The most unexpected final in history of Masters 1K (Mercedes Super 9 at the time) between players ranked Nos. 66 (Corretja) and 143 (Carretero)! Two young Spaniards took advantage of tricky conditions (very low temperature throughout the week, 15 degrees in the final). The higher ranked, one year older Corretja was a favourite, not only because of his bigger experience and winning their only previous meeting (Challenger in Punte del Este two years before), he advanced to the final not dropping a set while Carretero had in his legs three matches more as a qualifier. Carretero struck five straight winners in the initial phase of the match, but much better serving & versatile Corretja was on his way to notch another straight set victory, leading 6-2, 4:3* (30/15) – then Carretero got his barely first point directly behind the serve (Corretja’s BH return flew long) and it turned the tables. The underdog already led 4:0* in the 4th set when Corretja finally showed some emotions feeling that his expected victory was slipping away, and almost came back. There was 30/15 for him at 4:5*, but Carretero risked three forehands in a row to get the extraordinary win (he finished the championship point with a crisp overhead). In the aftermath of the final Corretja became one of the best players in the world whereas Carretero couldn’t win a match point at the main-level for another year (!) and disappeared from the ATP scene…
Carretero’s route to his lone title (18th main-level event):
[ Wiltschnig 6-1, 6-1; Venero 6-1, 6-3; Skoff 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 ]
1 Jordi Arrese 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(2) – 3 m.p.
2 MaliVai Washington 6-1, 6-0
3 Arnaud Boetsch 6-4, 6-1
Q Gilbert Schaller 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
S Yevgeny Kafelnikov 7-5, 6-2
W Alex Corretja 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
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