Àlex Corretja

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Àlex Corretja
Alex Corretja ATC2010.jpg
Country (sports) Spain
ResidenceBarcelona, Spain
Born (1974-04-11) 11 April 1974 (age 49)
Barcelona, Spain
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro1991
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$10,411,354
Career record438–281 (60.9%)
Career titles17
Highest rankingNo. 2 (1 February 1999)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian Open3R (1998)
French OpenF (1998, 2001)
Wimbledon2R (1994, 1996)
US OpenQF (1996)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsW (1998)
Olympic Games3R (2000)
Career record103–115 (47.2%)
Career titles3
Highest rankingNo. 50 (9 June 1997)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian Open3R (1998)
Wimbledon3R (1996)
US Open3R (1996)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (2000)
Medal record
Olympic Games – Tennis
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Sydney Doubles

Àlex Corretja Verdegay (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈaləks kuˈrɛdʒəj βəɾðəˈɣaj]; born 11 April 1974) is a Spanish former professional tennis player. During his career, he was twice a major runner-up at the French Open (in 1998 and 2001), won the Tour Finals in 1998, reached a career-high singles ranking of world No. 2 in 1999, and captured Masters titles at the 1997 Italian Open and 2000 Indian Wells Masters. Corretja also played a key role in helping Spain win its first Davis Cup title in 2000.[1]

Post-retirement, Corretja became a temporary coach of Andy Murray in April 2008 for the duration of the clay-court season, resuming the role on a permanent basis between 2009 and 2011.[2] From 2012 to 2013, Corretja coached the Spanish Davis Cup team.


Corretja was born in Barcelona, and first came to the tennis world's attention as a promising junior player who won the Orange Bowl under-16 title in 1990. He turned professional in 1991 and won his first top-level singles title in 1994 at Buenos Aires. His first doubles title came in 1995 at Palermo.


In 1996, Corretja faced Pete Sampras in an epic five-set quarterfinal match at the US Open. Pete Sampras threw up in the fifth set tiebreak[3] , where Corretja held a match point later on, but he eventually lost to Sampras on a double fault in 4 hours and 9 minutes.


In 1997, Corretja captured three titles, including his first Tennis Masters Series title in Rome, where he defeated Marcelo Ríos. (He won a second Masters Series title in 2000 at Indian Wells.)


1998 saw Corretja reach his first Grand Slam final at the French Open. In the third round, he defeated Argentina's Hernán Gumy in (at the time) the longest match in the tournament's history. Corretja won the 5-hour 31-minute marathon. In the final, Corretja lost to fellow-Spaniard Carlos Moyà in straight sets.

Corretja finished 1998 by winning the most significant title of his career, the ATP Tour World Championships. In the group stage, he beat world no. 5 Andre Agassi, and in the semifinals, Corretja saved three match points on the way to beating world no. 1 Sampras. In the final, Corretja faced world no. 4 Moyà in a five-set marathon and came back from two sets down to win in 4 hours and 1 minute. Corretja's win made him the first man to ever win the Tour Championships (in its 29-year history) without having ever won a Grand Slam tournament (David Nalbandian, Nikolay Davydenko, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have since repeated the feat.)

In total, Corretja won a career-high five singles titles during the 1998 season, on three different surfaces (Clay, Hard and Carpet). He finished the year ranked world No. 3.


Corretja reached three tournament finals, the quarterfinals of the French Open and reached his career high ranking of 2 in February.[4]


In 2000, Corretja won the Indian Wells Masters title, beating Thomas Enqvist in straight sets in the final. He also beat world no. 1 Agassi in the final of the Washington Open for the loss of just five games.

In the Davis Cup, Corretja helped Spain to their first ever title win. He went 3–0 in singles rubbers during the earlier rounds, and then teamed up with Joan Manuel Balcells to win the doubles match in the final as Spain beat Australia 3–1. Corretja also won a men's doubles bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney, partnering Albert Costa.


In 2001, Corretja reached the men's singles final at the French Open for the second time, losing in the final to defending champion Gustavo Kuerten in four sets. In July of that year, Corretja won a five-set marathon match in the final of the Dutch Open against Younes El Aynaoui.[5] The 53-game match was the year's longest tour final.


Corretja's biggest win of 2002 came in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup, where he rallied from two sets down to beat Sampras on grass. (Spain eventually lost the tie 3–1.) At the French Open, Corretja saved four match points in the third round against Arnaud Clément, before going on to win. Corretja then progressed to the semifinals, where he lost in four sets to Albert Costa (who went on to win the title). One week later, Corretja was the best man at Costa's wedding.[6]


In 2003, Corretja was again part of a Spanish team which reached the Davis Cup final. He won two doubles and one singles rubber in the earlier rounds. However, in the final, Corretja and Feliciano López lost the doubles rubber, as Spain were beaten 3–1 by Australia.

Corretja announced his retirement on 24 September 2005. He won a total of 17 top-level singles titles and three doubles titles during his career.

After retirement[edit]

Corretja coached Britain's Andy Murray from 2008 to 2011.

As of 2015, he works for Eurosport as a field interviewer at the Grand Slam tournaments.

Career statistics[edit]

Performance timeline[edit]

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A A A 2R 2R 3R 2R 2R A 1R 1R 2R A 0 / 8 8–8
French Open 1R 1R 3R 4R 2R 4R F QF QF F SF 1R 3R A 0 / 13 36–13
Wimbledon A A 2R A 2R A 1R A A A A A 1R A 0 / 4 2–4
US Open 1R 1R 1R 2R QF 3R 4R 1R 3R 3R 3R 1R 1R A 0 / 13 16–13
Win–loss 0–2 0–2 3–3 4–2 7–4 6–2 11–4 5–3 7–3 8–2 7–3 0–3 3–4 0–0 0 / 38 61–38
Year-end championships
Tennis Masters Cup Did not qualify W DNQ RR Did not qualify 1 / 2 5–3

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (2 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1998 French Open Clay Spain Carlos Moyá 3–6, 5–7, 3–6
Loss 2001 French Open Clay Brazil Gustavo Kuerten 7–6(7–3), 5–7, 2–6, 0–6

Year-end championships finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1998 ATP Tour World Championships, Hanover Hard (i) Spain Carlos Moyà 3–6, 3–6, 7–5, 6–3, 7–5

Olympics medal matches[edit]

Doubles: 1 (1 bronze medal)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponent Score
Bronze 2000 Summer Olympics Hard Spain Albert Costa South Africa David Adams
South Africa John-Laffnie de Jager
2–6, 6–4, 6–3

Masters Series finals[edit]

Singles: 5 (2 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1996 Hamburg Masters Clay Spain Roberto Carretero 6–2, 4–6, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1997 Monte-Carlo Masters Clay Chile Marcelo Ríos 4–6, 3–6, 3–6
Winner 1997 Rome Masters Clay Chile Marcelo Ríos 7–5, 7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 1998 Hamburg Masters Clay Spain Albert Costa 2–6, 0–6, 0–1 ret.
Winner 2000 Indian Wells Masters Hard Sweden Thomas Enqvist 6–4, 6–4, 6–3


  1. ^ "Alex Corretja Overview ATP Tour". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Andy Murray tweaks working parts with Alex Corretja at the forefront". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  3. ^ "The day Pete Sampras threw up on court". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  4. ^ "ATP season 1999". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Corretja Takes It to the Limit". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  6. ^ "Costa knocks out his best man". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 5 January 2023.

External links[edit]