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Coric vs Herbert ATP Monte-Carlo live streaming, preview and tips - Coric sets sights on first Monte-Carlo quarter-final

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 18 Apr 2019
  • Borna Coric vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert is live from Monte-Carlo around 3.30pm local time on Thursday (2.30pm BST)
  • Coric won their only previous tour-level clash in Madrid in 2017
Borna Coric (PA Images)

Marathon man Borna Coric attempts to reach his first Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-final when he takes on Kei Nishikori’s conquerer Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the third round on Thursday.

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Borna Coric has spent over six hours on court in his first two matches in Monte-Carlo - does he have enough left in the tank for a third round clash with the big-serving Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Thursday?

Coric opened his Monte-Carlo campaign with a 6-4 5-7 7-5 victory over the rising Hubert Hurkacz in two hours and 52 minutes and followed it up with a 6-7(3) 7-6(7) 6-4 victory over another young gun in Jaume Munar in the second round, prevailing in three hours and 28 minutes to reach the Round of 16. Such taxing matches are not advisable in the early rounds, especially on clay, but Coric is young and fit enough to handle it at this stage of his career, but he would certainly prefer to keep things a bit more simple on court, starting with his R16 clash with Herbert on Thursday.

The 22-year-old has already had some success on clay in his young career - Coric won his maiden title on the dirt in Marrakech in 2017, the same season he beat Herbert and then World No. 1 Andy Murray as a lucky loser to reach the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters, where he went down to Dominic Thiem. Coric has impressed at Masters 1000 level since, finishing runner-up in Shanghai, the semi-finals of Indian Wells and back-to-back quarter-finals in Miami in 2018 and 2019, so he knows what it takes to go deep at this level. Those results were all on hardcourt though - can the Croatian reproduce those efforts on clay?

After linking up with Riccardo Piatti and Kristijan Schneider and also bringing in Roger Federer’s coach and former World No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic as a manager, Coric put together the best season of his young career last year, also making the fourth round of the U.S. Open and winning the 500-level Gerry Weber Open in Halle, beating Roger Federer in the final, registering an overall record of 40-20 and hitting a career-high ranking of No. 12. Coric has been steady over the first quarter of 2019, coming into Monte-Carlo at No. 13 - will he be making a second clay Masters 1000 quarter-final on Thursday?


Not if Herbert has any say in the matter. The Frenchman, who completed the Career Slam in doubles earlier this season at the Australian Open with Nicolas Mahut, has been flourishing in the singles arena in 2019, compiling an 11-7 record to begin the season, including two outstanding victories this week in Monte-Carlo, starting with a 6-4 6-4 opening round victory over former top 10 star Fernando Verdasco before earning the third top 10 of his career as he defeated Kei Nishikori 7-5 6-4, saving all 10 break points he faced.

"This was a very nice victory. Probably one of the nicest on clay and probably one of the nicest of my career, so I am really excited about it," said Herbert.
"I'm very happy for this victory, but we shouldn't exaggerate. I had 10 break points that I had to save and I'm happy that I managed to play good in the difficult points. It was tricky, because it wouldn't have taken much for him to take the advantage."

Equipped with an eye-catching serve-and-volley game, Herbert first cracked the top 100 in 2016 after making his first ATP World Tour singles final the season before in Winston-Salem, while he’s since made it back to two more ATP finals, finishing runner-up in Shenzhen last year and going down to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of Montpellier earlier this season. Herbert also made the quarter-finals of Doha and the third round of the Australian Open as he climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 36 in February, but he’s since dropped to No. 49 after winning just one tour-level match since February before this week.

But Herbert is back to full flight in Monte-Carlo and once again has nothing to lose against a higher-ranked opponent. Coric should be able to grind Herbert down with his physical brand of tennis and get enough serves back to get a look at a lot of break opportunities, so the Frenchman’s best chance is to keep the points short and remain aggressive at all times. But, if Coric isn’t too tired, he should be winning this and moving into the quarter-finals.


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Coric vs Herbert ATP Monte-Carlo live streaming, preview and tips - Coric sets sights on first Monte-Carlo quarter-final

Marathon man Borna Coric attempts to reach his first Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-final when he takes on Kei Nishikori’s conquerer Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the third round on Thursday.

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