Originally Posted by Gizo
Rios could have regained the world no. 1 from Sampras in November 1998, had he won his home tournament at Santiago. However he lost his quarter-final against the world no. 88 Juan Antonio Marin from Costa Rica.
It was painful seeing Rios choke year after after in Chile and fail to win his home title in 9 attempts. 7 out of his 9 defeats there came against players ranked outside the top 50, and a lot of the players who beat him in Chile never beat him anywhere else.
Gizo, Rios choked four finals in Chile, in the book about Rios, just came out this year, Jaime Fillol, the tourney director said Rios was up a set and 4-2 with points to go up 5-2 but blew the game and then became nervous and choked the match away. This was against David Sanchez of all people. Rios was a marvelous talent but for some odd reason he played poorly in his home country.
You have to think the ATp and ITF powers that be did not want Rios as the face of the sport lodged in the #1 ranking. I bet that negative pressure affected Rios also in that match against Marin.