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Old 10-24-2004, 01:08 PM   #1
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Default 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.
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On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
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.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1

Last edited by Action Jackson : 11-01-2004 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

I was stunned but in a very happy way. I thought the evil midget was going to win the match beforehand, this doesn't mean that wasn't screaming at the TV getting frustrated.

There was no way I was going to turn off the TV, but I was willing Gaston on and if you are going to lose, do it like a man, but the wave changed things around for which I am thankful for.

That 5th set had more turns than a mountain pass in the Himalayas, and one was cramping yet moving well enough and the other player cramping in the mind, the match points I almost didn't look at the TV, but I put up with it for this so long, so I kept watching, then when he held serve I felt good as he was in front for the only time in the match.

Then that backhand and I let out a huge scream and ran around my house like a madman, as if I had won the title and not Gaston, but after all the crap that happened, it's something I won't forget ever.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

well i was coming back from roland garros, after not being able to get tickets for the final (now i so badly wished i could have got some) i was listening on the radio, while i was in the car. i really wanted to get back and see the end, i think i came home at like 5-5 and managed to see the last few games. it was so great to see the end of the match and celebrations (my mum taped the match for me, while i was in paris so i had chance to watch the match later fully)

ahh, how badly i would have loved to see that final. but at least i got to see the semi final
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

i remember listening to maybe half the match on the radio and thinking what the fuck is happening
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

Yes, to be there at that match would have been special. It wasn't great qualiyt, but man o man did it have drama and turns.

I knew someone who was there a fellow Gaudio fan, he didn't know who he was sitting next to, but he hugged them anyway when Gaston won.
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Old 10-24-2004, 10:25 PM   #6
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Talking Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

well I'm not a great thinker anyway, but from the moment he hit the backhand which didnt come back to him, I could certainly not think at all for some time.....the shock in a nice way was too much, I just watched him go around to greet and be greeted by the lucky first row spectators and then to his coach and then the trophey - just switched off of emotions, was still hard to believe it. *taking a bow at marc rosset who cud scream* ......
.......then, when i cud move again, lol, I went down and left a note to my bro who had gone out due to appointment when the score was 2-0 sets, writing the score of the sets with huge numbers, after all I had to shock him a bit aswell, or it wasnt fair
this win meant for me everything, and the best thing is that I still make myself think "Gaston won Roland Garros!..." and this thought wud fill me with delight!!!......*takes a breath*

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Old 10-25-2004, 05:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

I was out in abar watching this match, and when I saw the first two sets I thought I am going to get smashed and so drunk with pain. I don't care if he lost, just not to Coria, so that's why there was more edge to this match than normal.

He started playing better, but when the midget took an injury time-out I thought he is at it again, and Gaston must be strong to the end. Then the 5th set, there were a few people watching now and it was so tense and the irony of a man who wasn't known for mental toughness came through against Coria who usually has such self-belief to win.

The celebration and the speeches were memorable and the fact he got the trophy from Vilas made it even more special.
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

All I wanted was for Gaston to beat the Evil Midget - I wouldn't have minded if he lost to anyone else - but NOT "El Tramposo". I was a bit tired during the match thanks to having been at the semis between Gaston and David and travelling back the night before, and took a while to get into it.............but I don't deny that when Gaston won I did the typical, emotional, female thing and burst into tears of joy!!! Vamos Gaston!!

Btw, - I had the misfortune to see the Evil Midget practising a few times in Madrid - once with David so it was a bit difficult to avoid him! He is even scrawnier and more evil than ever Thought you would all like to know that!
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Old 10-25-2004, 09:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

wow i didnt know you were at the semi final as well rosie
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Old 10-25-2004, 09:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

stunned...shocked....i really just could not comprehend that gaudio had won the french open. in the time i've watched tennis (which in fairness has only been about a year) i always just saw him as a kinda, not a journeyman as much....i dont know how to describe it but i never saw him as one of those players to challenge 4 major tournaments or even to be a dark horse. it was shocking for me enough when he got to the latter stages of the tournament and then when he beat coria...the so called 'king of clay 2004'...it was so (and no disrespect to gaston here) unreal. but thats only cos coria was cruising, so in control. and then....collasped. fair play to gaudio he took advantage of the situation.
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

I didn't think Gaudio would do it prior to the match and when he played his worst tennis of the fortnight in the first 2 sets I was ready to turn the tv off and go to sleep, last thing I wanted to see was a Coria trophy presentation.

Next thing I remmember it was deep in the 5th set. I spent all of Coria's match points on my feet convinced every Gaudio shot was either going in to the net or out of the court, yet it was Coria who choked on those match points and each saved match point was followed by a yell from me that woke up half my street.

When Gaudio finally won all I recall is jumping around, Gaudio is not my favorite player but that was my happiest tennis moment of 2004.
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Old 10-26-2004, 03:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

Thank you so much to everybody who has contributed to this thread so far.

I posted those thoughts and never actually said what my reaction was. Being the very patient guy that I am, it helps being raised in an area where you don't see the sun for 7 months of the year.

I clearly remembering the commentators (Aussie) were clearly cheering for Gaudio, it was funny actually and especially when the evil Midget went for the injury time out and started moving better in the 5th set.

Then those match points that Coria had I thought to myself, Gaston you have come this far, please don't throw it away and make Coria win it. My mind was going in more directions than it should have, and I was thinking that he has to stay here for as long as it takes, and leave nothing behind on court.

Yes, there were screams from my place as well, but when he won the match. I sat there stunned and almost cried, but not quite and thought this moment I was so happy that I was proven wrong, and the fact that a guy who isn't known for his mental fortitude came through this challenge and won the tournament that meant the most to him made it better.

For once 2004 had Slam winners that I really enjoy and appreciate Federer and Gaudio, it doesn't come much better than that.
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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
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.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

My reaction was unexpected really...nah.
I was in shock after watching the semis, so the final for me was daydreaming. I had faith in Gaston since I met him to win this slam and he knew it. I was on court in Bs As when the crowd shouted unfair insults at him and yet he was so nice to me, like cherrishing the last 3 fans he had. Who would have thought that 4 month later he would be the greatest argentinian player after Vilas/Sabatini???
For me it was the final of my dreams, against the player I most desliked in my entire life (I still do). I didn't know what to do during the match: keeping the cabalas, huging to my pillow, shout, cry, laugh...my neighbours thought I was insane.
When GG came back home from Paris, he said hi and enthusiatically asked me what how did I ive the match. I really didn't know what to say cause I couldn't understand what was happening (this is my fave Gaston moment...a kodak moment in my mind). All I could say was: I had felt all the emotions you can imagine, I started suffering as usual in your matches, then I thought it was over so I felt really sad, then I started to laugh at you and at myself for shouting at you through my tv. At the end I laughed and cried of joy. He said: "you see, the dreamed final and you felt it like me".
My reaction after i heard the magic words "game, set, match, grand slam title...Gaston Gaudio" was to run all over my appartment, I hugged my parents, went out and shouted through the window "where are the coria fans now" (yes i am a holligan sometimes, but a peaceful one). I quickly dialed the phone nº of my two GG girl buddies to organize how we would celebrate. And we went to the Obelisco with a huge flag featuring a red G (our trademark) like if we had won the world cup. Of course we were the only 3 crazy persons there but who cares...Gaston laughed after hearing the story.

Melu =O) (remembering the good old times)
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

Oh at night the celebration went on and on...drinking champagne as we watched GG and his cramping press conference. That night I couldn't sleep, all I could think was "when will Gaston return home"?...
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"Algunos piensan que yo fui el impulsor de esa reunión y yo, por mi carácter, no puedo organizar ni mi casa" (Gaudio, 2004).

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Old 10-26-2004, 06:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: When Gaston won Roland Garros, how did you react?

That was beautiful Melu and I will keep reading all of these responses when I feel down.
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