Coria , the best clay-court player of years 2003-04, was a slight favorite before the April contest because he enjoyed a status of the defending champion, had beaten Nadal in their only previous match (two years before on the same court), and Nadal entered the final after a grueling battle (2:45 hrs) against another teenage promising player – Richard Gasquet . Coria jumped to a 3:1* lead when Nadal  won a point with the help of three volleys – it allowed to relax the Mallorcan, whose game was exceptionally consistent from that moment for an hour. Coria was complaining about the weather at the end of the 1st set (he wanted to halt the match because of the rain), lost completely his focus in the 2nd, but recovered in the 3rd. Anyway, when people began to expect the decider, another twist occurred at the beginning of the 4th set – Nadal went 4:1* (30/15) in front, yet Coria being supported by the corwd, came back and even had a break point at 5-all – the 18-year-old Mallorcan saved it, and converted his second match point in the 12th game with a forehand winner responding on Coria’s dropshot (the Argentinian played plenty forehand dropshots in that final). The match lasted 3 hours 9 minutes. “I was happy to win the Davis Cup last year but this is unbelievable, it’s my first big title,” said Nadal, who was supposed to make his Roland Garros debut next month after being injured the last two years. “I was a little bit scared when he came back because it was the same situation as Miami, but finally I won it. If I can play like this at Roland Garros I can get a good result there.” In May 2005, Nadal wins another ‘Masters 1000’ final against Coria, that time in Rome after the longest clay-court final in history.
Nadal’s route to his 4th title:
1 Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2
2 Xavier Malisse 6-0, 6-3
3 Olivier Rochus 6-1, 6-2
Q Gaston Gaudio 6-3, 6-0
S Richard Gasquet 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3
W Guillermo Coria 6-3, 6-1, 0-6, 7-5
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