Coria wins in Basel after Nalbandian retires

Coria wins in Basel after Nalbandian retires
By Reuters

26/10/2003 at 13:54Updated

Third seed Guillermo Coria was awarded an easy win at the Swiss Indoor Open tournament final on Sunday after defending champion David Nalbandian retired with a strong pain on his left wrist just moments before hitting the court.

Nalbandian, like Coria returning from injury, withdrew before the title match citing a recurrence of the wrist problem that has bothered him since the U.S. Open in September.

The 21-year-olds had been due to meet in their first indoor final but Nalbandian woke up with a sore wrist after his tough semi-final victory over heavy-serving top seed Andy Roddick.

"I'm sure if I played today it would be worse and would maybe need surgery."

Nalbandian was attempting to become the first back-to-back winner in Basel since Swede Stefan Edberg won in 1985 and 1986. In doing so he would have claimed his first title of the season.

The injury is also a blow to Nalbandian's hopes of making the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston.

He is eighth in the Champions Race, but his participation in the Paris Masters next week, where 100 points are on offer, and therefore in Houston is now in doubt.


"I'm going to see the doctors tomorrow and see if I am alright," Nalbandian said. "But I don't think in two or three days time it will be much better.

"I'm not going to promise anything (to the Paris organisers), I have to see the doctor first. It's more important what you feel with your body than playing tournaments.

Nalbandian said the injury was likely to have happened following his baseline battle with Roddick in the semi-finals.

"I think Andy's serves were maybe too fast and I used my left hand too much during the many points," he said. "I think that is the big reason I cannot play today."

Third seed Coria had made his first indoor final and his seventh final of the season.

The claycourt specialist claimed his four previous titles this year in Hamburg, Stuttgart, Kitzbuehel and Sopot, and was also runner-up in Monte Carlo and Buenos Aires.

"It is a very strange situation for me to win the title," said Coria, who instead played an exhibition match with Swiss Jean-Claude Scherrer.

"I was looking forward to the final with two Argentinians, but for me David's health is more important.

"I would have loved to have played against him and it would have been a good match, but there will probably be more finals between us."

Coria had already become the first Argentine since Jose-Luis Clerc in 1983 to qualify for the season-ending Masters Cup.