Gaston News, Information & Articles (Exhibition Matches as well)
Textbook Gaudio into first semi final
By Nyree Epplett
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Gaston Gaudio’s backhand is made of the stuff you find in textbooks. Honed on the slow clay courts of Buenos Aires, it slides off his racquet and skims down the line or rolls across court and disappears into thin air.
And on Court Suzanne Lenglen Wednesday, it laid the groundwork for the demise of former World No1 Lleyton Hewitt.
“Like Sampras served like that, I play my backhand like that,” explained the wily Argentine who routinely disposed of the Aussie 12th seed in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-2 to move into his first ever Grand Slam semi final.
It was the unseeded Gaudio’s most stunning victory of the tournament to date. Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, simply failed to find the answers to the exceptional claycourt prowess of his opponent, and was blown away by the gloriously fluid one-handed stroke.
“His backhand is one of the best single-handed backhands out there,” lamented Hewitt. "I tried hanging in there and I tried a few different things...
"His defense was so good. He didn't give me a lot of chances to attack. He's a class player on this surface.”
Enroute to his historic victory, Gaudio reveled in the cool and blustery conditions, controlling the dual from the outset with a near flawless display of superior shotmaking. He made just 19 unforced errors to Hewitt's 43 and broke the Aussie seven times.
“I’m especially happy because I played much better than the other day. I knew if I kept focused, particularly at the key times, that I would be able to win,” said Gaudio, adding that he would have laughed off the notion of making the Roland Garros final one month ago. His previous best at a Grand Slam came two years ago here, when he reached the fourth round.
“You gonna be kidding. That’s impossible!” said Gaudio, who has been forced to revise his original goal of making it to the second week here. “And now to win the tournament like a dream, I was dreaming about it,” said the 25-year-old.
Hewitt struggled to get as much depth or bite on his shot as the Argentine, and rarely strung together enough points to bother the Gaudio from the backcourt. His flat, counter-punching style played right into the hands of the 44-ranked Argentine. He kept the Aussie scampering with his heavily angled balls, and succession of glorious drop shots. He threaded his near-perfect one-handed topspin backhand down the line and cross court over and over again to frustrate Hewitt.
Hewitt broke the steady Gaudio just twice, in the first game of the match (Gaudio broke straight back to love, 1-1) and then again in the fourth game of the third set.
At 3-3 and 40-0 on serve in the first set, the 12th seed looked like he might make a match of it. But four consecutive errors, including a sitter backhand at the net, and a shaky double fault sealed his fate, and he floated a backhand long to hand Gaudio a 4-2 lead. Hewitt missed a break point at 30-40 in the next game when the Argentine played a precise drop shot and upped the velocity on his serve and groundstrokes.
“I thought I could have been a little more nervous but in fact I was not all,” said the Argentine, who won 20 of 21 points at the net. “I’m not used to go so much to the net,” he chuckled.
Gaudio ran all over the Aussie in the second set, racing to a 5-1 lead before the Aussie had time to blink.
Hewitt staged a minor resurgence of sorts in the third, but it was too little and too late, and the Argentine broke the Aussie one more time in the seventh game (5-2). He won the contest on his next serve when a Hewitt forehand floated wide.
It is the second time in nearly as many weeks that Gaudio has beaten Hewitt, after inflicting a three-set defeat at the World Team Cup.
Gaudio was one of four Argentines to advance to the quarter finals at Roland Garros (a new Grand Slam record for the nation). He now meets the winner of the Gustavo Kuerten v David Nalbandian quarter final in a match he compares to the final of the first division Spanish soccer league.
“They’re (Nalbandian and Kuerten) the Galacticos (Real Madrid) and I’m the Valencia. They have a special talent and in the top 10.”
Re: Gaston News & Articles
Open-Modest Gaudio joins Argentine Galacticos
Wed 2 June, 2004 17:40
By Francois Thomazeau
PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - Modest claycourt specialist Gaston Gaudio eased into the French Open semi-finals on Wednesday but claimed to be no more than an underdog among the Argentine "Galacticos".
The only unseeded player left in the quarter-finals destroyed former world number one Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 6-2 6-2 to join fellow Argentines Guillermo Coria and David Nalbandian in the last four.
Despite the achievement, Gaudio, ranked 44th in the world, insisted he was still a long way behind his two compatriots.
"They are the geniuses. They're the Galacticos and I am Valencia", he said in a comparison with the Spanish soccer Liga.
Galacticos was the nickname given to star-studded Real Madrid squad this season.
"I think they have a special talent. They're incredible. They're in the top 10. I would be happy if they won the tournament", he said.
But if Gaudio took the comparison to its logical conclusion, he could well win the tournament since Valencia ended up Spanish champions while Real Madrid faltered.
Gaudio did not rule out the possibility.
"To win the tournament would be like a dream. When I was a kid, I was dreaming about it. Now I'm in the semi-finals, but I have to wait. It's going to be tough," he said.
Gaudio now meets Nalbandian, the player he admires most on the circuit.
"Nalbandian can play well anywhere. (Swiss world number one Roger) Federer is also a genius but I like David more, really," the 25-year-old said.
But Gaudio might well be hiding his real ambitions behind his modesty.
Gaudio, who won two tournaments in 2002 in Barcelona and Mallorca, was the brightest hope of Argentine tennis before Coria and Nalbandian came along.
While Coria and Nalbandian received financial support from their tennis association, Gaudio and other Argentine players were left to fend for themselves.
"Sometimes there was no money to travel or we had to cancel a tour. Sometimes you had to stay in Europe for an extra month to wait for the next tournament.
"They (Nalbandian and Coria) received support and of course that was very important for them.
"Well I'm not going to judge that. We each followed a different path," he said.
But his semi-final on Friday would be a way to claim his share back.
Gaudio conquers his demons
Gaudio conquers his demons
From correspondents in Paris
June 3, 2004
GASTON GAUDIO has finally managed to tame the demons which have hampered his progress.
And the self-effacing 25-year-old from Buenos Aires, who booked his first Grand Slam semi-final at the sixth time of asking with victory over Lleyton Hewitt, revealed his on-court battles with himself have often proved more energy-consuming than his opponents, and driven him to long sessions in the psychologist's chair.
But there were few signs of nerves as Gaudio demolished Hewitt in straight sets to advance to an all-Argentine semi-final with David Nalbandian.
His performance over the past week has led unseeded Gaudio to jump from 34th position in the Champions Race to at least 19th when the tournament ends.
And the man who won both his previous titles on clay at Barcelona and Mallorca two years ago, puts his improved form down to a new mental approach.
"Before I was having a really tough time on court, so sometimes I was saying 'what am I doing this for if I'm having such a hard time?'," said Gaudio whose previous Grand Slam best was a fourth round here two years ago.
"But that's what I've been working on with my phychologist so that I can enjoy things more.
"Very often when I'm on the court I want to go home and not play anymore. Sometimes I was having a hard time for different reasons. I think that showed on the court, and it showed in my tennis. I was trying to change that."
A record three Argentines have made it to the final four for the first time as they bid to bring home their first trophy since Guillermo Vilas won the men's title in 1977.
And Gaudio puts their determination and his new mental strength down to the financial crisis in their debt-ridden South American homeland.
"Sometimes you had to stay in Europe for an extra month to wait for the next tournament. We couldn't go back home because we couldn't pay the airfare.
"Of course this means you suffer more than you usually would. That has a price. It's very difficult to reach the level we have now."
As for his chances of the title, Gaudio believes he is the underdog compared to third seed Guillermo Coria, who takes on English outsider Tim Henman, the ninth seed, in the final four, and Nalbandian, the eighth seed.
"I see things from the outside, just as you do. I think they have a special talent. They're incredible. They're in the top 10. They really have something in them. I don't know whether things were easier for them from the outset. I don't know what it was that caused that. But I think they're level is better.
"They're the Galactico (Real Madrid stars) and I'm the Valencia," he said referring to Spanish soccer. "I'm just asking for one title, not two."
2000 MONTE CARLO OPEN
April 21, 2000
G. GAUDIO/ JC Ferrero
An Interview With:
Q. Your name, is it from an Italian origin or Spanish origin?
GASTON GAUDIO: My mother is from Spanish origin and my father, I think, is Italian.
Q. But you think; you are not sure?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, we live in Argentina so I don't know.
Q. What about your grandfather?
GASTON GAUDIO: The same. He born in Argentina. I don't really don't know where the surname comes.
Q. What do you think, if anything, are you missing to be a Top-10 player? Is it just experience or there are parts of your game that you still are lacking?
GASTON GAUDIO: I suppose that I have to get better my serve and I get to put a little bit stronger. Then the rest going to be confidence and experience.
Q. Can you tell us how you became a professional tennis player, where and when did you start playing tennis? How did it happen?
GASTON GAUDIO: I start because my brother starts playing tennis before and I was following him to every club he goes and I was following him. Then he didn't play anymore and then I continued playing and doing better than him.
Q. Where was it?
GASTON GAUDIO: In Buenos Aires.
Q. He made many mistakes?
GASTON GAUDIO: I don't know if he played at his level he was playing until now. The first set could have been both sides, but the second set I think he started becoming tired and I started playing my game and then it was good for me.
Q. You say you "Played your game." What is your game?
GASTON GAUDIO: Running.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I run a lot. I hit very hard. My backhand is very good. It is better than my drive and my forehand. With my forehand I try to put the ball in. But with my backhand I have a better shot in my backhand.
Q. Why and when did you decide to change your coach, a few weeks ago?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I think it was in Bogota, the ATP Tour in Bogota. I was training with him since three years, but we split, finished.
GASTON GAUDIO: Percentage decisions from both sides. Nothing else.
Q. Why did you choose Horacio as a coach?
GASTON GAUDIO: I was practicing with him before when I was young, when I was 15, I started with him and then we finished because I have problems with other things because he was too busy and we couldn't travel around the world with me. Now we are together again.
Q. Is it the same relationship with a coach than you can have with a fiancee, a girlfriend?
GASTON GAUDIO: It is the same thing.
Q. But I am being serious.
GASTON GAUDIO: But me too. You have to have a special feeling with your coach. You can't choose any kind of coach just because he is good. If you don't have -- if you don't trust him then it doesn't work. So it is the same thing.
Q. Can you travel three people, coach, plus girlfriend, plus you?
GASTON GAUDIO: It is difficult. Horacio don't like it. But one week now and then it is nice.
Q. Which part of the game do you think you improved the most since a few weeks or few months?
GASTON GAUDIO: I think that it is not in my tennis. I think it is in my concentration, to put everything of me. With Horacio only, he is a very tough guy so we try to put my best; sometimes I was very lazy sometimes.
Q. Is it a big surprise for you to be in the semis here?
GASTON GAUDIO: Why for me it --
Q. Is it a big surprise for you?
GASTON GAUDIO: For me and for everybody it is a surprise. Nobody thinks that I am going to get into the semifinals but we are working for that. If we get it, good. If not, we try it the next week.
Q. Look like there is more and more new players in Argentina since a few months. Are you very close friends together?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes.
Q. Travel together?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes.
Q. Can you explain us about --
GASTON GAUDIO: Last year the Argentinian guys maybe they fight each other so many times. But now, no, we are very friends and we are travelling all together and we are getting better like that.
Q. Who are your best friends, Argentinian players?
GASTON GAUDIO: I don't have -- it is the same. With Gumi and Zabaleta and Squillara it is good.
Q. If you have all those friends who is your enemy on the circuit?
GASTON GAUDIO: I don't have any enemy. I don't care about the ones that I don't want.
Q. What are you doing the rest of the day apart from tennis?
GASTON GAUDIO: I am on the net all the day long talking my friends and my mother and everything. I am always with a computer.
Q. What is your next big goal, to win a tournament?
GASTON GAUDIO: To win this one. And then the next one. Every week it is the same.
Q. What does it mean for you Argentinian champions, such as Vilas, does it mean something to you?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, that was a long time ago, now our only person is Zabaleta that is getting the best ranking of us. Vilas is an idol there in Argentina, but now not anymore.
Q. Do you know him personally?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes.
Q. Did he give you some advice sometimes?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, we were friends three years ago, I was practicing in the same club than him. But yes he helped me so many times. I have to appreciate the things he do for me.
Q. For instance, what did he tell you?
GASTON GAUDIO: The same things that they tell you as a coach. He so much experience, so he try to help me sometimes.
End of FastScripts….
Re: Gaston Interviews
THE MASTERS SERIES 2001
THE ERICSSON OPEN
March 25, 2001
G. Gaudio/Y. Kafelnikov
An Interview With:
THE MODERATOR: Questions first in English.
Q. Was that one of your biggest wins of your career?
GASTON GAUDIO: I answer in Spanish?
THE MODERATOR: If you can do it in English.
GASTON GAUDIO: I'm gonna try. I hope that yes, is the first time that I beat a Top 10 I guess. So I'm here in Ericsson, it's really good for me to be here. I beat Kafelnikov and I'm really happy because of that.
Q. Did you think he was at his best today? Was it more his mistakes or your good play?
GASTON GAUDIO: I think that it's both. He didn't play so good, and I play a good match. But of course he didn't play so good that he usually play. So was better for me.
Q. Did you think you frustrated him by getting a lot of balls back?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes. I mean, is the way that I play, so that is the best thing that I am usually does. So maybe he get frustrated, like you said, but I play a good match so that is important for me.
Q. Sometimes they say Yevgeny suddenly loses interest out there maybe. Did you detect that today at all, that he seemed like, "I don't care"?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, maybe in the second set he started to play not so good like in the first. So yes, I start to feel that in the second.
Q. When you see that, you're on the other side of the net and you see that, does that make you more confident or does that make you think like, "What's the story with this guy? He's not even trying."
GASTON GAUDIO: I mean, I don't care what he did in the -- during the match. The only thing that I want is to win the match, so I was watching him but he was like tanking, you know, in the second set. But the important thing was to win the match, so...
Q. Your best results have been on the clay. Is this maybe the best hardcourt tournament for you?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, maybe yes. I play good in Oakland, too. I reach into the semifinals. But here of course is more important tournament, so... And also I beat Kafelnikov so that is really important for me.
End of FastScripts....
Re: Gaston Interviews
2002 NASDAQ-100 OPEN
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
March 24, 2002
G. GAUDIO/S. Grosjean
7-6, 4-6, 6-1
An Interview With:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you tell us about your match today.
GASTON GAUDIO: It was pretty tough, the match. I was playing really good. It was a very close match. I was lucky in the third set. That's why I finish the third set pretty easy.
Q. But the first two sets were a little tighter. He could have even beaten you in two sets.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I was lucky in the first two sets because I was 6-3 down in the tiebreak. And, I don't know, he made a few mistakes and that's why I could finish the first set pretty tough. And then in the third, I start 3-love and that was the difference.
Q. And your next match against a friend and a fellow countryman (Chela), how do you feel about that?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, playing against a friend, so it's pretty difficult. But we are professionals and we have to play as best as we can. And, well, gonna be better for Argentina because they're going to have someone in the quarterfinals.
Q. And maybe you can talk to us about the beginning of the season. You started pretty strong on hardcourts in Davis Cup.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah. I was playing pretty good, but I was injured. After Davis Cup I got injured and I couldn't play after Davis Cup. Well, I'm back and I start to play again in Indian Wells. And, well, I started playing good again.
End of FastScripts….
Re: Gaston Interviews
2003 WESTERN & SOUTHERN FINANCIAL GROUP MASTERS
August 13, 2003
G. GAUDIO/J.C. Ferrero
6-7, 7-6, 6-4
MODERATOR: Questions for Gaston.
Q. So you like it here then?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I like to play over here. I really enjoy this tournament. We have everything. We have the golf there, I love to play golf. So I feel okay in here.
Q. He seems to have had trouble with you in the past, although he won the last few. What do you think it is about your game that gives him problems?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, we used to make always tough matches when we play each other. The last three, I guess, he won, but I was pretty close when I lost in Monte-Carlo and I lost in Roma. Like I told you, we used to play like always tough matches, and it's so close, it could be for one or for the other.
Q. Is there something about his game that you find...?
GASTON GAUDIO: I don't know why. Maybe because we know each other since like we were young. So every time that we play against, you know, it's like we know each other so much. So there's always tough matches.
Q. Why was today good for you? Why did it work for you?
GASTON GAUDIO: I was a little bit lucky when he was serving in the third set 5-4, that he made an easy mistake in the first point of the game. Then I make a good return, and I was like Love-40 in two seconds. So I was lucky that game. It was so close that, I mean, was that, you know, the last game was everything.
Q. Can you talk about Argentine tennis. There's so many players doing so well right now. Do you have any idea why that is, or how so many of you have come together at the same time?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, actually, I really don't know what happened. We're playing very good everyone. I think that maybe because one is getting to the final in a big tournament like that. Last week, the other one is thinking, "If he's doing that, maybe I can do it either." So it's like a kind of a -- one player motivates the other one, you know? It's like kind of that I guess.
Q. Why all at the same time? You had Vilas and Clerc, then there was really no one.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, there was -- yeah, Mancini. But after that ones, there didn't come anyone. But now there are like, I don't know, 10 players that are playing unbelievable. Is always happen the same. It's like between one and the other was like 10 years, you know. After Mancini, Jaite, and all that ones, no one comes. Now there's getting someone new, I don't know why.
Q. Is that because more people are into soccer?
GASTON GAUDIO: I really don't know. Because from the tennis federation in Argentina, we don't get anything so it's not because of them.
Q. How old are you?
GASTON GAUDIO: 24.
Q. Did Vilas or Clerc have any involvement with any of you guys?
GASTON GAUDIO: No.
Q. Encouragement even?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, he used to come over, practice in Buenos Aires. Yeah, he used to say - I don't know - he'd teach us some things, some kind of experience that he had, but not much.
Q. That's Vilas or Clerc?
GASTON GAUDIO: Vilas. Clerc I think is living here in Miami.
Q. Soccer is still the number one game in your country. How much behind is tennis right now?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I think that soccer is gonna be always the first sport in our country, and then maybe tennis is coming up.
Q. As a second sport?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah. As popular, no.
Q. The people back home, have you noticed people getting more and more excited about what you're doing, what the other Argentines are doing?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, of course. Everybody is playing so good that the people there in Argentina are getting, you know, like still following us, of course. Coria is gonna get into the Masters maybe. People, they're really behind that.
Q. Is it to the point where, you know, you can't go out in public anymore because everyone knows who you are?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, not like that. We can still going out and all that.
Q. Can you talk about the next round against Robby.
GASTON GAUDIO: I really don't know him so much because we never play against each other. But I know he's playing unbelievable good here in this surface, and it's gonna be tough for sure.
Q. What can you envision for your next major goal? What do you want to try to accomplish next?
GASTON GAUDIO: I would love to win like first a Masters Series - of course on clay because here it's gonna be difficult for me, but I will try to. And then my dream is like winning the French Open.
End of FastScripts….
Re: Gaston Interviews
2003 US OPEN – A USTA EVENT
NEW YORK CITY
August 27, 2003
N. MASSU/G. Gaudio
6-3, 6-3, 6-2
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I know this is a tough loss, but Argentina is obviously playing tremendous tennis right now. I'm wondering from your side, why is that?
GASTON GAUDIO: Actually, I really don't know. They are playing good. I don't know why. Maybe because one is playing so good, you know, that makes that the other ones trust in that they can do it themselves.
Q. You were one of the first to really, in this new wave, to start playing.
GASTON GAUDIO: I was behind Squillari first. So I'm making like a roll the dice, you know? The dice is rolling.
Q. But it's not just on clay courts; it's hard courts as well, the Masters Series?
GASTON GAUDIO: Not for me, huh?
Q. Not for you here. What is the answer? Is it the camaraderie? Everybody's friends, like the Spaniards were, and they started playing so well.
GASTON GAUDIO: Maybe, I don't know. Maybe that. Yeah, we are pretty good friends, you know. We used to go out every day, having dinner together. That's make it easy to travel around, to be with your friends.
End of FastScripts….
Re: Gaston Interviews
May 31 2004
G. Gaudio/I. Andreev
6-4, 7-5, 6-3
Q. You've had a couple of close matches with Lleyton Hewitt in the past. How do you see the quarterfinal going?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, it's gonna be like the other one. It's gonna be tough, for sure. I never played against him with five sets, but in a quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, sure it's gonna be tough.
Q. Have you followed his progress here? He's probably in the best clay court form he's been in his career. Will he be more dangerous here than he's been in previous years?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I think so. He never reached the quarterfinals I guess.
Q. Once before.
GASTON GAUDIO: Once? Yeah, I played last week in Dusseldorf. Yeah, he was playing pretty good. It's gonna be, like I told you, it's gonna be tough.
Q. Would you have predicted that four Argentines would make it to the quarterfinals? Are you surprised? What can you say about that?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, it's great. I never thought this could happen. To be four Argentines in the quarterfinals is like pretty good. Maybe we can reach the semifinals, I don't know. We'll see. I hope so.
THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions, please.
Q. What does it mean for you having come to the quarterfinals, especially in Roland Garros? What did you feel today coming in to the quarterfinals?
GASTON GAUDIO: This is the tournament that I most like. I hope to go on. I'm very happy. I was close to winning two years ago and then I let it go, so I was a bit disappointed.
But I hope to take advantage of the fact that it's always been a dream of mine to play well here. I am very happy, and I hope that this dream will come true that I had as a boy.
Q. You were more enthusiastic during the game. You were talking to David and to Fernando and to your trainer. How are you feeling in order to face what is still ahead of you?
GASTON GAUDIO: I am very happy. I'm well, I'm playing well. Perhaps I was a bit tense today, more than before. But I think overall well.
I was trying to analyze the games as I usually do, not more than usual. And whatever is to come now, I may be a bit more nervous because I'm coming into quarterfinals. The other players are also a bit more tense.
There's a greater degree of nervousness around than in previous games, for the quarterfinals.
Q. Did playing Hewitt in Dusseldorf help you in preparing for Roland Garros?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, that helps. The possibility of hanging on against a player like this, it gives you greater confidence. It allowed me to come here in greater preparation.
Q. How were you training before coming here? Did you change anything in your preparation or training?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, I had been playing as I've always done. I was training to come here and there's nothing that I had changed. I was playing well.
Q. Are you playing match by match, or are you having greater expectations because of the quarterfinals for the end?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, of course. When you reach the quarterfinals, there are only eight players left and all of them wish to win. So you're in a position where everybody's out to get the same thing, has the same goal.
It's just a question of playing the next match against Hewitt.
Q. You said that you have to take advantage of this because this may be one of your last Roland Garros. At what point in your career do you think that you are? Are you in the final phase?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, not in the final phase. It's just that I played here for the first time in '96, and I don't really know if I'll be playing when I am over 30 years of age, so there's not that much time left. You have to take advantage of each time you come here.
Q. But in the case of Nalbandian and Coria, they received support from the federation, but Canas and some of the other players had to train for tennis on their own. How much does that cost? What is the total tally for all the sacrifices you had to make in order to train for tennis?
GASTON GAUDIO: You always think when things go well at this point in the game, so many years have gone by, that I think that Guillermo and the others who were helped can't really remember that they were helped. I don't think this changes anything.
We knew that many sacrifices had to be made even when we were youngsters. So of course it makes us conscious of what has happened.
Q. What were your aspirations when you were young?
GASTON GAUDIO: The same aspirations as any youngster - being able to win the different matches and coming out ahead, as I am here. There are only two more matches to be played, for instance, at this time.
Q. How did you begin to play tennis? You played rugby before?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, when I was in school I played soccer, but I began to play tennis because of my brother. He was a player so I just followed in his footsteps.
Q. What is your brother's name?
GASTON GAUDIO: Diego.
Re: Gaston Interviews
June 2 2004
G. Gaudio/L. Hewitt
6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Q. How do you feel?
GASTON GAUDIO: I'm very pleased. It was the first time I was in a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam tournament. But I'm especially happy because I played much better than the other day against Andreev, where I was very nervous.
Today, well, I'm very pleased, and I hope I'm going to continue to enjoy this.
Q. (No microphone)?
GASTON GAUDIO: We knew more or less what this match was going to look like. Sometimes some matches are very even in terms of the players. I knew that if I remained focused and if I didn't lose my concentration, in particular in key times, I would really be able to win this match.
Q. Can you say that you're gaining confidence, that you see yourself as a winner? You played very good matches, in particular the match against Enqvist, and today you were at a very good level.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, my confidence is increasing. Even though I was in the quarterfinals, I was still feeling confident. I started this tournament with a very tough match. I felt that I was playing well.
Of course, with experience, you realize that some things that you paid great attention and importance to are not that important, and you can just relax and enjoy yourself more.
Q. When you were interviewed for television, you said that it was a childhood dream to win the French Open. Do you think this dream can now become true?>
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, of course. Everything is possible. But, we have David, Guga, Henman, Coria, who are all wonderful players. So, obviously, it's going to be very difficult. And they all want to win.
It's going to be a real battle.
Q. (No microphone)?
GASTON GAUDIO: Every time we started a match, you worried about how you were going to play, make sure you hit the ball perfectly, all the points were perfect, and you started worrying a few days before the match.
Now, I'm still nervous, but at least I know what to expect. That's a real advantage. I'm making the most of it and I'm trying to enjoy things a little bit more. I'm playing on center court with lots of people watching. I try to enjoy that.
Even if I'm still nervous, even if it can be a complicated match, I try to enjoy it and have a good time. That really helps, I think.
Q. A colleague told me that after the match with Enqvist, you thought about retiring because you were not enjoying yourself, which is the opposite of what you just said. When did things start changing? Why did you suddenly feel more relaxed?>
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, no, I didn't really want to withdraw. That was not at all the case. But before I was really having a tough time on the court, so sometimes I was saying, "What am I doing this for if I'm having such a hard time?"
But that's what I've been working on with my psychologist, so that I can enjoy things more, what I experience on court, just trying to enjoy things more.
Very often, as I said the other day, sometimes when I'm on the court, I want to go home and not play anymore. That's a normal reaction as a player. Sometimes you want to withdraw and give everything up.
But it's not the case that I want to withdraw. Sometimes things go through your mind, but then you're back on the court and you try to enjoy yourself.
Q. It seems like you're not suffering today, that you're enjoying yourself. Do you want to continue playing like that?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, yes, when I started the press conference, I said in such a situation I could have been a little more nervous. I'm in the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam event. I thought I was going to be nervous. But, in fact, not at all. Things turned out really well for me.
Q. Is this the match that you enjoyed the most during the French Open?
[Still question] GASTON GAUDIO: As a person, as a tennis player, this week, this past week, these past months, have they been the best for you in your career as a tennis player?
GASTON GAUDIO: It just depends on the day. Sometimes I'm feeling really great, and sometimes I'm feeling rock bottom. But there have been more days I've enjoyed than days that I haven't, so I think things are improving.
Q. Feeling better on the court, is that something that is surprising you, or did you think you could achieve this feeling during the French Open?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, on and off the court it's the same really. Sometimes I'm at a tournament and I don't feel, you know, in top form. But it's more, you know, what happens around me than the moment when I go on the court. These days, I've really enjoyed. Because of the tennis, I'm having a good time. I think as a whole, it's the context.
Q. Before you started this tournament, did you think you were going to enjoy things, that you were going to be so calm, or is this something that just happened without you really controlling the whole process?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, it just happened like that. Day after day, things just happened.
Q. Can you very briefly analyze the possible opponents that you're going to be meeting in the semifinal and possibly in the final?
GASTON GAUDIO: You're talking about the next matches then.
Well, Guga, we know what he's like. We all know what he's like. Every time he comes here, I don't know what happens. He just brightens up. Of course, he's not totally fit, in his best form, but he has a lot of experience. Of course, he's been No. 1.
Now, Nalbandian, he can play well anywhere. Certainly he'll go far.
Q. Can you tell us what happens outside of Roland Garros here in Paris, what are you doing?>
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I'm not doing much. I haven't really had a lot of time. I've been playing. I finish late. I get back late. I watch a bit of television, have something to eat. I just went once to the Champs Elysees in Paris.
Q. Do you think Guga is a more complete player than Roger Federer?
GASTON GAUDIO: No. I was talking about Nalbandian actually. I wasn't talking about Federer. Nalbandian is a complete player.
Of course, Federer is also a genius. I think David, I like him more really.
Q. Talking about the change of mind you have, can we say it's your mindset that's helping you win the match? You have your shots, and then there was this state of mind that you mentioned.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I think that's really basic. It's very important to be feeling well on the court and outside the court. Sometimes I was having a hard time for different reasons. I think that showed on the court, and it showed in my tennis.
As I said, I was trying to change that.
Q. On television after the match, you said that Guillermo and David are really great, that you are coming behind. Now that you are good technically and you have a mental edge, as well, are you also going to be at the same level of them, or do you see yourself somewhere behind?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, I think I'm going to be somewhere behind and providing support (laughter). They are the geniuses. They're the Galactico, and I am the Valencia.
Q. Why can't you be the Galactico?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I see things from outside, just as you do. I think they have a special talent. They're incredible. They're in the Top 10. I would be happy if they won the tournament. They really have something in them. I don't know whether things were easier for them from the outset. I don't know what it was that caused that. But I think their level is better.
Q. You mentioned Valencia. They have two titles.
GASTON GAUDIO: I'm just asking for one title, not two.
Q. Now that you're playing more consistently, what sort of ranking do you think you'll achieve?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I don't know. I haven't played regularly throughout the year. We'll see what happens on hard court. I'd like to be Top 10, obviously. That's one of my objectives. If I continue playing like this, I hope that's a goal I can reach.
Q. Coria said for him and for David Nalbandian, the Argentinian association of tennis had provided a lot of support, that that is why you and Chela were also affected by this. What happens when you have to think about things that are outside tennis?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, it's not so much an important factor, but when we all started playing, Juan, Mariano, you know, all the younger ones, Canas, Agustin, sometimes we have been in situations that are, well, complicated. It's nothing really complicated. But sometimes there was no money to travel or we had to cancel a tour. Sometimes you had to stay in Europe for an extra month to wait for the next tournament. We couldn't go back home because we couldn't pay the airfare. Of course, this means you suffer more than you usually would. That has a price. It's very difficult to reach the level that we have now.
I think that now we're all feeling fine. We don't really need to pay attention to that sort of thing. But I think for them, earlier on, they received support, and of course that was very important to them.
Well, I'm not going to judge that. We each followed a different path. Now we're all here. They have reached an incredible level.
THE MODERATOR: Question in English.
Q. You won 20 of 21 points when you came to the net. Will we see more of that in the semifinal whether you're playing Kuerten or Nalbandian?
GASTON GAUDIO: If you going to see more than that?
Q. You coming to the net. Will we see more of that? You only lost one point at net.
GASTON GAUDIO: I'm not used to go so much to the net. Now I'm getting used with the doubles. I'm playing doubles. So maybe with that I'm getting some confidence out there at the net. So we'll see. If I have the chance, of course I will go. You never know.
Q. Do you have a preference about who you play? Last year you lost to Kuerten in the third round. You probably know Nalbandian's game better.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I know Nalbandian game. But now in this semifinals, it's like playing against anyone is so tough. It's going to be difficult, for sure. They're playing great tennis. Guga, he plays great tennis here in French Open. David is coming up so hard. It's going to be tough.
I don't know. I prefer to play (two/to?) Argentinian guy so we can be maybe a finalist Argentine.
Q. When you came to Paris, what were your hopes and expectations for the tournament?
GASTON GAUDIO: To be in the second week (smiling). I did it.
Q. Now what are they?
GASTON GAUDIO: And now to win the tournament, it's like a dream. When I was a kid, I was dreaming about it. Now I'm in the semifinals, but I have to wait. You know, I have to wait to see who is coming up. It's going to be tough, for sure. I told you.
Q. How big of a deal is this win back home? Do you have any idea how it will be played in the news? How much will this tournament, these next matches, be played up in Argentina?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I think that this is like history event, you know. Is the first time that there is all the players in quarterfinals, four of us. So, yeah, they're taking like -- they're taking like an unbelievable week.
So we'll see. Maybe an Argentinian guy is going to take the final, and it's going to be like a dream. I don't know. You can ask them. They know about it.
Q. A lot of us are still trying to understand why the Argentinians are doing so well here. Is it that you train a lot together like the Spanish players, or do you all go your own way?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, we used to go all together, of course. We're pretty good friends. That helps, you know, traveling so much during the whole year, being so far away from home so long. It helps to have some friends here in the tournament.
Yeah, of course, it helps.
Q. Could be a British player standing between an all-Argentine final. How surprised are you by what Henman has done here?
GASTON GAUDIO: I think that, like Guga said the other day, if he reach quarterfinals in Wimbledon, Henman could be, I don't know, winning the tournament here. You never know. Everything can happen, you know.
Q. What chance do you give him against Coria?
GASTON GAUDIO: (Smiling).
Q. Go on, be nice.
GASTON GAUDIO: I don't know. It's going to be difficult for him, for sure. I mean, Coria, he didn't lose not even one set. And he's playing his best tennis. I know that Henman has a lot of experience and he's a great player, but here on clay I guess it's going to be tough for him.
Q. If Henman can get this far here, can you get that far at Wimbledon?
GASTON GAUDIO: No (smiling).
Q. Has Guillermo Vilas played a role in the success of Argentinian tennis at the moment?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I mean, when I was a kid, he was helping me a lot. Now more or less because he's not living so much in Argentina. He used to go sometimes. But, yes, he gave me some advice, you know, when I was a kid, but not now.
Q. If someone came up to you a few months ago and said, "You will reach the French Open semis," what would you say?
GASTON GAUDIO: "You got to be kidding. That is impossible."
I don't know, maybe when I reach the final there in Barcelona, I start to think that I can do some good stuff here in the French Open. But you never know. You have to come here in Paris and you have to see the draw, you know. I was unseeded. Maybe I can play against some of the top players and not reach the semi like now.
Q. In terms of the reaction in Argentina, if an Argentinian wins, what will happen on the streets of Buenos Aires?
GASTON GAUDIO: On the streets? I don't think they're going to go out on the streets. They're going to be happy, for sure, but I don't think it's going to happen like that. Everybody on the street, I don't think so. That happens only in football.
Q. You said Vilas was giving you advice. What did he say?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, no, when I was a kid. It was like 10 years ago.
Q. What did he say?
GASTON GAUDIO: Nothing. To keep training and fighting, like he used to do.
Q. What is the story of your backhand? Did you ever play with two hands or was it always one hand?
GASTON GAUDIO: Only with one.
Q. How come it's your best shot? Has it always been your best shot?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, always was. I don't know. It happens. I don't know. How I did it? I don't know. Naturally, you know. Like Sampras, he serve like that, I play my backhand like that. I don't know.
Gaudio wins battle of Argentina
Gaudio wins battle of Argentina
By Nyree Epplett
Friday, June 4, 2004
Unheralded Argentine Gaston Gaudio won the battle of Argentina on Court Philippe Chatrier Friday, digging deep to upset compatriot and No8 seed David Nalbandian 6-3 7-6(5) 6-0 and move into his first Grand Slam final.
The 25-year-old Buenos Aires native, ranked No44 at the beginning of the tournament, is the first Argentine to reach the final of Roland Garros since Guillermo Vilas in 1982. He now waits to see whether another man named Guillermo (compatriot Guillermo Coria) will join him in the final.
The steely Gaudio played an intelligent, consistent clay court game to dissect the power of his burly countryman, sticking to his game plan when Nalbandian hit a purple patch, and then galloping ahead in the final set after his opponent all but threw the towel in.
The pair traded service breaks in the opening set, before Gaudio surged ahead 4-3, drawing a slew of unforced errors from Nalbandian. Gaudio held to 5-3 and then broke Nalbandian to love to take the first set in 41 minutes. Tellingly, he made just three unforced errors to Nalbandian’s 13.
Despite professing his fondness for fast surfaces, Nalbandian turned over a new leaf in the second set, breaking Gaudio with two explosive winners to lead 1-0. The eighth seed double faulted to hand the break back (1-1) before moving up a gear to reel off the next games.
Looking every bit like he was on his way to settling the score, Nalbandian dominated his countryman from the baseline, dictating rallies with his huge forehand and pouncing on Gaudio’s second serves.
Executing perfect drop shots to unsettle the rhythm of the steady Gaudio, Nalbandian pushed his opponent from corner to corner and broke two more times to stand at an imposing 5-1.
But clay court tennis can do strange things to non-claycourters, as Nalbandian, a former Wimbledon finalist, was about to find out.
Gaudio switched from the back to the front foot, playing uninhibited tennis to easily hold serve (2-5). He then blew apart Nalbandian’s first attempt at serving for the set (3-5) and held again, this time to love (4-5).
Gaudio then triumphed in what was to prove the most decisive game of the match. He staved off two set points on Nalbandian’s serve, and then threaded a glorious backhand down the line to draw even at 5-5. In the ensuing tiebreak tow games later, Gaudio skipped out to a 5-2 lead with some deep penetrating groundstrokes, and then mistakenly served to the wrong (forehand) side of the court. Nalbandian complained bitterly after his return of serve hit the net, but the point stood (6-2) and Gaudio was forced to serve to the same side again. Despite retrieving the next three points, Nalbandian was visibly rattled and let the set, and with it the match, slip from his grasp. He notched up 46 unforced errors (to Gaudio’s 19) and served five double faults.
A revved up Gaudio raced through the final set in 26 minutes, with a physically and mentally spent Nalbandian waving the white flag the whole way.
At the end of the match, which lasted two hours, 26 minutes, Gaudio was overcome with emotions. He walked to his chair at the side of the court, buried his head in his hands and sobbed uncontrollably.
Roland Garros semifinal
June 4 2004
G. Gaudio/D. Nalbandian
6-3, 7-6(5), 6-0
Q. At the end of your match when you had your head down and it looked like you were crying, what was going through your mind to bring that emotion out in you?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I was thinking about all the effort that I have made, you know, when I was a kid and all the dreams I got when I was during all this time playing tennis, you know. I was thinking to be in the finals of the French Open. And now I am.
So happy for me, and that's why I was like a little bit of emotion, yeah.
Q. Two weeks ago in Dusseldorf, the day of the draw, I asked you what your thoughts were, how you felt you were going to go at the French Open. You said you didn't know. How shocked are you? >
GASTON GAUDIO: Like you (smiling).
No, I never thought I going to be in the final of such a big tournament like this. And I was thinking about the first round against Canas, that always to play two Argentinian guys is tough, you know, because we know each other so much. So I didn't think about being in the final like I am, I was thinking just in the first round.
Q. There's some confusion as to the sequence of events that led up to the discussion at the umpire's chair. Can you walk us through exactly what happened with the mix-up with the serves? What was your reaction to the outcome of that?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, there was nothing. I mean, I made history, you know. It's the first time that it happen, something like that, in the French Open.
I serve to opposite side. I should supposed to serve to the other side, and I was serving 5-2 in the tiebreak, and I served to the left. That's why.
After the point, David went to the chair umpire and he told it, you know, "He served to the wrong side." But when the point is done, when you played it already, it's like you can't do anything. That's it. There's nothing more.
Q. You told us the other day about a psychologist you were working with now to boost your motivation. How much do you think it's helped you get that far?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I think like hell of a lot, huh? I'm in the final of the French Open, you know. I never thought I'm going to be in a place like now. So I think that he helped me so much.
Q. In what way? What does he say to you?
GASTON GAUDIO: So many, too many ways you have to work on it. He was working so hard with me.
Q. In the event that you might be facing Coria, can you describe your relationship with him.
GASTON GAUDIO: It's perfect.
Q. It's perfect? Hamburg notwithstanding last year?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, but we talk about it, and that's it. It's over. Everything is clear now.
Q. Do you have a preference for who you'd rather play in the final?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I prefer to play against him. For sure, is going to be an Argentinian winner.
Q. If you are to play Tim Henman in the final, what are your thoughts there?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, every final is difficult. And Tim is playing great tennis. I saw him a couple of match ago, and he was playing so good. So for sure, it's going to be tough. He is beating this guy that is the King of the Clay. So it's clear that it's going to be tough.
Q. Let's just say things turn around in this match and it is Coria that goes to the final, what do you have to do to get past him, to win the championship?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I have to play like unbelievable. I have to play my best tennis. And I have to be sure that I can do it. I have to convince myself that I'm allowed to do it, and I can do it, and that's it.
You've got to go out there and try to do your best. If it happens, great. If not, what can I do?
Q. You're down 5-1 in the second set. What are your thoughts then? Do you feel, "I'll still have a set, one-set-all"?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I was thinking just to play the third. But then I come back, and I was like 5-4 playing not hundred percent. I was thinking more in the third set. And when I was 5-4, he was a little bit nervous, I guess, because he miss so many opportunities. So when he was serving 5-4, I just get the chance, you know. I was 5-1, and the set start again.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.
Q. Can you tell us what went through your mind when you won the match, you were crying?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, after playing for 10 or 15 years, you know, always thinking about the same thing, you know, always dreaming about being in that sort of situation, well, you know, it's incredible.
Q. You never cried on television before.
GASTON GAUDIO: No, no, of course. But today, I don't know. I don't know, it was crazy. I don't know. Just, you know, that's the way it happens. So many things, so many memories, so much that people might not know about, but things that I've been doing since I'm a little child, so many sacrifices. Then suddenly to win a match...
Q. Do you realize how well you're playing? Let me mention once again the wonderful match against Thomas Enqvist. You continued playing well after that match against Andreev, and then today again.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I know I've been playing well. Today sometimes, and in particular the most important points, I played well. That gives you extra confidence. That's what made me win the match.
Q. You mentioned the psychological support that you received. When you were 5-1 down, you were still trying to win, you were still fighting there. Maybe before you would have simply lost the set.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I was thinking more about the third set, but I was still trying. As soon as I had an opportunity, I took it. I was 5-4. I took the opportunities and continued fighting.
Q. You had a dream as a child. You're going to have to win the final.
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, there's always something left to do.
Q. How did you manage your stress before starting the match? Is there something you're going to do?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I slept very well. I wasn't feeling really nervous really. Now I'm enjoying the situation - more so than other days.
Against Andreev, I was far more nervous. Today that wasn't the case. I slept well. I went on the court, you know, I was feeling really fine.
Q. Is that what you're going to try to do in the final?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I've never been in a final, but I'm going to try to repeat that experience.
Q. You say that tennis is suffering. Today when you saw what you were achieving, did you actually enjoy yourself? Did you think about those things?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, it's just right at the end of the match. During the tiebreak, as well, I was enjoying things. You know, you feel tense, but you still enjoy yourself. Then when I finished the match, of course I enjoyed it. But also when I was serving for the match, I was also feeling very nervous.
Q. So you enjoyed the tiebreak? That was the only time you actually were feeling fine?
GASTON GAUDIO: Yeah, I was feeling fine during the tiebreak.
Q. Are you going to change your style according to whom you're playing, Coria or Henman, or is it going to be the same thing?
GASTON GAUDIO: No, you know, I'm going to play the same way, whoever I play against in the final.
Q. You said you prefer to play against an Argentine. If you were playing against Henman, what's going to happen from a tactical point of view?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, against Henman, we know it really doesn't depend on me because he tries to lead the game, always tries to take the initiative. So it's going to be complicated. I'm going to have to make sure that I can impose my own style rather than letting him take the initiative.
Q. You also said sometimes you don't know what's going to happen on the following day. Now you're going to be in the final at the French Open. Don't you think you know what you're going to do on the following day?
GASTON GAUDIO: I don't understand your question.
Q. Don't you know what your tennis is going to look like? Can you foresee how you're going to play?
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, you start realizing, you know, when you have confidence, you don't know if it's going to be eight, nine or ten, but you know you're going to play well. Since I've never been in this sort of situation, I don't really know what's going to happen, whether I'm going to be feeling very tense or whether I'm going to control the situation. I don't know.
Q. Do you feel you're a Galactico?
GASTON GAUDIO: No.
Q. What's missing so that you feel Galactico in the final?
GASTON GAUDIO: I have to win more matches, a lot more matches.
Q. For those who were lucky to see you win in 2000 in Barcelona, is your style of play the same, is it of greater quality? You had a wonderful time in Barcelona.
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, I think so, because I'm learning how to, you know, go on the court and take the opportunities. That's something that I had to improve. I've been improving either in doubles or with Franco. I think, yeah, my level has improved since then.
Q. In the tiebreak, when you had the problem with the umpire, Nalbandian said that was a really bad mistake that the umpire made. >
GASTON GAUDIO: Well, yes, we all made a mistake. That's the sort of thing that happens in life. It's normal, you know. Nobody realized - I didn't realize - and what can you do about it?
Q. (No microphone.)
GASTON GAUDIO: I was feeling a bit nervous at that time.
Re: Gaston News & Articles
Tears of joy from gaucho Gaudio
Upset win by the other half of the all-Argentinian final tomorrow
Saturday June 5, 2004
Tim Henman was not the first man at Roland Garros yesterday to find that even the hottest Wimbledon form cuts little ice on clay, as the afternoon's opening semi-final saw David Nalbandian, the 2002 All England finalist, crash in straight sets to his unseeded fellow Argentinian Gaston Gaudio.
Gaudio's 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 win over the world No10 meant that the 25-year-old from Buenos Aires became the first man from his country to reach the French final since Guillermo Vilas in 1982. In what British fans will inevitably see as a double ration of misery, tomorrow's all-Argentinian final will pit two 5ft 9in right-handed clay-court specialists.
Gaudio, who had his backhand working to perfection against Nalbandian, took up tennis at the age of six and is currently ranked No34 in the world after making it to the final in Barcelona this spring.
After yesterday's 2-hour win he seemed overwhelmed at the prospect of his first grand slam final, even if the form book gives him little chance of an upset against the No3 seed Guillermo Coria, whom he has beaten only once, back in 2001, and who has won 48 of his past 50 matches on clay.
"I never thought I was going to be in the final of the French Open," said Gaudio, who broke down in tears after clinching victory. "I was thinking about all the effort I made when I was young and all the dreams about winning here. That is why I was a little emotional at the end."
He was helped by a subdued display from Nalbandian, who one elite rival said recently has "the best hands in tennis" but who had problems lower down in Paris. He said he had been hampered by a rib-cage injury, which particularly affected his serve.
"I had a problem with my intercostal muscles in the last set against Guga [Kuerten, in the quarter-final]," he said. "It was a little better today but it was a still a bit of problem.
"But I had my chances in the second set and I didn't take them. Then he played very well in the third set."
Nalbandian rallied after losing the first set to go 5-2 up in the second with a succession of trademark drop shots. But nerves or soreness then set in and he was broken twice when serving for the set. In the tie-break he saved three set points, but it was Gaudio's day.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
Re: Gaston News & Articles
Declaraciones de Gastón Gaudio
"Lloré porque se me cumplieron todos mis sueños"
El Gato dijo que todavía no se considera un galáctico y negó tener problemas con Guillermo Coria, su rival del próximo domingo
PARIS.- Gastón Gaudio logró hoy la clasificación para la final de Roland Garros por primera vez en su carrera, tras derrotar a su compatriota David Nalbandian, y lloró en el court central, porque se cumplieron todos sus sueños de chico.
"Lo que me está pasando es algo increíble. Si llevo quince años jugando al tenis, cada día lo he hecho pensando en algo como esto, en llegar a esta final. Pensé que nunca lo lograría y, después de tanto sufrimiento y sacrificio, he llegado hasta aquí", aseguró.
Gaudio señaló que no es un jugador que acostumbre a llorar, pero señaló que "lo de hoy es algo fantástico".
El argentino se enfrentará con su compatriota Guillermo Coria, tercer cabeza de serie, que hoy derrotó al británico Tim Henman.
"Para estar en final de un torneo como este hay que estar jugando muy bien. En los puntos fundamentales jugué bien y eso te da confianza", afirmó Gaudio.
El tenista de Temperley se mostró confiado sobre sus opciones en la final, aunque comentó que es una situación nueva para él, en la que no sabe cual será su reacción.
"Cuando tenés confianza sabés que podés jugar bien, pero yo no viví nunca esta situación, no sé como voy a reaccionar, no sé si me van a superar los acontecimientos", dijo.
Gaudio indicó que todavía no se considera un galáctico, para lo que "hay que ganar más partidos", aunque reconoce que su juego ha mejorado y, sobre todo, su mentalidad.
"El psicólogo con el que estoy trabajando me ha ayudado mucho", aseguró el jugador que, sin embargo, confesó que sigue sufriendo en la cancha.
"Hoy sólo disfruté un rato en el juego de desempate, el resto del partido he sufrido. Aunque estuve menos nervioso que en otras ocasiones. Recuerdo que el partido contra (Igor) Andreev estuve más tenso", señaló.
Gaudio desmintió que tenga problemas personales con Coria, con el que tuvo un enfrentamiento en el torneo de Hamburgo del año pasado. "Hablamos y aclaramos malos entendidos. Ahora nuestra relación es fantástica", dijo.
Coria y Gaudio se han enfrentado en cuatro ocasiones, siempre sobre tierra batida, con tres victorias para el primero, la última precisamente en cuartos de final de aquel torneo de Hamburgo.
Fuente : EFE
LA NACION LINE | 04/06/2004 | 15:11 | Deportes
11:15 | ROLAND GARROS
"No lo puedo creer"
Entre lágrimas, Gaudio calificó la victoria ante Nalbandian como "la emoción más grande de su vida". Y agradeció a quienes confiaron en él desde sus inicios en el circuito.
Gastón Gaudio era pura alegría luego de derrotar a David Nalbandian y conseguir el pasaje a la final de Roland Garros. "No puedo creer que estoy en la final de Roland Garros, el torneo de mi vida. Es un sueño, nunca tuve en mi vida esta emoción, hace mucho que venimos luchando y esperando", relató entre lágrimas el tenista.
Gaudio no se olvidó de quienes confiaron en él desde un principio, cuando se hacía difícil la inserción en el circuito. "Se lo dedico a mi familia, a la gente que me ayudó desde que era chico, a mi novia y a todos los que han hecho posible que yo esté aquí", aseguró.
"Cuando me iba no podía creer que estaba saliendo de la cancha tras haber ganado la semifinal de Roland Garros, es un sueño. Nunca en mi vida lloro, es la primera vez", aseguró un Gaudio todavía emocionado y con lágrimas en los ojos.
Sobre el partido con Nalbandian, calificó como "normales" los nervios del set inicial. Y confesó que sentía que no tenía chances de ganar el segundo parcial. "Cuando estaba 5-1 abajo, ya pensaba en el tercer set. Pero empecé a jugar mejor y después fue algo increíble. Yo había empezado nervioso el partido, porque Nalbandian es un gran jugador", confesó.
Ya imaginando la final del domingo, Gaudio dijo que no le importa quién será su rival. "Sé que será complicado contra cualquiera de los dos, pero tengo la esperanza de que me queda una sola guerra ya, y habrá que esperar", aseguró emocionado.
Roland Garros Final Preview by ATP
Coria Chases Roland Garros Destiny & Race Lead
Notes courtesy ITF media department
Guillermo Coria is one victory away from the No. 1 position in the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race; he will overtake Roger Federer in the top spot if he defeats Gaston Gaudio in Sunday’s Roland Garros final. Having been at No. 34 before the tournament began, Gaudio now stands at No. 9, but he will rise to No. 4 if he defeats Coria. A further 60 points are on offer for the 2004 Roland Garros champion.
Both Guillermo Coria and Gaston Gaudio are bidding to become the 48th different Grand Slam champion in the Open Era. Roland Garros has been the scene of a player’s first Grand Slam title 19 times in the Open Era, soon to be 20 times. The event has had more than twice as many first-time Grand Slam champions as any of the other majors. Nine men have won their first Slam title at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, and ten have done so at the US Open (Open Era).
With a new Grand Slam champion guaranteed today, the run of majors during which no man has captured consecutive Grand Slam titles is extended to 17 events. It was already the longest streak without a back-to-back winner in Open Era history. Andre Agassi, as winner of the 1999 US Open and the 2000 Australian Open, was the last man to win consecutive majors.
This is the first all-Argentine final in Grand Slam tournament history, and Coria and Gaudio are the third and fourth different Argentines to reach a Grand Slam final. The nation is guaranteed a second Grand Slam champion, as a successor to the legendary Guillermo Vilas, and a fifth Grand Slam title.
This is the seventh all-nation men’s final at Roland Garros in the Open Era, and Argentina now joins a relatively exclusive club of countries to have featured in all-nation Grand Slam tournament finals. At Roland Garros, only three other nations, Australia, Spain and USA, have achieved this. Including all Grand Slam events, they are joined by Czechoslovakia, Germany and Sweden.
All four of the pair’s previous encounters have been on clay. Although Coria has won three of their four previous meetings, all of his victories have been achieved in three sets, and their last meeting was more than a year ago. Coria’s first win against Gaudio was en route to his first career title at Vina Del Mar, Chile, in 2001. Coria also went on to the title at TMS Hamburg in 2003 after defeating Gaudio in the semifinals.
Coria has won 48 of his last 50 clay court matches through his semifinal defeat of No. 9 seed Tim Henman, 36 64 60 75. That match, at two hours 46 minutes, was the longest he has played this tournament and marked the first time he has dropped a set here this year.
Just as impressive as Coria’s clay court win-loss record is his win-loss record in sets during his last 50 clay court matches. He has won 110 sets on clay, while losing only 19.
During his march to the final of 2004 Roland Garros, Coria has lost only 50 games in 17 sets, benefiting from Nicolas Escude’s retirement after one set in the round of 16. This is the easiest journey to the Roland Garros final of any man since Spaniard Alberto Berasategui lost 42 games on his way to the final in 1994. Berasategui defeated Magnus Larsson 63 64 61 in the semifinals before losing to countryman Sergi Bruguera 63 75 26 61 in the final.
Coria, at 22 years, 145 days on the last day of the tournament, is slightly younger than the man he was named after, Guillermo Vilas, was when he made the first of four final appearances here in 1975. Vilas was 22 years, 305 days old at the end of that 1975 tournament.
Coria was boys’ champion at Roland Garros in 1999, defeating countryman David Nalbandian 64 63 in the final. Only five of the 53 different Roland Garros Junior Boys’ Champions have gone on to win the men's singles title, most recently in 1988, when Mats Wilander claimed the last of three titles here. If Coria does go on to win the title, it will have taken him five years to progress from being Boys’ Champion to Men’s Champion, which would be the third shortest gap between the two achievements here (Ken Rosewall and Mats Wilander both won the men’s tournament one year after winning the boys’ event).
The last player to reach the men’s final here having first reached the boys’ final was Juan Carlos Ferrero, who reached the junior final in 1998 losing to Fernando Gonzalez 46 64 63, going on to reach the men’s final for the first time in 2002 losing to Albert Costa 61 60 46 63.
If Coria were to claim the title here, it would be the third time in the last four Grand Slam events that a junior champion has gone on to win the men’s event at the same major. At 2003 Wimbledon, Roger Federer won the men’s title having won the boys’ event in 1998, and at the 2003 US Open, Andy Roddick won the men’s title having won the junior title in 2000.
In his semifinal defeat of Tim Henman, Coria won 13 games in a row from 4-2 down in the second set to lead 36 64 60 30. He then lost five consecutive games to trail 5-3 in the fourth set, before winning four games in a row to win the match.
Coria’s progression to the semifinals at 2004 Roland Garros marked the 11th time in Open Era history that a player has reached the Roland Garros semifinals without losing a set. Coria was the first man to achieve this feat since Berasategui and Bruguera did so in 1994.
The last Argentine to advance to the semifinals here without losing a set was Guillermo Vilas, who did so as the No. 3 seed in 1982, and went on to reach the final without dropping a set. Vilas defeated Jose Higueras, the No. 14 seed, 61 63 76 in the semifinals, but lost in the final to Mats Wilander 16 76 60 64.
Coria was the first Argentine to advance to consecutive semifinals here since Jose-Luis Clerc in 1981 and 1982. The only other Argentine to do so in the Open Era was Guillermo Vilas in 1977 and 1978. Vilas in fact advanced to the final in both of those years, winning the first against Brian Gottfried 60 63 60, losing the second to Bjorn Borg 61 61 63.
At 2003 Roland Garros, as No. 7 seed, Coria defeated Andre Agassi 46 63 62 64 in the quarterfinals then lost in the semifinals to Martin Verkerk 76 64 76.
Following his semifinal finish here last year, Coria went on a 31-match winning streak on clay. His streak was halted by Roger Federer in the final at AMS Hamburg two weeks ago, the Swiss winning 46 64 62 63. Coria’s 31 consecutive clay court victories produced the longest winning streak since Thomas Muster won 38 in a row in 1995-96.
Coria’s winning streak on clay took in titles in Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel and Sopot in the second half of 2003, and titles at Buenos Aires and AMS Monte Carlo this year. He defeated Carlos Moya 64 61 in the final at Buenos Aires, and Rainer Schuettler 62 61 63 in the final at AMS Monte Carlo.
Despite his impressive clay court form, Coria’s 22-1 clay court win-loss record is second best for the season in terms of total wins behind Carlos Moya, who had a 28-6 record through his loss to Coria here in the quarterfinals.
After retiring from the NASDAQ-100 Open final in March (losing to Andy Roddick 67 63 61 ret.) with a suspected back injury, Coria missed two weeks of the season, including the first week of the European clay court season, with kidney stones. Having first been told in Miami that he was suffering from a discal hernia and could be out for five to six months, it was discovered in Argentina that he had kidney stones, that were cured by drinking lots of water.
Although clay is Coria’s preferred surface, he performed well in the American hard court Masters Series events in March/April, advancing to the quarterfinals at AMS Indian Wells (falling to Andre Agassi 64 75) and to the final at AMS Miami, where he retired against Andy Roddick as described above. It was his third hard court final from a total of 12 appearances in finals.
Gaudio has reached his first Grand Slam tournament final in his 21st Grand Slam event. In his semifinal defeat of No. 8 seed David Nalbandian, Gaudio won the first set, but Nalbandian led 5-1 in the second. Gaudio won 12 of the next 13 games to seal victory 63 76 60.
Gaudio is bidding to become the first unseeded Roland Garros champion since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997. In the Open Era, Roland Garros has now seen nine unseeded finalists. Of the eight previous, two went on to become unseeded champions, Kuerten following in the path of Mats Wilander in 1982.
There has now been an unseeded men’s finalist at four of the most recent five Grand Slam events, starting with Martin Verkerk at Roland Garros last year. Since then, it has happened at 2003 Wimbledon (Mark Philippoussis) and the 2004 Australian Open (Marat Safin) ahead of here.
If he wins the final, Gaudio will be the fourth lowest-ranked man to win a Grand Slam title in Open Era history and the history of the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking.
Gaudio’s semifinal defeat of No. 8 David Nalbandian was his third victory over a seeded opponent at this event, and it improved his win-loss record against seeds at Grand Slam events to 5-6. Nalbandian is the highest seed he has defeated so far in his career. Before 2004 Roland Garros, Arnaud Clement, seeded No. 15 at the 2002 Australian Open, was the highest seed Gaudio had defeated at a major. Gaudio defeated Clement 64 46 62 76 in the second round there.
Before here, the round of 16 was the furthest Gaudio had ever advanced at a Grand Slam tournament, doing so at Roland Garros in 2002, when Hicham Arazi retired from their third round match with thigh cramps. Gaudio won 62 46 64 31 ret, then lost his round of 16 match to eventual runner-up Juan Carlos Ferrero 67 61 67 62 64.
By reaching the Roland Garros semifinals, Gaudio bettered the Roland Garros record of his coach Franco Davin. Davin, also of Argentina, reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals in 1991, losing to Michael Stich 64 64 64.
This is Gaudio’s sixth successive appearance at Roland Garros. Last year he also advanced to the third round, losing at this stage to three-times champion Gustavo Kuerten 76 75 57 63.
This being Gaudio’s 21st Grand Slam tournament, no man has taken as long to reach his first Grand Slam final since Albert Costa advanced to the Roland Garros final in his 26th attempt in 2002. Costa, of course, went on to win the title.
If Gaudio wins the title today, he will have taken the eighth most attempts to win a Grand Slam title of any man in the Open Era. There are currently seven men who have taken more than 21 majors to win a Grand Slam title.
In 2002, when he reached the round of 16 here in his best Grand Slam performance before now, Gaudio entered Roland Garros with the year’s third-best clay court record (by number of match wins). His 16-2 record that year ranked behind only Carlos Moya (19-5) and Younes El Aynaoui (17-4). Additionally, Gaudio entered the tournament having won 13 of his 14 previous matches, collecting back-to-back titles at Barcelona and Mallorca.
Although his form coming into Roland Garros this year was not as impressive as two years ago, Gaudio has now assembled an eight-match winning streak, having won both the singles matches he played at World Team Cup (defeating Lleyton Hewitt 63 57 76 and Martin Verkerk 46 62 64) the week before this event.
Clay is the only surface on which Gaudio has won back-to-back matches this season. In addition to reaching the quarterfinals at Vina Del Mar, he advanced to the final at Barcelona in an impressive run which included victories over Carlos Moya in the round of 16 and Gustavo Kuerten in the quarters. He lost in the final to Tommy Robredo 63 46 62 36 63.
Gaudio played back-to-back five-setters in the first two rounds of 2004 Roland Garros, improving his five-set record to 3-9. He had previously won just one five-setter in ten played, that being his first, when he defeated Bernd Karbacher 67 46 63 61 64 in the second round here in 1999.
Gaudio has been working with a sports psychologist to learn to relax and enjoy playing his matches more.
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