A compelling match-up between world No. 3 Rafael Nadal and 17-year-old future star Borna Coric will take place in the quarter-final round of the Swiss Indoor in Basel. This marks the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and will serve as the Croatian biggest match of the wildcard’s young career.
Following his earlier victory over Simone Bolelli, Spain’s Rafael Nadal defeated qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarter-final round in Basel. The second seed struck 15 winners and was aided by his opponents 11 double faults and 30 unforced errors to close out the match in 57 minutes.
“He tried to play very aggressively, but mistakes crept in,” said Nadal. “He started to have more mistakes than usual on his serve.”
Croatian qualifier Borna Coric began his week in Basel with a surprising upset win over Ernests Gulbis, 7-6(2), 6-3 and followed up on Thursday afternoon with another straight sets win over Andrey Golubev. Coric won 92 perfcent of his first service points and converted on 3 of 4 break point opportunities to close out the match 6-4, 6-4 in 84 minutes.
An interesting stat ahead of the scheduled match-up is that Coric is the youngest competitor to reach the quarter-final round of an ATP World Tour event since Nadal managed that accomplishment in 2003. Coric admit recently that he owes Nadal for his help at the end of last season, where he got the opportunity to train with the 14-tie Grand Slam champion for a week. He will now look to topple the Spaniard en route to his first ever ATP World Tour semi-final. While he will be hard-pressed to earn the victory, stranger things have occurred to Nadal in 2014.
Rafael Nadal vs Borna Coric Preview – ATP Basel 2014 QF