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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 June, 2004, 19:07 GMT 20:07 UK
Tearful Coria blames nerves
Guillermo Coria after collecting his runners-up plate
I really wanted to win, to try to forget everything I have deep inside
Guillermo Coria wept as he admitted nerves were to blame for his French Open final capitulation.

Struck by cramp, Coria surrendered a two-set lead and two match points to fellow Argentine Gaston Gaudio.

"I felt completely powerless because I had been waiting for this opportunity for a long time," said the 21-year-old.

"I couldn't control this nervousness. I was trying to forget the cramps, but I knew they would come back because I was nervous. I was cramping all over."

Coria was banned for six months in 2001 following a positive test for nandrolone.

The world number three admitted his downfall could have been his desperation to win his first Grand Slam title to silence those he believed had turned against him during that period.

"After what happened to me because of doping, I was dreaming of this situation," he said, before breaking down in tears.

"To see that my body let me down and my nerves let me down...

"I remember what people did to me at that time. It's maybe the reason why I was a bit nervous.

"I really wanted to win this tournament, to try to forget everything I have deep inside.

"I would like to have revenge against those who gave me these contaminated vitamins."

Guillermo Coria
Coria received treatment for cramp but could not recover
Coria added he had begun to dream about victory when he was two games away from the title at 6-0 6-3 4-4 when Gaudio recovered from 40-0 down to break serve.

"I think I was thinking too much at that stage," he said.

"There was one very long rally at 40-15. I was thinking that if I had won that point, I could have won the match. He won the game, unfortunately for me.

"Then I was under pressure. I was thinking too much. What happened, happened. I have no words to describe it. "

After losing a tight third set, Coria received treatment from the trainer at the beginning of the fourth but for the remainder of the set, he served at half-pace and was unable to run.

"The trainer told me to wait 10 minutes before I could feel an improvement," he said.

"I was absolutely exhausted. I didn't want to be ridiculous and start running because I knew that this set was lost for me.

This is a game where we have to run and you have to prepare yourself
Gaston Gaudio
"In the fifth set, I was able to return, but I had a lot of trouble serving."

However, Coria insisted he would recover from the disappointment to mount another title challenge next year.

"I'm only 21 - I had an opportunity this year and I couldn't take advantage of it," he said.

"But my head is up high. I think that if I keep on working on my physical condition, I will have another opportunity. "



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