Coria was the king of clay that one year, clearly the dominant force on clay. But he screwed himself in the RG final vs. Gaudio. Coria was killing Gaudio, who he had owned previously, for two sets then the third was close and at the end of the third the fans did the "wave" for like two minutes and it totally relaxed Gaudio who smiled and loosened up waiting for the crowd to stop the wave. When they stopped, Gaudio was a new player. he stole the third set, then Coria faked in injury in the fourth set. Earlier that year the two almost got into a fight in Hamburg because Gaudio accused Coria of faking an injury so this was a case of Coria giving Gaudio the finger. The injury miraculously disappeared in the beginning of the fifth set but Gaudio was relaxed and pumped up now and it became a battle. Match points saved. Gaudio finally won it, MCEnroe called it the biggest miracle he ever saw in a major final. Coria was never the same after this. He arrogantly gave away the fourth set and blew his one big chance at a major. Next year Nadal emerged and took over the clay courts. Coria's career went into a tailspin, no doubt because of regret for his idiotic ploy vs. Gaudio which blew up in his face.
But Coria was a great player, incredible consistency and technique. Machine like. He was the BEST. But then Nadal came and it was over for him. He had his one big chance, the French Open trophy was in his hand...but he blew it and let it get away.
'Facing Hewitt' amazon books