Defending Champ Coric Stays Alive In Halle
So Coric will be especially pleased to have squeaked past Portugal's Joao Sousa 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-6(4) in two hours, 55 minutes on Wednesday to return to the quarter-finals at the grass-court event. The Croatian beat nine-time champion Roger Federer in last year's final for the biggest title of his career.
"I'm just very happy... It was not an easy match, but I got the win, that's what's most important," Coric said.
The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals semi-finalist had to overcome a rough ending to the second set – he was broken in the 11th game – to stay alive in Halle. The 22-year-old underwent a medical timeout for a rib injury after the third game in the deciding set, but he recovered from that as well and pulled away in the tie-break. Sousa, who was 0/4 on break points in the final set and led 4/2 in the third-set tie-break, fell to 11-18 on the year.
"I was losing 4/2 in the tie-break. I was feeling like I'm actually losing the match. So now to turn it around, I must be very, very happy," Coric said.
He will next meet Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who made his fourth ATP Tour quarter-final of 2019 by beating qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. Herbert hit nine aces for the match and didn't face a break point in the deciding set.
Second seeds Raven Klaasen/Michael Venus edged Dominic Inglot/Austin Krajicek 7-6(4), 7-6(6) and will meet the Austrian team of Oliver Marach/Jurgen Melzer. In the only other doubles match of the day, Matteo Berrettini/Jean-Julien Rojer swept Radu Albot/Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-4.
Did You Know?
Herbert improved to 12-11 on grass. He's 47-58 on hard and 14-16 on clay.