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View Full Version : Nadal, Ferrero and Coria: the clay court rivalry that could have been


JennyS
06-09-2009, 01:43 PM
It's amazing how quickly both Juan Carlos and Ferrero and Guillermo Coria went from dominant clay court players to completely off the map. Had they stayed physically and mentally healthy, they may have offered Nadal a little bit of resistance the last few years and possibly a rivalry.

It would have been fun to watch, that's for sure.

thalivest
06-09-2009, 02:05 PM
Thread fail. Prime Coria is a clearly inferior clay courter to prime Federer, and Ferrero at best is only equal to prime Federer (and that might be kind, probably Federer is superior to him too but not as much as Coria). Djokovic of 2008-2009 (and hopefully future years) is even superior to Coria on clay, and close to Ferrero. If you want to see the most Nadal can be challenged on clay by any player post Kuerten you see it now with Federer and Djokovic. There is no player since Kuerten who would be more competitive with Nadal on clay than those two, probably not Ferrero, and certainly not the overhyped Coria.

Coria couldnt even beat an 18 year old Nadal on clay in two tries in 2005. Coria in his 3 year prime lost to Verkerk, Gaudio, and a pre-prime Davydenko at the French Open. Ferrero in his 3 year prime lost to a past his prime Costa in 1 of his 2 French Open finals, and had a tougher time with someone like Gonzalez on clay than Federer or Djokovic do now. If Coria had stayed in his prime after 2005 he would have never made another French Open final as he would have had to run into 1 of Nadal or Federer at some point and never beaten either, and there are others who could have taken him out to on a given day- Nalbandian, Davydenko, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Gaudio, etc...Ferrero might have gotten to another final at some point, but only if he ended up in Federer's half.

thalivest
06-09-2009, 02:15 PM
Also Ferrero and Coria were never really "dominant" clay courters. Coria in his best ever year won 1 Masters title on clay, only 2 tournaments for the year on clay, and lost the French Open final. Ferrero in his best year also won only 1 Masters title on clay, 3 out of 7 total tournaments on clay (including the French), lost in Davis Cup in straight sets to Calleri on clay, but atleast did win the French.

MarcRosset1992
06-09-2009, 02:25 PM
Thread fail. Prime Coria is a clearly inferior clay courter to prime Federer, and Ferrero at best is only equal to prime Federer (and that might be kind, probably Federer is superior to him too but not as much as Coria). Djokovic of 2008-2009 (and hopefully future years) is even superior to Coria on clay, and close to Ferrero. If you want to see the most Nadal can be challenged on clay by any player post Kuerten you see it now with Federer and Djokovic. There is no player since Kuerten who would be more competitive with Nadal on clay than those two, probably not Ferrero, and certainly not the overhyped Coria.

Coria couldnt even beat an 18 year old Nadal on clay in two tries in 2005. Coria in his 3 year prime lost to Verkerk, Gaudio, and a pre-prime Davydenko at the French Open. Ferrero in his 3 year prime lost to a past his prime Costa in 1 of his 2 French Open finals, and had a tougher time with someone like Gonzalez on clay than Federer or Djokovic do now. If Coria had stayed in his prime after 2005 he would have never made another French Open final as he would have had to run into 1 of Nadal or Federer at some point and never beaten either, and there are others who could have taken him out to on a given day- Nalbandian, Davydenko, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Gaudio, etc...Ferrero might have gotten to another final at some point, but only if he ended up in Federer's half.

There was a lull between Guga and Nadal during which Costa and Ferrero managed to turn themselves into one-slam wonders. Corretja and Coria were both more talented but missed their opportunities. Gaudio is a more complex case; probably the most talented of the lot, but with so many mental issues to overcome it is actually pretty miraculous he achieved what he did.

thalivest
06-09-2009, 02:33 PM
There was a lull between Guga and Nadal during which Costa and Ferrero managed to turn themselves into one-slam wonders. Corretja and Coria were both more talented but missed their opportunities. Gaudio is a more complex case; probably the most talented of the lot, but with so many mental issues to overcome it is actually pretty miraculous he achieved what he did.

I agree with most of that. I am not sure if Coria is more talented than Ferrero though. He had more variety, but Ferrero had alot more power in his strokes, he had more weapons to hurt you with, and was just a more solid ball striker and competitor both. In 2003 they played the Monte Carlo final when Ferrero was at his peak and Coria was starting his and Ferrero spanked Coria, I think losing only 6 games in 3 sets.

Corretja's big missed opportunities were quite a few. He was never going to beat Kuerten in 2000 and 2001 at the French. However in 1997 he had a great shot and blew it, losing to a pre prime Magnus Norman. 1999 was a great shot with all the upsets, he definitely would be favored over Agassi on clay (he even did pretty well vs Agassi on hard courts). 2002 was his last shot and another blow opportunity when he lost to Costa in the semis. He totally should have won the French atleast 1 of those years, maybe more than one.

Ferrero blew a big opportunity in 2002 when he lost to Costa in the final. He really should have won in 2002 and 2003. He was the 2nd best clay courter in the World to Kuerten in 2001 and become the guy to beat on clay when Kuerten went down.

Costa was a real contender at the French from 95-99. His 2002 win was a shock since he was clearly past his prime by then.

Coria of course blew his biggest chance bigtime in 2004. He blew a great shot to be in the final in 2005 with Federer and Nadal in the other half, and Nadal was a bit nervous in his first slam final. He also choked a bit in the semis vs Verkerk in 2003 and probably should have gotten to the final to play Ferrero (would have definitely still lost IMO). Although in fairness Verkerk was having the tournament of his life.

Breaker
06-09-2009, 02:39 PM
Also Ferrero and Coria were never really "dominant" clay courters. Coria in his best ever year won 1 Masters title on clay, only 2 tournaments for the year on clay, and lost the French Open final. Ferrero in his best year also won only 1 Masters title on clay, 3 out of 7 total tournaments on clay (including the French), lost in Davis Cup in straight sets to Calleri on clay, but atleast did win the French.

Still - you have to put them both above Djokovic who hasn't even come close to Nadal in a best of 5 match on clay and just lost in straight sets in the third round at Roland Garros.

I think Ferrero and Coria would put up much more of a fight at the French than Djokovic can. Remember that the only times Djokovic has taken sets off of Nadal have been in 3 set matches.

Cyan
06-09-2009, 02:55 PM
Coria was overrated.

MarcRosset1992
06-09-2009, 02:59 PM
Coria was overrated.

Shame he never thought that himself.... Would have helped him in that 5th set

thalivest
06-09-2009, 03:57 PM
Still - you have to put them both above Djokovic who hasn't even come close to Nadal in a best of 5 match on clay and just lost in straight sets in the third round at Roland Garros.

I think Ferrero and Coria would put up much more of a fight at the French than Djokovic can. Remember that the only times Djokovic has taken sets off of Nadal have been in 3 set matches.

Fair enough. I also think Djokovic is overrated on clay and in general. Still Federer > Coria or Djokovic on clay, probably Ferrero as well (but I concede prime Ferrero vs prime Federer on clay is close). Actually I cant see prime Coria taking any sets off Nadal from 2006-2008 at the French either, especialy 2007 and 2008 the years prime Djokovic first played Nadal at the French.

thalivest
06-09-2009, 03:57 PM
Shame he never thought that himself.... Would have helped him in that 5th set

Interesting, how would that have helped him?

T1000
06-09-2009, 04:23 PM
Coria was overrated.

yup thats why he took nadal to 5 sets on clay and lost in a tiebrake when it could have gone either way. logic fail

tacou
06-09-2009, 04:27 PM
interesting, I was just watching some classic coria last night. there is a grreat high quality video of the first 3 sets of the classic Rome battle against Nadal.

it's really hard to make assumptions based on match ups, especially "Djokovic is better than Coria on clay." the two never played. Also, Roger Federer is 2nd best clay courter in the world and has been for 4 years or so, so Coria/Ferrero not being as good as him is not indicative of much.

watch the video and tell me Coria couldn't give Nadal more trouble than your average "clay courter" today. Guillermo Coria was not overrated, and Ferrero beat Nadal just last year.

I agree that if JCF and Coria had at least played their top level tennis for a few more clay seasons we could have at least seen a few more epic matches rather than the Rafa-show.

Rhino
06-09-2009, 04:29 PM
I think Gaudio is the one that could have been the most damaging, because he was a difficult match-up for Nadal. Before his game and his mojo went down the drain he beat Nadal 3 times in a row on clay including once in 2005 if I'm not mistaken. If only he hadn't lost his confidence, he was an amazing player.

grafrules
06-09-2009, 04:33 PM
yup thats why he took nadal to 5 sets on clay and lost in a tiebrake when it could have gone either way. logic fail

That was 18 year old Nadal. Nadal of 2005 would have been eating some breadsticks and bagels from Nadal of 2008. I actually think Federer 2005 is the one year of Nadal's titles where Federer really should have won the French, and could have easily won their semifinal if he didnt come out flat at the start, then lose his focus in the 4th when he was complaining about the light near the end. Like an earlier poster said if Coria couldnt even beat Nadal in 2005, he would have been hopeless vs Nadal in the later years.

grafrules
06-09-2009, 04:35 PM
Also, Roger Federer is 2nd best clay courter in the world and has been for 4 years or so, so Coria/Ferrero not being as good as him is not indicative of much.

It is indicative they wouldnt have been much threat to Nadal on clay since Federer who is better than them on clay isnt even one. Federer gives Nadal more competition on clay than anyone this decade, other than a healthy prime Kuerten perhaps, could have. If that isnt good enough for some people, well then too bad, but the idea that Coria or Ferrero would have done any better is purely fantasy.

T1000
06-09-2009, 04:36 PM
idk about that, if nadal could keep his speed and movement from 05 he couldve given 2008 nadal a good match, he was getting balls i wouldnt have dreamed of getting near to.

grafrules
06-09-2009, 04:37 PM
I think Gaudio is the one that could have been the most damaging, because he was a difficult match-up for Nadal. Before his game and his mojo went down the drain he beat Nadal 3 times in a row on clay including once in 2005 if I'm not mistaken. If only he hadn't lost his confidence, he was an amazing player.

An interesting opinion. Just curious, do you think Gaudio is a tougher matchup for Nadal on clay than Coria would have been? I know Coria owned Gaudio except for that French Open final fiasco, but I remember the matches between the Argentines were strange back then. There seemed to be an established pecking order between them, and the matches were always unusual to watch to say the least.

grafrules
06-09-2009, 04:39 PM
idk about that, if nadal could keep his speed and movement from 05 he couldve given 2008 nadal a good match, he was getting balls i wouldnt have dreamed of getting near to.

Would the Nadal of 2005 been able to beat Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in a French Open final? Would the Nadal of 2008 lose to Mueller and some German 100-ranked something on grass? Nuff said.

Rhino
06-09-2009, 04:54 PM
Would the Nadal of 2005 been able to beat Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in a French Open final? Would the Nadal of 2008 lose to Mueller and some German 100-ranked something on grass? Nuff said.

I think the 2008 Nadal had it a little easier in the RG final because Fed's decline, perhaps brought on by the mono business, began from around the 2008 AO, so although Nadals game was better, Federers was considerably worse that day.

zagor
06-09-2009, 05:02 PM
Would the Nadal of 2005 been able to beat Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in a French Open final? Would the Nadal of 2008 lose to Mueller and some German 100-ranked something on grass? Nuff said.

I think Nadal of 2008 is a much better,much more complete player than a 2005 version of Nadal but if we're talking raw speed,I think Nadal actually was faster in 2005.

tacou
06-09-2009, 05:58 PM
It is indicative they wouldnt have been much threat to Nadal on clay since Federer who is better than them on clay isnt even one. Federer gives Nadal more competition on clay than anyone this decade, other than a healthy prime Kuerten perhaps, could have. If that isnt good enough for some people, well then too bad, but the idea that Coria or Ferrero would have done any better is purely fantasy.

your post is quite objective and illogical. Nadal lost twice on clay this year, once to Roger and once to Robin. he lost only once last year, and it was to Ferrero. so if Ferrero had maintained his prime for a few more years he would not be a threat to Nadal, even though a washed up Ferrero beat him? I don't think so.

also, it's impossible to say that if Coria kept playing his top game he would not be a threat now in 2009, but that a healthy Kuerten would be? how can you make just conjectures when none of the 3 players were in their prime at the same time? no one knows what those match ups would be like.

I don't see how you can argue that a French Open champion and an incredibly versatile clay court specialist playing at their best would not provide some extra interest to the clay season.

JeMar
06-09-2009, 07:29 PM
I think Ferrero could've been a threat.

Coria was far too small and would've been ran ragged by Nadal and Gaudio was too mentally flaky. Also, his backhand was pretty awesome, but not infallible.

MarcRosset1992
06-09-2009, 11:10 PM
Interesting, how would that have helped him?

Think a dose of confidence and self-belief could have pushed him over the line in both Rome and Paris

grafrules
06-09-2009, 11:23 PM
your post is quite objective and illogical. Nadal lost twice on clay this year, once to Roger and once to Robin. he lost only once last year, and it was to Ferrero. so if Ferrero had maintained his prime for a few more years he would not be a threat to Nadal, even though a washed up Ferrero beat him? I don't think so.

also, it's impossible to say that if Coria kept playing his top game he would not be a threat now in 2009, but that a healthy Kuerten would be? how can you make just conjectures when none of the 3 players were in their prime at the same time? no one knows what those match ups would be like.

I don't see how you can argue that a French Open champion and an incredibly versatile clay court specialist playing at their best would not provide some extra interest to the clay season.

Get real on your reference to that Ferrero win. I am no Nadal fan (people who have been on this forum with me awhile no I have made my share of Nadal hating posts in fact) but everyone knows the circumstances around that match which allowed Ferrero to win. Not only an exhausted Nadal but one with so many blisters on his feet he was barely moving. Every other time Nadal has played an old Ferrero on clay he has won easily, and in 2005 when neither were in their primes Nadal spanked Ferrero in straight times all 3 times they played on clay that year. In all their other meetings on clay Ferrero doesnt even have a set. Dont give me any baloney of making excuses for any Nadal loss, as I said I am not even a Nadal fan in the least, and if we are going to analyze the implications of results such as that we might as well be truthful on them.

It is extremely easy to say a healthy Kuerten would be a big threat today and Coria which be much less so. Kuerten >>> Coria on clay or any other surface. Kuerten is a clay court legend, Coria is a pretender who couldnt even win a French during the vacuum between Kuerten and Nadal/Federer. Kuerten has proven himself vs the current field by spanking Federer when way past his prime. Coria in his prime went 0-2 vs Federer on clay, and 0-2 vs an 18 year old Nadal who is nothing like he is 2007-onwards.

It is not true that Kuerten, Ferrero, and Coria were never in their primes on clay together. Ferrero's prime was 2001-2003, Coria's 2003-2005, and Kuerten's 1999-2001. In 2001 Ferrero edged Kuerten in a 5 setter in Rome, but lost in 3 straight sets Kuerten when it really mattered in the French Open semis. In 2003 Coria and Ferrero played in the Monte Carlo final and Coria was crushed, winning only 6 games, then at the French Ferrero won and Coria loses to Verkerk in the semis. So based on the little prime to prime evidence just as I said on clay Kuerten > Ferrero >> Coria on clay.

grafrules
06-09-2009, 11:31 PM
I think Nadal of 2008 is a much better,much more complete player than a 2005 version of Nadal but if we're talking raw speed,I think Nadal actually was faster in 2005.

Even if so (and I dont neccessarily agree) there is much more to tennis and to what makes Nadal a great player than speed. Part of the reason he is no longer the sucky player on grass and even fast hard courts he was in 2005 is that his game is no longer just speed and defense like back then.

joeri888
06-10-2009, 07:11 AM
Thread fail. Prime Coria is a clearly inferior clay courter to prime Federer, and Ferrero at best is only equal to prime Federer (and that might be kind, probably Federer is superior to him too but not as much as Coria). Djokovic of 2008-2009 (and hopefully future years) is even superior to Coria on clay, and close to Ferrero. If you want to see the most Nadal can be challenged on clay by any player post Kuerten you see it now with Federer and Djokovic. There is no player since Kuerten who would be more competitive with Nadal on clay than those two, probably not Ferrero, and certainly not the overhyped Coria.I agree that Roger and Novak are the best claycourters he's probably faced. However, in 2005 and 2006 Nadal was a lot more vulnerable on clay than he is now (how ironic, given his loss, but still it's true). If Ferrero and coria could have kept it up longer it might have been interesting in 2005 and/or 2006.

flying24
06-10-2009, 07:21 AM
Federer in 2006 played some of his best clay court tennis ever. He had match point to win an amazing Rome final with Nadal, really should have won it. He lost a very good 4 set final to Nadal in Monte Carlo. The French Open final was one of his worst performances of the year and he still took Nadal to a 4th set tiebreak. He was dominant in most of his other matches, the only other one to give him trouble was Nalbandian.

Coria is mentally weak even in his prime. That is why he lost in big upset each of his prime years at the French. It wasnt like he lost to Ferrero, Federer, or Nadal at the French. That is also why he lost to Federer in the Hamburg final in 2004 when Roger wasnt even that good on clay yet and wasnt even playing well early in that final (2005 was the start of prime Roger on clay IMO). In addition to mentally weak he isnt physically the strongest so 2 weeks of best 3 of 5 set tennis at the French especialy with fitness animals like Nadal or even Federer (whose fitness is ridiculously underrated) no way he would he ever be the last man standing or even probably standing on the final day at all.

Coria is way overrated as already noted in this thread. One of the most overrated players this decade. Ferrero on the other hand could have made things more interesting. IMO he is much better than Coria, prime Ferrero is another level than a prime Coria on clay or any other surface. He had the firepower and the mental toughness to compete with Federer on clay, possibly even Nadal on clay, had he stayed the course. Federer may have even welcomed a 3rd member of the clay court rivalry like Ferrero. Maybe prime Ferrero would have helped him by taking out Rafa once in awhile, and Federer probably would fancy his chances vs Ferrero alot more and if he avoided playing Rafa in every clay court final he might not have the mental block he formed against him now.

veroniquem
06-10-2009, 07:45 AM
It's amazing how quickly both Juan Carlos and Ferrero and Guillermo Coria went from dominant clay court players to completely off the map. Had they stayed physically and mentally healthy, they may have offered Nadal a little bit of resistance the last few years and possibly a rivalry.

It would have been fun to watch, that's for sure.
There is 0 basis for such an assumption. Coria only beat Nadal the first time they played and Nadal was 16 years old. He proceeded to lose their next 4 meetings. Ferrero couldn't even beat an 18 year old Rafa on clay. His only clay win vs Rafa (out of 5 encounters) happened in Rome 2008 when Nadal was injured.
Ferrero and Coria at their best were not even close to Rafa's best level on clay.

grafrules
06-10-2009, 07:50 AM
There is 0 basis for such an assumption. Coria only beat Nadal the first time they played and Nadal was 16 years old. He proceeded to lose their next 4 meetings. Ferrero couldn't even beat an 18 year old Rafa on clay. His only clay win vs Rafa (out of 5 encounters) happened in Rome 2008 when Nadal was injured.
Ferrero and Coria at their best were not even close to Rafa's best level on clay.

I agree on Coria but your Ferrero examples arent completely fair. Ferrero was already a shadow of his old self in 2005 when he was losing to an 18 year old Rafa. Also he had an upset win over Nadal on hard courts in 2006 again multiple years past his prime. I would still favor prime Nadal over prime Ferrero on clay mind you, but it would be unfair to say Ferrero even had a fair shot at that situation as he was even futher from his prime than young Nadal when they first played.

tacou
06-10-2009, 09:51 AM
Get real on your reference to that Ferrero win. I am no Nadal fan (people who have been on this forum with me awhile no I have made my share of Nadal hating posts in fact) but everyone knows the circumstances around that match which allowed Ferrero to win. Not only an exhausted Nadal but one with so many blisters on his feet he was barely moving. Every other time Nadal has played an old Ferrero on clay he has won easily, and in 2005 when neither were in their primes Nadal spanked Ferrero in straight times all 3 times they played on clay that year. In all their other meetings on clay Ferrero doesnt even have a set. Dont give me any baloney of making excuses for any Nadal loss, as I said I am not even a Nadal fan in the least, and if we are going to analyze the implications of results such as that we might as well be truthful on them.

It is extremely easy to say a healthy Kuerten would be a big threat today and Coria which be much less so. Kuerten >>> Coria on clay or any other surface. Kuerten is a clay court legend, Coria is a pretender who couldnt even win a French during the vacuum between Kuerten and Nadal/Federer. Kuerten has proven himself vs the current field by spanking Federer when way past his prime. Coria in his prime went 0-2 vs Federer on clay, and 0-2 vs an 18 year old Nadal who is nothing like he is 2007-onwards.

It is not true that Kuerten, Ferrero, and Coria were never in their primes on clay together. Ferrero's prime was 2001-2003, Coria's 2003-2005, and Kuerten's 1999-2001. In 2001 Ferrero edged Kuerten in a 5 setter in Rome, but lost in 3 straight sets Kuerten when it really mattered in the French Open semis. In 2003 Coria and Ferrero played in the Monte Carlo final and Coria was crushed, winning only 6 games, then at the French Ferrero won and Coria loses to Verkerk in the semis. So based on the little prime to prime evidence just as I said on clay Kuerten > Ferrero >> Coria on clay.

I'm pretty sure I was "real" on my reference to the Ferrero win, as Ferrero won, so I'll leave that as it is.

An 0-2 h2h proves very little. would you say Gilles Simon is a better hard court player than Federer?

you proved yourself with those years that the 3 players were not in their primes at the same time. also, I'm not arguing that Kuerten isn't more talented than the other two (though I think Coria is better than JCF and in no way a "pretender"). the fact that you're comparing Coria/Ferrero to Federer and Nadal on clay proves my point: wouldn't a French Open quarterfinal be more interesting between Nadal and peak-Coria than Nadal dropping 3 games to current "clay court specialist" Nicholas Almagro?

tacou
06-10-2009, 09:55 AM
In addition to mentally weak he isnt physically the strongest so 2 weeks of best 3 of 5 set tennis at the French especialy with fitness animals like Nadal or even Federer (whose fitness is ridiculously underrated) no way he would he ever be the last man standing or even probably standing on the final day at all.


Coria is not physically fit....? he was physically fit at the end of the epic Rome final, which went to a 5th set tie breaker and is the longest tennis final ever.

also, he could clearly be the last man standing in a slam (physically, at least) since the slam final he played in went to 8-6 in the fifth. he didn't win but clearly he was physically in it.

navratilovafan
06-10-2009, 10:02 AM
I think Coria is better than JCF

I have no idea how anyone could think Coria is better than JCF on clay. Ferrero from 2000-2003 only lost to Kuerten twice and in a big upset Costa at the French. Coria at his peak lost to Verkerk and a then low ranked Davydenko. His best loss was to Gaudio who probably isnt even as good as Costa. Ferrero has beaten peak Kuerten in the final of Rome. What is Coria's biggest ever win on clay (not near win or could have, should have, would have). Comparing the two Ferrero is just as fast, stronger, more powerful, more accurate, fitter, much tougher mentally. As already mentioned on this thread when both were close to their peak Coria got spanked in the Monte Carlo final by Ferrero. It was like a man playing a boy.

Ferrero at his peak is by far the better player and clay court player. If it hadnt been for Ferrero's illness Coria would have never had even a single shot at a French Open title. As it was he had his one and only shot in 2004 only because of Ferrero's downfall, Kuerten's prime cut short by injury, Nadal's emergence not being for another year, and Federer's early upset that year. He still blew it.

Talking about Kuerten or even Ferrero playing Nadal or Federer on clay is interesting. Coria even in this conversation just makes me laugh.

tacou
06-10-2009, 10:06 AM
I don't know why you're so passionately against Coria. I'm a fan of his game. check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvI0ClKPK-w (HQ)

if you're saying that's not an intense and interesting clay court match up then I don't know what is. obviously not peak Nadal but I've seen him play worse than that this season, and if he'd faced a clay courter of JCF or Coria's ability he would have lost.

allcourter2008
06-10-2009, 11:02 AM
There's no doubt that Coria and Ferrero at their best would've made it more difficult for Nadal to win titles on clay.
Too many players these days just get steamrolled by Nadal. Coria und Ferrero, even if they would lose, would made Nadal run a lot more.
During a tournament it makes a huge difference if you destroy your opponent or if you have to fight 2-3 hours to win (mentally and physically).

And some people are seriously overrating Djokovic on clay, yes he's a good clay courter, but not on either Coria's or Ferroro's top level, at least as soon as the match gets long.
FFS, Djokovic can't even beat Ferrer on clay.

flying24
06-10-2009, 11:43 AM
Coria is not physically fit....? he was physically fit at the end of the epic Rome final, which went to a 5th set tie breaker and is the longest tennis final ever.

also, he could clearly be the last man standing in a slam (physically, at least) since the slam final he played in went to 8-6 in the fifth. he didn't win but clearly he was physically in it.

He was barely standing. Obviously you are forgetting he was cramping badly in the 4th and 5th sets of that match. He can barely stand at the end of a French Open with only Henman and Gaudio to deal with. So how on earth would he be there standing with Kuerten, Ferrero, and Corretja to deal with a few years earlier, or Nadal and Federer to deal with any years after 2004.

Coria was actually fatigued in the 5th set of the Rome final with 18 year old Nadal, which was part of what helped Nadal come from 3-0 down in the final set to still win. Federer playing a long semifinal with Nalbandian the previous day and still appeared fitter in the 5th set of the final with Nadal than Coria had been the previous year.

Coria is a nice player on clay I suppose, but he doesnt have the athletic ability, physical fitness, or mental endurance to go toe to toe with either prime Nadal or prime Federer. That is if he even had the weapons and game needed which IMO he doesnt anyway.

I am not going to argue anymore. If you really want to believe Coria who couldnt even beat some less than amazing opponents at the French during his glory years is this clay court phenom who would be competitive with Nadal, Federer, or even Djokovic today despite all the evidence to the contrary that seems to exist you can just keep thinking that. Nothing I have seen from him even in his prime will ever convince me of that.

madmanfool
06-10-2009, 01:18 PM
First of all, Nadal is the best clay courter ever. So you're going to have a hard time finding someone who could challenge him realistically anyway. Ferrero was extremely fit in his time, amazing speed also, but those are all things Nadal also has and is just better at. Coria was a briljant player, but nowhere near physically strong enough to challenge Nadal. Kuerten is interesting because he had this aggressive style of play on the clay which was quite unique. I just don't see him as the player who could hang with Nadal all the time. Gaudio is special. I consider him the most talented of the lot, but also by far the most brain dead. I always found the Monte Carlo match of 2005 against Nadal very telling. He played great in the first set, displaying some great tactics to use against Nadal, only to go completely away mentally after that. Gaudio would be my pick to take a set of Nadal, but in the end he is always going to lose.

I do feel you're not getting the facts straight about Coria though. To say his prime was 2003-2005 is not true, I believe. In 2003 he was still very young and green. He was still only 21, not everyone is like Nadal already winning slams at 18. He was good enough to rap up the smaller clay court tournaments (Won Buenos Aires, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel and Sopot), but not physically strong enough for the big tournaments. You're now probably saying Hamburg is a big tournament. Which is true, but even in that tournament you had the high drama match against Gaudio in which he was physically hurting. I don't believe he was physically strong enough to win Roland Garros. He had a gruelling 5 setter against Zabaleta (4+ hours), 4 sets against Agassi before he lost to Verkerk. Nobody looks good losing to Verkerk, but it's a bit stupid to give that as a reason why he can't challenge Nadal.

Also in 2003 there is no such thing as him winning only 6 games against Ferrero at Monte Carlo. He lost the final 6-2 6-2. The match was shortend to a best of three setter because of the cold and wet conditions. Coria couldn't hold serve to save his life, he lost convincingly.

And to say Coria never dominated like Nadal is true, but he did came close in 2004. He was 22-1 going in to that Roland Garros final. He was the favourite to win it and only lost one set prior to the final. If he won that we would look at it very different.

Coria in 2005 was not as good as in 2004. He had an injury at the end of 2004 and it wasn't untill Monte Carlo in 2005 untill he had a good result again. I think he was already happy he was in a final again. In Rome he showed glimpses of his old form, but he was too irregular. The match against Nadal there was some prestige involved as Coria wanted to show he was the better clay courter. There were patches of good play, with some great tactics to use against Nadal from which anybody can learn really, but he wasn't consistent enough to win. Played horrible in RG to lose to Davydenko. The Coria of 2005 was but a shadow of 2004. He showed glimpses of his form in Rome, but that was it. The only time he played really well was during the US open in 2005, but that wasn't really his surface.

What's a real pitty in my eyes is that Gaudio never played Nadal at RG in 2005 because he lost to Ferrer. I'm not saying he would have won, I just really wanted to see that match :)

Dilettante
06-10-2009, 01:21 PM
I think Gaudio is the one that could have been the most damaging, because he was a difficult match-up for Nadal.

Hahahahahahaha

Ten characters.

grafrules
06-10-2009, 01:27 PM
So if Coria's only prime year was 2004 even less reason for him to be talked about in a thread about competition for Nadal on clay. A guy with only a 1 year prime supposably, and who in that one year prime lost to a sloppy Federer in the first meeting on clay, and to Gaudio at the French, and even struggled with Tim Henman of all people in the FO semis. I am going to take flying's lead and not say another word about him in this thread. It is a pointless exercise, and he isnt even worth it.

grafrules
06-10-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm pretty sure I was "real" on my reference to the Ferrero win, as Ferrero won, so I'll leave that as it is.

An 0-2 h2h proves very little. would you say Gilles Simon is a better hard court player than Federer?

you proved yourself with those years that the 3 players were not in their primes at the same time. also, I'm not arguing that Kuerten isn't more talented than the other two (though I think Coria is better than JCF and in no way a "pretender"). the fact that you're comparing Coria/Ferrero to Federer and Nadal on clay proves my point: wouldn't a French Open quarterfinal be more interesting between Nadal and peak-Coria than Nadal dropping 3 games to current "clay court specialist" Nicholas Almagro?

Simon compiled his 2-0 vs Federer with the first match being during one of the worst slumps of Federer's career, and the second being while Federer had a serious back injury. Plus it is becoming apparent that was probably Simon's career peak which was a blip (almost like what Coria's turned out to be). Federer went 2-0 vs Coria when Coria was at the peak of his career and was completely healthy for both matches. So completely different. How many times has Almagro been in the quarters of the French? Better clay courters than Almagro would not prevent an Almagro from getting to a quarterfinal once in awhile. It hardly means much in the big picture. Nadal lost only 4 games to Federer at last years French. In that form he would have slaughtered anyone that isnt a many time RG Champion of atleast Kuerten or Lendl caliber.

madmanfool
06-10-2009, 01:31 PM
Hahahahahahaha

Ten characters.

http://communitiesonline.homestead.com/files/troll_2.jpg

MarcRosset1992
06-10-2009, 02:57 PM
Hahahahahahaha

Ten characters.

could you elaborate on this insightful contribution, please