Argentine tennis player Federico Coria is looking forward to facing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Belgrade quarterfinal. Coria, ranked at No. 96 in the world, handed a 6-3 6-2 loss to Pablo Cuevas to set up a clash against top-seeded Djokovic.
Experienced Uruguayan Cuevas was the favorite to beat Coria but the Argentine played an inspired tennis and ended up dropping only five games. “During today’s match [against Cuevas], honestly it gave me a bit of extra motivation,” Coria told press afterwards, per the ATP website.
“I tried to run after every ball knowing that I could earn the chance to play against one of the greatest tennis players in history. “Life and tennis are giving me this beautiful moment, no matter what the result.
I feel like I’ve already won by having an experience like this at this point in my life, and that’s how I’m going to approach it”.
Coria thrilled to have a chance to play Djokovic
“I consider these to be small victories: to be able to play against Djokovic in his home city, in the quarter-finals of an ATP event, and to share that experience with my team,” Coria said.
“To me, it’s a victory that at 29 years old I can still achieve my dreams in tennis. “Now, the idea of facing Nole brings only a big smile to my face because for much of my career, this matchup was unthinkable.
I spent a long time on the outside [of ATP main draws and Top 200 of the FedExATP Rankings] or not playing, and now to be playing against Nole? I was running after every ball like a maniac today only thinking that this possibility was so close, and thankfully I will have the chance”.
Djokovic made a solid start to his campaign in Belgrade as he beat Mats Moraing 6-2 7-6 (4) in his opener at the tournament. "With this win I managed to put my name in another history record book," Djokovic said in press.
"Obviously being in the same
conversation with Vilas and the legends and greats of our game, it makes me really fulfilled and very joyful." Djokovic gave credit to Moraing for competing well against him. "I was twice a break up in the second set so I maybe could have finished out the job earlier, but credit to him for fighting, for playing really well, for playing very courageous, very bold tennis," Djokovic said.