Guillermo Coria recalls extremely painful 2004 French Open final loss



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Guillermo Coria recalls extremely painful 2004 French Open final loss

Former Argentine tennis player Guillermo Coria admits he was afraid of the moment and didn't have the courage he needed to have in his lone Grand Slam final played. In 2004, the Argentine was playing an outstanding tennis at the French Open and he was rewarded with his maiden Grand Slam final appearance.

Coria, a former world No. 3, won each of his first three matches played in straight sets -- also won the first set of his round-of-16 match before his opponent retired. The Argentine then claimed another straight-set win in the quarterfinal and won his semifinal match in four sets to set up a French Open final against fellow compatriot Gaston Gaudio.

Coria got off to the best possible start in the French Open final as he dropped a total of three games in the first two sets played. But then Coria's game fell apart as former world No. 5 Gaudio created a huge comeback and recovered from two sets down to win 0-6 3-6 6-4 6-1 8-6.

Coria had a great chance to win the final but he twice failed to serve out for the match and eventually paid the price. "I'm not looking for any excuse, I lost," Coria told ESPN, as revealed on We Love Tennis France.

"But there were things going on that I didn't know how to handle. I did not have the humility, or the courage, to say that I was afraid. The professional is sometimes afraid to say 'I am afraid'" Gaudio, a former eight-time ATP champion, was also playing his first Grand Slam final.

Guillermo Coria never again reached a Grand Slam final

After a disappointing end to his 2004 French Open campaign, Coria never again managed to recreate that play on one of the Grand Slam events reach a final once again.

Specifically at the French Open, the Argentine returned to the clay courts of Roland Garros in 2005 and made the round-of-16. In his last French Open appearance -- in 2008 -- Coria suffered a first round exit. After his 2004 French Open run, Coria's best result on the Grand Slam level was the quarterfinal he made at the US Open in 2005.

In 2005, the Argentine also made the round-of-16 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. in later years, Guillermo Coria was struggling with his confidence and he was having hard time staying healthy and that all led to him calling it a career at the age of 27 in 2009.