Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You started off very strongly in both sets. He came back at you pretty well.
BORNA CORIC: Yeah, it was, like I said, a very tricky match. I knew he was semi-injured. I didn’t know what to expect. I was really just trying to focus on myself.
I know many people say that, but I was really, really trying to do that because otherwise I could get lost in the match. I was just trying to be aggressive, trying just to move him as much as possible, not to play only in one place.
Yeah, he did came back in the both sets. It was pretty good effort from him, I could say, especially because he was injured. But I managed to stay calm. I didn’t panic. It was good.
Q. Did you actually know he was injured before you walked on court?
BORNA CORIC: I knew because we were supposed to practice on Friday. He canceled. I mean, I didn’t know how injured he was. I saw yesterday he played doubles. They won. I didn’t know how much. I mean, I didn’t know exactly. I knew he was injured on Friday, but…
Q. In both sets, once he got back on serve, he didn’t hold serve. How much of that was him serving badly or you playing good?
BORNA CORIC: I’m not sure. I think I was returning pretty good today. I was happy with my return. I think it got me through the match also. I was not serving very well. I was not happy with my serve. I need to go and practice some serves now.
Otherwise, you know, yeah, it was good performance. I think it was mixture of me returning good and him didn’t serve so well.
Q. It was mentioned to you on court you had the great tournament here three years ago, beating a certain Scotsman.
BORNA CORIC: Yeah (smiling).
Q. How do you feel you progressed since then? Back then you were going to be one of the next big things, ATP young player of the year. How do you feel the progression has been going?
BORNA CORIC: Not the way I expected to, definitely. And most people. But that’s one of the problems. I said it many times. Maybe if I look that whole tournament, I’m a much better player now than when I was then. If I look at myself three years ago, when I was 33 in the world, something like that, it’s just not realistic. I was not there.
It was actually not very good thing for me to happen because I stopped working on some things. I got stuck. I didn’t play so well. I got some injuries. My knee, I had operation, I couldn’t finish the year. That stopped me, as well, for sure.
But this is tennis, that’s the life. In general, I think basically I just stopped working on my game, on certain things, and I was not improving.
Q. You moved around coaches quite a lot. Who is your coach at the moment?
BORNA CORIC: Riccardo Piatti, yeah, with also Kristijan Schneider. They are both with me. That’s the team now.
Q. Riccardo has a great history. Worked with Novak.
BORNA CORIC: Yeah. I think we did very good job in the off-season. I was there for four or five weeks. I was now there for two and a half weeks.
Q. In Italy?
BORNA CORIC: Yeah, before this tournament. We did quite a lot of work. Now it’s time for the tournaments. Now it’s time to play. Let’s see how it goes.