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Coric eager to face Wawrinka in Chennai Open final

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Chennai, Dec 23 (IANS) Croatian teenage tennis player Borna Coric on Wednesday said he is looking forward to a dream men’s singles final against defending champion Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 Chennai Open.

The 19-year-old will be participating here for the second year in a row and is looking forward to playing in the 20th edition of the tournament which starts January 4.

“It was my first time in Chennai last year and I enjoyed it a lot. The tournament is very well organised, the crowd was amazing, and I met all my Indian fans. I am glad to be back. I had a tough second round against Wawrinka in 2015, losing to him in straight sets. I would prefer to face him in final this year,” Coric said.

As a lucky loser at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February, Coric pulled off a surprise, beating Andy Murray in straight sets in the quarter-finals before losing to Roger Federer in the semis.

Starting the year ranked 95, the Croat reached a career high ranking of 33 in July before closing out the year at World No.44.

“I like to play against top players, they push me to play at my best level. I enjoyed my match versus Rafael Nadal at the US Open. Even if I lost, I loved the atmosphere; it was a great feeling to play at night in the Arthur Ashe stadium in front of a passionate crowd. I learnt a lot from this match versus Rafa, it made me grow up,” he said.

In 2014, Coric finished the season as the youngest player, aged 18 years, and one of only two teenagers, along with Nick Kyrgios, in the top-100 in the rankings after rising 276 places.

“I want to improve my game, my tennis. I work and practice hard every day. My goal for 2016 is to stay healthy and in good shape. I want to win matches and live more amazing moments on the courts. In the next two years, I would like to win the Chennai Open title,” he said.

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