Croatian teenage sensation, Borna Coric is looking forward to a dream final at Aircel Chennai Open 2016, facing off against defending champion, world no. 4 Stan Wawrinka. The 19-year old will be participating at South Asia’s premier and India’s only ATP tournament for the second year in a row, and is looking forward to playing in the 20th edition of the prestigious tournament in Chennai.
“It was my first time in Chennai last year and I enjoyed it a lot. The tournament is very well organized, the crowd was amazing, and I met all my Indian fans. I am glad to be back,” Coric said.
On his Chennai preparation and aims for the upcoming tournament, the world No. 44 added, “I had a tough second round against Stan Wawrinka in 2015, losing to him in straight sets. I would prefer to face him in finals this year!”
As a lucky loser at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships event in February this year, Coric pulled off a surprise victory beating Andy Murray in straight sets in the quarter-finals, before losing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals eventually. Starting the year ranked 95, the Croat reached a career high ranking of 33 in July this year, before closing out the year ranked at an impressive world no. 44.
Says the 19-year old, “I like to play against top players, they push me to play at my best level. I enjoyed my match vs. Rafa Nadal at the US Open. Even if I lost, I loved the atmosphere; it was a great feeling to play at night in the Arthur Ashe stadium in front of a passionate crowd. I learnt a lot from this match vs Rafa, it made me grow up!”
In 2014, Coric finished the season as the youngest player, aged 18 years, and one of only two teenagers (Kyrgios) in the Top 100 Emirates ATP Rankings after rising 276 places during that year. Coric was awarded the ATP Star of presented by Emirates in November 2014, given to the youngest player in the year-end Top 100.
Having reached a career high of 33 this year, says Coric, “I want to improve my game, my tennis. I work and practice hard every day. My goal for 2016 is to stay healthy and in good shape. I want to win matches and live more amazing moments on the courts. In the next two years, I would like to win the Aircel Chennai Open title!”
The 2013 US Open Junior title winner, Coric started playing tennis aged five, after watching his father play. He counts Goran Ivanisevic and Rafael Nadal as his idols growing up. His favourite surface is the outdoor hardcourt, and he plays the right-handed two-handed backhand. If he hadn’t been a tennis player, he would have been a boxer, a sport that he loves and often plays to beat the pressure of tennis, Mike Tyson being his favourite sporting personality.
Along with Borna Coric, ACO 2016 will witness an exceptional line-up of top talent at the US$480,000 prize money tournament. Cutting off at 93, the impressive player field for the region's most exciting and hard-fought tennis tournament will see World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka vying for a hat-trick of titles, Chennai-debutant World No. 12 Kevin Anderson, World No. 19, ATP's Comeback Player of the Year 2015 Benoit Paire, World No. 25 Roberto Bautista-Agut, along with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Gilles Muller, Vasek Pospisil and Aljaz Bedene representing nine players from amongst the top 50 in the world. The Indian challenge will be led by Yuki Bhambri who broke into the top 100 for the first time this year.
About Aircel Chennai Open 2016
The USD$480,000 Aircel Chennai Open, owned by IMG and operated and organised by IMG Reliance, is India's and South Asia's only ATP World Tour event. Started in 1996, by IMG, a global leader in sports management and marketing, the event has completed 20 successful years in Chennai, branding Chennai and India on the global tennis map thus creating a legacy of sorts of promoting international tennis in India. Winner of the prestigious ATP's Player Services Award of Excellence (2006) for its outstanding organization and wonderful hospitality towards the participants and ATP's Best Marketing Award (2008), the tournament has acquired the status of a much sought-after tennis event for both players and fans alike in the International tennis circuit. The 21st edition of the event in India, and 20th in Chennai will be held from 4th – 10th January, 2016 at the SDAT Tennis stadium in Nungambakkam, Chennai. The tournament is conducted in Chennai with the active collaboration of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) and Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).