ATP Rio: Borna Coric and Cristian Garin prevail on rain-plagued Friday to reach semis

Tennis - Dominic Thiem is a set and a break down against Gianluca Mager before the they continue on Saturday

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Rio: Borna Coric and Cristian Garin prevail on rain-plagued Friday to reach semis

The rain was the main factor on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, with a couple of long delays that allowed only two out of four quarter-final encounters to finish. The 3rd seed Cristian Garin ousted a qualifier Federico Coria 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 14 minutes, continuing where he left in Cordoba and seeking the second title of the season.

The 27-year-old Argentine came to Rio de Janeiro with one ATP win under his belt, passing the qualifying round and pushing the top-30 player to the limits before Garin prevailed with a late break of serve. The Chilean claimed five points more than his opponent, getting broken four times and earning the same amount of breaks from 12 chances created, almost squandering the advantage in the pivotal moments but finding the way to cross the finish line first.

Coria was off to a perfect start, securing a break in the first game and moving 5-2 up following a double fault from Garin in game seven. The Argentine converted the third set point in the next game with a service winner for a 6-2 after 35 minutes, taming his shots nicely and fending off all three break chances to grab an early lead.

Garin raised his level in set number two, facing no break chances and moving 4-2 up thanks to a deep return that Federico failed to control. Serving for the set at 5-3, Cristian held at 15 to secure the set just before another rain delay, returning almost an hour and a half later to embrace a decider.

There, Garin opened a 4-1 advantage with a double break, allowing Coria to pull one break back but serving for the win at 5-4. Federico saved a match point and broke back to level the score at 5-5 after a massive forehand mistake from Cristian who had to start all over again if he wanted to cross the finish line first.

Wasting a game point in the 11th game, Coria suffered a break when Garin placed a forehand winner, with the Chilean moving over the top in the next game to advance into the semis and stay on the title course. The 5th seed Borna Coric managed to beat both the rain and Lorenzo Sonego 7-6, 6-3 in two hours and nine minutes to find himself in the first semi-final since St.

Petersburg last September. Coric dominated with his first serve and repelled all eight break chances (three set points) to mount the pressure on the other side of the net, earning one break from three opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets and get some rest ahead of the semis.

Sonego was the better player in the opener, facing no break chances and creating those eight that could have brought the set for him. Instead of that, Borna fended off five in the fourth games to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, having to play against two set points in game ten once they returned after a couple of hours due to a rain delay.

The Croat stayed focused to save them both, erasing another set point in the 12th game with a smash winner to set up a tie break that he claimed 7-5 thanks to a deep return that Sonego placed into the net after more than 80 minutes of grueling tennis.

The second set was more fluid and Borna was the one who had the advantage, sailing through his service games and delivering a break in game six when Lorenzo sprayed a forehand error. The Italian survived two match points on serve two games later before Coric moved over the top with a service winner a few minutes later for the place in the semis.

Borna Coric Dominic Thiem Gianluca Mager