French Open 2002
Albert Costa had been a consistent clay court performer for years but had never progressed beyond the quarter final stage of the French Open in eight previous appearances until he took the title in 2002. Costa’s breakthrough year was 1995, when he was known by his birth name of Alberto Costa. At the French he beat former champion Jim Courier in the fourth round before losing in five sets to Thomas Muster in the quarters. Although not renowned for his play on other surfaces, Costa beat Pat Rafter and Wayne Ferreira on route to the quarters of the 1997 Australian Open. There he pushed Pete Sampras to five sets. Over the next few years Costa maintained a ranking in the top 30. At the 2000 French Open he beat Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Enqvist and Lleyton Hewitt before losing in the quarters to Franco Squillari in four sets. At the 2002 French Open Costa beat defending champion Gustavo Kuerten in the fourth round, Guillermo Canas in the quarters and the previous year’s finalist Alex Corretja in the semis to progress to his first Grand Slam final. He won the first two sets of the final against Juan-Carlos Ferrero for the loss of one game and, though Ferrero found his form in the third set, Costa won in four sets to win the title just a few days before his 27th birthday. The following year Costa three times won matches from two sets to love down and fought his way through to the semi finals of the French before losing easily to Ferrero. Costa achieved little of note after that and retired in 2005.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 0-1, M.Chang 1-1, J.Courier 1-0, R.Federer 0-1, J.C.Ferrero 1-1, L.Hewitt 1-1, G.Ivanisevic 2-0, G.Kuerten 1-1, T.Muster 0-1, P.Rafter 1-0, A.Roddick 1-0, P.Sampras 0-2
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