Guillermo Sebastián Coria (born 13 January 1982), nicknamed El Mago (The Magician in Spanish), is a retired professional tennis player from Argentina. He reached a career-high ATP world No. 3 singles ranking in May 2004. Coria achieved his best results on clay, where he won eight of his nine ATP singles titles, and during his prime years in 2003 and 2004 he was considered the "world's best clay-court player." He reached the final of the 2004 French Open, where he was defeated by Gastón Gaudio despite serving for the match twice. In later years, injuries and a lack of confidence affected his game, and he retired in 2009 at the relatively early age of 27. Between 2001-2002, he served a seven month suspension for taking the banned substance nandrolone.
|Residence||Venado Tuerto, Argentina|
|Born||13 January 1982|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Retired||28 April 2009|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Coach||Gustavo Luza (2000)|
Mariano Monachesi (2001)
Franco Davín (2002–2003)
Alberto Mancini (2003–2004)
Fabian Blengino (2004)
Gabriel Markus (2004)
José Perlas (2004–2005)
José Higueras (2006)
Horacio De La Peña (2006)
Hernán Gumy (2007–2008)
Martin Rodriguez (2009)
|Highest ranking||No. 3 (3 May 2004)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||4R (2003, 2005)|
|French Open||F (2004)|
|US Open||QF (2003, 2005)|
|Tour Finals||RR (2003, 2004, 2005)|
|Highest ranking||No. 183 (1 March 2004)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||1R (2003)|
Coria turned professional in 2000, finishing 2003, 2004, and 2005 as a top-10 player. He was one of the fastest players on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour, consistently showing exceptional performances in clay-court tournaments. His playing style was that of a counter-puncher.
He was considered the "King of Clay" between 2003–2005 by reaching 6 out of 8 possible Masters finals (since he was absent for 2004 Rome Masters) on clay during that period. While at the French Open, he also reached semifinals in 2003 and held 2 match points in the final in 2004.
As a junior, Coria reached a ranking of world No. 2 in singles and world No. 5 in doubles.
Coria won the Orange Bowl 16s in 1997, and reached the finals of Orange Bowl 18s in 1998, where he was defeated by future world No. 1 Roger Federer. Coria won the boys' singles title at the 1999 French Open without dropping a single set, beating his friend and fellow Argentine, David Nalbandian in straight sets in the final. One month later at the 1999 Wimbledon Championships, in singles, as 3rd seed, Coria reached semifinals without dropping a set, where he was defeated by 1st seed Kristian Pless in straight sets. In doubles of the same tournament, however, as 1st seeds, Coria and Nalbandian teamed up to win the boys' doubles title by beating Todor Enev and Jarkko Nieminen.
Early career: failed drugs test and doping suspensionEdit
Coria tested positive for nandrolone in April 2001 after a match in Barcelona against Michel Kratochvil. Coria was initially banned from tennis for two years, starting in August 2001, and was fined $98,565. Coria claimed that the only supplement that he was taking was a multivitamin made by a New Jersey supplements company. His family employed a private lab to test the multivitamin, which was found to be contaminated with steroids. In December 2001, the ATP refused to acquit Coria, but reduced his ban from two years to seven months, which meant that he would be free to continue with his tennis career in March 2002. Coria sued the New Jersey supplements company for more than $10 million in lost prize money and endorsements and settled after the third day of the trial for an undisclosed amount.
As a result of the seven months during which Coria was banned from playing tennis, his world ranking dropped from No. 32 to No. 97. 2002 was, therefore, a rebuilding year for Coria, and he finished 2002 ranked at world No. 45.
2003–2005: "King of Clay"Edit
2003: Dominance on clay beginsEdit
Coria signalled his arrival as a world class clay-court player in 2003 by reaching the finals in Buenos Aires, where he lost a tight best-of-three-sets match to Carlos Moyá, and at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he lost in two straight sets to Juan Carlos Ferrero. Coria went on to win his first Masters Series title at the 2003 Hamburg Masters by defeating Agustín Calleri in the final in three straight sets.
At the 2003 French Open, Coria defeated Andre Agassi in four sets in the quarterfinals, before suffering an upset loss to Martin Verkerk and his booming serves in the semifinals. In July 2003, Coria was increasingly establishing himself as the new king of clay by winning three clay-court tournaments in three weeks, the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, the Generali Open in Kitzbühel and the Orange Prokom Open in Sopot. He won these three tournaments without dropping a set, dishing out five bagels and eight breadsticks in the process. He finished the year ranked No. 5 in the world.
2004: French Open finalEdit
In 2004, Coria won the clay-court tournament in Buenos Aires and reached his first Masters final on hard court at the 2004 NASDAQ-100 Open, where he faced Andy Roddick. From the first set onwards, Coria was visibly hurt by pains in his back that later turned out to be kidney stones. Coria still won the first set 7–6, but Roddick won the next two sets 6–3, 6–1, before Coria was forced to retire during the first game of the fourth set.
Three weeks later, Coria defeated Rainer Schüttler in three straight sets in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters to win his second Masters Series title. Coria had now won five consecutive clay-court tournaments which includes 2 consecutive Masters Series title and had gone 26 consecutive matches unbeaten on clay. On 3 May 2004, Coria reached a career-high ranking of world No. 3. In attempting to defend his title at the Hamburg Masters, Coria increased his clay-court winning streak to 31 matches by reaching the final, where he lost to world No. 1 Roger Federer in four sets.
At the French Open, Coria only dropped 1 set en route to the final, defeating Nikolay Davydenko, Juan Mónaco, Mario Ančić and Nicolas Escudé, before beating former world No. 1, Carlos Moyá, in the quarterfinals and British serve-and-volleyer, Tim Henman, in the semifinals; but he was unexpectedly defeated by unseeded compatriot Gastón Gaudio in an unprecedented all-Argentine final, 6–0, 6–3, 4–6, 1–6, 6–8. Coria had won the first two sets with ease and was in control of the third set at 4–4 and 40–0 up on serve, before Gaudio broke Coria's serve and went on to take the third set. Coria then succumbed to leg cramps for the rest of the match, and was barely able to move at times, with many of his serves in the fourth set not even reaching the net. Despite this, Coria still got the advantage at several stages of the fifth set, leading by a break of serve on four separate occasions, including twice serving for the championship at 5–4 and 6–5. He had 2 championship points at 6–5 but he narrowly missed the line with attempted winners on both points, making him the only male player in the Open Era to lose a Grand Slam singles final after having held a championship point, until Roger Federer did so too at the 2019 Wimbledon. Many fans and pundits agree that Coria was never the same player after the loss.
Coria reached finals on 3 different surfaces (all except carpet) in 2004. He surprised some people by reaching the first grass-court final of his career at 's-Hertogenbosch, losing the final to Michaël Llodra. This was only two weeks after the devastation of losing the French Open final. Coria then went on to defeat Wesley Moodie in a five-set match in the first round of Wimbledon, which took nearly three days to complete after the start of the match, as a result of rain and poor scheduling. Coria lost in four sets in the second round to Florian Mayer and got a bad injury to his right shoulder during the match. As a result, Coria dropped out for the remainder of the season and in August, Coria had surgery on his right shoulder. He returned to the ATP tour in November for the Masters Cup, where he performed poorly.
2005: Two Masters finals on clay & service yipsEdit
Coria appeared in five finals after the 2004 French Open defeat and lost four of them, with 3 of them against the rising king of clay, Rafael Nadal. The most famous one is the Rome Masters final loss that lasted almost 5 hours and 20 minutes. It is agreed by many that it is one of the greatest matches played on clay, if not the greatest of all. Their head-to-head record was deadlocked at 1–1 prior to the match, with Nadal winning their most recent meeting at the Monte-Carlo Masters final weeks ago in 4 sets. Nadal took the first set 6–4 after being down a break and Coria went on to take the second 6–3. During the 3rd set Coria fought back from 1–5 to 3–5, where the game progressed to one of the most exciting deuces in tennis that lasted 15 minutes, featuring a variety of tactics and plays in long breathtaking rallies, although eventually Nadal pulled through and went on to take the 3rd set 6–3. Coria took the fourth set 6–4 and led 3–0 in the fifth set with two breaks of serve and had a game point in the fourth game, before Nadal broke back twice to lead 4–3 on serve in the fifth set. Eventually the match went into tiebreak at the 5-hour mark, soon after Coria had saved a championship point for Nadal in the 12th game of the fifth set. During the tiebreak, Coria fought back from a 1–5 deficit and saved another 2 Nadal championship points when 4–6 down in the tiebreak to level at 6–6. However, Nadal then won the next 2 points to win the fifth set tiebreak 8–6. As a result, Nadal won his second consecutive Masters final of the year against Coria.
The only final Coria won in 2005 was on 31 July, when he won in Umag, Croatia, defeating Carlos Moyá in the final. Afterwards, Coria joked that the small tournament was considered a fifth Grand Slam in his family, because his wife Carla hails from Croatia. Coria had a surprisingly consistent 2005 season, where he was one of only three players to reach the fourth round or better at every Grand Slam, the others being Roger Federer and David Nalbandian.
Despite having a consistent season in 2005, during his tournament victory in Umag he started to suffer from the service yips, a psychological condition that renders a tennis player unable to hit the ball at the correct moment when serving. Initially it was not very noticeable, but became more apparent during the US Open, during which Coria served a combined total of 34 double faults in his fourth-round win over Nicolás Massú and his quarterfinal loss to unseeded Robby Ginepri. Against Ginepri, having already saved five match points, Coria was serving to take the match into a fifth-set tiebreaker, when two consecutive double faults from deuce gave Ginepri the win.
As the 2005 season drew to a close, Coria's form started to dip alarmingly as a result of the high number of double faults he was serving in an increasing number of his matches. Coria lost 9 of his last 11 matches of 2005. Some pundits have also speculated that his three losses in finals to the emerging Nadal may have hit his confidence worse than the loss to Gaudio.
Between 2003–2005 Coria compiled a record of 90–13 (87.38%) which includes a 31-match win streak on clay.
2006–2009: Steady declineEdit
2006: Gradual loss of formEdit
Coria's service yips got increasingly worse in 2006, although he still reached the third round of the 2006 Australian Open and managed a victory over Novak Djokovic at the 2006 Miami Masters without serving any double faults.
At the 2006 Monte Carlo Masters, Coria came back from 1–6, 1–5 down to defeat Paul-Henri Mathieu, despite serving 20 double faults in the match. Coria then defeated Nicolas Kiefer, despite serving 22 double faults, but he was then easily beaten by Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. After Monte Carlo, Coria wins generally became fewer and further between, although he did manage a semifinal in Amersfoort in July 2006.
Coria withdrew from the 2006 French Open and 2006 Wimbledon as he attempted to sort out marital problems, problems with his game, and an elbow injury. In August 2006, he hired Horacio de la Peña as his tennis coach. At the 2006 US Open, Coria retired in his first-round match against Ryan Sweeting after just five games. It would be 17 months before Coria played a match on the ATP tour again.
2007: Injuries and inactivityEdit
Coria made his return in a Challenger in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on 22 October 2007. He lost the first set 3–6 to fellow Argentine Juan Pablo Brzezicki and subsequently retired with a back injury. He had been leading in the first set 3–1.
2008: Attempted comebackEdit
Coria finally returned to the main ATP circuit in the Movistar Open in Chile on 28 January 2008. He showed positive signs of recovering his form, but was still defeated in the first round by Pablo Cuevas, 4–6, 6–3, 3–6.
In February, in his second ATP Circuit appearance of the year, Coria defeated Italian qualifier Francesco Aldi, 6–4 7–5. It was his first ATP victory in 19 months.
As a result of Andy Roddick's withdrawal from the 2008 French Open due to a back injury, Coria made his first Grand Slam appearance since the 2006 US Open, taking the place of the American. He faced Tommy Robredo, the three-time quarterfinalist and 12th seed, in the first round. Coria was defeated in four sets, 7–5, 4–6, 1–6, 4–6, but Coria's performance led to some optimism, even from Coria himself, who was close to forcing a fifth set.
Coria never recovered from the service yips that damaged his game and kept his ranking hundreds of places below his once consistent Top 10 position. On 28 April 2009, he announced his retirement from professional tennis, saying that he "didn’t feel like competing anymore."
Coria was a very well-rounded player who had an excellent technique. He was known as a very solid baseliner and an excellent claycourter. He had excellent speed, making him one of the best defenders on the tour, and he was able to hit good shots on the run. He had penetrating and balanced groundstroke capabilities and frequently utilised drop shots. His comparatively weak serve was especially noted during the late stages of his career, where Coria would make numerous double faults due to service yips, often resorting to hitting a severely underpowered second serve to avoid this. Whilst his small size and relative lack of power meant he didn't have any big, stand-out weapons, Coria had excellent consistency and court craft which enabled him to become a top player, especially on clay courts.
Coria also has one of the strongest, if not the best return game in the history of men's tennis, currently ranked No. 1 for 3 of the 4 all-time leaderboards regarding returns on all surfaces: for break point conversion percentage at 45.71%, ahead of Rafael Nadal (45.15%), and Sergi Bruguera (44.95%); for first serve return points won percentage at 36.05%, ahead of Nadal (34.05%), and David Ferrer (33.65%); for return games won percentage at 35.26%, ahead of Nadal (33.35%) and Novak Djokovic (32.23%). His incredibly strong return game is sometimes enough to allow him to win matches despite his service yips. The only leaderboard about return that Coria did not rank No. 1 at is the second serve return points won, where he is currently ranked 13th.
American tennis author Scoop Malinowski praised Coria in 2019 as "the best player to never win a major"... "The old debate pops up now and again, about who is the best tennis player to never win a major, and the same names get mentioned – Marcelo Rios, David Nalbandian, Todd Martin, Tomas Berdych, Cedric Pioline, etc. I have a different view of the discussion. Guillermo Coria is the best player to never win a major, in my opinion." 
Coria was named after French Open champion and compatriot Guillermo Vilas. He began to play tennis at the age of 3, not long after learning how to walk, when his father Oscar, a tennis coach, introduced the game to him. His mother Garciela is a housewife. He was the oldest of 3 brothers in his family.
Coria attended preschool with David Nalbandian in Argentina (their ages are 12 days apart). He admired Andre Agassi and Marcelo Ríos while growing up. He enjoys playing soccer and he is a well-known River Plate fan. Coria married Carla Francovigh on 27 December 2003. They have a son named Thiago, born on 12 April 2012. A daughter, Delfina, was born on 4 October 2013.
As of 2016, Coria has been traveling around Argentina managing the Government-funded program "Our Tennis" whose purpose is to promote the sport, and identify and develop talent among children and teens.
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)Edit
|Runner-up||2004||French Open||Clay||Gastón Gaudio||6–0, 6–3, 4–6, 1–6, 6–8|
Masters Series finalsEdit
Singles: 7 (2 titles, 5 runners-up)Edit
|Runner-up||2003||Monte-Carlo Masters||Clay||Juan Carlos Ferrero||2–6, 2–6|
|Winner||2003||Hamburg Masters||Clay||Agustín Calleri||6–3, 6–4, 6–4|
|Runner-up||2004||Miami Masters||Hard||Andy Roddick||7–6(7–2), 3–6, 1–6, retired|
|Winner||2004||Monte-Carlo Masters||Clay||Rainer Schüttler||6–2, 6–1, 6–3|
|Runner-up||2004||Hamburg Masters||Clay||Roger Federer||6–4, 4–6, 2–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||2005||Monte-Carlo Masters||Clay||Rafael Nadal||3–6, 1–6, 6–0, 5–7|
|Runner-up||2005||Italian Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–7(6–8)|
ATP career finalsEdit
Singles: 20 (9 titles, 11 runners-up)Edit
|Result||No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score in the final|
|Winner||1.||12 February 2001||Viña del Mar, Chile||Clay||Gastón Gaudio||4–6, 6–2, 7–5|
|Runner-up||1.||7 May 2001||Majorca, Spain||Clay||Alberto Martín||3–6, 6–3, 2–6|
|Runner-up||2.||16 September 2002||Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil||Hard||Gustavo Kuerten||7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–7(2–7)|
|Runner-up||3.||24 February 2003||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||Carlos Moyá||3–6, 6–4, 4–6|
|Runner-up||4.||21 April 2003||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Clay||Juan Carlos Ferrero||2–6, 2–6|
|Winner||2.||12 May 2003||Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Agustín Calleri||6–3, 6–4, 6–4|
|Winner||3.||14 July 2003||Stuttgart, Germany||Clay||Tommy Robredo||6–2, 6–2, 6–1|
|Winner||4.||21 July 2003||Kitzbühel, Austria||Clay||Nicolás Massú||6–1, 6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||5.||28 July 2003||Sopot, Poland||Clay||David Ferrer||7–5, 6–1|
|Winner||6.||12 October 2003||Basel, Switzerland||Carpet (i)||David Nalbandian||walkover|
|Winner||7.||16 February 2004||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||Carlos Moyá||6–4, 6–1|
|Runner-up||5.||5 April 2004||Miami, US||Hard||Andy Roddick||7–6(7–2), 3–6, 1–6, ret.|
|Winner||8.||19 April 2004||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Clay||Rainer Schüttler||6–2, 6–1, 6–3|
|Runner-up||6.||17 May 2004||Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Roger Federer||6–4, 4–6, 2–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||7.||7 June 2004||French Open, Paris, France||Clay||Gastón Gaudio||6–0, 6–3, 4–6, 1–6, 6–8|
|Runner-up||8.||21 June 2004||'s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands||Grass||Michaël Llodra||3–6, 4–6|
|Runner-up||9.||18 April 2005||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Clay||Rafael Nadal||3–6, 1–6, 6–0, 5–7|
|Runner-up||10.||9 May 2005||Rome, Italy||Clay||Rafael Nadal||4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–7(6–8)|
|Winner||9.||31 July 2005||Umag, Croatia||Clay||Carlos Moyá||6–2, 4–6, 6–2|
|Runner-up||11.||19 September 2005||Beijing, China||Hard||Rafael Nadal||7–5, 1–6, 2–6|
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||2R||A||4R||1R||4R||3R||A||A||0 / 5||9–5|
|French Open||2R||1R||3R||SF||F||4R||A||A||1R||0 / 7||17–7|
|Wimbledon||A||1R||A||1R||2R||4R||A||A||A||0 / 4||4–4|
|U.S. Open||Q1||A||3R||QF||A||QF||1R||A||A||0 / 4||10–4|
|Win–Loss||1–1||1–3||2–2||12–4||7–3||13–4||2–2||0–0||0–1||0 / 20||40–20|
|Tennis Masters Cup||Did Not Qualify||RR||RR||RR||Did Not Qualify||0 / 3||1–8|
|Summer Olympics||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||0 / 0||0–0|
|Davis Cup||A||A||A||A||QF||SF||A||A||A||0 / 2||5–3|
|ATP Masters 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||A||A||3R||QF||4R||A||A||A||0 / 3||7–3|
|Miami Masters||A||3R||3R||4R||F||3R||3R||A||A||0 / 6||13–6|
|Monte Carlo Masters||A||SF||1R||F||W||F||QF||A||A||1 / 6||23–5|
|Rome Masters||A||2R||A||3R||A||F||1R||A||A||0 / 4||8–4|
|Hamburg Masters||A||A||A||W||F||QF||1R||A||A||1 / 4||14–3|
|Canada Masters||A||A||A||1R||1R||1R||A||A||A||0 / 3||0–3|
|Cincinnati Masters||A||1R||2R||QF||A||2R||A||A||A||0 / 4||5–4|
|Madrid Masters||A||A||Q1||A||A||3R||A||A||A||0 / 1||1–1|
|Paris Masters||A||A||1R||3R||A||2R||A||A||A||0 / 3||1–2|
|Win–Loss||0–0||7–4||3–4||21–6||19–4||18–9||4–4||0–0||0–0||2 / 34||72–31|
Wins over top 10 playersEdit
|1.||David Nalbandian||9||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||QF||3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–5)|
|2.||Carlos Moyá||4||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Clay||SF||7–6(7–3), 6–2|
|3.||Andre Agassi||2||French Open, Paris, France||Clay||QF||4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4|
|4.||Carlos Moyá||7||Tennis Masters Cup, Houston, U.S.||Hard||RR||6–2, 6–3|
|5.||Carlos Moyá||7||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||F||6–4, 6–1|
|6.||David Nalbandian||9||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Clay||QF||6–4, 6–3|
|7.||Rainer Schüttler||6||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Clay||F||6–2, 6–1, 6–3|
|8.||Carlos Moyá||5||French Open, Paris, France||Clay||QF||7–5, 7–6(7–3), 6–3|
|9.||Tim Henman||9||French Open, Paris, France||Clay||SF||3–6, 6–4, 6–0, 7–5|
|10.||Andre Agassi||9||Rome, Italy||Clay||QF||7–5, 7–6(9–7)|
- Steve Tignor (21 May 2014). "Deux: Death on the Dirt". Tennis Magazine. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "Coria path to glory relies on clay king winning mind game". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "Tennis' Roll of Dishonour". The BBC. 9 January 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Rankings History". ATP World Tour. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- Stephen Bierley. "Coria is king of the clay". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Coria path to glory relies on clay king winning mind game". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- Mark Hodgkinson. "Clay king Coria could crack up". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- Yahoo! Sports – Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more Archived copy at WebCite (1 February 2010).
- "Rankings History". ATP World Tour. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "The end of Guillermo Coria". tennistalk.com.
- "Guillermo Coria Retires From Tennis at 27". The Tennis Times. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "Nadal fights fatigue and blisters to beat Coria in five-hour epic", The Independent, 9 May 2005.
- "Doubles faults send Coria crashing", CNN, 27 April 2006.
- "Guillermo, Carla, Thiago", Twitter, April 2012
- "Thiago, Carla et Guillermo Coria", Blog de Familledesport, September 2012
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)