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Tsitsipas exorcises Coric memories with thrilling victory in another epic

The Greek came from 4-1 down in the decider as he won on his sixth match point, erasing some of the hurt from his painful loss to Coric at the 2020 US Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas United Cup 2023 Stefanos Tsitsipas © United Cup

Stefanos Tsitsipas found himself embroiled in another epic battle with Borna Coric on Wednesday. This time he came out a winner, just.

It was at the 2020 US Open that Tsitsipas suffered one of his most difficult losses, squandering six match points as he was beaten by Coric in the second round. It was a defeat that lingered.

In Perth on Wednesday, the Greek went some way to exorcising the memory (and that of two more defeats in 2022) as he clinched his first completed win over Coric in five meetings, his 6-0, 6-7 (4), 7-5 win pulling Greece level in their United Cup tie with Croatia.

Coric fights back to make it a thriller

It was far from easy after the first set, with Coric saving two match points in the second set and then leading 4-1 in the third before Tsitsipas fought back superbly for victory.

“I just didn’t want to lose. I said to myself, no, no, no, you’re not getting out of this court with your head down,” a relieved Tsitsipas said.

Tsitsipas dropped just eight points in the first set and at 5-6 in the second set, he had two chances to close it out. At that stage, he must have thought history was coming back to haunt him, though, as Coric saved them both and won the tiebreak, before surging ahead 4-1 in the decider.

Having also lost to Coric in Cincinnati and Vienna last year, Tsitsipas must have feared the worst, but he dug deep and won six of the last seven games for victory, even though he still needed another four match points to get it done.

“I didn’t want to let my team down,” he said. “I had to try 110 percent.”

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