Last Updated on May 5, 2023
Borna Coric was once a rising star in the ATP tour, reaching as high as No. 12 in the ATP rankings in 2018. That same year, the Croatian defeated Roger Federer to capture the Gerry Weber Open title. Prior to that, Coric had won his first ATP title at the 2017 Grand Prix Hassan II. Since those victories, Coric has dealt with numerous injuries, most recently undergoing shoulder surgery in May of 2021. Now, Coric is working to regain form and work his way back up the rankings. With a win over Rafael Nadal in August at the 2022 Cincinnati Open, his third career victory over Nadal, Coric is regaining confidence under the direction of coach Mate Delic.
Who is Borna Coric’s Current Coach?
Delic officially took over as Coric’s coach prior to the 2022 season, and looks to provide stability for Coric, who has had eight coaches in as many years. The two have been friends for a long time. Coric says Delic has “been helping him for the last four years” and adds that Delic’s willingness to train him full-time makes Delic the right fit. Before retiring from the tour in 2020, Delic had also been a talented youth. A 2011 semifinal finish at the French Open juniors led to Delic’s ATP Tour debut, playing at his home tournament the Croatian Open. As a professional, Delic won five titles, all coming on the ITF Futures tour. Though working with Coric is his first coaching job, the familiarity and comfort level the two have with one another will benefit Coric’s confidence.
Collaborating with Mate Delic led to Coric’s first victory at the esteemed Cincinnati Masters. “It was an incredibly challenging journey,” Coric shared during the trophy ceremony. “Without the support of my physical therapist, I wouldn’t have made it to the court… And, of course, my tennis coach, Mate, deserves credit. We put in a tremendous amount of work, and now we’ve reached this milestone.”
Borna Coric’s Previous Coaches
In 2014, as Coric was entering the Top 100 rankings, he hired Zeljko Krajan as his coach. Krajan had a successful playing career, reaching a ranking of 88 in 2002. Injuries sidelined his playing career and in 2005 Krajan began coaching. He is credited with helping Dinara Safina earn the 2008 WTA Most Improved Player Award, followed by a No. 1 ranking in 2009. Safina praised Krajan for his patience and positive attitude. With Krajan as his coach, Coric defeated No. 3 ranked Andy Murray at 2015 Dubai, followed by a semifinal appearance at Indian Wells. In April 2015, Coric announced that he and Krajan had agreed to part ways, with Coric noting that Krajan wished to spend more time with his family. The two have maintained a working relationship since then, with both frequently representing Croatia in the Davis Cup.
After Krajan, Coric brought on Thomas Johansson. The highlights of Johansson’s career include a 2002 Australian Open title and a world No. 7 ranking the same year. Johansson praised Coric, only 18 years old at the time, as one of the future stars of tennis. During their time together in 2015, Coric was able to further breakout into his career reaching the third round of the French Open, defeating Alexander Zverev at Western & Southern, then winning an ATP Challenger event in September. For Coric, though, this was a lackluster season. He and Johansson parted ways having spent less than a year together.
Coric then brought on Miles Maclagan for the 2016 season. Before coaching Coric, Maclagan had spent time working with world No. 1’s Andy Murray and Laura Robson. The 2016 season started out well for Coric. He reached his first ATP finals at the Chennai Open in January before being defeated by Stan Wawrinka, then he also reached the finals at the Grand Prix Hassan II. A win over Nadal took him to the quarterfinals of Western & Southern, but a knee injury forced him to retire the match against Marin Cilic. Coric worked to rehab the knee and represented Croatia in the Davis Cup, but in September he underwent season-ending surgery. With that, he split from Maclagan, continuing the carousel of coaches.
This time Coric would look to fellow Croat Ivica Ancic to coach him. Ivica is most known for working with his younger brother, Mario, and helping him achieve a world top 10 ranking. All three of the Ancic siblings have been professional players. Ivica, the eldest sibling, also worked with his younger sister, Sanja Ancic. At the beginning of his time with Ivica, Coric was ranked 42. Coming off the knee surgery, 2017 would be an up and down season for Coric. He struggled to get results until the start of clay season that year, where he would return to the Grand Prix Hassan II finals, this time taking the title. For the second time in his career, Coric defeated Andy Murray at the Madrid Open. All in all, however, 2017 was a disappointment for Coric, finishing at No. 48. He would once again be searching for a new coach.
New coach Riccardo Piatti would lead Coric to a breakout season in 2018. Coric’s training under Piatti began in December of 2017, when he spent time in Italy at Piatti’s tennis centre. Piatti was a change of direction for Coric, being older and more experienced than previous coaches. Having worked with Novak Djokovic among other top-ten players, Piatti was a big hire for Coric. This move worked out, as 2018 was the best season of Coric’s career to this point. 2018 brought Coric to his career high ranking at No. 12. He won the Halle Open and helped Croatia capture the Davis Cup that year. With this success, Coric would continue working with Piatti into 2019. The 2019 season got off to a good start for Coric reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, but as the season continued, he failed to improve on results from the previous season. A back injury at the Halle Open would bother Coric through the rest of the season, forcing him to retire from a second round US Open match. Towards the end of his difficult 2019 season, Coric parted ways with Piatti, thanking him for “great times on and off the court” and for everything he had learned from Piatti.
Antonio Veic & Martin Stepanek
Antonio Veic had been working alongside Coric and Piatti through the 2019 season, so he was a natural fit to replace Piatti. Veic was to be Coric’s coach for the 2020 season, but the Covid-19 pandemic made it a difficult season and Coric was unable to play with consistency. During this season, Coric cut ties with Veic and replaced him with Martin Stepanek. With Stepanek, Coric reached the quarterfinals of the 2020 US Open. He ended 2020 ranked No. 24 and would continue with Stepanek as his coach for 2021. Injuries continued to plague Coric, and his 2021 season ended abruptly with shoulder surgery in May. Due to this, Coric and Stepanek went their separate ways as Coric rehabbed his shoulder.
In 2022, Coric has made a resurgent comeback under Delic. Coric feels completely healthy for the first time in years. Speaking on the number of coaches he has had through his career, Coric admits he has been difficult to work with at times. He feels that with a coach in Delic who knows him well and is committed to travelling with him year-round he will be able to get back to top form.
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Borna Coric’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Borna Coric under the guidance of various coaches.
|Years of Cooperation
|November 2014- April 2015
|April 2015 – September 2015
|January 2016 – September 2016
|September 2016- December 2017
|2017 Grand Prix Hassan II
|December 2017- September 2019
|2018 Halle Open,
2018 Davis Cup (Croatia)
|April 2019- March 2020
|August 2020- May 2021
|2022 Cincinnati Open