hamburg04federer_coria

Points won by each set: [ 23-29, 33-26, 29-18, 32-23 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
27 % Federer – 31 of 114
13 % Coria – 13 of 99

Very important event in the development of the 23-year-old Federer [1]. He was already established as the best hardcourt and grasscourt player, but his clay-court skills were suspicious (lost the second round in Rome a week before). Admittedly he had won Hamburg ’02, but the draw in 2004 was much tougher; Federer needed to beat six very good opponents, five of them clay-courters, above all Coria [3], who was considered at the time as the king of clay, defending champion and a slight favorite (their first official meeting, once faced each other as juniors in the Orange Bowl ’98 final). Everything worked in Coria’s favour until 4-all in the 2nd set – from that moment Federer quite shockingly dominated him with offensive forehands winning 14 out of 19 games! “The blister (right hand ring-finger) burst and I couldn’t hold the racket properly,” Coria explained his downhill which led to the first clay-court defeat after 31 consecutive wins! “My serve was not working the way I wanted in the first set but then he started missing shots and I knew that if I stayed aggressive I could turn the match around,” said Federer. I assume after the Hamburg triumph, Federer could expect himself as a multiple Roland Garros champion because it was before the explosion of Nadal, who – by the way – didn’t play that tournament due to injury. In the first round, indoor conditions, Federer defeated the French Open ’04 champion trailing *3:4 (40/30) in the 3rd set.

Federer’s route to his 15th title:
1 Gaston Gaudio 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
2 Nicolas Lapentti 6-3, 6-3
3 Fernando Gonzalez 7-5, 6-1
Q Carlos Moya 6-4, 6-3
S Lleyton Hewitt 6-0, 6-4
W Guillermo Coria 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3

Serve & volley: Federer 2/4, Coria 0

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