World no. 1 Novak Djokovic advanced into the quarter-final in Vienna, beating Borna Coric 7-6, 6-3 in two hours in seven minutes. With these points, Novak has secured the year-end no. 1 honor for the sixth time, matching Pete Sampras' record and achieving another milestone in a shorter but historical season.
Djokovic saved three break points in the opener and never lost serve, delivering two breaks in set number two after fending off four set points in the opening set tie break. The opening set saw no less than 94 points, with Coric winning 48 of those.
Borna lost only nine points behind the initial shot, producing six comfortable holds and earning chances on the return to keep Djokovic under pressure. Novak saved three break points in games nine and 11 and four set points in the tie break, enduring all the obstacles to wrap up the opener in 75 minutes!
Novak had 15 winners and 13 unforced errors while Borna hit 17 winners and 18 mistakes, giving his best to dictate the pace and barely missing to cross the finish line first. Borna sent a backhand long in the first game to bring Novak to the scoreboard, holding at 15 with a service winner to level the score at 1-1.
The Serb sealed the third game with a forehand winner, and the Croat responded with another strong serve to lock the result at 2-2. Both players held at 30 in games five and six before a couple of holds at love, staying neck and neck so far after 33 minutes.
Serving at 4-4, Novak fended off two break chances and closed the game with a service winner to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard. Holding nerves, Coric brought the tenth game home with a hold at love and earned another break chance in game 11, spraying a backhand error to miss a massive opportunity.
Novak Djokovic is through to the quarter-final in Vienna.
The Croat held at 15 to secure a tie break where they traded two mini-breaks in the opening four points. From 2-2, the next eight points went with serve and Borna earned a set point at 6-5, denied by a volley winner from Novak at the net.
Coric wasted another set point at 7-6 when his forehand landed wide, saving one set point and earning the fourth at 10-9. Djokovic erased it with a brave forehand winner and converted his third set opportunity at 12-11 to wrap up a thrilling opener.
Both players held at 15 at the beginning of the second set and it was Djokovic who moved in front following a costly double fault from Coric in game three. The Serb confirmed the advantage with a hold at love, creating three more break opportunities in game five.
Remaining calm, Borna repelled them all stayed within one break deficit thanks to a good service game at 2-4. Djokovic held after a great point and a winner for a 5-3 lead, earning a match point with a backhand down the line winner on the return in game nine. Coric saved that one before Novak seized the second to seal the deal and advance into the last eight.