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Borna Coric completes improbable run, beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to win Cincinnati Open

MASON, Ohio -- Borna Coric continued his headlong rush up the men's rankings, completing an improbable run to the Western & Southern Open championship with a 7-6 (0), 6-2 win over No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Coric, 25, is expected to be ranked 29th going into the US Open. He opened the tournament at No. 152 before upsetting five seeded players and four in the top 10, including Rafael Nadal.

The Croatia native entered the tournament on a protected injury ranking.

The 24-year-old Tsitsipas, from Greece, was trying to become the first man this season to win championships on all three surfaces -- hard court, grass and clay. He has won a tour-high 46 matches this season.

Tsitsipas took a 4-1 lead in the first set, but he couldn't hold it and he wasn't sure why.

"I'm not in any condition to answer that, because I'm still looking for the answer myself," he said. "I don't have a clear answer for that. He was serving well. He was making me move a lot. He plays the way he's always played. He hasn't changed much. The less he misses, the more he makes your life difficult.''

Coric was away from professional tennis for over a year due to a shoulder injury but returned in March of this year at Indian Wells and had a record of 4-7 in 2022 entering the Western & Southern Open.

"I realized I had to be more aggressive,'' Coric said. "I had nothing to lose. I knew if I continued to play the way I was playing, I was going to lose anyway. I had to hit the ball harder and deeper.''

The Associated Press contributed to this story.