Rolex Shanghai Masters
Saturday, 13 October 2018
B. CORIC/R. Federer 6-4, 6-4
Q. You have won a few good matches in your short career, but how does that one stand against the rest of them?
BORNA CORIC: It’s absolutely there, you know. If not the best one, then it’s in top 2, top 3. I’m not sure.
No, I mean, it’s really something special. Like I said when I was coming here on this tournament, actually, my neck was a little bit stiff and I was actually a little bit thinking of even pulling out of the tournament. I was not playing well. I was not feeling well. And, you know, I didn’t really know how it’s gonna turn out.
Against Stan, I played some of my best tennis, as well, especially in the third set. Then I was just going with the momentum, you know. And today really I just came on the court with absolutely no pressure but really, really, like, zero pressure. I basically didn’t care, you know, and that’s why I think I played so good, you know, because I just said to myself, okay, I have nothing to lose. I did probably hundred times more than what I expected. So, you know, I just need to go out there and I just need to enjoy.
Q. You lost your first-round match both in Shenzhen and Beijing. Why do you think it all happens here suddenly?
BORNA CORIC: Look, I’m not sure. In Shenzhen it was super tough for me because of the hot conditions. But also, I came from Davis Cup and I was still feeling a little bit, you know, all the (indiscernible) from the Davis Cup, you know, from the tie. It was very long couple of days there. And then back at home, celebrating and everything, I didn’t really — I didn’t recover.
But also my opponents, they were just better players on the day, you know. I think Norrie played also very, very good. I played also good. I cannot say that I played bad.
And against Lopez in Beijing, I think I had two match points, and that’s the tennis. Sometimes you just lose; sometimes you win. I was a little bit unlucky. I was not playing my best tennis, for sure. That’s kind of some mix probably.
Q. It’s your first Masters 1000 final. You’re only 21, but you have been through a lot already. You were top 40 at 18. Does it feel like it’s been a long time? Have you been waiting for that moment for a long time or not?
BORNA CORIC: Look, I mean, it will be really ungrateful that I say that I was waiting for a very long time. I think, you know, I’m on the tour for fourth, maybe five years now, four, and so to say that I was waiting for such a long time, it wouldn’t be really nice for me.
And it happened much earlier than what I expected, to be honest. So, you know, I’m also surprised as you probably. Yeah, I cannot say I waited for such a long time, no.
Q. Did it help going into tonight knowing that you beat him the last time that you played? Does that give you the confidence?
BORNA CORIC: Yes, it did, definitely, because, you know, against that kind of players, you need something to hold on, you know. I was holding on just that thought that I beat him the last time.
Because when I played in Halle against him, I was really coming into the match, and I didn’t see any chance how I’m going to win the match, especially on the grass courts, obviously.
But today it was a little bit differently maybe. But again, I said in my mind that I have nothing to lose. I did more than enough and more than I expected. So I was just kind of maybe grateful for that, and I just said, okay, I’m going to go out there, I’m going to enjoy like it’s practice match, you know, as much as it’s basically possible, and I was just feeling through the ball very hard. Everything was going in. It was very good.
THE MODERATOR: A question in Chinese?
Q. Do you think that this is a normal state of your performance or it’s superb, extra performance? And then in face of tomorrow, it might be even harder player, will your tactics be different?
BORNA CORIC: It’s one of the best matches I have ever played. I was just feeling through the ball, like I said. I was serving, I think in the first set I had 80% of the first serve. Second serve I was serving 170.
So, you know, I think I served the best in my life, for sure. I was going for the angles. I was going for the body. Everything was going in. No, that’s much above my standard level. I mean, my standard level nowadays is better than in the last year, that’s for sure, but again, to say this is my normal level, no, it’s not, for sure.
And the second bit? Same tactics for tomorrow? Well, I mean, he’s, I think, completely different player. You know, he plays much different. He plays more similar to me. Actually, I play more similar to him. When I was a kid, I was looking up to him and I was always trying to play like him.
So, yeah, I need to change a couple of things, but I just need to go out there and just need to enjoy. That’s the most important. I just need to try to play like today and we will see what’s going to happen.
Q. Novak just said you are hard worker and putting in a lot of efforts in practicing. What kind of a player do you regard yourself as?
BORNA CORIC: First of all, I think your English is much better than mine (smiling).
I forgot about the question, sorry.
Q. Novak just said you are hard worker, always put a lot of efforts in practicing. What kind of a player do you regard yourself as?
BORNA CORIC: Yes, I am, you know, I was really working hard through whole of my career. I think since I was a kid I was always paying attention on the practice court. Very rarely you can see me taking in the practice or in the matches or not caring in the practice. That’s how I work. That’s was I think is the best for me.
At the end of the day, I really do like that feeling. I like the practice. I like to suffer, in a way, you know.
So for me it’s really not tough, to be honest. There is times when it’s tough, I want to sleep in a little bit or I want to go out a little bit, but it’s not very often. I like to practice. I like all the hard work. I like to work in the gym.
For me, it’s not a problem. That’s why I think, yes, I am a very hard worker, yeah.
Q. You have a close relationship with Novak. Do you think it changes the dynamic a bit of tomorrow’s final for both of you that you know each other so well, you were looking up to him?
BORNA CORIC: Well, look, we are really close friends. I was looking up to him since I was really, really young. But again, tomorrow, we are friends now, but tomorrow on the court we are going to try to win. So it’s like that always, you know.
I played some of my friends, as well, on the tour. I know the feeling. Of course it’s not the best feeling on the world, but that’s the tennis life. At the end of the day it’s just tennis. It doesn’t matter, you know, what happens on the court.
We both are going to try to win, obviously. We are going to give our best, and then afterwards, you know, I’m sure we gonna be friends. For me, it’s not a problem. I just kind of turn it on and then just turn it off, you know.