Borna Coric vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Time: 5:30 PM IST
In a thrilling third-round match at the Madrid Masters, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina emerged victorious in a closely contested three-setter with the support of the home crowd. The fans made it tough for his opponent, Holger Rune, by attempting to disrupt his focus at every opportunity. Although Fokina had difficulty closing out the match, the Dane was unable to take advantage of his chances, resulting in a 7-6 5-7 7-6 win for the skillful Spaniard.
Fokina had a disappointing outing at the Monte Carlo Masters last month, where he was unable to defend his runner-up points and suffered an early exit in the first round against Karen Khachanov. However, he is now making amends with a strong showing at the second clay Masters event of the season in Madrid. This is a significant improvement from his previous four attempts at the tournament, where he had failed to progress beyond the second round.
Despite his setback at Monte Carlo, his ranking has not been greatly affected due to his consistent performances in most of the events he has participated in this year. Although he posted only five quarterfinal (or better) results during an inconsistent 2022, he is now aiming for his sixth such result of the season, and second at the Masters level, as he competes on Tuesday at the Madrid Masters.
Borna Coric came into Madrid with low confidence, having lost all of his previous five matches. However, he has turned his fortunes around and progressed to the round of 16 without dropping a set. He easily defeated Hugo Gaston in the second round and then secured a notable victory over world #15 Hubert Hurkacz in the third round with scores of 6-3 6-3 and 7-6 6-3, respectively.
After a year-long injury hiatus, the Croatian #1 made a remarkable comeback by winning the Cincinnati Masters last August, which saved him months in his tennis career. This victory allowed him to re-enter the top 20 rankings and gave him a positive outlook to achieve more success in 2023. However, he has struggled to find wins this year and has been unable to maintain the form and momentum he had gained from the second half of 2022.
Coric has a mixed record in the round of 16 at the Madrid Masters, having beaten former world #1 Andy Murray during his quarterfinal run in the 2017 edition, but also losing to Dominic Thiem in a three-setter in 2018.
We think Coric will put up a tough fight in this match up.
Prediction: Back Borna Coric to win a set