2003 was an unforgettable year for Guillermo Coria that was intractable on clay courts. And that end of July and beginning of August was literally unbeatable. On that European tour after Wimbledon, the Argentine threw three titles and in all cases without giving sets in consecutive weeks.
The terrible streak started in Stuttgart. He came from winning the Hamburg Masters 1000, playing final in Buenos Aires and Monte Carlo and reaching the Roland Garros semifinals. In that edition of the Parisian tournament, Willy took down the poster when he beat the legend. It was 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-4 for Rufino’s man who was entering the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Already in that instance, he yielded to the surprising Martin Verkerk in a rugged match.
But there was more. And this time it was a locomotive. On July 20 in Germany, the Albiceleste beat Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-2 and 6-1 in the first of their three consecutive finals. World No. 7 at the time, he only “suffered” in the debut against Paul Henri Mathieu, whom he beat 7-5 and 6-4. From there, 6-1 and 6-1 to David Ferrer, 6-0 and 6-0 to Mikhail Youzhny and 6-4 and 6-0 to Feliciano López to get into the definition.
But there was no time for enjoyment. The next stopover was at Kitzbuhel, where he was the man to fear again. And there he dominated from start to finish and forcefully: 6-4 and 6-3 Andreas Vinciguerra, 6-1 and 6-0 Olivier Mutis, 6-3 and 6-2 Juan Chela, 6-1 and 6-2 to Feliciano López reissuing the semifinal and 6-1, 6-4 and 6-2 to Nicolás Massú in the final. Intractable.
Did the break come? Not at all. Travel to Poland for Alberto “Luli” Mancini’s pupil to play in Sopot where wear never appeared on court. Triumph over Victor Hanescu 6-3 and 6-4, Christophe Rochus 6-1 and 6-0, Olivier Mutis 6-3 and 6-4, Luis Horna 6-2 and 6-2 and David Ferrer 7-5 and 6-1 in the definition.
A tremendous maelstrom put him No. 6 ATP and No. 3 in the Race to Houston, and to secure a place in the Masters at the end of the year, a situation that an Argentine was going to experience for the first time since José Luis Clerc in 1983.