BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Tennis: French Open  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Statistics
Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
Costa stunned by Paris triumph
Costa is all smiles as he celebrates with the trophy
Costa is all smiles as he celebrates with the trophy
Albert Costa admits he shocked even himself as he ended a barren three years without a tournament win by triumphing at the French Open.

The last of the 26-year-old Spaniard's 11 previous titles came in a low-key event at Kitzbuhel in the Austrian Alps in 1999.

He had never previously progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, having twice reached the last eight in Paris and once at the Australian Open five years ago.


But he dispatched compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1 6-0 4-6 6-3 with impressive ease for a breakthrough victory on Sunday.


I would have never dared to dream about winning a Grand Slam one day
Albert Costa

"I don't know what happened but in the final I just played really, really well," he said.

"Before the French Open I was preparing to win the tournament but I didn't really believe in myself. Now I start to."

It was a fourth Spanish triumph at Roland Garros in ten years after Sergei Bruguera's back-to-back victories in 1993 and 1994, and Carlos Moya's win in 1998.

Costa's barren patch had extended to 65 tournaments before his 12th title arrived, like the 11 others, on his favourite clay surface.

Last year his world ranking had slipped to 40, his lowest since 1994.

But he reached the final in his home town of Barcelona this year as well as quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Rome.

Costa falls to his knees after the winning point
Costa falls to his knees after the winning point

Costa served notice of his improved form by ousting defending champion Gustavo Kuerten and last year's runner-up Alex Corretja en route to the final.

And his humbling of Ferrero catapulted him to number two in this year's Champions Race.

To complete a momentous couple of weeks, he marries girlfriend Cristina Ventura, the mother of his 11-month-old twin daughers, next Friday, with Corretja performing the best man duties.

The wedding celebrations mean Costa will miss Wimbledon, although he has not played there since 1999 and has never gone beyond the second round.

After his Paris triumph, he ran into the players' stand to hold his twins before coming back on court to lift the trophy.

"It is more difficult to speak than to play," he said. "I am delighted to have won this trophy.


Albert played extraordinary tennis today
Juan Carlos Ferrero
"I would have never dared to dream about winning a Grand Slam one day."

By contrast, Ferrero's disappointment was understandable after failing to reach the heights of his victories over Andre Agassi and Marat Safin in the preceding rounds.

A losing semi-finalist for the past two years, he sprained an ankle in practice last week and felt the effects of the injury had hampered him in the final.

"I did not play well in the first two sets because of problems with my ankle," Ferrero said.

"It was hard for me to get into the match, not to mention the fact that Albert played extraordinary tennis today. I must give him a lot of credit."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
French Open winner Albert Costa
"I was playing unbelievable"
French Open site

Latest news

Our man in Paris

Tournament guides

Special coverage

Sports Talk

Picture flashback

Official website
Links to more French Open stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more French Open stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales