Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Borna Coric on Friday night in New York, failing to convert six match points in a wild fourth set and eventually falling in a fifth set tiebreaker, 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4).
Tsitsipas had the match in hand in the fourth set, and failed to serve it out twice.
The No.4-seeded Greek’s first two match points came with Coric serving at 3-5, 15-40. Tsitsipas sailed a block return long on the first then netted a forehand on the second.
The Greek then had 40-0 while serving for the match a second time at 5-4. He missed a backhand drop shot attempt on the first; floated a crosscourt backhand wide on the 15-40 point; on his third match point he shanked a forehand wildly.
On the sixth match point, Tsitsipas netted another forehand.
“I have to be honest and say that I was really lucky,” Coric said after the match. “I made some unbelievable returns and I was a little bit lucky at the end,” Coric said. “In the third and fourth set, he was playing unbelievable tennis and I felt like I had no chance. In the fifth-set tie-break, I knew it was not going to be easy for him.
Coric broke on his second set point to take the set.
In the fifth set Coric was broken for 3-2 but broke back in the ensuing game. The players held serve from there to get to the tiebreaker.
It was a strong performance from Coric, who really played physical, aggressive tennis, particularly with his serve and backhand in sets four and five. Tsitsipas was caught on the back foot regularly and just couldn’t put the ball where he wanted.
The buckling under pressure for Tsitsipas continued in the tiebreaker. He double-faulted twice and Coric converted his second match point to clinch the victory in four hours and 36 minutes.
Coric advances to face Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the round of 16.