In one of this year's US Open best encounters, Borna Coric ousted the 4th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 in four hours and 36 minutes! The Greek had a 5-1 advantage in the fourth set, moving a step away from the finish line and wasting no less than six match points in games nine and ten to suffer one of the career's toughest defeats.
Thus, Borna advanced to the fourth round in New York for the second time in three years, refusing to surrender even in the worst moments and prevailing in the deciding tie break to hit the last 16. It was a high-quality battle on Louis Armstrong Stadion from start to finish, with 112 winners and 92 unforced errors on their tally.
Stefanos claimed five points more than Borna but not the most important ones, failing to take that extra step and remain in contention. Coric converted six out of 13 break chances, defending ten out of 15 break points and surviving all the challenges to find himself over the top after more than four and a half hours of incredible tennis.
The rivals traded breaks in the encounter's opening games, settling into a rhythm and reaching the tie break that Stefanos grabbed 7-2 after the Croat's backhand mistake. Borna had the upper hand in set number two, giving away five points behind the initial shot and earning six break opportunities.
Stefanos survived the sixth game before Borna found the way to convert the third set point at 5-4 when the Greek sprayed a forehand mistake to level the score. Servers were the dominant figures in the third set's opening eight games before Tsitsipas rattled off 12 of the last 14 points, breaking Borna at love at 4-4.
Borna Coric saved six match points at the US Open against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Serving for the set, the Greek forced the Croat's error and clinched it 6-4, gathering a boost ahead of encounter's next chapter. Breaks in games one and five propelled Stefanos 5-1 ahead in the fourth, dominating both serve and return to take a big step towards the finish line.
Borna pulled one break back in the eighth game following Stefanos' forehand error before experiencing an impossible task in the next two games, playing against six match points. First, the Croat fended off two on serve in game nine to reduce the deficit, forcing the Greek to serve for the victory for the second time.
Stefanos had a 40-0 advantage in that tenth game, squandering all four match points that would cost him dearly. Borna secured a break with a beautiful volley, leveling the score at 5-5 and stealing the set with a return winner in game 12, rattling off six straight games to set a decider!
They traded breaks in games five and six to stay neck and neck, with Tsitsipas as the better player in the closing stages. The Greek wasted four break opportunities in games nine and 11 and dropped the tie break 7-4 after a loose forehand to propel Borna over the finish line.