Just 18, Borna Coric Already Has Wins Over Rafael Nadal And Now Andy Murray

by Tom Gainey | February 26th, 2015, 10:33 am

Youngster Borna Coric’s star continues to rise. The 18-year-old from Croatia beat Rafael Nadal last fall and today he earned his second “Big Four” scalp stunning Andy Murray in routine fashion 61, 63 in the quarterfinals at Dubai today.

“[It’s] one of the biggest wins, for sure,” said Coric who won the US Open juniors in 2013. “I was just trying to maintain my level, stay in the rallies as long as I can, which I was doing really well. I was also running very well.

“I’m still a little bit struggling with the best players when they are playing really good obviously. I always need to be on 100%, and when I’m on 100 per cent, mentally [and] also tennis wise, then I think I can play with them.”

Coric, who has a game similar to Novak Djokovic’s (the Serb agrees!), actually lost in the Dubai qualification to Fabrice Martin, but earned a berth in the main draw via a “lucky loser” designation.

Murray, who made the finals at Australia earlier this month and beat Coric a few years ago in Davis Cup, left impressed with his improvements.

“He makes good decisions on the court,” said Murray. “He’s stronger now. He serves a bit better. His ranking would suggest that he’s made some big improvements.”

Coric, who turns 19 in November, is currently ranked a career-high Np. 84 this week and he’s the youngest player in the Top 100 – he may not be the best, but he does have the best ranking in his peer group. He will now try to beat his third Big Four member tomorrow as he plays Roger Federer.

Here are the highlights from Coric’s win over Murray today:

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81 Comments for Just 18, Borna Coric Already Has Wins Over Rafael Nadal And Now Andy Murray

Aarontennis Says:

From the look of the highlight video, you would have thought that Murray won the match. Did Coric win any points that were worth showing in the first set and a half.

calmdownplease Says:

Andy Murray just shanked away to basically hand it to him lol

calmdownplease Says:

“I’m still a little bit struggling with the best players when they are playing really good obviously. I always need to be on 100%, and when I’m on 100 per cent, mentally [and] also tennis wise, then I think I can play with them…`

You what?
What part of that statement was relevant to Today?
A top player playing at 100% was not what he experienced, but it will happen and he shall be more than `struggling a little bit` when it does…..

RZ Says:

Mauresmo wasn’t with Murray this week. Apparently he’s looking for an assistant coach to fill in when she can’t be there.

In any case, there are several young guys on tour making some noise. Between Coric, Kyrgios, Kokkinakis, and Thiem, the future looks bright.

brando Says:

Damn: just saw that he turned 18 in only November! Big, big future IF kid stays humble, focused, ambitious and has a great work ethic. He can be the next BIG one for sure. Won’t say which names as to not put pressure, but he can achieve great things like other greats as his trajectory at this age is impressive compared to them.

Ben Pronin Says:

CDP, c’mon now. You know someone asked him a question that lead to that response. I doubt he’s sitting there thinking he just beat a full flight Murray.

Hippy Chick Says:

It was a fantastic win,but i feel its too soon to predict big thing about the future based on only one match,the big test will be in the slams,the elite players can start of slowly,but work their way into form over best of 5 sets,with the lesser players,its the other way round,and they are more likely to crumble over best of five sets,i just think sometimes we get carried away by the hype surrounding these young players,they need time to mature and develope their games first IMO….

FedExpress Says:

“I don’t give a shit”- Wozniacki

jane Says:

wow, didn’t see the match, but i am surprised by the scoreline. summary anyone?

FedExpress Says:

i would actually marry azarenka

FedExpress Says:


murray was shit, coric was solid

jane Says:

speaking of young guns, i guess kyrgios pulled out of DC citing back injury. will he be another injury prone player i wonder?

FedExpress Says:

caro-vika is better than ilhan-nole

who is ilhan?

jane Says:

fedexpress, thanks; that’s certainly concise. ;)

KatH Says:

I didn’t see the match – I’ve read that Murray played badly and was lethargic – watching the highlights on this site I did see a couple of stupid returns but otherwise he looked OK -what was it really like?????

FedExpress Says:

6-1 nole

nole draw was a joke, so was feds draw. hope the final between them promises fireworks

FedExpress Says:

why cant women bar serena serve?

FedExpress Says:

wozniacki looks prettier than usual

FedExpress Says:

and ilhan squanders triple BPs.


FedExpress Says:

nole breaks instead. story of his tennis life.

Emily Says:

@KatH, trust me, what you read about Murray playing badly and looking tired is what happened. I was watching and Coric was so calm on the other side of the net b/c Andy was barely even present. The commentators had no idea what was going on.

FedExpress Says:

the commentators were even delusional and hoped for a comeback

” he needs his best tennis in the next 5 mins to turn it around”

FedExpress Says:

azarenka wins

black beauty vs white beauty tomorrow


Emily Says:

Dubai usually has good matches, but this year has been disappointing in terms of exciting tennis. I know Roger and Novak fans are loving it, but I remember seeing a great semi b/w Nole and Delpo two years ago. This was Roger and Novak’s tournament from early on and I hope the final makes up for all these 1st week of a slam type matches.

skeezer Says:

“what you read about Murray playing badly and looking tired is what happened. ”
Well these highlights musy have been from another match.

Corics movement in these highlights looks outstanding.
Fed better buckle his belt nice and tight for thus kid.

Emily Says:

Highlights aren’t going to include Murray’s 55 UE; for every rally, there was a forehand into the net or an ill-timed backhand. if Murray had kept his game clean, he very well could have won, but there was no fire there at all.

I agree that Coric’s movement was Novak-like, but will Federer get into those types of rallies we see so often from Andy?

Margot Says:

Andy was just AWFUL! I spoke too soon, a repeat of Rotterdam :( What ON EARTH is b****y up Andy?
Really, really like Coric tho., what a talented young player with a fab game.
Even has the Delpotro “bird taking off” forehand.;)

brando Says:

“include Murray’s 55 UE”: damn! That’s a insane stat! 55 errors in 2 sets- wow! That’s over 13 games worth of errors- yikes! The highlights show a good Andy but the stats seem to suggest a woeful Andy turned up. 55 errors in 2 sets is just not him. Dismal stuff.

jane Says:

“55 UE” – omg, seriously? that’s a whole lotta errors for 2 sets.

i was kind of hoping to see a fed/murray match; as daniel was suggesting, if they’re both in form it could tell us where each guy’s game is at, and given andy reached the AO final, i was thinking he’d get to the semis here. oh well. they’ll meet later.

nole has berdych next, and i think he’ll be more matched grooved than nole, since nole ended up facing a qualifier instead of f-lo, whereas berdych has fought through some tough matches. should be interesting to see how berdych has progressed under danny; will he have new tactics, etc..

Hippy Chick Says:

Berdych has a crap record against the top 3,i dont see that changing anytime soon,hes basically practice fodder for Novak,probably a repeat of Beijing last year hopefully….

SG1 Says:

Andy seems to have temporarily (I think) gone off a cliff after that loss at the AO. I think his psyche is a little fragile right now. Coric may be an up and comer but laying out 55 errors to your opponent…well it seems X-mas has arrived really early! An in-form Andy beats this kid in straight sets.

jane Says:

well hippy, he just beat rafa at the AO and he pushed andy pretty hard there too. he seems to be inspired under the tutelage of his new coach.

personally i don’t agree that he’s quite “practice fodder” for the top guys, seeing as he often gives them tough battles, although obviously he loses in the end more often than not!

anyhow, i’ll be content if nole goes through easily, though i hope it’s a good match.

brando Says:

@SG1: agree. Even a appendicitis ridden rafa kept it closer with the kid on Rafael’s worst surface so there can be no other explanation for Andy other than: a horror of a performance by him. 55 unforced errors is just a unheard of stat. I find it hard to believe: especially with the highlight footage. Must have been one bizarre match to watch!

SG1 Says:

I’m a little worried about Murray. He hasn’t won a big tournament in a while and I think some of the self belief he had built up during the Lendl tenure has been lost. You can never overestimate the value of one win or one loss but I think Andy’s a little mentally adrift right now.

You really have to wonder if there is some way that Andy and Ivan could work things out. I know Tiger and Butch couldn’t but Andy and Ivan seem like more reasonable (and far less) egotistical folk.

SG1 Says:

In sport, it seems that unlike the song, breakin’ up is easy to do. It’s the getting back together that’s hard.

Hippy Chick Says:

Jane but playing them close is no substitute for wins,which is what you really want not tight matches,anyhow Rafas losing lately to every Tom,Dick and Harry,and im not holding much hope for BA either, so that AO defeat didnt surprise me,personally i saw it coming,against Andy he won the first set then colapsed as he nearly always does,and he hasnt beaten Novak for two years,i dont recall him even winning a set,so i wont be holding my breath,not keen on Berdych anyway,so i also hope your guy comes through easily,that much we do agree on,as we dont agree on much else lately….

Hippy Chick Says:

Sorry Berdych won the first set then collapsed and not Andy….

sienna Says:

When you are scared of the next opponent and want to duck that person then you get upsets like this.

People gave me some stick for predicting just this.

jane Says:

hippy, yes we can definitely agree on that, and it was only a quibble in that i think berd is a little more difficult than a practice; that’s the distinction i was making. we’ll see if danny has helped much tomorrow.

Okiegal Says:

Sienna, our new Jamie……you go girl!! :)

Brando Says:


Lmfao- you sure are one crazy treat!

Serious question:

Do you honestly think Andy made 55 unforced errors just to make certain he avoided TMF?

Ben Pronin Says:

Remember that time Pospisil hit 75 errors in 3 sets?

I can’t believe Murray out did him. The sets weren’t close, either. 16 games total. Over 3 errors per game! I wonder how leniant Dubai trackers are with calling a miss a UE? But still, this is hilarious.

Hippy Chick Says:

Thanks for that link Giles,pretty impressive is our guy….

Hippy Chick Says:

So Andy lost to Coric on purpose,just so he didnt have to play Roger,well ive heard it all now lol….

Markus Says:

That chart topping win-loss record by Nadal will change the longer he plays. Need I say which direction? Up, of course!

Hippy Chick Says:

Hopefully yes Markus,question is he your favorite,you havent actually said?….

Ben Pronin Says:

That has to be one of the most random stats I’ve ever seen.

Emily Says:

To be honest, I can’t think of a match I’ve seen where a player just tanked it so they wouldn’t have to deal w/ the next opponent. It would be embarrassing and transparent.

Andy seemed uninspired and the great players can all play horrific tennis at times. The only problem is if this is where Andy’s game is at right now. I wasn’t watching the third best player on the planet this morning. He didn’t seem to care and if this continues, he’s not going to get close to a slam again this year.

Ben Pronin Says:

I pegged Murray as second best who could make a real run at being the best. I figured he’d be consistently good all year whereas Nadal might see some time off. I’m honestly surprised that Murray still has these mental walkabouts.

Hippy Chick Says:

Emily yeah exactly,lets just say Coric was the better player,and leave it at that?….

Emily Says:

I’m w/ you in believing in X won as opposed to Y lost. Coric won, we’ll see what happens next.

Brando Says:

‘I’m honestly surprised that Murray still has these mental walkabouts.’:

Same here.

He reached his first slam final or had his top level breakout year in 2008 and yet 7 years down the line he’ still as mentally inconsistent. I love the guy but:

Has he ever been consistently at a high level for a long stretch in a season?

By that I mean:

– Nadal storming through clay season in previous years.

– Djokovic winning AO-till Miami.

– Federer dominating the fall period completely.

Notice I have consigned that just a small part of the season since all 3 have dominated for greater stretches in a year, which Andy has obviously come nowhere near.

I know he won Queens plus Wimbledon: but that’s a slam plus a 250 title.

Has he EVER won big titles on a stretch in any given year though? I think possibly not, which leads me to say:

MAYBE Andy is today what he has always been- a player of remarkable peaks and drops. Wins a big one or gives a major performance and then follows it up with below par results. He’s always been a 3/4 level player and that profile kinda fits the bill: big peaks, mixed in with lowly level performances.

At one stage I-and I am sure others would have to- thought he and Novak Djokovic were akin to one another like Federer and Nadal are in sync with one another but time has shown:

That is nowhere near the case.

Novak’s superior mentality, demand of himself to reach great heights has left Andy in the shade when maybe at some point in time Andy had could have reached an equal standing of sorts.

Hippy Chick Says:

Early in the season i suppose,but there doesnt seem to be player thats actually standing out to be a challenge for Novak,no player is backing up one great week with another,Rafas nowhere near his best,Stan and Andy are blowing hot and cold,Berdych and Ferrer are too mentally fragile,its looking like everyone else is playing for second best ATM….

Hippy Chick Says:

Great post Brando,for what its worth?….

Brando Says:

‘for what its worth?….’:

From you? it’s worth……… quite alot actually!Bet you expected another blast there didn’t you? lol!

In all seriousness and sincerity:

I’ll cut you some slack Alison.I know I can be a mean bastard on here at times, but most of the time it’s without apology. I’m not one for politeness if being as such means agreeing, co-operating to what you consider as absolute BS. If I find something as BS it shall be called as such. Annoy’s some? tough I say.

But after reading about you mentioning your fight with depression- Mat4 also- yeah I felt quite bad, sorry for you. That’s a tough situation and I thought I’ll be sure to be nice to you guys even if I find what you say disagreeable, as you probably seek some joy from this site and don’t need me to be a prick on here. It’s the least, easiest thing I can do having sympathy for your matter.

That said: it’s a good thing though I must say that despite my being me, you still stayed consistent to your character on here Alison. That’s a good trait to have, an excellent starting point in your fight.

Apologies for the past, i’ll amend my ways to you on here, and above all else: keep ya head up, best of luck with your issue! Stay well and who knows: you might get a laugh out of seeing me giving some other ‘chosen ones’ on here the old Brando treatment!


Hippy Chick Says:

Thanks Brando,im not perfect either,i have actually said some bloody stupid things on this forum that i wish i hadnt to yourself and other posters,unfortunatly once its posted its too late,your right we disagree sometimes,and we agree sometimes,but we can also agree to disagree,you dont take any prisoners,and sometimes i wish i was more like that,i will in future try to be less apologetic,but still try to be fair,a fine line though sometimes i suppose,thanks again you brought a tear to my eyes ;-)….

sienna Says:

When you play a match and you are scared of facing the next opponent when you get some serious whoopass then the match you play can get outcome like today.

Serious problems for Murray. The respect in locker room is vanishing.
his final in AU was in the end an hornet’s tale and of course Cilic would have stopped him given the chance.

KatH Says:

Some great views – I’m thinking Andy is a superior Gael Monfils style-player(I love Gael) – stunningly great on many occasions but prone to “I’m not up-to-it today”. While Andy has achieved greater goals than Gael (slams/Olympics etc. and is a reasonably steady No. 4 in the world- barring his back surgery recovery) – the dips and troughs are tough for those of us who expect consistent wins (and for him)..

I wonder will he solve his problem which is really to play well when you’re not seriously fired-up.

Markus Says:

There you go, Hippy Chick. Be more like Brando, unapologetic. Stand your ground. Expressing yourself is cathartic. Being liked serves no real purpose. It can only stunt you.

Ben Pronin Says:

Well you can say Murray had a pretty good stretch from Wimbledon 2012 to Wimbledon 2013. Won 2 slams, reached 2 other finals, Olympic gold, Miami, and I don’t remember what else. He’s never dominated to the extent of the Big 3 and that’s not necessarily a knock. I mean, they’re 3 of the greatest players of all time for a reason. Murray is a future Hall of Famer but definitely not in their tier.

The problem is that Murray has ridiculous lows for seemingly no reason. On paper, he should’ve won Rotterdam. Then, at worst, lost to Federer or Djokovic in Dubai. Although winning the title should’ve been a very realistic and achievable result.

I’m not a huge Murray fan but it’s frustrating not being able to understand what his motivation is. I thought maybe after winning Wimbledon he’d be hard pressed to find that ultra competitive spark again but he proved that wrong with his play at the Australian Open. And yet here we are again wondering what’s wrong with Murray. I wholeheartedly believe that he should be gunning for the number 1 ranking. And I mean taking a real whack at it. Nadal’s part time and Federer is aging. Djokovic is the only player who’s going to go all out for number 1 and it’s not like it’s impossible that he has some dip that would allow Murray to take advantage. Instead Murray’s dipping himself.

sienna Says:

Andy is today what he has always been….

What a complete and utter BS.how can youut comments like that on this site?

Murray is losing sets 0 and 1 all over the place.
how can someone claim Murray is as good as ever?
Losing sticks and stones won’t break their bones but pride goes a long way. And pride is falling when collecting sticks in matches.

chris ford1 Says:

Pronin – I can’t see Muzz having the consistency to challenge Nole, at least this year. Last year, he didn’t have a win against a top 10 player until he beat Tsonga in the 4th Round of the USO. This year, he beat Dimitrov ranked 11 and Berdych who was ranked in the Top 10, at the AO.

This year, I only see Nadal as the guy that can catch Nole. And only if he is healthy and mentally strong as he has been in his best years. And very soon. Because like Muzz, Rafa is now over 7,000 points behind Nole.

And Coric? Like Milos and Grigor, Nole likes Boma and likes practicing with him frequently. He has been touting Coric as a real deal for almost a year.
At Coric’s age, 18 1/2, back in Nov 2005, Djokovic was ranked 83rd.

chris ford1 Says:

And right after Dubai, Coric will be joining Cilic March 6-8 in Belgrade, Serbia. Cilic, who just announced he is recovered enough. Dr Ivo sends his regrets, so Coric will start. Against Djokovic, Zim, and Viktor Troicki in Davis Cup.
Match is important to both nations. A lot of people will be watching this one. Coric is arriving as a young force, and Viktor is playing great tennis since coming back from his testing suspension.

Murray Stunned By Coric In Dubai, Djokovic, Federer Dominate; Venus Takes Out Radwanska In Doha Says:

[…] Andy Murray’s struggled continued Thursday in Dubai where the recent Australian Open finalist was crushed by 18-year-old Borna Coric 6-1, 6-3. […]

Ben Pronin Says:

But Murray will be even more consistent when he’s 28? I don’t think so. He really really should take the opportunity to make a charge at number 1 this year. After this year, the only way he’ll get it is by some technicality or fall ass backwards into it.

It’s funny because it’s not like I want him to knock Djokovic off the top spot. But as a tennis fan and sports fan, I want to see Murray, who people want to pretend belongs with the Big 3, try to impose himself as the best player in the world. If 1000+ ranked Ryan Harrison still wants to prove he’s the best why doesn’t Andy Murray?!

autoFilter Says:

“This year, I only see Nadal as the guy that can catch Nole.”

Meanwhile, Kei is quietly closing in on World Number 3…

I do understand your point, though.

kjb Says:


“Meanwhile, Kei is quietly closing in on World Number 3…”

I agree, If Rafa has a hiccup in the clay season and Fed doesn’t make the final of Wimby, Kei could end season at #2.

Michael Says:

Too early to say if he is the new sensation ? Many players with such hype and halo in the past couldn’t fulfil their true potential. Gulbis, Raonic, Bernard Tomic, Dmitrov are some of the players who raised feverish expectations, but just couldn’t live upto it. Hope Coric will be different.

I think Tennis needs also badly the second generation players to make it to the big stage as the creamy top is aging and has not many years left. Tennis competition today is looking quite ordinary. Roger is in his last legs, Rafa is struggling probably with a burn out problem. . Andy looks a bit jaded and aggressive players like Tsonga and Del Potro have become victims of physical issues. The so-called young guns too are not able to fulfill their potential and suddenly the line up looks pretty depleted and extremely wanting.It is only Novak who looks promising at the moment to continue his domination for some more years. In this scenario, there is an impending urgency for second generation players to occupy the big stage and perform thereby giving the sport a nice platform, a smooth transition and also some leg upto competition to sustain spectators interest. There are not many players around like Roger or Rafa or Novak who can pull in the crowds with their charisma and attraction and that is a big negative for Tennis in the long run. It somewhat resembles the 2002 situation when there was a vacuum after the exit of Sampras.

KatH Says:

Looks like the rankings for nos. 3, 4 & 5 will turn on its head come Monday – Kei -3; Nadal-4 and Murray 5.

However,depending on whether Kei and Nadal play Davis Cup (end of next week), the rankings could revert back — if G.B. beat the USA…will only happen if Murray puts his head back on and rolls up his sleeves and wins his 2 singles matches….

sienna Says:

Lmao for this bunch of so called tennis followers

I remember kei getting in his first slam final not so long ago.

He got bumbazled and left clueless about what had hit him so hard in the biggest match of his life.

Serious whoopass by the one who shal not be named.
Can’t wait for him to return to the form he had in september last year

sienna Says:

So tennis is not on 18 yo turning the page for Murray. Murray turns that page for himself very good.
Tennis needs a fit Marin Cilic to be a dominating counter force for Djokovic especially on hard courts.
fed is the only one who can match djokovic ATM.
So we need hard hitting big serving and great moving Cilic to mix it up.

sienna Says:

What fun we have the chick is complimenting Branda who is all over the place with her comments. Inconsistent and showing clear lack of thoughtfulness in claiming obscene ridicule no brain spinsels.
lMFAO (for the record)

Hippy Chick Says:

Markus @February 26th 3.49pm,thanks i just didnt choose to fawn over Novak patting Rafa on the back,telling us stuff we already know anyway,yet for some reason it gets lost on some people….

Hippy Chick Says:

Michael it looks like its Novak and everyone else then?left you a post on the Novak we dont know about Rafa thread,just wonder if you read it?….

Michael Says:


Ofcourse it does appear so (Novak Vs the rest) at the moment. There is a possibility ofcourse of things taking a strange turn and make the commentator look like an idiot. We must always be conscious of that factor too whenever we make any comment which cannot be conclusive but subjective at best.

I did saw your post when you were anguished of my frequently quoting about Novak’s string of victories against Rafa in 2011. I have already explained this to you earlier too. It was never quoted with the intention of denigrating or disparaging Rafa or his achievements in any manner. Infact, by mentioning it frequently, I am only enhancing the iconic cult status of Rafa by implicitly stating that Novak has grown in esteem only by his dominance of the indomitable Rafa during this period – a feat managed by no other player including Roger. This lifts the status of Rafa and Novak simultaneously and I am just wondering how this offend you ? I know you are an ardent Rafa fan and it is quite natural for you to get excited when Rafa is at the receiving end. But, I feel that my intentions have got distorted with the way you took offence to my statement and got carried over a little bit. I have the greatest respect for Rafa to slight him with such innuendoes.

TennisVagabond.com Says:

One of the longer term discussions we’ve been having here, regarding the Next Gen: a year ago we started to believe the Youngish Three of Kei, Milos and Grigor were going to start challenging, but I think this group has been largely debunked and defanged.
Along came Kyrgios, an actual TEENAGER, and now Coric, and suddenly we have a real look at the future.
This year is Novak vs the field, and that field will have Rafa and Rog at the front, joined by Stan at the Slams. Then we’ll have Cilic, Kei, Milos, Andy, Kyrgios and Coric.
But in a couple years, this is going to be the field:
Kei, Cilic, Milos, Kyrgios, Coric, Thiem and aging Novak and Murray. That is our next tennis era, with perhaps Dmitrov and Matosevic rounding out the top ten, maybe Tomic.
Haha, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrer is still in there battling one bit!
How bout Gulbis? Can you believe he actually fooled us last year into believing he could be a true contender?
I’m very interested to see Cilic back in action and see if he can come close to that USO form again.

Hippy Chick Says:

Michael im not so much offended,just a bit fed up of hearing about it,Novak is the number 1 player,and riding the crest of the wave,and is the man to beat ATM,that doesnt mean that he wont be beaten,2011 was four years ago its not like Rafa hasnt beaten Novak since,quite a few times even on HCs,we talk about 2011 ad nauseum so why not 2013,all those titles Rafa won in finals Novak wasnt good enough to make? i have alot of respect for Novak and his achievements,but yes i do admit to been quite bitter and a little testy especially towards Novak who seems to be beating all and sundry with flying colours,and my two favorites are losing to all and sundry,and i have no idea if they will ever regain their form,and its making me a miserable cow?….

Hippy Chick Says:

When push comes to shove i hope its a well contested year especially with the GS been shared out?….

Rich Says:

Coric will be top 5 in a couple of years, and possibly #1. I love his ability to vary his forehand, sometimes hitting excessive topspin to slow down the point, and he looks more than able to go cross-court or down-the-line off of either side, a la Djokovic (and Jankovic, who can’t do anything else well).

I’m not sure if his serve will do the trick, although I like the spin he puts on it and his placement variance.

Finally, he’s light on his feet, and fast.

Without seeing Coric previously, I was sure that Krygios was the next #1, but it seems that Coric has a calmer head, and he might be Djokovic’s replacement in the coming years.

Michael Says:


Be patient. What doesn’t change in this World is only change.

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