A year ago, Daniil Medvedev defeated Borna Coric in the final of St. Petersburg, winning the title in front of the home crowd. The Russian suffered an early loss this week and will have to pass the trophy to some of his rivals.
Borna Coric is in contention again following a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Milos Raonic in the semi-final, advancing to his seventh ATP title match and the first in a year. Milos won their previous encounter in Delray Beach 2017, making a perfect start in this one and looking to seal the deal in no time.
Nonetheless, Borna fought back in set number two and produced a single break in the decider that carried him towards the finish line. Raonic got broken three times from five chances offered to Borna, converting two break chances in the opening set and creating opportunities in only one return game in sets two and three.
Milos had the upper hand in the opening set, dominating both serve and return to leave Borna far behind. Matching the rival's pace from the baseline, Raonic landed a forehand winner to seize the fourth break chances in the second game and move in front.
After deuce in game three, the Canadian held to confirm the advantage, securing another break with a smash winner to open a 4-0 gap. Serving for the set at 5-1, Milos fired a service winner to wrap it up in style, hoping for more of the same in set number two.
Instead of that, Borna turned the tables and won 25 out of 34 points, barely losing a point on serve and stealing Milos' serve twice for 6-1. The Croat held at love in the first game and forced an error from the Canadian in game two to grab a break and open the lead.
Borna Coric will play against Andrey Rublev for the title in St. Petersburg.
A service winner sent Coric 3-0 ahead before delivering another break and hold at love with an ace to race into a 5-0 lead. Borna placed an ace down the T line in game seven to clinch the set 6-1, gaining momentum ahead of the decider.
In the second game of the final set, Milos had a massive chance to move in front, creating three break chances and wasting them all in the critical moment of the encounter. Borna broke at 15 in game five following a backhand mistake from Raonic, holding at 15 in the next one to confirm the advantage and move closer to the finish line.
Serving at 5-4, Coric landed a forehand winner to seal the deal and advance into the first final in a year, happy with how he performed in the last two sets.