I knew I could play well – I came here very early to prepare myself for the tournament as it’s, I would say, a little bit different from the next tournaments (conditions-wise) – I’m just I’m just very happy to be in the semi final.”

Coric was home for a spell after losing in his first match at Miami, and decided to go put in some extra work on site.

“I did have lots of time because I was not playing very well and I lost in the first round in my previous tournaments,” he said. “I was actually back at home and I was thinking to myself: maybe I can stay back at home but also I like Madrid. I like to come here and a new it is also a little bit different to play here. So you know that’s why I decided to come early.”

Alcaraz next – Coric believes

Asked if he felt he could win on Friday against the defending champ, Coric didn’t hesitate – with a caveat.

“I do,” he said. “I do of course, but he’s an absolutely unbelievable player in unbelievable shape at the moment as well. He’s the favorite and I’m gonna just go out there and I’m gonna enjoy myself. I like to play here in this stadium it’s gonna be a very cool feeling for sure.”

Ahead of his victory, the Croat won against French wildcard Hugo Gaston (6-3, 6-3), Pole Hubert Hurkacz, the No 12 seed (7-6 (3), 6-3) and Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the No 29 seed (6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (5)).

Altmaier, ranked No 92, beat Oscar Otte (6-4, 7-5), qualifier Yannick Hanfmann (7-6 (3), 6-3) and Spaniard Jaume Munar (6-3, 6-0) earlier in the tournament.

Madrid Masters, other last eight results (Caja Magica, clay, EUR 7.705.780, most recent results first):

  • Jan-Lennard Struff vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • Zhizhen Zhang vs. Aslan Karatsev
  • Carlos Alcaraz beat Karen Khachanov (10): 6-4, 7-5

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