Kevin Anderson vs Borna Coric ATP Indian Wells tennis preview, predictions and tips: Anderson and Coric duel for first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final

Andrew Hendrie in ATP 15 Mar 2018
  • Kevin Anderson vs Borna Coric is live from Indian Wells not before 1.00pm local time on Thursday (8.00pm GMT)
  • Anderson has won all three of their previous meetings without dropping a set
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Indian Wells online at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Kevin Anderson (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Kevin Anderson and Borna Coric attempt to reach a first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final when they collide in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals in Indian Wells on Thursday.

Watch and bet on Anderson vs Coric live from Indian Wells at Unibet > live streaming > tennis. Their quarter-final clash begins not before 1.00pm local time on Thursday (8.00pm GMT).

U.S. Open runner-up Kevin Anderson is currently 0-8 in ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals. Rising star Borna Coric is 0-2 in his short career. Who snaps their streak and makes the semi-finals of the 2018 Indian Wells Masters on Thursday? Anderson has been on a roll this season, winning 11 of his last 12 matches and proving to be extremely clutch in the pressure moments, prevailing in a third set tiebreak in five of those aforementioned victories. Coric on the other hand has been too dominant to be stretched to that stage, not dropping more than three games in a set in making the Round of 16 before edging fellow young gun Taylor Fritz in three sets to make his first Indian Wells quarter-final. Anderson and Coric take to court not before 1.00pm local time on Thursday (8.00pm GMT).

Anderson has been one of the tour’s stand-out players over the last six months or so, with the big-serving South African a perfect example of someone who continues to work hard in order to get the most out of their game - and at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask out of any tennis player. Anderson has continued his solid form in the desert over the last week, coming through a trio of hard-fought victories, including Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-4, Nicolas Kicker 7-6(1) 7-6(3) and Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 6-3 7-6(6). Anderson hasn’t been at his best, but he’s been able to scrap and battle his way to wins, including in his U.S. Open semi-final rematch with Carreno Busta, where he could have let the disappointment of completing mis-reading a ball on match point at 6-5 in the tiebreak weigh him down (the South African didn’t even try to hit a ball right in front of him on the baseline as he thought it was sailing long), but instead regrouped instantly to win the next two points and book his place in his third Indian Wells quarter-final.

It’s been a sensational start to the season for Anderson, who perhaps understandably failed to fire for the remainder of 2017 after reaching his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open. The 31-year-old is currently 14-3 for the year, finishing runner-up at Chennai and the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano Telcel in-between winning his fourth ATP World Tour title in New York (beating Sam Querrey in the final) and losing in the opening round of the Australian Open in five sets to Kyle Edmund. Considering how Edmund went on to make the semi-finals in Melbourne, Anderson’s record and ranking could be even better if had managed to edge out that match.


After reaching consecutive Indian Wells Masters quarter-finals in 2013 (beat No. 4 David Ferrer and No. 13 Gilles Simon) and 2014 (defeating No. 41 Lleyton Hewitt and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka), along with six more Masters 1000 quarter-finals over the course of his career, can Anderson finally make the final four? He knows, despite a perfect 3-0 record over Borna Coric, it will be a tough encounter.

“I know what to expect. I know how he sort of plays. I have been watching him a little bit this week. Seems to be play very well, fighting very well, being aggressive from the baseline,” Anderson said of Coric. “For me the biggest thing is always focusing on playing my kind of tennis as much I can. I feel when I do that I give myself the best chance of having a good result.”

Borna Coric (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
A former junior No. 1 who almost cracked the top 30 as a teenager in 2015 after taking the scalp of Rafael Nadal the previous year, Borna Coric (who also owns two wins over Andy Murray, another over Nadal and a pair of top 10 scalps over Alexander Zverev - U.S. Open - and Dominic Thiem in 2017, as well as winning his first ATP title on the clay of Marrakech) has found it tough to find the right balance and consistency required to rise up the ATP ranks over the last few seasons. But the young Croatian - who is still just 21 years of age - is showing signs this week in Indian Wells that he might be able to make that next step very soon.

Armed with a new coaching team in Riccardo Piatti and Kristijan Schneider - along with bringing in Roger Federer’s coach Ivan Ljubivic as a manger - Coric is a very solid 8-3 to start the season, reaching quarter-finals in Doha and Dubai before lifting his level significantly at Indian Wells, cruising into the Round of 16 without losing more than three games in a set in emphatic victories over Donald Young (6-0 6-2), Albert Ramos-Vinolas (6-0 6-3) and Dubai champion Roberto Bautista Agut (6-1 6-3), avenging his loss to the Spaniard from that tournament. It appeared as if Coric was set for another straight sets romp as he took the opener 6-2 over Taylor Fritz, but the Croatian struggled in the tricky windy conditions for the rest of the match as the American saved a match point to take the second in a tiebreak. Coric regrouped nicely however and recovered from an early break down in the decider to prevail 6-2 6-7(6) 6-4.

“You fight and you just try to win, just however. That's it. You're happy with the win, not the way you played. Of course I'm not happy with the way I played last two sets, but I think no one is going to play great today,” Coric said.

Coric will have to do something he has never done before if he is to make a first Masters 1000 semi-final - and that’s beat, or even take a set off Anderson. The South African has won all three of their previous meetings without dropping a set, including last year at the U.S. Open. Anderson should pretty much have the same simple game plan going into every match he plays - take care of his own serve and then utilise his improved baseline game to match it with his opponents in return games. For the most part, Anderson is now able to beat the majority of players ranked below him, even when he’s not playing his best. Coric is at a high level at the moment, and I think he’ll be able to take his first set off Anderson, but the U.S. Open runner-up is just too solid to back against in this match-up with a maiden Masters 1000 semi-final on the line.


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Kevin Anderson vs Borna Coric ATP Indian Wells tennis preview, predictions and tips: Anderson and Coric duel for first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final

Kevin Anderson and Borna Coric attempt to reach a first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final when they collide in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals in Indian Wells on Thursday.

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