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2 Responses to rg03coria_agassi

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 31-36, 42-39, 25-15, 30-27 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    14 % Coria – 19 of 129
    14 % Agassi – 17 of 116

    Agassi [2] was super methodical in his 30s. He was playing in an “energy saving mode” – he was running to the net only when opponent’s ball was very short; during baseline rallies, he was mainly occupying the left side of his court, playing “cat and mouse” with his opponents, wearing them down, almost standing in the same place. He could expect to play his fourth French Open final because his form in the first five months of the season was excellent (four titles in six events), the man who defeated him in Paris a year before (Ferrero) was in the other half of the draw, moreover Agassi had severely beaten Coria [7] in their two previous meetings. However, they both occurred in Agassi’s favorite conditions – hardcourts outdoors. Already from the first points of their Parisian encounter it was clear that on a slower surface it would be tougher to outmanoeuvre the super quick Argentinian. Coria had prepared something special – very precise backhands down the line to exploit Agassi’s non-covered right side. Coria was hitting off his backhand a winner after winner mixing it up with forehand dropshots, taking Agassi out of his comfort zone. The American changed his strategy and began serving faster as well as hitting his forehands stronger, but it cost him much more energy. He fought back from *1:4 in the opener, but didn’t manage to repeat it in the 2nd set despite improving from 1:5* (0/15) to a break point at 3:5. In the 3rd set the American seemed spent, for the first time his advanced age was revealed. Agassi gave his all in the 4th set, and after four consecutive breaks he led 4:3, but Coria was able to win the last three games and celebrated the arguably biggest victory of his life on his knees. It’s astonishing that among his 23 backhand winners, 19 came after top-spins down the line!

    Serve and volley: both 0
  2. Voo de Mar says:
    Admittedly Coria suffered a sensational semifinal loss to Verkerk, but Summer ’03 on clay-courts belonged to him, and after Wimbledon he won three straight events on this surface, not being forced to even play a tie-break in 32 consecutive sets!

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