Spanish male tennis player Alex Corretja

Alex Corretja

Alex Corretja was born in Spain in 1974. He quickly gained popularity as a junior pro tennis player when he won Orange Bowl 16s in 1990. The next year, he went on to play pro tennis and won his first singles title a few years later in 1994. Only a year later, he won his first doubles at Palermo. He also finished runner-up in 1998 and then in 2001 at the French Open. He won ATP Tour world Championship in 1998, beating Sampras.

The peak time for Corretja was mid-90s. He played Pete Sampras in 1996 and made history with 4 hours and 9 minutes in the match before losing out to the legendary Sampras after missing a tie-break in the fifth set. He could have materialized on Sampras mistake but it wasn’t his day in the end. Nevertheless, he left the court with grace after giving Sampras the toughest time in his career history. Corretja returned with venom in 1998 to beat the legendary Sampras to enter the final of ATP Tour World Championship title. In the semi final when he was up against Sampras, he was able to save three match points. He went on to beat Carlos Moya in the final in a 5-set marathon. He was two sets down in the beginning but came back and wrapped up the match in 4 hours and 1 minute with 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-5.

Alex Corretja became the first tennis player to have won Tour Championship without winning a Grand Slam before that. He was ranking at #3 in 1998, and at #2 in 1999, the best ranking for his entire career. His contributions to Spain’s victory in Davis Cup in 2000 were largely considered the major reason for Spain’s first ever victory in this prestigious cup.

Alex Correjta won 17 single titles and 3 double titles in his career. He finally gave up to his decreasing physical ability in 2005, retiring from the professional sport. He accepted a coaching job for English tennis star Andy Murray afterwards.

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