World No. 27 Borna Coric was satisfied with his performance against rising American star Reilly Opelka at the St. Petersburg Open. Coric, seeded at No. 7, saw off Opelka in straight sets 7-6 (3) 6-3 to reach back-to-back semifinals in St.
Petersburg. Opelka blew a great chance to win the first set as Coric saved three set points on the American's serve in the 10th game, before easily winning the tie-break to steal the opener. "I was playing some of my best tennis today.
In the first set, I started slow & I didn’t find my rhythm. I was not in the shape, but as the match progressed, I was playing better & better. I did find also my [depth] on the return & also in the rallies," Coric said, per Max Gao.
"At the beginning, I was not serving really good when I lost the break. [But] in the return points, I was playing better and better. I did start to read a little bit better [Reilly Opelka’s] serve and I just felt more confident coming into the return."
Coric in good spirits as he aims to win St. Petersburg
Last year, Coric made the final in St. Petersburg, before ending runner-up to home favorite Daniil Medvedev. "I’m actually now being healthy. That’s the most important thing.
In 2019, towards the end of the year, I was not really healthy," Coric said when asked how he feels now compared to a year ago." While the season was suspended, Coric focused on improving his physical condition.
"I just didn’t perform very good [in 2019]. So, I thought that’s one of the main reasons that in this long break [due to COVID-19], I needed to have very good preparation and I needed to put the work in so my body can hold up [for] 5-6 matches a week," Coric noted.
Coric is now set for a tough semifinal clash as he plays next against sixth-seeded Milos Raonic. "I was always playing great here, so I do think these conditions give me some more confidence and I really like to play here," Coric added.
"Physically I have no major problems. Obviously, I feel my shoulder a little bit but that’s nothing special. I played 6 sets in 4 days & that’s quite normal, so I’m really not worried about that. I’m gonna be ready for tomorrow, 100%”.