[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO] Borna Coric: "My Dream Is To Win Wimbledon Beating Federer" - UBITENNIS
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[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO] Borna Coric: “My Dream Is To Win Wimbledon Beating Federer”

Chief Editor Ubaldo Scanagatta chats with Croatian player Borna Coric about the lockdown, tennis’ immediate future, his past coaches and his Wimbledon dream

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01:35 – How did you spend the lockdown?

As soon as the pandemic started, I went to Split, renting a house in the woods where I set up my own gym. I worked physically for five weeks, playing tennis only a couple of times. Then I took a week off and I went to Zadar, about two hours away from my house in Zagreb, and I had a two-week tennis camp.

04:26 – Do you keep in touch with other players in this uncertain period?

I talk to a couple of guys, I discussed with them about the ideas being proposed of having the Cincinnati tournament in New York. I don’t know what to expect, there’s not much I can do about it. I try not to worry about it, it would be a waste of time to think about it too much. I am ready to play, the new rules will be tough, I have not made up my mind about whether it would be good to go to New York. It will not be perfect this year, it will be tough to play without fans, but if we have a chance to play a few tournaments maybe we should do it.

08:18 – Will Federer 2021 be a repeat of Federer 2017?

We have been saying he’s too old for 10 years. So until he says he stops playing tennis I will never count him out.

09:27 – How did you keep in touch with your team during the pandemic?

My physio and fitness coach were with me in Split, and I met with my coach Martin Stepanek in Zadar after I had not seen him since Indian Wells.

10:26 – You have changed quite a few coaches throughout your career. What would you say the reason is?

With some of them, it had nothing to do with me. I didn’t want to say the reason publicly and I believe that may have been a mistake. Some of them had family issues, with others we were not agreeing on what to do with my tennis. I am definitely not an easy person to work with, I always look for perfection.
One of the main reasons I split with Riccardo Piatti was his commitment to other players so that he could not concentrate on me. There were other reasons I don’t want to disclose, but he helped me a lot in my career, and it was great for me to be in Bordighera, away from the distractions I have in Zagreb.

14:45 – What do you think of Sinner? What are your thoughts about him?

The first time I saw him in 2018 I thought he was average, but then the last time I played with him in April 2019 he had made huge progress, with a big game, big shots. In modern tennis it is very important to have weapons and he has big weapons.

16:24 – You were the youngest player in the Top 100 in 2014, the youngest player in Top 50 in 2015, then you started to have physical problems

Yes, I stayed between 35 and 50 for almost three years. I am a great example of a kid who did not improve his game. I did not train well, my focus was not where it needed to be. Those very early results distracted me, I got too relaxed, thinking everything would come automatically. Sinner has a great team around him that can keep him grounded and make him improve.

19:13 – How high a priority is for you to represent Croatia in team competitions and at the Olympics?

I do not have plans to make a special preparation for the Olympics, for us the season is very long. I would not play the week before the Games as “preparation” but for us it is not for the guys running the 400 meters.

21:17 – When you were excluded from the Davis Cup team for the final in Zagreb in 2016, was it the saddest moment of your career?

For sure it was. I was not happy about many of the things that happened in that final. I felt I deserved to be in the team – I was injured, so maybe I was not good enough to play, but I should have been in the team.
But winning the Davis Cup final in 2018 was the happiest moment, even more than beating Federer twice. When I was playing Roger I was playing for myself, while in Davis Cup I was representing my country and everybody was behind me.

27:05 – It feels that in tennis Serbian and Croatian players are quite good friends on tour despite all that’s happened in the past. Is it true?

Absolutely! One of my best friends on tour Filip Krajinovic, is Serbian. I speak to him once a week I will go to his place in Belgrad to train for a week on 15 July. I am aware of the past, I know there are a lot of people who still think about it and cannot forget about it. But I spend time with some of the Serbian guys, I think they are great guys, I hope they think the same of me.

29:01 – How difficult is it for you to switch from one surface to another?

It’s easy to switch from hard to clay, it’s a lot tougher to switch from clay to hard, it takes about two weeks. It’s difficult to say anything about grass because sometimes I feel very good, sometimes I feel very bad.

36:03 – What is the tournament you would like to win the most, and beating whom in the final?

Wimbledon beating Roger in the final. Maybe next year.

37:04 – Do you think it’s easier we will play in Europe in 2020 rather than in the USA?

I heard many options, but I will use this time for myself, to do the things I never get the chance to do. I have not read any email about this topic, because I will know within an hour anyway. I don’t want to think about this because it will bother me. I want to spend this time enjoying summer in Croatia, which I never get to do. Weather has not been great yet, but in 15 days it will get better, the sea will get warmer, people will come to the beach.

39:50 – What is your favourite beach in Croatia?

I love Zadar because it is partly my own town. There is a very calm beach, it’s for older people, you would enjoy it Ubaldo…
But if you go to Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik, that’s more lively: parties, girls, etc…

Grand Slam

US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”

A recap of the last Major of 2021, from Raducanu’s triumphant journey to Berrettini and Zverev’s improvements. What was Rod Laver’s prediction for the men’s finals?

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The 2021 US Open was historical from many points of view, starting with the full-capacity crowd coming back to Flushing Meadows. On court, we witnessed Djokovic’s bid for a Calendar Year Grand Slam fall short against Daniil Medvedev in the final, while Emma Raducanu took the tennis world by storm, winning as a qualifier and without dropping a set. These were just some of the topics of the tournament recap by Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta. Here’s their chat:

 

00:00 – Emma Raducanu’s historical feat: “She had an easier draw than Fernandez, who had to defeat many great players, but she was very impressive nonetheless!”

06:18 – Barty and Osaka’s premature exits: “Hadn’t she lost to Rogers, Barty would have won the whole thing…”

09:35 – Was Fernandez too tired during the final?

20:17 – The Canadian defeated Aryna Sabalenka, who once again missed out on a big chance: “She seems to have a split personality…”

25:24 – The men’s final – how distant was Djokovic from his best form?

28:59 – “Djokovic is the best at handling the pressure, I don’t think that was the main reason behind his defeat…”

35:05 – Was the crowd actually on Nole’s side or did they just want to witness history being made?

39:16 – What was the secret behind Medvedev’s winning tactics?

41:50 – Djokovic fell short of the Grand Slam in a similar way to Serena Williams – how similar are their performances?

50:16 – Rod Laver’s prediction for the final…

52:25 – Who is the best claycourt player, Djokovic or Federer?

55:05 – Carlos Alcaraz won over the hearts of the crowd – how quickly will he reach the Top 10?

56:29 – Is Zverev on the right track to win a Major? What about Berrettini and Sinner?

62:48 – The Canadians: who will have a better career between Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime?

Transcript by Giuseppe Di Paola; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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Grand Slam

US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy

A recap of the first week of the last Major of 2021: will Djokovic clinch the Grand Slam? Who will win the women’s title with Barty and Osaka out of the picture?

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The 2021 US Open has reached its halfway point, with many wonderful five-setters and a few upsets. Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta discussed the events of the first week with Hall-of-Fame tennis writer Steve Flink, from the elimination of Barty and Osaka to the toilet break controversy involving Stefanos Tsitsipas, from Alcaraz’s breakout performance to the chances of Novak Djokovic to complete a Calendar Year Grand Slam. Here’s their chat:

 

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US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic will defeat Tsitsipas in the final”

A preview of the last Major of 2021. Will Zverev and Osaka be able to withstand the pressure? Barty appears to be the favourite in the women’s draw.

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The 2021 US Open is less than two hours away, with Novak Djokovic on the brink of making history – the Serbian could surpass the number of Slam titles of Federer and Nadal, while at the same time clinching the first Calendar Year Grand Slam in the men’s singles since 1969 and the first in the singles since 1988.

 

These two lofty objectives were the first subjects tackled by Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta and Hall-of-Famer tennis writer Steve Flink in their usual tournament preview, although they touched on many other themes such as the chances of Berrettini and Medvedev, the women’s draw, and the debate on whether COVID vaccines should be mandatory for the players. Here’s their chat:

00:00 – Djokovic is close to a Calendar Year Grand Slam – will he be able to hold up physically after picking up an injury in Tokyo?

07:40 – Matteo Berrettini couldn’t go to the Olympics at all because of muscle injury, and has only played a couple matches before the US Open – could he give Djokovic a run for his money in the quarter finals?

13:20 – On Zverev: “He won in Tokyo and in Cincinnati, so he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. In the past he tended to cave when people put him among the favourites for a Major win…”

15:50 – Zverev could play Jannik Sinner in the fourth round – could the Next Gen pull off an upset?

20:30 – “Denis Shapovalov could also beat Zverev in the quarter finals, but he’s had a disappointing summer so far after doing great at Wimbledon.”

23:45 – On the weather and Djokovic’s activism: “Sometimes we should accept that he is someone who will always give an honest opinion and take a stance, even when we disagree with him.” Should the vaccine be mandatory for the players, and will the top brass in the tennis world make a decision about it?

32:25 – Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Andy Murray in the first round – can the Brit still beat a top player in a best-of-five encounter?

33:35 – Could we be in for an all-Russian semifinal between Medvedev and Rublev? “I think Medvedev wouldn’t be happy to play Diego Schwartzman in the quarter finals, he doesn’t like to have to go on the offensive.”

39:45 – A final prediction on the men’s tournament’s outcome.

43:20 – The women’s draw: “Barty has just played one of her best tournaments ever in Cincinnati, she is by far the most reliable player in the WTA Tour!”

49:00 – “Svitolina has just won a title and did well in Tokyo, she could take on Osaka in the quarter finals, although Gauff, Kerber, Halep and Giorgi are also in that section of the draw.”

52:00 – Will Osaka’s mental health be a factor throughout the New York fortnight? “If she’s fine, then she’s still the best hardcourt player in the world.”

1:00:40 – Camila Giorgi won in Canada – can she be a dark horse in New York? “She appears to have developed a Plan B now…”

Transcript by Giuseppe Di Paola; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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