at Paris, France
Monday, May 26, 2008
Interview with Guillermo Coria
Q. You talked about retiring a few weeks ago. I
think that was in the tournament in Naples, Italy.
How do you feel today after your performance? Do you
feel like you've recovered all your strength
GUILLERMO CORIA: Yes. I'm very happy with my match
today. It is true that I couldn't serve as well as
in the previous tournaments, and one month ago I
But one month ago I didn't think that I would play
this tournament. I didn't think that I would be here
at Roland Garros, and you know what Roland Garros
means to me.
Last week I was in Casablanca, and I was quite happy
with my performance at Casablanca and was very
happy. Today it was a major challenge for me, and I
took up the challenge and in three weeks' time. I
can tell you that the situation has changed.
So I'm back, and I'm really eager to be on the tour.
I'm very happy with my performance today, and it was
great pleasure for me to be here today.
Q. First, what does it feel like to be back at
Roland Garros? I mean, this is obviously a place
that was maybe bitter sweet, place of great success,
but also a bit of defeat.
GUILLERMO CORIA: It is true that I've had good
memories, but bad memories, also. I lost here. It
was a bitter memory because I lost in the final
here. But I said that if I were to win a Grand Slam
I would withdraw from the game.
That's what I thought when I played the final a few
years ago. But, in fact, as I didn't win this final,
I'm again here, and I'm struggling with my shoulder.
There were some doping accusations, so I'm very
happy to be at Roland Garros and back here at the
club, waving to the different people say you feel
like being at home. It's something very special.
I feel great, and I hope that next year I will be at
Roland Garros. I hope one day I will win the
Q. Just talk little bit about what's kept you off
tour. Has it been physical, has it been mental? Has
it been motivational?
GUILLERMO CORIA: I've been on the tour for quite a
long time, and I was a little bit tired. I was
waiting for the judicial decision regarding
vitamins, and I wanted to sort that out. Thank God
everything is over.
From then on, I was able to have rest. I was with my
friends, my family. I was able to practice. I've
never stopped practicing.
It was true that it was difficult sometimes to
practice, because it I was practicing for nothing.
But last year I played a little bit. I played three
ATP tournaments during the year, so I was back, and
I was really eager to win in Barcelona, which is a
I mean, I played well, and it's true that tennis
means a lot to me. I'm playing tennis the very first
day. I'm very happy to be back in Paris.
A few weeks ago I didn't know that I would play
Roland Garros, and I'm very happy now, because I was
able to take up the challenge. I think I will be
even better for the next tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.
Q. So you've overachieved, and in the second set
there was a good moment for you? It was 3‑All, but
it seemed you were tired.
GUILLERMO CORIA: I don't know what happened, but I
was nervous. I mean, it is true that I built up some
adrenaline before stepping on the court. Because I
was really eager to be on court.
When I was told that I would play on center court I
was quite happy, but you have to realize what is
different here. It is true that last week I played
good matches against good players and had this match
in my mind. That is, the Roland Garros match.
But I couldn't prepare well for this match, and I
tried to do my best. I enjoyed this match, during
this match, had the opportunities to hurt him to a
But I would say that the second set slipped from my
hands, and it was very difficult for me. I couldn't
serve as usual, and he served very well today. I
couldn't serve as appropriately, as precisely, as
But this demonstrates that I can play against a
player who is ranked 13th or 14th in the world, so
this gives me a lot of confidence. It shows that I'm
on the right track, and I'm quite humble about it.
Q. So if you don't have a good ATP ranking you won't
be given a wildcard. So what about your situation?
GUILLERMO CORIA: I will play at Warsaw, and then I
will play two ATP tournaments and then Wimbledon.
But, if in fact I won't play Wimbledon at the end of
the day, I would rather play the two ATP
tournaments. So I'm not afraid about the ranking.
That's my concern.
What matters today is to be in the position to take
up the challenges, as it is the case today. If I
have to play the qualification tournament I will do
it. That's not a problem.
In the past, I mean, I had no motivation. In fact, I
played, but in fact it didn't matter. And whether I
won or I lost, I mean, I didn't mind. It was tough
for me at that time.
But in Barcelona, it was a great moment, and now I
will try to do my best in order to play the great
tournaments. I know that I'm here to fight. When I
play a match, I'm there.
And when you win you're playing with confidence, in
fact. Even when you lose, you're quite happy.
Q. During the match, I mean, did you feel that you
were better than in the past?
GUILLERMO CORIA: I would say I'm even better,
because I haven't played for the past two years
against such a player. So I won a set today. Last
week I played well. But today the match slipped from
my hands, because I didn't get the rhythm today.
So I'm not sad. I'm not sad. I mean, I haven't
thought of playing this tournament, so I played only
three ATP tournaments so far. I noticed that Tommy
was a little bit desperate. He doesn't know how to
play against me. He plays very short balls and he
decided to take the initiative, but he made a lot of
And at the end of the day, I played against the
player who is ranked 14th in the world, and we were
almost on par.
And it is true that he's won three sets but he has
more rhythm, he's more consistent. But I don't know
what would have happened if I'd have found the good
Q. What about your opponents? Do you think your
opponents respect you because you're back with
GUILLERMO CORIA: I don't know exactly what they
think about me. Of course, I have to think about my
own concerns, I would say. Today I feel great on the
court, and I hope that I'll be able to ‑‑ to play
matches such as that with Nadal in Rome a few years
Three weeks ago I didn't know what to do, in fact.
And, in fact, three weeks ago I wanted to know where
I was heading. Today was a good sign because I
played well. I would say that I enjoyed today's
match, and I hope that I will continue to make
I'm on the right track, and I hope that I will play
with the Argentinian Davis Cup.
Q. What about this match? Was it important to you?
GUILLERMO CORIA: Yes. It was very important to me.
It is true in Argentina I started playing but had to
care for my own business and to care for my life. I
mean, I had things to sort out in Argentina. I can
tell you that in Argentina I was able to settle some
things that were of concern to me.
But today on the court, I mean, I was really focused
on my objective. In the past, I mean, I pulled out
in different directions, I would say. Today, in my
mind, it is clear I want to enjoy, I want to play
tennis, and that's what happened today.
So I'm really happy. It's very difficult to be aloof
of the tour, and now I'm back.
Q. Over the past few years, what have you
discovered? What about tennis? What about life? So
when you were on tour, I mean, there were things
that you didn't realize, did you?
GUILLERMO CORIA: In the past, I mean, basically I
had to win a match. I had a good ranking, and I had
to win the matches. I didn't enjoy tennis. So I won
nice matches, but I was not very happy because I
At the end of the day, things happened very quickly.
I mean, I got good results when I was 19, 20. And
when you are so young you don't realize how it is
important, and you don't enjoy basically tennis.
And when you are two or three years older, I mean,
you're more mature. So I was at home and had to look
at the videos, at the newspaper articles. It is true
people supported me when I was out there in the
The people told me that I had to be back on the
tour, and I realized that I had to give a lot. It is
true that I was able to build up some maturity when
I was off court, and that's why I'm back.
If I want to be at the top, if I want to be happy, I
can tell you that I needed to stand back a little
bit from tennis in Argentina.
But tennis has given me a lot, and I couldn't leave
tennis this way. So that's why I didn't quit. This
is something that I didn't envisage, to withdraw so
Q. You read some newspaper articles; you watched
videos, you said. Did it help you?
GUILLERMO CORIA: Yes, it helped me quite a lot. I
realized that I had a successful life in tennis. And
as I told you, being here at Roland Garros, that's
So I'm playing on center court. I mean, it was the
match of the day, even though I was two years off
the tour and I don't have a good ranking. What I've
done was quite important, and it represents quite a
lot to be on center court.
Because, remember, I was ranked 700th. When I
started playing again, I mean, of course I was a
talented player, but had some physical problems.
So I achieved good results, and I realized that
tennis was quite important to me. I think that I
have to keep a high profile, but I have to fight
really, because I don't want things to slip from my
Q. Your professional career, of course you have to
take into account the ranking. You've told me that
you needed a sign. You've told me that you even felt
that you played better than you were ranked. What do
you think of that?
GUILLERMO CORIA: I would say that I've made some
strides here in Paris. I haven't always played very
well. I tend to keep the good memories, and I'm
quite happy with my practice sessions. I practiced
with very good players. This is what I want to take
And last week I set myself some objectives. I just
want to cast the future, cast a future‑oriented eye.
I just want to make the most of tennis, and I want
to enjoy tennis. I don't want to think about the
next tournament. I don't want to think about what's
going to happen to me in the future.
I mean, I want to enjoy life and to enjoy tennis on
a daily basis. I hope that after so many efforts, I
think that I deserve it. Thank you.