Pouille reels in Coric to make first Melbourne quarter-final
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[January 21, 2019]
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Lucas Pouille
rallied from a set down to overcome Borna Coric 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5
7-6(2) and advance to the Australian Open quarter-finals for the
first time on Monday, decisively banishing his dreadful record at
The French 28th seed had never won a match in five previous trips to
Melbourne but he will now play off for a spot in a maiden Grand Slam
semi-final against Canadian serving machine Milos Raonic.
Former world number 10 Pouille has knocked on the door at the majors
before, making back-to-back quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the U.S.
Open in 2016.
But the 24-year-old talent failed to get past the third round at any
of the Slams last year.
"It's good to be back in the quarters. That's where I want to be,"
Pouille told reporters.
"Borna is 11 or 12 in the world. So if you want to beat those kind
of guys, obviously you have to play some good tennis.
"I'm sure I can be better, much better, but I'm on a good road, and
we are going to still work to be better."
Pouille has turned to compatriot Amelie Mauresmo, a double Grand
Slam champion and former coach of Andy Murray, to help him push for
the sport's biggest prizes.
He said one of their goals was to get him to mix his game up a bit
more with the workaday baseline pounding.
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France's Lucas Pouille in action during the match against Croatia's
Borna Coric. REUTERS/Edgar Su
"And to be more consistent, especially from the baseline," he added.
"When you don't have to go for it, then you have to be patient and
try to play some good shots in the good zones. We have been working
a lot on this, so it worked pretty good today."
The Frenchman made hard work of the fourth set, allowing 11th seed
Coric to break back and drag the match into a tiebreak in the
twilight at Melbourne Arena.
He raised his game when it mattered, however, flicking a delightful
lob over Coric to move within two points of victory.
He earned four match points when Coric netted a volley and converted
the first of them when the Croat hammered a shot over the baseline.
"We worked very hard during the pre-season and during the beginning
of the year, so I think, as we say, hard work pays off," said
(Editing by John O'Brien and Ian Chadband)
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