If I had to chose three words to describe Borna Coric’ performance against Lucas Pouille then they would be Composed, Patient and Control.
The Croat performed some stunning tennis in Davis Cup at the weekend and he’s carried that on into Indian Wells with a professional performance to defeat the French man.
I can’t really pick a fault from his performance. Served well, returned well, forehand and backhand were solid and there felt like the longer the rallies went on there was an inevitability that Coric would win them either via an error from Pouille or just some well-constructed tennis from Coric. It was so good after the first set I tweeted this:
Once he got to 6-2 2-0 in the match it was Barry Cowan that said “it’s like playing a brick wall” which is a phrase you’d use to describe playing against a Djokovic or Murray and to defend as he did throughout the match was quite brilliant and also scary.
Coric didn’t need to power through the match off the forehand but he caused Pouille issues as he managed to control every single rally from the baseline once it got over a couple of shots which frustrated Pouille and I’d hate to guess how many shots went long behind the baseline.
What impressed me the most about Coric’ performance was his serve. He served at 84% during the first set but Pouille just could read it even though I didn’t think he mixed it up much.
Coric mostly went for the serve down the T time and time again which Pouille just couldn’t get a good read on the same for the serve out-wide and the body serve. It was a great serving performance by the teenager but as well a poor returning performance from the Frenchman.
To be fair to Pouille he did get back into the second set to level at 4-4 winning 9 of the last 11 points and something that stood out was Pouille taking a step back to read the serve a bit better and got the rewards! I said earlier on in the piece about their being an inevitability of Coric winning points and there was with him breaking back and he went on to win the match with a composed performance despite seeming a little frustrated late on.