Coric & Vekic in Long-Term Friendship and Fashion Rivalry | ATP tour

Bringing ATP and WTA superstars collectively in United Cup It could be one thing new, however most of the cross-tour friendships throughout the sixteen competing groups have a for much longer historical past.

Take, for instance, the Croatian crew Borna Couric and Donna Vekic, who’ve identified one another for thus lengthy that they hardly keep in mind their first assembly.

“I feel it was about 20 years in the past, so I do not keep in mind a lot, however we have mainly identified one another since we began taking part in tennis,” WTA No. 67 Vekic advised this week in Perth. “We have been collectively our complete careers.”

Couric retains some recollections of the pair’s early days of their residence nation.

“I keep in mind her, we have been taking part in under-10s in Zagreb,” stated the Twenty sixth-ranked Pepperstone ATP rating, earlier than smiling and beginning to tease a teammate about her youthful self. “I did not actually like her that a lot on the time really, on the time she was very uptight and really conceited as effectively, however now she’s modified. So, I am having fun with spending time right here together with her and the entire crew.”

“I do not keep in mind being so conceited!” Vekic laughed in response. “We have been mates for a really very long time, and I feel perhaps within the final two years we have turn out to be even nearer. We have spent virtually each week collectively on tour.” [over the years] So it is good to have a detailed buddy.”

This mutual assist has helped each Coric and Vekic navigate tough challenges lately, with each present process surgical procedure inside three months of one another in early 2021. Coric returned to the ATP Tour solely in March 2022 after a 12 months out as a result of a knee harm. the shoulder. , whereas Vekic’s knee operation in February 2021 triggered him to overlook three and a half months and an extended battle to regain pre-operative type.

These difficulties made subsequent successes in 2022 much more rewarding for the pair. Coric lifted his first ATP Masters 1000 title in beautiful style in August Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, whereas Vekic beat top-ten opponents María Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka in San Diego Open Championship In October, earlier than pushing world primary Iga Swiatek to 3 units within the remaining.

“I am simply completely satisfied to see it is doing so effectively,” Couric stated. “She’s had a really tough 12 months with the knee, and I’ve had a really tough 12 months with the shoulder, so clearly I am very completely satisfied to see that she’s OK as effectively.”

“It is nice after we obtain success collectively, however we additionally had a really tough time in our careers, across the identical time,” added Vekic, who was ranked twenty ninth on the time of her casting however had achieved skilled success. No. 19 within the WTA rankings. “With my knee surgical procedure, his shoulder surgical procedure. It was nice to be there for one another throughout that point, and now we’re again collectively and taking part in and it is much more enjoyable.”

There have been a number of highlights throughout Coric’s barnstorming tour of Cincinnati, the place he defeated 5 consecutive prime 20 gamers, together with Rafael NadalAnd the Felix Auger-Aliassime And the Stefanos Tsitsipas On the best way to the deal with. Vekic was within the stands supporting her compatriot throughout his second-round victory over Nadal, although her abiding reminiscence of the weather-affected match had nothing to do with Coric’s on-court exploits.

“I used to be so upset concerning the delay within the rain, I wished to return and sleep!” joked Vekic. “However it was a fantastic victory for him, yeah.”

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These optimistic vibes appear to have carried over into the 2023 season, as Coric and Vekic put together to steer the Croatia squad. United Cup Displayed subsequent to WTA No. 38 Petra Martic. On Saturday, Vekic meets Maria Karl of the Argentina crew, whereas Coric performs Francisco Sirondolo Of their nation’s first tie in Group F.

“We really feel good right here,” Vekic stated. “The environment is nice. I used to be in Perth as soon as 10 years in the past and I am actually completely satisfied to be again. We hope we will move the group stage.”

The duo can also be set to crew up within the blended doubles crew on Sunday on the RAC Area, although Coric admitted that some onerous work on the apply courtroom is required to make sure their group is on courtroom prepared.

“We will go to the coaching floor now and we have to play some doubles, as a result of I have never performed any doubles for a really very long time,” he stated. “I feel it is the identical for her [Vekic] To be sincere…we’d have performed doubles [together] A few occasions, after we have been 16 or 17 years outdated, however we’ve not performed collectively for a really very long time, so it will be a variety of enjoyable if we went out on the sphere and wanted to play.”

Ought to companions Coric and Vekic face off in a doubles match on Sunday, they’re going to absolutely hope their respective video games are in sync greater than their style sense. The couple just lately shared light-hearted snaps on the matter on Twitter.

“I am in a secure zone this week,” Coric stated, pointing to the Croatia jersey. “I can not miss, so she will’t say any dangerous issues.”

“I can nonetheless make enjoyable of his hair!” Vekic responded with fun, a chance Couric appeared already ready for.

“That is why I’ll [keep] My hat is on! ” He stated.

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