Coric Returns To Winners’ Circle At Parma Challenger

Borna Coric (photo: Florian Heer)


Borna Coric has clinched his first title in four years by winning the Emilia-Romagna Tennis Cup in Montechiarugolo-Parma. The 25-year-old Croat, who entered the ATP Challenger Tour 125 clay-court event with a wild card, defeated unseeded Swede Elias Ymer 7-6(4), 6-0 in Sunday’s final.

In the midst of a blistering June heatwave in western Europe with temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius in Northern Italy, the finalists not only had to cope with their opponent but also with the conditions on Center Court at the Tennis Club President.

Coric, who was sidelined from the courts for one year due to a right shoulder injury and a surgery in spring last year, saved one set point in the 10th game to eventually clinch the opening set in the tie-break after 90 minutes. The Zagreb native remained the dominant player in the second set, breaking Ymer’s serve three times to seal victory in two hours and six minutes.

“The first set was probably one of the toughest I have ever played,” said Coric. “I was a bit lucky in the end but I served well and I am very happy with the week. I was coming to Parma without high expectations, as I didn’t play my best tennis in the last few months. I am superhappy to finally win a tournament, which will give me some confidence for the future.”

The former World No. 12, who dropped to 255th position in the ATP Rankings, captured his third ATP Challenger Tour crown, his first since Barranquilla in Colombia 2015. His last triumph at a tournament took place at the ATP Tour 500 grass-court event in Halle, Germany four years ago. Back then, Coric beat Swiss superstar Roger Federer in the final.

“My game is slowly coming but I still need some time. I showed that I can still play some good tennis and I can serve well with my shoulder. Now, the only goal is to play pain-free. That’s the most important thing,” said Coric and added that he will have no time for celebrations, as he needs to go back home. He pocketed €18,290 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.

Ymer happy with his week

“I had an amazing time. Before the start of the tournament,” said Ymer, who is currently without a coach and was supported this week in Parma by his brother Rafael. “I didn’t event think that I could make it to the quarters. I am very happy to have reached the final,”

The World No. 148 earned €10,770 in prize money as well as 75 ATP Ranking points.


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