I know this kind of discussion fits better in GM, but I prefer to stay in this forum, 'cause I find the folks nicer.
Now, someone in GM (dylan24 I think) started a thread about a few high-caliber players that once were thought of as the future of the game,but seem to be of little relevance to what's going on in tennis right now, Ferrero, Hewitt, Roddick and Coria.
I used to like Ferrero quite a bit, but in a hindsight I don't think it was for his tennis (although on clay he was very impressive) as much as for his quiet and calm personality.
Anyways, Juan Carlos has pretty much faded away at the end of 2003 and has never been his old self again, perhaps he's content with what he has achieved as a young player, and can't find the motivation to put in the hard work to go back to the top.
Roddick and Hewitt have never been my cup of tea, but even I must admit I'm surprised with how fast the prophecy about Roddick both losing power and being figured out came true, and Hewitt - well, I'm kind of happy to see how Roger dominates him after Hewitt had given him so much shit earlier in their careers, with that DC loss standing out of course.
The one I really miss (in top form) and can't help feeling sorry for is Guillermo Coria.
True, like Nadal, Coria's tennis has always been mainly about defense, the difference being Coria is not a muscular 6'2, and has never been a ball basher.
Watching Coria play (mainly on clay) is like watching a tennis professor in action: great hands, great tactics, great brains, that way a slim guy like him could handle a huge server like Ljubicic 6:4 6:4 in the semis of Basel, for instance, or make it (twice) to the quarters of the USO, losing 5:7 i the 5th to a red-hot Ginepri, in a match he hit around 20(!!!) double faults.
But the real story is surely Roland Garros.
People often say: "it's just a tennis match", but that day against Gaudio was the most important day of Coria's life, more important than his wedding day, more important than the day his first child will be born - for us it's just a tennis match - for them it's their whole life.
Seriously, if I were Gaudio I would hand the title over to Coria.
That day the first couple of sets (6:3 6:0) were much more indicative about the respective levels of both players than what followed, and through great pain Coria still managed to earn two match points in the 5th - which he couldn't convert - and must still be living through those moments every night in his bed, like they say: from hero to zero.
Frankly, I don't think I would have gotten over such a trauma, that year was supposed to be Coria's year, but wasn't to be.
Last year we where watching a shadow of Coria, and that was still good enough to make 2 TMS finals, pushing Nadal in both (that day in Rome he played awesome tennis, too), and make it to his 3rd TMC in a row.
I hope Coria will be back soon, and strong.
He is coached by Higuerras, a world class coach, and hopefully gets all the support he needs from the people surrounding him, because for a young guy he's already been through an awful lot (let's not forget his suspension).
Be strong, Guillermo!