By Princy James, Paris correspondent Can Borna Coric (18), Thanasi Kokkinakis (19) and Nick Kyrgios(20) end our long wait for a young champion? Kyrgios has been the talk of the town for quite some time; Coric followed suit, and Kokkinakis as well has improved considerably this season.
These youngsters are evolving at a fast pace, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them make it to the top 10 in the next 2-3 years. In the wake of the aforementioned players’ advancement into the third round at the French Open, Novak Djokovic has given an opinion about them, that too an interesting opinion, when Tennis World USA asked what he thinks about these three players.
Your opponent in the next round is 19-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis; Borna Coric and Nick Kyrgios have also managed to move to the third round. My question is, have you noticed anything particular in any of these players? May be an interesting aspect about their game? Because Roger Federer had invited Kyrgios last year, ahead of the French Open, to train with him in Zurich; Rafael Nadal also had some good things to talk about Kokkinakis’ forehand.
Do you have anything to say something similar? “Well, I think you named the players who are already making their way through professional tennis, and are making a statement with their wins in the last 12 months or so.
Kyrgios against Nadal and Federer; Coric against Nadal and Murray...so that deserves a lot of praise and respect. I think all of them have great skills and potential to be, you know, top players,” Djokovic said. Interestingly, he picked one name out of the three I mentioned, and that was of Borna Coric, the 18-year-old Croatian who made it to the top 50 this month.
“ I like Coric and how he approaches the matches. He has a very mature mindset for somebody who is only 18. I practised with him quite a lot in the last couple of months, and he does remind me of myself a little bit when I was of that age. He is a great fighter, very solid from the baseline, both sides.
He is improving his serve, as I have seen.” “Now he is working with Tomas Johansson, the Grand Slam winner, who can help him of course from the point of view of experience. I’m sure he knows what to do. We talked a lot.
And as I said, he has a very professional, very mature way of approaching, not just the matches, but tennis life in general, which is nice to see for somebody his age. It’s not something usual. So I wish him all the best.
I think he is going to be very, very good,” Djokovic further elaborated. Nevertheless, the World No:1 added that the road ahead will be pretty tough if they want to get all the way up to the top. “They all have a complete game, but tennis is a very physical sport nowadays, and consistency is one of the keywords for them in order to be a top 5 or top 10 contender, depending on what they want to achieve,” he reminded.