Alexander Zverev has reached the US Open semi-finals by defeating Borna Coric on Tuesday.
Alexander Zverev was not on his best form on Tuesday afternoon inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium, but he still found a way to win. The fifth seed rallied past long-time rival Borna Coric 1-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(1), 6-3 to reach his first US Open semi-final. Zverev had lost all three of his previous tour-level tie-breaks against Coric, but keeping his calm under pressure proved vital in their quarter-final at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
“I just started playing maybe a little bit more aggressive because if I would have played the way I played, that’s not the level for a quarter-final match of a Grand Slam,” Zverev said. “I had to start playing better and I was a little bit more consistent then as well. My serve got better and I thought to myself, ‘I’m down 6-1, 4-2, I have nothing to lose.'”
“At some point, I told myself, ‘Look, if you keep playing like this, you’re going to be down two sets to love in a blink,'” Zverev said. “I needed to be more aggressive, needed to go into the rallies and be more stable as well. At the end of the day, this is what I did and this is why it worked out for me.”
Coric had a few short balls to hammer away in three of the final four points of the second-set tie-break, but unfortunatley he missed them all. Zverev shouted out a loud roar after the Croatian missed a backhand into the net to end the set. Zverev faced a precarious moment at 5-6 in the third set, when he quickly rushed for a short ball to avoid facing two set points. However, he ultimately cruised through the day’s second tie-break.
Zverev closed out the match with a brilliant serve, immediately turning around towards his camp and cracking a smile. The 23-year-old crushed 18 aces and won 76 per cent of his first-serve points by hitting 52 winners to 46 unforced errors. “It was a very good match, very good competing, as well. In the third and fourth sets, I just felt like he also raised his level,” Coric said. “He was playing some really, really good tennis because I thought I was not actually playing bad. I just thought he was too good in the third and in the fourth sets.”