When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?
I was reading through the old threads on another board, and reliving one of the most satisfying tennis moments for me as long as I have been following the game. There have been a few for sure Wilander, Borg, Muster coming back from his injury, but this one when Gaston Roland Garros will never be forgotten.
This is what I wrote about it at the time, so bear with me.
GWH tales from the non-journalist:
Well well what can I say about that fantastic result. Gaston Gaudio French Open champion definitely has a great sound to it, El Gato winning the title was one of my great sporting highlights, the match itself wasn't the greatest but the outcome was absolutely fantastic and put me in a great mood for the day.
The first 2 sets were strange, there was a guy that looked like Gaudio, I think it was an impostor. The impostor was incredibly nervous and had kidnapped El Gato, and was just making error after error and seemed that they shouldn't have been in the same court. Coria was at his miserly best within 2 sets and was playing intelligently, though he didn't have to do much except hit good length and let the errors flow from Gaudio, which was working.
It was becoming increasingly frustrating, but I thought come on Gaudio, lets get down and fight, you come this far and if he loses I wanted him to leave nothing out on the court and make the other guy win. The French crowd with wave which was great as it finally relaxed El Gato and that impostor is kicked to the street. Gaston improves his length of shot, and makes less unforced errors and starts showing some cojones, and is getting positive results. Then the key moment happens when El Gato hits a great dropshot, Coria runs for it, and then pulls up a bit sore, straight away I am thinking Hamburg all over again, but El Gato breaks at 5-4 and serves the set out and we have a match.
Coria calls for the trainer at 1-1, I think it was cramp and the commentators who I don't normally agree with said if he comes out in the 5th set and starts running everything down, Gaudio will be very angry and there might be more fights after the match. I have clear ideas about the cramping rule, no treatment and I don't care who it is, cramp is not an injury, it's a loss of condition. Coria threw away the 4th set 6-1.
Well into the 5th set and the nerves are everywhere. There were more breaks of serve than prostitutes in the world's busiest brothel. Coria is noticably moving better and running down dropshots easily and trying to dominate with his forehand. Gaudio is crippled by nerves as well, then finally the footfault judges wake up and start calling the blatant footfaults from Coria and Gaudio is footfaulting through nerves. They were playing better off each others service games, Gaudio is physically stronger, but can he win the mental battle as he has never been in the lead and Coria's improved movement must have played on his mind.
Coria broke at 5-4 to serve for the match, then was broken to love, but El Gato loses serve again and Coria is serving for it at 6-5 and he has 2 match points, which Gaudio saved and broke back again. The nerves are running wild, but El Gato manages to control his and holds serve and Coria has to hold to stay in the match.
Gaudio reaches 2 match points and Coria is trying to break down El Gato's forehand and then he went crosscourt, Coria went down the line and then the beautiful moment that classical backhand struck into the open court and then the realisation that Gaudio has lived out his dream and he has won the title that meant the most to him.
What a great moment, congrats must go to Gaudio, for finally taking a good look at himself and where he wanted to be with tennis and doing something to fix the problem. Franco Davin for handling him, the psychologist which was needed to help him overcome the lack of self-belief, the mental demons, the choking episodes, the poor set 5 record and the horrible DC experience in Malaga. Even in the match Coria was hitting the lines, the mishits, the net cords were mostly in Coria's favour, and rose above the cramping of his opponent.
No matter what happens Gaudio has his name on the trophy with some absolute greats of the clay court game Borg, Lendl, Vilas, Wilander, Laver, Guga, Muster, Bruguera and there Gaudio's name sits along with them and has everything to be proud of.
Ever since that day in 1999 when I watched him the FO qualies, then when I saw his other comeback from 2 sets down against Bernd Karbacher, FB and myself thought this guy is cool. It will be interesting to see all the bandwagon jumpers, but if they stay then that's cool, like anything following Gaudio has never been easy and that 5th set summed up why, he should have it easily, but couldn't and he showed such cojones and that's why I am mainly proud of his achievement.
“ On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".
Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Last edited by Action Jackson; 11-01-2004 at 05:20 AM.