Join Date: May 2004
Location: Queens, New York
Re: Heineken Open
Here's an interview from an Auckland newspaper that was published today . . . nothing exciting really but news nonetheless. Particularly like the last line . . .
[COLOR=Orange]Guillermo Coria hopes his misfortune of a year ago does not return to hinder his plans to start the year on a winning note in Auckland this week.
The wiry world No 7 from Argentina is top seed for the Heineken Open starting today, and has drawn a potentially awkward opener against former champion Sjeng Schalken tomorrow.
But Coria, who turns 23 on Thursday, hopes he'll still be in Auckland for the party. Last year, an abdominal strain counted him out of his second-round match against eventual winner Dominik Hrbaty.
The second half of his year was marred by a shoulder injury. He missed three months before playing the end-of-year Masters Cup in Houston, but it knocked his chances of pressing the world's top two, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.
Coria won two titles in the year, at Buenos Aires and Monte Carlo, made four other finals and reached his first Grand Slam final, losing 8-6 in the fifth set to fellow Argentine Gaston Gaudio in the French Open.
He must have fancied his chances in Paris, as he did not drop a set before the final and had won his previous 18 matches against his compatriot, not to mention holding a 6-0, 6-3 lead in the final before Gaudio began a stunning revival.
Coria reckoned he was primed for a big push in the second half of the year before his shoulder went bung.
"I realise that it is very tough to get over such a complicated injury," the 1.76m Coria said after practice at the ASB Tennis Centre yesterday.
"I am really keen to go back and try to be 100 per cent physically first.
"At the beginning of Roland Garros [in May] I really felt I was up there. If you are talking No 1, of course we all felt Federer was unbeatable last year, but I was playing well and my plans were to try and play as good as I could and maybe overtake Federer or Roddick or whoever was No 1 in 2005."
How versatile is Coria? Only three players - the remarkable Federer, Roddick and Coria - reached finals on hardcourt, clay and grass last year. [/COLOR]