Which great player never recovered from the "yips"

D

Deleted member 22147

Guest
Nadal didn't destroy Coria's confidence. LOL

He was having all sorts of issues, none more so than problems with his wife, who was cheating on him (prior had been at all of his matches). He also had elbow, back and shoulder problems all out of seemingly nowhere.
 

BringBackWood

Professional
Nadal didn't destroy Coria's confidence. LOL

He was having all sorts of issues, none more so than problems with his wife, who was cheating on him (prior had been at all of his matches). He also had elbow, back and shoulder problems all out of seemingly nowhere.
Wasn't it with his coach as well? She was quite stunning if I recall.
 
D

Deleted member 22147

Guest
Wasn't it with his coach as well? She was quite stunning if I recall.
You are probably referring to Horacio de la Pena. They split when Coria was at the end of the road in 2006. I am not sure if there was any animosity, can't remember, but he did say that Coria wasn't up to the task, didn't have motivation, was pre-occupied or something like that.

Carla and Guillermo may still be together today. I am unsure, but they were together after all of what happened, for some years.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
I remember Coria's hilarious matches against Mathieu and Kiefer at Monte-Carlo in 2006.

Against Mathieu he was trailing 1-6 1-5, but fought back to win despite serving 20 double faults. Then in the next round he served 23 double faults en-route to beating Kiefer in quite a bad blooded match.

Bad blooded matches were of course a common occurrence for Coria; see his matches against Gaudio at Vina del Mar and Buenos Aires in 2001 and Hamburg in 2003, Horna at Hamburg in 2004, against Hewitt in the Davis Cup in 2005, Massu at the US Open in 2005, Gonzalez at Madrid in 2005 etc.
 

FloridaAG

Professional
It wasn't Nadal. It was Guadio. There's no shame in losing to Nadal but Coria felt he was better than Gaudio so losing to him in the way Coria did really broke him
And they hated each other

Dementieva on the women's side. Pity - back in the day, Drakulie had amazing pics of her training at his place with Harold Solomon
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Novatna (RIP) recovered from her yips (specifically the yips displayed in the the Wimbledon final she lost v. Graf) , but she never completely defeated her yips in the broader sense - they still surfaced now and then. The same year she finally won Wimbledon, she lost a sizeable lead at the USO to Hingis, partly due to the yips. Yips notwithstanding, she had a a great career.
 
Last edited:
I remember Coria's hilarious matches against Mathieu and Kiefer at Monte-Carlo in 2006.

Against Mathieu he was trailing 1-6 1-5, but fought back to win despite serving 20 double faults. Then in the next round he served 23 double faults en-route to beating Kiefer in quite a bad blooded match.

Bad blooded matches were of course a common occurrence for Coria; see his matches against Gaudio at Vina del Mar and Buenos Aires in 2001 and Hamburg in 2003, Horna at Hamburg in 2004, against Hewitt in the Davis Cup in 2005, Massu at the US Open in 2005, Gonzalez at Madrid in 2005 etc.
Coria and Gaudio hated each other since they were kids playing against each other in local tourneys. I’m still surprised they hugged after the infamous French Open Final in ‘04 lol
 

BGod

Legend
Refresh my memory on this. I vaguely remember this as a thing, but I can’t remember anything beyond that.
Well he won 3 Slams in 1988 doing something nobody had done since Laver in 69. Never makes another Slam Final and only 1 Semi. Basically retires from age 27-29 then attempts unsuccessful comeback. Word is after narrowly avoiding a doomed flight (Pan Am 103) end of 88 and losing his father the next year he was mentally shot. And I mean at 24 to have a monumental season and be at 7 Slams there's really only a few guys who plummeted in the same fashion. McEnroe after 84 might be another situation but that was partially drug use, changing equipment (he used wood), better younger players, etc.

On the surface there's really no reason why Mats should have imploded in his age 25-28 seasons.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
It wasn't Nadal. It was Guadio. There's no shame in losing to Nadal but Coria felt he was better than Gaudio so losing to him in the way Coria did really broke him
Coria got the yips in 2005, starting in July. Nadal beat Coria in the 2005 Rome final.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Coria for sure.

Gaudio also...was never the same after being double bagelled by Fed at YEC.

Zverev will be interesting to see if he's ever in a slam final again....yips could come back in a big way.
 
Well, getting over the yips is a mark of greatness, right? I can't think of any champion who just turned into a serial choker and forgot how to win. They always bounce back. You could maybe find some 2-3 slam winners in recent times in the WTA at best. I can think of the reverse, if anything - somebody like Clijsters getting over the yips and finally winning the slams she always had the talent to win.

In singles, it seemed like Hingis got rather yippy after the Capriati loss and seemed to struggle to close out tight matches thereafter. But she never had that problem in doubles and if anything, her third essay in tennis was her most prolific in doubles. So, again, I don't really know of great players who got permanently impaired by the yips. There's a reason why we don't call someone like Novotna great, for all that she was loved by mostly everyone.
 

jorjipy

Rookie
Well he won 3 Slams in 1988 doing something nobody had done since Laver in 69. Never makes another Slam Final and only 1 Semi. Basically retires from age 27-29 then attempts unsuccessful comeback. Word is after narrowly avoiding a doomed flight (Pan Am 103) end of 88 and losing his father the next year he was mentally shot. And I mean at 24 to have a monumental season and be at 7 Slams there's really only a few guys who plummeted in the same fashion. McEnroe after 84 might be another situation but that was partially drug use, changing equipment (he used wood), better younger players, etc.

On the surface there's really no reason why Mats should have imploded in his age 25-28 seasons.

That’s pretty accurate, except Wilander won 3 slams in 1988, first player since Connors in 1974…….
 

Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
Well he won 3 Slams in 1988 doing something nobody had done since Laver in 69. Never makes another Slam Final and only 1 Semi. Basically retires from age 27-29 then attempts unsuccessful comeback. Word is after narrowly avoiding a doomed flight (Pan Am 103) end of 88 and losing his father the next year he was mentally shot. And I mean at 24 to have a monumental season and be at 7 Slams there's really only a few guys who plummeted in the same fashion. McEnroe after 84 might be another situation but that was partially drug use, changing equipment (he used wood), better younger players, etc.

On the surface there's really no reason why Mats should have imploded in his age 25-28 seasons.
Mac had no problems changing rackets. He had the best season of almost any player ever in 1984 playing with his graphite Dunlop. The problem was motivation and new, faster, stronger players like Edberg, Becker – and "upgraded" guys like Lendl and Wilander.
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
Wilander never got the yips. He just packed it in mentally and physically after the '88 season. He'd achieved all he was ever going to. He was never going to win Wimbledon, had all the money and fame he could ever need, and nobody bothered busting their humps too hard chasing slam counts in those days. Even bothering to count them wasn't a thing until Sampras turned it into a fetish.

Wilander simply checked out, just like Borg before him.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
Wilander never got the yips. He just packed it in mentally and physically after the '88 season. He'd achieved all he was ever going to. He was never going to win Wimbledon, had all the money and fame he could ever need, and nobody bothered busting their humps too hard chasing slam counts in those days. Even bothering to count them wasn't a thing until Sampras turned it into a fetish.

Wilander simply checked out, just like Borg before him.
Those are his words, at least.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Even bothering to count them wasn't a thing until Sampras turned it into a fetish.
So true. Once if you had a Slam, you were a champion. If you were a multiple grand slam winner, you were a great champion.

Now tennis seems to be a race to records for three guys. Even if winning 20 GS or so or 13 GS in ONE tournament is something huge, tennis should not be reduced to this.
 

Kemitak

Professional
So true. Once if you had a Slam, you were a champion. If you were a multiple grand slam winner, you were a great champion.

Now tennis seems to be a race to records for three guys. Even if winning 20 GS or so or 13 GS in ONE tournament is something huge, tennis should not be reduced to this.
This is how fanboys ruin a sport
 

CyBorg

Legend
I feel that Wilander really tried to play well in 1989. You can't tell me he's not trying against Sampras in the 2nd round USO match in 1989 or in the lead up to the tournament (e.g., in Cincinnati). Or that he wasn't trying at Wimbledon that year (where he played quite well).

But he was distracted and making unforced errors. Call it whatever you want.

At some point in 1990 though he definitely checked out.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal didn't destroy Coria's confidence. LOL

He was having all sorts of issues, none more so than problems with his wife, who was cheating on him (prior had been at all of his matches). He also had elbow, back and shoulder problems all out of seemingly nowhere.
He's still with Carla, you know.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
That must have made the loss even harder to take for Coria.
Coria initiated the hug, as I remember.

I feel that Wilander really tried to play well in 1989. You can't tell me he's not trying against Sampras in the 2nd round USO match in 1989 or in the lead up to the tournament (e.g., in Cincinnati). Or that he wasn't trying at Wimbledon that year (where he played quite well).

But he was distracted and making unforced errors. Call it whatever you want.

At some point in 1990 though he definitely checked out.
Wilander was motivated for Wimbledon in 1989, certainly, and perhaps Davis Cup (loss to Skoff), but he seemed to check out mentally for much of the year. His wife, Sonya Mulholland, mentioned it too. Wilander seemed to carry on in tennis out of habit until Santoro embarrassed him at the 1991 French Open and then he was off tour for what ended up being 2 years. He watched some US Open matches from the stands while he was away, though.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
I remember Coria's hilarious matches against Mathieu and Kiefer at Monte-Carlo in 2006.

Against Mathieu he was trailing 1-6 1-5, but fought back to win despite serving 20 double faults. Then in the next round he served 23 double faults en-route to beating Kiefer in quite a bad blooded match.

Bad blooded matches were of course a common occurrence for Coria; see his matches against Gaudio at Vina del Mar and Buenos Aires in 2001 and Hamburg in 2003, Horna at Hamburg in 2004, against Hewitt in the Davis Cup in 2005, Massu at the US Open in 2005, Gonzalez at Madrid in 2005 etc.
This is a fantastic watch list of Coria matches! Need to fire up the tennis TV account:)
 

NicoMK

Professional
Wilander was motivated for Wimbledon in 1989, certainly, and perhaps Davis Cup (loss to Skoff), but he seemed to check out mentally for much of the year. His wife, Sonya Mulholland, mentioned it too. Wilander seemed to carry on in tennis out of habit until Santoro embarrassed him at the 1991 French Open and then he was off tour for what ended up being 2 years. He watched some US Open matches from the stands while he was away, though.
Long ago, I heard him say that he wasn't even motivated for Wimbledon, that he invented this goal to try to be more into it but he wasn't really.

I'm curious about Sonya though. Do you have a link -- I guess no -- or something?

As for the Santoro match, funny that you mention it, I wonder who remembers it really, but it gave me nightmares for years. There's one question that I would have liked to ask to Mats : what happened to you that day? It's one thing to not care about something. The Sampras match or the Chesnokov match in RG also in 1989 were a good example of not trying hard. But that match against Santoro in 1991, I have never ever understood why and how he played so poorly. And his gesture at the end of the match saying that it was over…

Too bad at the age of 26. Two years ago he said that he wished he hadn't quit the game so young.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm curious about Sonya though. Do you have a link -- I guess no -- or something?

As for the Santoro match, funny that you mention it, I wonder who remembers it really, but it gave me nightmares for years. There's one question that I would have liked to ask to Mats : what happened to you that day? It's one thing to not care about something. The Sampras match or the Chesnokov match in RG also in 1989 were a good example of not trying hard. But that match against Santoro in 1991, I have never ever understood why and how he played so poorly. And his gesture at the end of the match saying that it was over…
Santoro had a knack of doing it in his career on occasion, i.e. embarrassing great players, most famously Safin.

Santoro's nemesis, who he never beat, was Kafelnikov. "You'll never beat me, Fabrice", Kafelnikov once said to him.

Too bad at the age of 26. Two years ago he said that he wished he hadn't quit the game so young.
Mats obviously couldn't find that goal or motivation to keep him going once he got to world number 1 and had won 3 of the 4 majors. I do wonder about the mental effects he had from Pam-Am Flight 103 as well. Like the actress Kim Cattrall, Mats Wilander had reservation on the flight but didn't get on, narrowly cheating death on the plane that exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Nadal didn't destroy Coria's confidence. LOL

He was having all sorts of issues, none more so than problems with his wife, who was cheating on him (prior had been at all of his matches). He also had elbow, back and shoulder problems all out of seemingly nowhere.
Yes! I remember that business about his wife! awful
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame



Santoro had a knack of doing it in his career on occasion, i.e. embarrassing great players, most famously Safin.

Santoro's nemesis, who he never beat, was Kafelnikov. "You'll never beat me, Fabrice", Kafelnikov once said to him.



Mats obviously couldn't find that goal or motivation to keep him going once he got to world number 1 and had won 3 of the 4 majors. I do wonder about the mental effects he had from Pam-Am Flight 103 as well. Like the actress Kim Cattrall, Mats Wilander had reservation on the flight but didn't get on, narrowly cheating death on the plane that exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.
I could see the airline explosion changing one's perspective....still, Mats totally went off the rails.
 

Thetouch

Professional
Word is after narrowly avoiding a doomed flight (Pan Am 103) end of 88 and losing his father the next year he was mentally shot. And I mean at 24 to have a monumental season and be at 7 Slams there's really only a few guys who plummeted in the same fashion. McEnroe after 84 might be another situation but that was partially drug use, changing equipment (he used wood), better younger players, etc.
I think it is vastly ignored that drugs probably played a big role in the decline of many athletes in the 70s, 80s and also 90s in tennis and other sports. It wasn't just McEnroe doing them. Wilander tested positive for cocaine once and we all know about Agassi's meth phase so I am sure many other players didn't just drink milk when they went out. That being said many players at that time hit their peak at the age of 24/25 and then slowly and in some cases quicly burned out and lost all motivation. Some of that might have been caused by their life stlyle, by injuries or simply because they didn't have the modern treatment and training players have nowadays. The tour planning might have also been a bigger issue then. McEnroe, Wilander, Borg, Becker, Courier, Agassi, Stich, Cash and even Edberg went through a down spiral in their early/mid 20s and only Agassi and partly Becker recoverd from it. Even Connors went through this phase in the late 70s but he was obviously more consistent than the rest.
 

NicoMK

Professional

Santoro had a knack of doing it in his career on occasion, i.e. embarrassing great players, most famously Safin.
That's a great article that you've shared here @Mustard, thank you very much! I already knew pretty much all -- expect maybe the party at Keith Richards' the night after the 1988 US Open, might have been quite something! -- but it's very valuable to have an insight about what happened to Mats after 1988, especially form his wife and friends. Thank you again.

As for the match against Santoro, I've watched it quite a number of times but it was something else than just young Fabrice embarrassing Mats. He -- Mats -- didn't seem to care AT ALL, playing ultra short and slow balls, playing balls in the net, moving awfully bad, not even trying for one second, you could see that. Ion Tiriac was commentating this match and I remember him saying that he couldn't explain what happened to Mats.

Then Mats played the Queen's, lost 1st round, had a knee surgery and went off the Tour for two years.
 

NicoMK

Professional
I think it is vastly ignored that drugs probably played a big role in the decline of many athletes in the 70s, 80s and also 90s in tennis and other sports. It wasn't just McEnroe doing them. Wilander tested positive for cocaine once and we all know about Agassi's meth phase so I am sure many other players didn't just drink milk when they went out. That being said many players at that time hit their peak at the age of 24/25 and then slowly and in some cases quicly burned out and lost all motivation. Some of that might have been caused by their life stlyle, by injuries or simply because they didn't have the modern treatment and training players have nowadays. The tour planning might have also been a bigger issue then. McEnroe, Wilander, Borg, Becker, Courier, Agassi, Stich, Cash and even Edberg went through a down spiral in their early/mid 20s and only Agassi and partly Becker recoverd from it. Even Connors went through this phase in the late 70s but he was obviously more consistent than the rest.
Yes. Borg and Gerulaitis had drug issues too.

All true, probably. Other times, much different than what we have now…
 
Top