Preview: Cincinnati Open final: Borna Coric vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas – prediction, head to head, road to final

Borna Coric will look to end a four-year wait for an ATP tournament victory when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Cincinnati Open on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Tsitsipas is aiming to win his third title of 2022, having previously won on the clay in Mallorca and Monte Carlo.

Coric returned from an injury layoff earlier this year, but the former world number 12 found it difficult to readjust at ATP tour level.

The Croatian dropped down to play a number of challenger events, which brought about a tournament victory in Parma a couple of months ago.

However, he has returned to the main tour in preparation for the US Open, but a straight sets defeat to Marin Cilic in the first round of the Canadian Open would have done nothing to boost his confidence.

Coric entered this week’s event as world number 152, but due to his protected ranking he was able to participate in the main draw.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a memorable run to the final, beating the current Australian Open and French Open champion Rafael Nadal in three sets in the second round before sweeping aside Roberto Bautista-Agut and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Cameron Norrie awaited in the semi-final, but Coric showed no signs of pressure, dispatching the British player via a 6-3 6-4 scoreline.

As a result, he will take to the court on Sunday in his second-ever ATP Masters 1000 final after previously losing to Novak Djokovic in Shanghai four years ago, but Coric will hope that his promising run of form can help him claim the biggest victory of his career.

On the other side of the court will be world number seven Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has already won two Masters 1000 events in his career.

Both of those victories took place in Monte Carlo – in 2021 and 2022 – but with those tournament wins taking place on the clay court, Tsitsipas will be aiming to clinch a significant title on the hard surface on Sunday.

In fact, the Greek player has never won an ATP event on an outdoor hard court, although he has claimed four tournament victories indoors.

The world number three earned his way to Sunday’s final by beating Filip Krajinovic and Diego Schwartzman in straight sets to secure a quarter-final against the big serving John Isner.

Tsitsipas negotiated the American in three sets before beating world number one Daniil Medvedev 7-6[6] 3-6 6-3 in the semi-finals.

The win over Medvedev ensured that the 24-year-old will participate in a hard-court final for the first time since March 2021 where he lost to Alexander Zverev in Acapulco.

His record in ATP Masters events is mixed, winning two of his five finals, but he will go into Sunday’s match as the favourite against a player looking for his first win at Masters 1000 level.

Route to final

Borna Coric

First round: vs. Lorenzo Musetti 7-6[2] 6-3
Second Round: vs. Rafael Nadal 7-6[9] 4-6 6-3
Round of 16: vs. Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-2 6-3
Quarter-finals: vs. Felix Auger Aliasdime 6-4 6-4
Semi-finals: vs. Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-4

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Second round: vs. Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-4
Round of 16: vs. Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-3
Quarter-finals: vs. John Isner 7-6[5] 5-7 6-3
Semi-finals: vs. Daniil Medvedev 7-6[6] 3-6 6-3

Head To Head

Rome (2018) – First Round: Tsitsipas def. Coric 4-1 (Retired)
US Open (2020) – Third Round: Coric def. Tsitsipas [2]6-7 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6[4]

The two players have only played one completed match after Coric retired from their meeting in Rome four years ago.

The pair were involved in a thrilling five-set match at the US Open in 2020, with Coric prevailing in the third round on that occasion.

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