Canada Flashback: Rafael Nadal destroys Borna Coric for winning start

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Canada Flashback: Rafael Nadal destroys Borna Coric for winning start

After dealing with injuries in 2015 and 2016, Rafael Nadal was back at his best in 2017, scoring 58 wins and winning two Major crowns to finish as the year-end world no. 1. Following the Wimbledon fourth-round loss, the Spaniard returned to action in Montreal, seeking the fourth Canada Open crown.

Rafa beat the young Croat Borna Coric 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes in the second round for a convincing start. Rafa dominated from start to finish to secure the 337th Masters 1000 victory and the 47th overall in 2017, needing one more to dethrone Andy Murray and become world no.

1 for the first time in over three hours. Rafa served at 71%, and his initial shot worked well, dropping 13 points in eight service games and facing only one break point. On the other hand, Nadal took over half of the return points to keep Borna under constant pressure and break him four times from five opportunities.

Rafael Nadal made a strong start in Montreal 2017 over Borna Coric.

Rafa fired 20 winners and 18 unforced errors, playing aggressive tennis and reducing Borna to seven winners and 20 mistakes, which was insufficient for a better result.

The Spaniard had a clear edge in the shortest range up to four strokes and in the more extended ones, while Borna stayed in touch with the mighty rival in the mid-range exchanges. As was expected, the young Croat struggled to impact his forehand, especially against the opponent who covered the court brilliantly.

The Spaniard was off to a perfect start, holding with an ace in the opening game and forcing Coric's error in the next one to forge a 2-0 advantage. Rafa grabbed another break in game four to increase the lead and held at 5-1 after an extended rally to wrap up the opener in under half an hour.

Borna squandered three game points at the beginning of the second set and got broken again to send Rafa further ahead. Delivering one strong shot after another, Nadal clinched a break at 15 in game five to move closer to the finish line.

The Spaniard saved that line break chance at 4-1 and landed a service winner in the eighth game to move over the top and set the third-round clash against the home young gun Denis Shapovalov.