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Nicolas Coutelot’s forgotten feat

by archysport

Nicolas Coutelot loved to play at Roland Garros. Paradoxically, it was in one of the toughest tournaments in the world that he expressed himself best. The Frenchman was the actor of one of the anthology matches of the tournament, in 2003 against David Nalbandian.

If Roland Garros and the pressure surrounding the Grand Slam tournament played at home can paralyze some French people, it had the opposite effect on Nicolas Coutelot who always transcended himself on the clay courts of Porte d’Auteuil.

Already, in 2001, he had caused a sensation by beating Marccelo Rios before losing in the 3rd round against Wayne Arthurs simply in the tie-break. The following year, he led 2 sets to 1 against future finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero.

In 2003, Nicolas Coutelot, then 208th in the world, had an appointment with the 8th in the world, David Nalbandian. 200 places separate the two protagonists and the Argentinian is the big favorite of this 2nd round, like any South American who respects himself he loves the clay and it gives him back.

His return from service, his setback and his experience must make short work of the Frenchman who struggles throughout the year, but reappears as if by magic at the time of Roland Garros. While he has been losing streak since the start of the season, Coutelot fought like a lion to create a new surprise in his favorite tournament.

Already, in 2001, he had caused a sensation by beating Rios

He resisted the return of Nalbandian to 2 sets everywhere by dominating the fifth set with an aplomb that he did not know. Prior to this match, he had only played five sets in his career and took a 6-0 in the final set.

After his victory over Nalbandian (6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1), he surprises journalists with his aplomb by asserting that he can win Roland Garros. The aplomb and the confidence that he shows at the press conference will fail him in the 3rd round when he tilts sharply against Arnaud Clément (6-4, 6-3, 6-2).

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