Rejuvenated Costa finding form at Roland Garros | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Rejuvenated Costa finding form at Roland Garros

PTI | ByOssian Shine (Reuters), Paris
May 27, 2004 07:25 PM IST

If Albert Costa had hoped to slip unnoticed through the French Open draw, camouflaged by his higher-profile compatriots, the game is up.

If Albert Costa had hoped to slip unnoticed through the French Open draw, camouflaged by his higher-profile compatriots, the game is up.

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HT Image

The 2002 champion only just squeezes into the world's top 30 these days, lagging way behind world number four Juan Carlos Ferrero and number five Carlos Moya, but he is hitting fine form at Roland Garros and must now be considered a serious threat.

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On Thursday he blasted Belgium's Christophe Rochus 6-1 6-2 7-5 to reach the third round and acknowledged that he is nearly back to his best.

"I'm feeling like every day I'm improving," the burly Spaniard, ranked only fifth in his country, said.

"Today I felt really good on the court, hitting the ball so good. I made some mistakes in the third set, but I was really impressed the way I was playing with my forehand and serving sometimes.

"But every match is a different history. I'm in the third round. I know I have a good chance to be in the last rounds."

The baseliner's boost in form can be put down to a renewed love for tennis and the help of a psychologist he has been visiting.


"Yes, I saw a psychologist who has been helping me, helping me to go through a number of things," he said.

"But I think that the work that I've been doing in terms of fitness and in terms of the technique of my game is important. But sometimes you've got to think about a number of psychological issues."

Costa had lost both the pair's previous matches — at the 2000 Australian Open and on Valencian clay earlier this year — but never gave the small Belgian a chance.

"I think the other times I played against him, he played a really good match. He was playing maybe his best level.

"But, you know, here in Paris is different, no? I think I'm more motivated. Five sets on clay, so...

"Today I really played at a good level, but still there's work to do. It's not about the level but maybe the confidence or the way to play. In 2002, I was so relaxed, playing like with no pressure, no nothing, so I was like flying on the court.

"And now, today, I play better, but there's still a lot of work to do.

"This is one of the greatest tournaments. It's a grand slam. It's the major objective that I have throughout the year.

"Winning here, the fact that I've already won here, makes, of course, very happy memories. It also makes you feel strong. You know you've done it once, and you've got a few tricks that you can use."

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