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Getting To Know 17-Year-Old Coric

New York, U.S.A.

Nadal, Coric© Borna CoricRafael Nadal invited Borna Coric to practise with him in Mallorca.

Meet Borna Coric. The 17-year-old Croatian won the junior title last year at the US Open, and returned to Flushing Meadows with hopes of just qualifying for the main draw. On Tuesday, he exceeded his own expectations when he made his Grand Slam debut with a straight-sets win over Lukas Rosol.

"It's an amazing feeling," he said. "I came here and I was only thinking about getting in the main draw. That was my first goal. I said to myself, 'If I achieve that that's going to be perfect.' Now actually [defeating] a guy who is Top 30 or close, it's just unbelievable."

Get to know more about the Zagreb native, who will face 34-year-old Victor Estrella Burgos in the second round, and find out how he earned an invitation to practise with idol Rafael Nadal last year in Mallorca.

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How did you get started in tennis?
I saw my dad playing, and also I was a little bit hyperactive so I wanted to do something. I saw him playing and then I just asked him, "Can I play?" He said, "Yes, of course." I liked it. I was good at it, so I just continued.

Who were your favorite tennis players growing up?
For sure Goran Ivanisevic, Rafael Nadal and Mario Ancic.

What are your ambitions in tennis?
To be No. 1 in the world.

What are your strengths as a tennis player?
I think I can move very well and I’m strong in the head, I’m tough.

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In your first Grand Slam, what's it like being in the locker room around all these players?
It feels amazing because I was actually watching them on TV six months ago, so now just being here with them is actually amazing.

What are your hobbies off the court?
I just like to go out with my friends. I don’t do any other sports because I’m already very tired from tennis. I’m just going to go out with my friends and have good fun.

Why is Mike Tyson one of your favourite athletes?
I just like his character. He’s a big fighter like me, so I just like him.

CoricWhat’s the story behind that photo of you in a tiger costume?
Just fun with my fitness trainer. He said, “You should try it. I think it’ll fit you well.” I was in a good mood, so I tried it. We said we wouldn’t put it on the internet, but of course he put it.

Favourite Movie: I’m not sure. I’m not so much into movies, so I don’t have it actually.

Favourite Book: Mike Tyson's book ("Undisputed Truth")

Favourite Food: Pasta with scampi

Favourite Sports Team: Dinamo Zagreb

Favourite City: Zagreb

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