Ever since their first encounter on the professional circuit back in 2013 at the Davis Cup playoff, Andy Murray and rising star Borna Coric have not crossed paths. That is about to change, as the two are set to meet in the quarter-final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday afternoon. Murray leads the head-to-head series 1-0 with a straightforward victory on clay.
Seeded third at the event, Murray barely broke a sweat in his third round match-up against Portugal’s Joao Sousa. The Scot dropped a mere two games during the encounter, and closed out the match 6-0, 6-2 in 58 minutes. It was Murray’s 10th win on the tour this season.
“Today I thought I just picked the right shots and played the right way when he was struggling,” said Murray. “I didn’t give him any free points. I didn’t make sort of needless errors. He was getting more frustrated because he couldn’t get any free points and then was going for more and more shots and obviously making more errors because of it.”
Up next for Murray is a quarter-final berth against lucky loser Borna Coric, who was faced with a tough three-setter against Marcos Baghdatis before he won the match after the Cypriot retired in the final set tiebreak with a cramp. Coric recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the match and showed impressive determination en route to victory.
This is just the second time that Murray and Coric will meet on the professional tour, with Murray leading the series 1-0. While that win took place almost a year-and-a-half ago, and was also on clay, Murray will still be the overwhelming favourite to advance to the quarter-final stage of the event. Coric may one day posses the skill set to challenge Murray, but that will not happen in the immediate future.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets