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View Full Version : Is Corretja the unluckiest one?


RiosTheGenius
06-07-2006, 01:26 PM
I was just thinking.... Alex Corretja always did fairly well at the majors, two Roland Garros finals mind you, isn't it a bit unfortunate that he never closed one out??...

Grant Morgan
06-07-2006, 01:46 PM
yep!! He is a great guy. I truly miss him. loved working with him.

Warriorroger
06-07-2006, 01:46 PM
which finals are you talking about?

RiosTheGenius
06-07-2006, 01:53 PM
which finals are you talking about?
aaah... well, the only two roland garros finals he played.. 1998 lost to Moya, and 2001 lost to Kuerten. unless there's any other slam being played that I'm not aware of :lol:

Warriorroger
06-07-2006, 01:58 PM
now I remember, thanks. Think he was a nice person, but IMO a bit of a boring game to watch, that's what he shares with a lot of the Spanish style of playing, except maybe for Robredo. Don't think he was unlucky. The winner should be the one who plays brave and attacks once in awhile.

RiosTheGenius
06-07-2006, 02:02 PM
that's funny, cuz I find a lot of similarities between Robredo and Corretja, especially on the backhand side

Moose Malloy
06-07-2006, 02:08 PM
Corretja was one of the few great claycourters of the 90s who also did well on hardcourts/indoors.

Nadal kinda reminds me of Corretja. He's more one dimensional(less strategy), but has more speed & a bigger forehand.

Warriorroger
06-07-2006, 02:10 PM
that's funny, cuz I find a lot of similarities between Robredo and Corretja, especially on the backhand side

Maybe in stroke production, but strategically, I don't think so. I never like players who go on and on and on and on. Robredo can force the action from behind. Nadal differs slightly, because he is very strong, but personally I don't like that type of tennis. I admire it that they can keep getting the ball back, but I like styles of Steffi, Roger, Gabriela, Boris, that kind of tennis.

Ps and even Marcello at times.

thomas martinez
06-07-2006, 04:19 PM
Alex was a decent doubles player as well and could even pay ok on grass where he would actually serve and volley. And Grant, do you remember him coming into the room which was after his kid being born talking about what he and his wife did in the hotel room in front of the open window?

Wondertoy
06-07-2006, 05:15 PM
I saw a tape of him playing the FO. It look to me that he was a pusher-retriever, hitting loopy shots. He couldn't sting the ball like Nadal does.

ballplayer
06-07-2006, 05:56 PM
He couldn't sting the ball like Nadal does.I do wonder how much this has to do with the new generation of strings? I've read that players say the synthetics allow them to whip the ball more without losing as much control as before, giving them extra bite on their topspin balls. I don't know, when did players actually start to use these new strings like Luxilon? Would a player such as Corretja already have used them? Or for instance did Guga when he won his French Opens?

Count Grishnackh
06-07-2006, 06:29 PM
I do wonder how much this has to do with the new generation of strings? I've read that players say the synthetics allow them to whip the ball more without losing as much control as before, giving them extra bite on their topspin balls. I don't know, when did players actually start to use these new strings like Luxilon? Would a player such as Corretja already have used them? Or for instance did Guga when he won his French Opens?

Actually Corretja played with a Pure Drive Plus strung with Luxilon Big Banger Original for the last 5 years of his career and showed up to a French final during that time but was outclassed by Guga. He had the racquet to hit with more power but his game didn't really change that much since switching sticks. He played with a Wilson ProStaff 6.1 in his early years and he used it against Sampras in the US Open QF '96. His game reminded me more of Albert Costa. He couldn't counterpunch well since he didn't move so great. He couldn't pass people at net like Nadal can. Corretja's style was not really close to Nadal's, if anything its closer to Robredo's but he's a better striker of the ball IMO. That's why you can say that using a Babolat can make you hit harder but in the end you still have to possess the power to begin with. I don't know if Chang's game got any more powerful during his switch to Babolat or maybe it just got worse because he was never a power player.

Phil
06-07-2006, 07:11 PM
I was just thinking.... Alex Corretja always did fairly well at the majors, two Roland Garros finals mind you, isn't it a bit unfortunate that he never closed one out??...

It doesn't have anything to do with luck, good or bad. He simply wasn't good enough to win a slam. He was certainly good enough to get to two finals, but the guys he play beat up on him-Moya and Kuertan were not exactly "lucky" to win while he was "unlucky".

Was never crazy about his game, though he had a nice 1h/bh. He positioned himself about 15 feet behind the basline...can't stand that style of play.

RiosTheGenius
06-07-2006, 07:20 PM
It doesn't have anything to do with luck, good or bad. He simply wasn't good enough to win a slam. He was certainly good enough to get to two finals, but the guys he play beat up on him-Moya and Kuertan were not exactly "lucky" to win while he was "unlucky".

Was never crazy about his game, though he had a nice 1h/bh. He positioned himself about 15 feet behind the basline...can't stand that style of play.
can you stand anything?

RiosTheGenius
06-07-2006, 07:22 PM
Actually Corretja played with a Pure Drive Plus strung with Luxilon Big Banger Original for the last 5 years of his career and showed up to a French final during that time but was outclassed by Guga. He had the racquet to hit with more power but his game didn't really change that much since switching sticks. He played with a Wilson ProStaff 6.1 in his early years and he used it against Sampras in the US Open QF '96. His game reminded me more of Albert Costa. He couldn't counterpunch well since he didn't move so great. He couldn't pass people at net like Nadal can. Corretja's style was not really close to Nadal's, if anything its closer to Robredo's but he's a better striker of the ball IMO. That's why you can say that using a Babolat can make you hit harder but in the end you still have to possess the power to begin with. I don't know if Chang's game got any more powerful during his switch to Babolat or maybe it just got worse because he was never a power player.
I like your comparison with Costa... but perhaps Corretja was better than Costa while Costa did win a slam.
but again, as Phil said, maybe Costa had what it yakes to actually win a slam and Corretja was just good enough to get to the final twice. I'm still not sure

Phil
06-07-2006, 08:18 PM
I like your comparison with Costa... but perhaps Corretja was better than Costa while Costa did win a slam.
but again, as Phil said, maybe Costa had what it yakes to actually win a slam and Corretja was just good enough to get to the final twice. I'm still not sure

So I guess you feel that Rios should have won what? Six, seven slams? But y'know it's like this...he was UNLUCKY.

!Tym
06-07-2006, 10:11 PM
Actually Corretja played with a Pure Drive Plus strung with Luxilon Big Banger Original for the last 5 years of his career and showed up to a French final during that time but was outclassed by Guga. He had the racquet to hit with more power but his game didn't really change that much since switching sticks. He played with a Wilson ProStaff 6.1 in his early years and he used it against Sampras in the US Open QF '96. His game reminded me more of Albert Costa. He couldn't counterpunch well since he didn't move so great. He couldn't pass people at net like Nadal can. Corretja's style was not really close to Nadal's, if anything its closer to Robredo's but he's a better striker of the ball IMO. That's why you can say that using a Babolat can make you hit harder but in the end you still have to possess the power to begin with. I don't know if Chang's game got any more powerful during his switch to Babolat or maybe it just got worse because he was never a power player.

Corretja was an exemplarly counter puncher in my opinion. He was supremely fit, and he moved like a gazelle in my opinion around the court. He had a lovely, world-class one-hander struck with great integrity, and he struck his forehand swash with pride. He always gave it his all.

Costa and he are very similar, and on clay, to me they were basically the same player. Very good but NOT great. In other words, they needed a little help from their opponents to get over the top on clay. If Moya or Kuerten choked in the final as badly as Ferrero did, then Corretja might well have a grand slam to his name...but he didn't. Certainly though, I would have considered him a far more worthy grand slam champion than Thomas Johansson, who to me, that's just scandalous that he won. Good as he is, I wouldn't even classify him as very good the way Costa and Corretja in their prime were.

In any case, Costa and Corretja were basically the perfect bridesmaid types. You know how in The Karate Kid, there was that pan-pacific Asian fighter dude taking on the Cobra Kai and kicking tail before getting devastated in the semis by the evil yet handsome blond surfer kid? Eye of the Tiger Baby, if the "current" man on clay was having a good day, rest assured, Costa and Corretja would not win. If the "current" man on clay was having a so-so day or a bad day, then they were definitely good enough and pugnacious enough to step in and seize the opportunity.

Anyway, their games and body-types were basically mirror images/clones of each other from the ground, rock solid from both sides and difficult to break down, good top, good movement, great mental toughness, and yes I even think decent to good pop. Corretja wasn't a complete sap like Chang in terms of power for example. He could hit a pretty nasty and heavy ball. It's just that, he and Costa lacked that little extra, explosive, power. Just in general, I would sum them up by saying they lacked that little extra. Good but not great in too many areas to be much more than the bridesmaid who eventually gets his day (see Corretja vs. Moya in the Masters Cup finals, and yet also note that Moya choked a little in that and Corretja stepped in and took advantage. See what I mean?).

The difference between the two is that on faster stuff, Corretja actually had a pretty good first serve for a clay courter. For his height/size, he was actually considered one of the best servers on tour pound for pound.

Also, Corretja was much more willing to approach the net opportunistically outside clay than Costa. Corretja had very solid volleys for a baseliner, and unlike so many other baseliners, he was also comfortable sticking the volley, not just the drop volley.

Corretja was an extremely opportunistic player. He was like a claycourt Chang in that way. He was a thinking man's player, and a great strategist in my opinion. He was willing to adapt and experiment more so than many other clay courters in my opinion, which helped him on faster stuff; yet again, just not great in any one area such that if a true elite caliber guy was on, he'd most likely lose. He needed a little help.

He also reminds me more than a little bit of Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the way that he played. Undersized and stocky, yet not THAT undersized, like an Yzaga or Coetzer type. But more than that and the obvious mental toughness, guts, and determination intangibles; what was notable about the two was that on faster stuff they were not just content with playing the same way, strictly counter-punching baseliner; but rather, they were willing to mix-it up more and scheme surprise approaches to the net, and once up there they were actually very competent. The biggest difference, and the reason Arantxa in the elite tier of players whereas Corretja was always more of a fringe elite player, almost but never qutie there? Arantxa was tour-class leading court coverage; basically, the Chang-like speedster of the woman's tour. Meanwhile, Corretja was a good mover, even a good-to-great mover, yet he was definitely not ever quite considred on Chang's level in terms of court speed.

Great guy by all accounts.

Viper
06-07-2006, 10:31 PM
Johhny Mac is THE unluckiest. period.

unjugon
06-08-2006, 04:33 AM
Corretja did beat Sampras on grass in the USA. Tell that to any other claycourter.

Corretja had a better game that most one-slam wonders out there. I mean, compare Corretja to Gaudio. He also won a masters, which is unbelievable.

He was just too kind, too nice.

BERDI4
06-08-2006, 07:40 AM
aaah... well, the only two roland garros finals he played.. 1998 lost to Moya, and 2001 lost to Kuerten. unless there's any other slam being played that I'm not aware of :lol:
Didn't he loose the 2002 final against Costa?

Max G.
06-08-2006, 03:02 PM
Didn't he loose the 2002 final against Costa?

No, Costa beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in '02. Costa beat Corretja in the semis.

RiosTheGenius
06-08-2006, 08:41 PM
So I guess you feel that Rios should have won what? Six, seven slams? But y'know it's like this...he was UNLUCKY.
alrighty , now you're just trying to start trouble, cuz nobody here's talking about Rios and his luck.

Rios just tanked a dream draw in the 1998 AO. if anything Rios was very lucky in that slam, he didn't face anyone worth sweating other than Korda and Enqvist. and he totally blew it. mind you, he trashed Korda two months later in Indian Wells

Phil
06-08-2006, 08:47 PM
alrighty , now you're just trying to start trouble, cuz nobody here's talking about Rios and his luck.

Rios just tanked a dream draw in the 1998 AO. if anything Rios was very lucky in that slam, he didn't face anyone worth sweating other than Korda and Enqvist. and he totally blew it. mind you, he trashed Korda two months later in Indian Wells

Good players beat each other-they can go back and forth. Korda was no pushover-another lefty shotmaker, but of a different sort. But as I recall of that AO, Rios could have won...but that's the story of his entire career. Same might be said for Corretja (though not to the extent of Rios).

RiosTheGenius
06-08-2006, 09:23 PM
Good players beat each other-they can go back and forth. Korda was no pushover-another lefty shotmaker, but of a different sort. But as I recall of that AO, Rios could have won...but that's the story of his entire career. Same might be said for Corretja (though not to the extent of Rios).
yeah, but though I love Rios' game... I don't think he was a fighter as Corretja was... Rios could one day make any top ten look like a rookie, and the next day not try one bit in a major .... like that one match against Korda when he looked like he didn't want to be there..... Hello!!!... slam final dude!!!

but based on Corretja's skills... maybe you're right, maybe he was just lucky to make two slam finals.

I just started this thread because I pressume Corretja still has nightmares about those two matches.

Mikael
06-08-2006, 11:02 PM
Corretja was an exemplarly counter puncher in my opinion. He was supremely fit, and he moved like a gazelle in my opinion around the court. He had a lovely, world-class one-hander struck with great integrity, and he struck his forehand swash with pride. He always gave it his all.

Costa and he are very similar, and on clay, to me they were basically the same player. Very good but NOT great. In other words, they needed a little help from their opponents to get over the top on clay. If Moya or Kuerten choked in the final as badly as Ferrero did, then Corretja might well have a grand slam to his name...but he didn't. Certainly though, I would have considered him a far more worthy grand slam champion than Thomas Johansson, who to me, that's just scandalous that he won. Good as he is, I wouldn't even classify him as very good the way Costa and Corretja in their prime were.

In any case, Costa and Corretja were basically the perfect bridesmaid types. You know how in The Karate Kid, there was that pan-pacific Asian fighter dude taking on the Cobra Kai and kicking tail before getting devastated in the semis by the evil yet handsome blond surfer kid? Eye of the Tiger Baby, if the "current" man on clay was having a good day, rest assured, Costa and Corretja would not win. If the "current" man on clay was having a so-so day or a bad day, then they were definitely good enough and pugnacious enough to step in and seize the opportunity.

Anyway, their games and body-types were basically mirror images/clones of each other from the ground, rock solid from both sides and difficult to break down, good top, good movement, great mental toughness, and yes I even think decent to good pop. Corretja wasn't a complete sap like Chang in terms of power for example. He could hit a pretty nasty and heavy ball. It's just that, he and Costa lacked that little extra, explosive, power. Just in general, I would sum them up by saying they lacked that little extra. Good but not great in too many areas to be much more than the bridesmaid who eventually gets his day (see Corretja vs. Moya in the Masters Cup finals, and yet also note that Moya choked a little in that and Corretja stepped in and took advantage. See what I mean?).

The difference between the two is that on faster stuff, Corretja actually had a pretty good first serve for a clay courter. For his height/size, he was actually considered one of the best servers on tour pound for pound.

Also, Corretja was much more willing to approach the net opportunistically outside clay than Costa. Corretja had very solid volleys for a baseliner, and unlike so many other baseliners, he was also comfortable sticking the volley, not just the drop volley.

Corretja was an extremely opportunistic player. He was like a claycourt Chang in that way. He was a thinking man's player, and a great strategist in my opinion. He was willing to adapt and experiment more so than many other clay courters in my opinion, which helped him on faster stuff; yet again, just not great in any one area such that if a true elite caliber guy was on, he'd most likely lose. He needed a little help.

He also reminds me more than a little bit of Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the way that he played. Undersized and stocky, yet not THAT undersized, like an Yzaga or Coetzer type. But more than that and the obvious mental toughness, guts, and determination intangibles; what was notable about the two was that on faster stuff they were not just content with playing the same way, strictly counter-punching baseliner; but rather, they were willing to mix-it up more and scheme surprise approaches to the net, and once up there they were actually very competent. The biggest difference, and the reason Arantxa in the elite tier of players whereas Corretja was always more of a fringe elite player, almost but never qutie there? Arantxa was tour-class leading court coverage; basically, the Chang-like speedster of the woman's tour. Meanwhile, Corretja was a good mover, even a good-to-great mover, yet he was definitely not ever quite considred on Chang's level in terms of court speed.

Great guy by all accounts.


I never felt like Corretja and A Costa were identical. It always seemed to me that Costa's ball was somewhat heavier, carrying more spin. He was a bulkier guy than Corretja, too. Alex struck me as a more stylish player, more graceful , slightly more complicated strokes, but having less pop on them. On the serve my impression is that Alex had the better flat serve while Costa had the better kick serve. I remember him serving from the ad court on clay, standing way out to the left and threatening to ace guys with a heavy kick serve. Sampras used to do the same, occasionally. Oddly I never see it nowadays.

ericsson
06-08-2006, 11:31 PM
corretja was a true sportsman, very kind. never cheated or anything. (unlike many others like kiefer etc) damn, i miss those guys, corretja, rios, enqvist, martin, rafter... all true players with character.

RiosTheGenius
06-09-2006, 10:32 PM
corretja was a true sportsman, very kind. never cheated or anything. (unlike many others like kiefer etc) damn, i miss those guys, corretja, rios, enqvist, martin, rafter... all true players with character.
for some reason I really miss those 1998 -2000 players.... there was so much talent out there in both sides men and women.... those were the days of Rafter, Ivanisevic, the best of Moya, Rios, Seles, Hingis, Krajicek, Corretja, etc....the beginning of guys like Hewitt and Safin, and the end of Muster, Sampras, Chang, ...... such good draws at the slams around that time

!Tym
06-10-2006, 08:23 AM
I never felt like Corretja and A Costa were identical. It always seemed to me that Costa's ball was somewhat heavier, carrying more spin. He was a bulkier guy than Corretja, too. Alex struck me as a more stylish player, more graceful , slightly more complicated strokes, but having less pop on them. On the serve my impression is that Alex had the better flat serve while Costa had the better kick serve. I remember him serving from the ad court on clay, standing way out to the left and threatening to ace guys with a heavy kick serve. Sampras used to do the same, occasionally. Oddly I never see it nowadays.

Yeah, I'll agree with that. Corretja was better at improvistation and a bit mroe stylish. Costa was a little bulkier and hit a bit heavier, his backhand was a rock. Corretja returned better on faster courts though, and had the better flat serve for sure. Costa's kick serve motion, however, was very natural and a textbook motion for anyone trying to learn that serve to copy.

David L
06-10-2006, 10:52 AM
I remember when Corretja lost 6-0 6-0 6-1 to Hewitt in the Aussie Open in 2000.
Corretja was trying his heart out, but Hewitt was on fire.

iscottius
06-10-2006, 03:42 PM
yeah, but though I love Rios' game... I don't think he was a fighter as Corretja was... Rios could one day make any top ten look like a rookie, and the next day not try one bit in a major .... like that one match against Korda when he looked like he didn't want to be there..... Hello!!!... slam final dude!!!

but based on Corretja's skills... maybe you're right, maybe he was just lucky to make two slam finals.

I just started this thread because I pressume Corretja still has nightmares about those two matches.

didn't Todd Martin make two Slam Finals? who had a better career corretja or Martin?

pound cat
06-10-2006, 04:12 PM
Costa beat Corretja, Canas, Kuerten, Ferero to win the FO, so it wasn't the luck of the draw. As RiotheGenius says, he had what it takes...(talent + mentallity + will to win.)