Tue, May 20, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Guillermo Coria wins Hamburg Masters

AFP , HAMBURG, GERMANY

Argentine Guillermo Coria beat compatriot Agustin Calleri 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to win the 2.45 million euro Hamburg Masters in Hamburg on Sunday.

The 12th seed, in his third year on the circuit, wrapped up his first Masters title in no nonsense fashion to gain compensation for his recent Monte Carlo final drubbing by Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Coria comes from Venado Tuerto, a city he modestly describes as "the most beautiful in the world."

It is also the birthplace of Guillermo Vilas, a sporting hero of Corias' father who 21 years ago named his son in honour of the former Argentinian star.

Coria was adding this to his debut ATP success at Vina del Mar in 2001 which came just before he was handed a six month ban for taking a cocktail of illegal vitamins.

His cause was helped here by a nervous Calleri competing in his first final at this level.

Coria broke in the eighth game to clinch the opening set, and from then on never looked in any serious danger.

Leading 3-0 in the third set he was racing to victory but to his credit Calleri kept him waiting before finally succumbing in two hours 12 minutes.

"I'm so happy, I've played the best tennis of my life this week," said Coria, who only lost one set and who will be hoping his rich vein of form spills over to the French Open at Roland Garros -- though it won't extend to next week's tournament in St Polten in Austria.

Coria said he had a sore groin and did not want to risk it so close to the French Open, though he would travel to Austria to undergo a medical to support his withdrawal from the event.

Hamburg this week will be remembered for producing an all Argentinian semi-final line-up, the first time four men from the same country have met in the last four of a Masters event.

Calleri, who has been suffering from a cold, now plans to reach Paris on Wednesday to prepare for the French Open which starts on May 26.

"It was an important week for me," said Calleri.

"I got to the final, I lost it. I had my tactics that I had discussed with my coach, but Guillermo just played too well. He didn't make any unforced errors. That's tennis -- sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."

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