If you can beat Roger Federer on grass, safe to say you can probably win Wimbledon yourself.
Which has to be a quandary for Croatia’s Borna Coric, who had prior to this week in Halle won only two career matches on grass.
Coric on Sunday upset the top-seeded Federer 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 to raise the trophy at the 2018 Gerry Weber Open in Germany.
“Just really surprised…I had not even dreamed of this,” said an almost speechless Coric after the final.
It was only Coric’s second career title after 2017 Marrakech, and snapped Federer’s 20-match winning streak on grass.
“The whole week I was serving really well,” said the 21-year-old Coric. “I felt confident that I could hold serve and then automatically I can play with less stress.”
In March Coric lost to Federer in three sets in the Indian Wells semifinals. After this week he improved to 2-3 in career finals.
“I’m definitely going to leave with my head high, thinking it’s been a good run in Stuttgart and Halle,” said Federer, who was 2-0 against Coric entering the final, and will drop to No. 2 in the ATP rankings behind Rafael Nadal.
Coric will rise to a career-high No. 21.
In the third set Coric broke for a 4-2 lead before riding out the victory.
“I looked up to him when I was younger, watching his matches back at home with my mum, my dad and my sister,” Coric said of Federer. “Just playing him here today was a very special moment and beating him just makes it even bigger for me.”
Federer will enter Wimbledon with a Stuttgart title and Halle final during the grasscourt run-up to The Championships.
“[Coric played] quality tennis at the very end of that first set and then in the third…He never really dropped his level and that was it,” said Federer. “So, it was an unfortunate match for me but credit to Borna to really come out and play a tough match today.”
Federer dropped to 98-51 in career finals.
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