Tennis Prose



Nadal vs Coric: Perfect Symmetry Rivalry

By Scoop Malinowski

When you look for the perfect, symmetrical rivalry, the key element is that the two players alternate victories. It’s a rare occurrence that two players are so evenly matched that neither can win two in a row against the other.

That’s the special way of Nadal vs Coric, the other guy wins each match. Neither player has been able to figure out how to beat the other twice in a row.

Nadal first played Coric in Basel in 2014 and the seventeen year old Croat won 62 76.

A year later they played again at US Open 2015 and Nadal prevailed in four sets.

The third meeting was a year later in Cincy 2016 and Coric won 61 63.

Coric vs Nadal IV was in 2017 in Canada and Nadal won 61 62 to level the head to head at two apeice

The two gladiators had to wait for five years for match five (more symmetry) which was last night in Cincy. And the pattern continued with 152 ranked Coric, now age 25 winning 76 46 63 vs the 36 year old world no. 3, to take the head to head series lead 3-2.

If you can find another ATP rivalry of such perfect symmetry where no player can win two in a row vs the other, please present it.

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  • Cyndy · August 19, 2022 at 4:37 am

    Scoop Malinowski…. Amazing to know that…. Does that mean the next match up which is the US Open and they are going to play each other, then according to the symmetrical element, it should be Nadals turn to win!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 19, 2022 at 7:16 am

    Cyndy, yes Rafa’s turn to win next match but the symmetry would be they will next play in 2027 )

  • Cyndy · August 19, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Super interesting Scoop Malinowski! Coric definitely has a chance in 2027 but Nadals would be 40 by then and probably a father of two! Also, thank you for sharing on the symmetry info as I hadn’t seen it that way at all..

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 19, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    Cyndy, I look at head to heads a lot and it’s very rare to see one where each rival alternates wins. I’m reasonably sure there are more symmetrical rivalries like this but I can’t name any. Rafa will surely be playing at 40, even if his legs fall off he will get a leg transplant. He’s far from finished. The desire is still there and the establishment wants him to keep playing to get the record to beat Novak as the establishment detests Novak.

  • Cyndy · August 20, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Scoop Malinowski., pretty darn hilarious on the leg transplant!! It could bode true though as I think back on the playing with a sleeping foot (heavily anaesthecised) at the Roland Garros match couple of months ago.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 20, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Sorry Cyndy I think the foot injury was a total hoax job by Rafa, his foot was and is 100 percent this year. Although it may have hurt for real last summer (US Open miss, Wash DC loss) but this year it was perfect. No way he wins RG with a hurt foot. Just no way.

  • Cyndy · August 20, 2022 at 10:04 am

    Scoop Malinowski.,the so called ‘foot’ injury news was splashed all over the news ….. and then fast forward to Wimbledon and Cincy the issues with the foot seemed as normal as possible…strange …

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 20, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Cyndy, Rafa controls the media like a puppetmaster. All he has to do is show a hint of a limp between a few points and the world media will run with the “Nadal is injured” narrative. Every single time it works too. For the ab it’s even easier, just put a piece of tape on his stomach and he gets the instant media promotion of the hurt ab. But Rafa slipped during Cincy press conference and called the ab injury both a “tear” and a “strain.” It can’t be both. Rafa screwed up.

  • Cyndy · August 20, 2022 at 11:01 am

    Scoop Malinowski…,I suppose the media has unabashedly downplayed that too…. It’s a real shame that he just piles on the lies and excuses etc etc and people just lap it up blindly …appalling too…

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 20, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Cyndy, Nadal is a great player and tremendous champion but faking injuries is a small part of his legacy. It helped him win many matches. But don’t get me wrong, many great players in history have faked injuries to win Grand Slams. I recently shared the story of John Newcombe faking the shoulder injury to beat Stan Smith at Wimbledon 1971 final. Too many examples to count, also many more that I don’t even know about. It’s part of the game, on every level. I like the deception angle of it as it adds extra dimension of drama to the match but Nadal overuses it.

  • Cyndy · August 21, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    Uh-huh and right on Scoop Malinowski…, I agree with you on that….and it sure is great that Coric won Cincy… amazing match by him.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 22, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Let’s see if Nadal congratulates Coric for this title win. As Djokovic would.

  • Cyndy · August 22, 2022 at 8:00 am

    I haven’t seen any as yet but did see various mentions saying that it was good that Nadal lost his match against the winner of the Cincy tourney!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 22, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Incredible week by Coric, one of the best surprise results of the year. He literally came out of the tennis graveyard to win a very important title. Coric was totally written off and forgotten and now suddenly he’s one of the best in the world and a big favorite at US Open. Very inspiring story. Shame the US Open twitter account ignored all this wins in Cincy. The bias in tennis as awful.

    Pavvy G

    The @usopen Twitter account pretty much tweeted about the results of nearly all the
    @CincyTennis matches. But didn’t mention @borna_coric results ONCE, not even in the final.

    Most likely due to the fact he beat their hero Nadal and probably also because where he comes from. Sad.

  • Cyndy · August 23, 2022 at 3:16 am

    Yes it is indeed a terrible shame Scoop Malinowski on the Coric applause for winning the Cincy tournament and one does feel there is a lot of bias in the tennis world which can be seen by vitriol comments on social media,twitter et al…. PavvyG does also make valid comments regarding the USOpen twitter account as can be seen….if it was Nadal who had won I’m sure you can imagine the sugared and mighty praises eh! Too not nice…

  • Cyndy · August 23, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    Scoop Malinowski., I’m sure you would have seen that graphic image posted by USTA on its website…. I can’t fathom as to how such a prestigious organisation is presenting itself … I seriously used to think that America would open its doors to welcome people (land of the free etc etc)… but now I have a different opinion …. If an unvaccinated US swimmer can enter Australia to compete, why are they trying their hardest to put all the stops regarding Djokovic..he’s a champion of 21 slams and he just wants to compete in the sports that he has so much passion for.


    “The graphic was met with responses of #LetNovakPlay, and an online petition calling for the US Tennis Association to work with the government to allow for Djokovic’s inclusion had close to 50,000 signatures as of earlier this month, Reuters reported.

    While Djokovic was omitted from the graphic, Kyrgios was included on it, with some some fans incredulous that he was placed alongside stars like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.

    ‘Kyrgios in the front row,’ one said along with laughing-crying emojis.

    Another fan questioned Kyrgios’ inclusion by saying, ‘A 27-year-old who’s never been past the 3rd round? OK.’”


  • Scoop Malinowski · August 23, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Cyndy what the tennis establishment and deep state are doing to Novak now is IMO the worst injustice in tennis history.



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