Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canberra, Australia
Re: If Guillermo Coria won the 2004 French Open...
In 2004, Coria was the person to beat on clay. As expected he made the final of Roland Garros, but unexpectedly, just missed the title. At this stage he was only 22 and probably thought he had lots more chances to take the title.
In 2005, he once again had a very good clay season, making the final of Monte Carlo and Rome. However, in both these finals he lost close ones to Nadal. He lost in the Roland Garros 4th round to Davydenko. Soon after this, I think in Umag, he developed service yips that pretty much derailed his career.
Why did he develop service yips a year after his Roland Garros fiasco? Well, because he starts to realise that 2004 was really his best chance. He could see how good Nadal was already (Nadal was only 18 when he beat him in Monte Carlo and Rome) and could probably tell Nadal was going to dominate clay for the foreseeable future. He knew he would probably have to beat Nadal to win Roland Garros and this was too much to bear, knowing that he didn't have to beat anyone of Nadal's calibre a year before.
This is speculation, but several tennis experts agreed that Nadal was more of a destroyer of Coria's confidence than the 2004 Roland Garros final. But it was cumulative, had Coria won Roland Garros in 2004, he wouldn't have felt so much pressure to better Nadal. So I think, if he won that Grand Slam, his career from mid 2005 would've been much better. Probably no more majors, but at least top 20 for a few more years.