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Meet the Croatian Tennis Prodigy on the Verge of Making it to No.1

Borna Devald

Borna Devald

 

Most of Croatia’s tennis hopes currently rest with Borna Ćorić, but it is another Borna that is set to go all the way in the game…

He is not even 14 yet but Borna Devald is already being talked about in tennis circles as having the potential to be a star in the game. Like his namesake, Devald hails from the suburb of Savica in Zagreb, just a few streets away from Ćorić.

He first came onto the international scene when he won the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship in Florida, which is one of the most important and prestigious junior tennis tournaments in the world, in 2014 in the U-12 division. Two weeks ago he again showed his potential by making it to the final of international tournaments in Bolton and Petits As, which is considered the European equivalent to Orange Bowl.

“It is a great feeling, it will always be written that I was a finalist at those tournaments. The result at Petits As was extremely important as the strongest players from all of Europe were there,” Borna told Jutarnji list.

Devald in action

Devald in action

Devald joins some illustrious names on the honours board at the tournament, the likes of Michael Chang, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrero, Richard Gasquet, and Croatia’s Mario Ančić and Borna Ćorić all former finalists. Current world number one Novak Djoković only reached the quarter-finals at the tournament, whilst Roger Federer’s best was the round of 16.

Namesake Borna Ćorić

Namesake Borna Ćorić

“I have trained with Ćorić many times. He is a professional and all of his advice means a lot. He told me that regardless of results, I should never get too big for myself and always stay focused,” Devald said.

Today Devald is ranked number 2 in Europe for his age group and he will have a chance to claim the number one spot next month at a tournament in Sweden. Devald was also a talented footballer and even had an offer to join Dinamo Zagreb but instead decided at the age of 10 to focus solely on tennis.

“I have visited a lot of countries, from China to America. I love to travel, and even study when I am travelling,” said the 13-year-old.

If everything goes to plan Borna should be playing at the Junior US Open next year. Definitely a name to look out for.

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