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Coric defeats Kokkinakis for boys' title

No. 4 seed Borna Coric defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the junior boys singles final on Day 14 of the 2013 US Open.
By Benjamin Snyder
Sunday, September 8, 2013

The No. 4 seed Borna Coric of Croatia defeated unseeded Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia to win the boys' singles title, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. On a blustery Sunday afternoon, Coric grinded his way to the win with fast footwork, penetrating ground strokes and defense that never allowed Kokkinakis the chance to look comfortable during their Court 7 battle.

Although the 16-year old Coric conceded the first set to the big-hitting, powerful-serving Kokkinakis, it would be the 17-year-old Australian with less energy heading into the second and third sets. After taking an injury timeout to begin the third for what appeared to be a right shoulder injury, Coric gained a surge of momentum. As Kokkinakis' balls started flying off his racquet, shots fell short and he continually clutched at his shoulder in pain, his opponent secured a string of winning points, claiming 20 of 22 in the final set.

On his first opportunity to clinch the championship after nearly two hours, Coric hooked a forehand winner that landed on the sideline to grab his first Grand Slam title. He stretched both hands out and roared to celebrate the victory before collecting his trophy.

The fight between the two for a maiden major title at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center wasn't their only meeting at a major. In fact, Coric and Kokkinakis kicked off the year by advancing to the semifinals at the Australian Open. In the match, Kokkinakis proved to be the stronger of the two, advancing to the final at his hometown tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 rout.

But while Kokkinakis has had a streakier career as a junior, having never played the US Open before his run to the final or the Roland Garros junior tournament at all, Coric has been a solid, steady competitor. The Croat finished in the final four at the French Open on clay and advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinal ahead of his Sunday championship victory.

About becoming a US Open winner in his final tournament as a junior, Coric said, "I finished very, very good. I won the Slam. That was my goal [at] the beginning of this year, so it's [an] amazing feeling."

 

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