MacLagan: Coric needs to beat the top players consistently

Between 2007 and 2010, MacLagan worked with two-time grand slam winner Andy Murray as he took the British player from the fringes of the top 10 rankings to two Grand Slam finals.

Miles Maclagan, coach of Borna Coric, during their practise session at the upcoming Aircel Chennai Open Tennis Tournament on Wednesday.   -  R. Ragu

Between 2007 and 2010, he worked with two-time grand slam winner Andy Murray as he took the British player from the fringes of the top 10 rankings to two Grand Slam finals. Since then he has worked with the likes of Laura Robson, Sam Stosur and now Miles MacLagan has turned his attention to the young and upcoming Croatian Borna Coric.

In his relatively short career so far, Coric already has beaten the likes of Rafael Nadal (Basel 2014), and Andy Murray (Dubai 2015) and is in the city for his second taste of the Aircel Chennai Open.

Asked about whether Coric can take that big leap and fulfil his promise, MacLagan says, “He is ambitious, works really hard and has show that he can beat the likes of Nadal and Murray. But the big challenge for him now is to do that consistently.”

In the last two years, Coric has made a huge leap from being ranked outside 300 to reach the top 50 in the ATP rankings. Ranked 44 in the world, the Croatian is the youngest player in the top 50.

Speaking about the specific areas the duo are working on, MacLagan adds, “The top guys have some big weapons and you need to develop that to survive at the highest level. Guys like Federer, Djokovic have all very good serves and that is a key area.”

Speaking about Murray and his transformation over the last few years, MacLagan says, “He is playing more aggressive tennis and coming up to the net a lot more. His serve has become become a big weapon now.”

Since their split, Murray won two slams with Czech legend Ivan Lendl before hiring Amelie Mauresmo as his coach that stumped the tennis world and MacLagan admitted he too was surprised by the decision.

“I don’t know if they knew each other well but it was a surprise because you don’t naturally think of a woman. But he played the best tennis of his career this year even though he did not win a slam. So it is great that it is working well.”

Returning to his current ward, MacLagan is Coric’s third coach in over a year after the Croatian ended his partnership with compatriot Zeljko Krajan first followed by former Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson.

But for the Brit, Coric's tendency to change coaches is not something he is overtly worried about. Elaborating on the player-coach dynamic, MacLagan says, “The key thing is you have to see the game the same way. Also it is a big commitment for a coach to travel and you won't get to know until you start working. So sometimes it doesn’t work.”