Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Coria Loses His Cool as the Dutch Outsider Wins Battle

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Coria Loses His Cool as the Dutch Outsider Wins Battle

Article excerpt


UNSEEDED Martin Verkerk powered his way into a first French Open final today by beating Guillermo Coria.

The Dutchman triumphed 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 but he could have had an easier win as Coria came perilously close to being thrown out of the match after narrowly missing a ballgirl with his racket at the end of the first set.

Argentine Coria had thrown the racket trying to catch up with a Verkerk backhand overhead volley that won the tie break.

The racket flew like a hatchet and a 16-year-old blonde ballgirl called Perrine, had to turn away to avoid being struck.

It appeared she managed to duck in time and if there had been contact, Coria would have been instantly defaulted from the tournament.

Coria said: "Should I have been defaulted? It all depends on the intention and I didn't try to kill her or anything. I made sure she was all right.

"I threw the racket to try and touch the ball, but it flew out of my hand and I felt bad for the next few points and that's why I probably lost the set.

"I apologised three or four times and felt really bad about it. I didn't intend any harm."

There was a long discussion between the referee and the ballgirl about what had happened.

Coria tried to win over everyone at centre court and the ballgirlby handing over his shirt as a souvenir before going to his chair to wait for the verdict British No1 Tim Henman was defaulted from the doubles at Wimbledon in 1995 for hitting a ballboy with a shot in anger and it marks the latest in a series of controversies to hit the Argentine player.

The racket throwing incident overshadowed a marvellous performance by 6ft 3ins Verkerk, who failed to qualify for this tournament a year ago but has since transformed his tennis career. This was Verkerk's 12th win in his last 14 matches and his season turned with a title win in Milan in February. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.