Coric, Thiem Lead Young Gun Charge In Umag
Hope favourite Borna Coric leads the last eight into the Umag quarter-finals
A pair of ATP World Tour young guns surged into the quarter-finals at the Konzum Croatia Open Umag, as home hope and 18-year-old Borna Coric reached the final eight for the second straight year, joining fourth seed Dominic Thiem as Thursday winners.
Coric needed 85 minutes to defeat Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-4, claiming 81 per cent of first serve points while saving four of five break chances. The Croat will face second seed Roberto Bautista Agut for a spot in the semi-finals after the Spaniard downed Blaz Kavcic 6-1, 6-2. World No. 36 Coric, who owns the most match wins among teenagers on the ATP World Tour this year, is the youngest player in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. His teen-leading haul of 19 match victories in 2015 is more than double second-placed Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alexander Zverev's totals of nine each. He will vie for his third semi-final appearance on the ATP World Tour this year (also Dubai, Nice) against Bautista Agut.
"I didn’t start the match as good as I wanted but I know I can’t play excellent every time," Coric said. "I really liked the atmosphere tonight. People were cheering for both of us which made it really electric out there."
Thiem, meanwhile, continued his quest for a second title this year, having earned his maiden triumph on the clay of Nice (d. L Mayer). The 21 year old advanced when Dusan Lajovic retired due to heat sickness at 6-1, 3-1. He sets an all-Austrian duel with Andreas Haider-Maurer, who claimed four of 13 break opportunities in upsetting Martin Klizan 6-4, 6-4.
Another Austrian, Bastian Trinker, claimed his first tour-level victory in knocking off Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny on Tuesday, but was unable to get past top seed Gael Monfils on Thursday. Monfils needed just 52 minutes to dispatch Trinker 6-3, 6-0. A semi-finalist in his Umag debut two years ago, he will be looking to extend a 10-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head edge over Philipp Kohlschreiber when they square off in the quarter-finals. Kohlschreiber defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 7-5.
"The conditions tonight were better as it was a bit cooler," said Monfils. "I am glad I am through. I will see how I feel in the morning as I haven’t played a match since Wimbledon. Philipp is a really good player. It will be a tough match tomorrow. If I feel good it could be long."