Coria warms up for Paris by lifting title

Giving a sportsman a good name does not guarantee success, as British tennis discovered in the case of Stanley Matthews Jnr, son of the great footballer. But Oscar Coria seemed to know what he was doing when he christened his first-born Guillermo after Guillermo Vilas, the icon of Argentinian tennis.

Coria yesterday won the Monte Carlo Masters, the first solid step on the road to the French Open in Paris, defeating Rainer Schüttler, of Germany, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. It was the 26th consecutive winning match Coria has won on clay since losing to Martin Verkerk in the semi-finals at Roland Garros last June.

The victory continued a proud tradition. Coria was only three months old in 1982 when Vilas won the second of his Monte Carlo singles titles, having also shared the prize with Jimmy Connors when the final was rained off in 1981. Coria was seven when Alberto Mancini last won the title for Argentina, frustrating Boris Becker in the 1989 final. Coria heard all about that first-hand from Mancini, who was his coach until January.

"It was mutual," said Coria, currently coached by another compatriot, Fabien Blenjino. "We decided to stop before we started to be cross with each other. We didn't want to fight. Alberto was very important to me. He taught me many things. The door was left open for us to maybe work again in the future."

The diminutive 22-year-old from Rufino has not had a smooth career so far. In 2001 he was banned for seven months after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. But his deep ground strokes and fast feet have made him a strong contender for a major honour.

A year ago, Coria was defeated here by Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, 6-2, 6-2, in a final reduced from five sets to three on a day of rain delays. Coria went on to win his first Masters Series title in Hamburg; Ferrero to win the French Open.

Earlier this month, a back injury caused by two kidney stones resulted in Coria retiring against Andy Roddick in the final of the last Masters Series event, the Nasdaq-100 Open, in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Yesterday, the third-seeded Coria overcame an abdominal strain in defeating Schüttler, the fourth seed, whose endeavours on his 28th birthday were not helped by three blistered fingers.

The points were more closely contested than the a straight-sets victory might suggest, though Coria did not look in danger until the third set, in which he had to save three breakpoints in the opening game and one in the fifth before Schüttler double-faulted to lose serve for 2-4.

German players do not have a good record on the courts here. Schüttler was attempting to become the first to win the title since Baron Gottfried von Cramm in 1938. Becker lost three finals: to Mancini, Sergi Bruguera and Thomas Muster.

Tim Henman, who lost to Schüttler in the singles quarter-finals finals on Friday, swept to his second doubles title here yesterday. The British No1 and his Serbian partner, Nenad Zimonjic, defeated the Argentinians Gaston Etlis and Martin Rodriguez, 7-5, 6-2. Henman also won the doubles in 1999, partnered by the Frenchman, Olivier Delaitre.

Henman, who spent a total of 13 hours on the court last week playing singles and doubles, felt no pain yesterday in his right shoulder, which was sore after the Schüttler match. "My shoulder feels great," Henman said. "The doubles on Thursday night really did me, but my match on Friday was not as strenuous as on the other days, and I didn't have to play doubles on Saturday. On Saturday morning it felt back to normal."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride