One of the many merits of Serbian Novak Djokovic lies in having managed to earn his own space in an era dominated by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the two ‘cannibals’ of our sport. Turning pro in 2003, Nole reached his first final in a 2007 US Open Grand Slam event, when he was defeated in the last game by Federer by a score of 7-6 7-6 6-4. A few months later came his first major success: at the Australian Open in Melbourne he took revenge for the defeat he suffered at Flushing Meadows by overtaking the Swiss in the semifinals, before winning against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last match. Novak was able to triumph eight more times in Australia, setting the all-time record in this tournament and going to improve, a few days later, the record held by Federer in terms of weeks trailing at the top of the world rankings. Meanwhile, Borna Coric, a former junior World No. 1, rose up the ranks very quickly when he joined the professional circuit. Currently on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury, Borna Coric spoke with Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview last week, shedding light on his physical condition and revealing his overall career goals. He also recalled his epic wins over the Big 3.
Borna Coric on the Big 3
“Obviously, all three of them (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) are legends of tennis; it was really amazing to play against them. I learned a lot from those matches. Each one of them is very unique” – Borna Coric said. Can you tell us about your earliest memories of tennis and what drew you to the sport as a kid? Who were your idols when you were growing up? “I started playing tennis when I was four and a half years old, actually. My sister was playing, she was six back then, and so my father did as well. They would bring me to their practices, so I fell in love with the game and became interested. My idols were definitely Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Ljubicic. I was impressed while watching the Croatian Davis Cup team winning the title back in 2005; it was a huge moment for me as a young tennis player and it inspired me. From that day, I was hoping to be on the team one day.” What is your view of the COVID-adjusted ranking system currently in effect on the ATP tour? “I can understand those critics about ranking points; it is not easy for lower-ranked players to break through now. I don’t have a really strong opinion on the topic though, since I always try to accept things the way they are. For me, it is also much harder to break into the top 10, so you just need to accept the situation and work hard.”