Top-ranked Croatian tennis player Borna Coric admitted his expectations became "unrealistic" after hearing the talk that he would become the next Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. In October 2014, then the 17-year-old Coric stunned 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in Basel to make his maiden ATP semifinal.
After a shock straight-set win over Nadal and making the Basel semifinal, Coric became the youngest player on the Tour ranked inside the top-100. Many were quick to label Coric as a future Grand Slam champion and world No.
1 but then the Croatian's progress halted. Coric, now 23 years old, has won two ATP titles so far and his career-high ranking saw him ranked at No. 12 in the world. "I haven’t felt any additional pressure, I am being honest here – the only pressure I feel is when I look at myself in the mirror, I need to know that I have done everything in my power to be the best that I can be.
But still, you get used to hearing that you are the best, that you are the next Novak or the next Federer – then my expectations have become unrealistic thinking I was going to be top 10 quickly, but it doesn’t work that way," Coric exclusively told Tennis Majors.
Coric feels he is a better player when aggressive
After a couple of up and down seasons on the Tour, Coric appears to be trending in the right direction as he recently made the quarterfinal at the US Open and finished runner-up at last week's St.
Petersburg Open. Coric, who climbed up to No. 24 in the world following his runner-up finish in St. Petersburg, is now hoping to continue his fine form and soon break into the top-10. "It depends on numerous factors (whether he’ll be aggressive)," Coric said.
"The surface, my gut feeling, am I confident or not, if I am moving well and feeling fresh, have I got the right feel for the ball, the opponent’s style of play… A lot comes into it, but generally speaking, I am a far better player when I am being aggressive, not just retrieving, even though I am perhaps making a bit more errors.
You could see that on display in New York and me being aggressive, along with further improvement of my serve, are two of the biggest emphasis of my work with Martin. I am not there yet, but if I am healthy and able to maintain the level I had at the US Open, then I can get close to Top 10. But it’s still a long way to go”.