Dubai: Borna Coric, the young Croatian professional who made a career best climb to world No. 33 nearly three years ago, plans not to rush things as he plots his return to the top again.
Crowned world No. 1 in 2013 in juniors after reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open and the French Open and then winning the crown at the US Open, Coric was deemed to be among the select few youngsters ushering in tennis’ next gen band of players.
He enjoyed his season in 2016 when he could count Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray among his major scalps. However, injury intervened and the Croat — who now spends a lot of time preparing in Dubai — slid down the rankings. This, in turn, has only bestowed him with the precious gift of wisdom.
“For sure I broke through at a young age. There were big expectations on myself and all the people around. It was a good thing in a way and also a bad thing as it put a lot of pressure on me. I feel like I have achieved a lot in my career so far and I feel I can still achieve a lot more,” Coric told media on the sidelines of the men’s draw ceremony on Saturday.
“The goal for this season is just to improve my ranking and my game and to be healthy. I haven’t been healthy all the time, so you know, that’s the main goal and the ranking hopefully is going to come along,” the 21-year-old added.
A regular in Dubai, Coric nurses an ambition as well. “I have to win the first round and that’s always most important. It’s actually a tough first round, it’s not going to be easy. I am looking forward to the match,” he said as he readied to face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round.
“We have played once in the Davis Cup and he beat me very easily. It will be an interesting match and I am looking forward to it. I have plenty of motivation as it’s a big event,” he added.