Argentine clay-courter, Roland Garros finalist and one-time World No. 3, Guillermo Coria, announced his retirement on Monday, CBS Sports reports. Here’s the scoop (click here for more):
“I didn’t feel like competing anymore,” Coria said in statements published on the Argentine Tennis Association’s website. “I’ve made the decision I will not play again.”
Coria won nine titles during his career, reaching his peak in 2004, when he lost in the final of Roland Garros to Gaston Gaudio, catapulting him to third in the world rankings.
Coria’s decline began a year later after he won the Umag tournament — his last title.
“In 2005 I began to feel less and less like competing,” he said. “My passion just wasn’t the same and it’s impossible to do things well when it’s like that. In this sport, you have to be at 100 percent,” added Coria, who is currently ranked 672.
Argentine super-blog, Fue Buena, has an interesting post (click here – in Spanish), describing how Coria stunned everyone by announcing his retirement plans on the radio, after the surprised interviewer asked him how he was planning to pull himself out of the tennis doldrums. Guess this is one way to do it.
I wasn’t a close follower of the Argentine, though I will always remember the 2004 Roland Garros final he choked away against the ultimate one-slam wonder and fellow Argie, Gaston Gaudio. This match doomed both of these fine players: Gaudio is now ranked 762 – exactly 100 ranking points behind Coria. (Just look at the above photo from the final – why is Vilas the only guy smiling?)
On the upside, Gaudio did win his first ATP level match in almost two years last week, in the first round of Barcelona (he went out to Tommy Robredo in his next match.) And he’s seeking wild cards into various tournaments, including Roland Garros. When asked, recently, about his future plans, Gaudio said: “Tennis is bad business for me, but being away from it is even worse.” (via Tennis-x)
This isn’t the case for Coria.
One of Coria’s most celebrated matches (and losses) took place at the 2005 Rome Masters, where he extended Rafael Nadal to 5 sets and over 5 hours on court. Here are some of the highlights:
Coria’s only 27-years-old – it’s crazy to think how quickly things can slip away in tennis. It’s too bad he never could be Rafael Nadal’s great clay court rival.
In other bad business for Argentine tennis – the AP reports that David Nalbandian may require hip surgery, leaving him in question for much of the rest of the season, including July’s Davis Cup tie against the Czech Republic
I guess it’s up to my favorite Argentine player, Juan Monaco, to finally fulfill his potential, and fill in the holes in his country’s tennis line-up!