A purge. If you had anything else to do on Tuesday night than watch the first men’s draw quarter-final between Alexander Zverev and Borna Coric, you didn’t necessarily lose much. It was not beautiful, much too long (3:24) for the “quality” of the debates, but for the German, whatever. Winner in four sets (1-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3) of this match porridge, he qualified for the semi-finals of the US Open. His second consecutive half in a Grand Slam after that of Melbourne in January. Casually, he is finding in the Majors that consistency which he lacked for a long time.
If the essence of great players is knowing how to win by playing badly, then Sascha Zverev is a huge champion. His greatest merit on the Arthur-Ashe court on Tuesday was not to let go when he was badly embarked. Led 6-1, 4-2, he could have pulled the pin, but he always stayed in his game. Still, Borna Coric helped him a lot. In a curious way, the Croatian has leveled off with his opponent. While everything was going so well for him for a set and a half, the striker Tsitsipas began to foil. Once his common thread was lost, he never found it.
Coric, what a waste!
This quarter-final shifted for the first time in the decisive game of the second set, where Coric had, however, again, taken the first advantage before cornering. It was truly the match of missed opportunities for the young Croatian, who only converted four break points out of fifteen. After his two breaks in the initial round, he will only have taken his opponent’s faceoff once again. And again, in the form of a breakout to pick up at 2-2 at the start of the 3rd round. A round that he was going, like the previous one, to concede in the tie-break.
Coric’s business didn’t get better in the next set. Again, what a waste! In the 5th game, Alexander Zverev was left behind 0-40. But he returned, with the benevolent complicity of Coric, before saving one last break point in the wake. And it was he who finally carried the blow a few minutes later to sign the decisive break at 4-3. Borna Coric did save two match points as Zverev served for the win, but unlike his eighth against Tsitsipas, there was no miracle this time around. The third was the right one for Zverev.
First qualified for the semi-finals, the German will still have to offer something else if he wants to play his first capital final on Sunday evening. His level of play was not that of a potential Grand Slam winner against Coric. But, beautiful or not beautiful, we must still salute his results in the Major. We have talked enough about his inability to go far in the biggest tournaments not to admit that with this second semi-final in 2020, Zverev is done with some of his complexes. Failing to have erased all its shortcomings.