Thomas Muster

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Thomas Muster
Thomas Muster.jpg
Country  Austria
Residence Leibnitz, Austria
Born (1967-10-02) 2 October 1967 (age 46)
Leibnitz, Austria
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 1985
Retired 1999 (comeback in 2010–2011)
Plays Left-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $12,252,511
Singles
Career record 622–273 (69.79%)
Career titles 44
Highest ranking No. 1 (12 February 1996)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (1989, 1997)
French Open W (1995)
Wimbledon 1R (1987, 1992, 1993, 1994)
US Open QF (1993, 1994, 1996)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals RR (1990, 1995, 1996, 1997)
Olympic Games 2R (1984, demonstration event)
Doubles
Career record 56–91
Career titles 1
Highest ranking No. 94 (7 November 1988)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (1989, 1990)
US Open 2R (1986)

Thomas Muster (born 2 October 1967 in Leibnitz, Styria) is a former World No. 1 tennis player from Austria. One of the world's leading clay court players in the 1990s, Muster won the 1995 French Open and at his peak was known as "The King of Clay."[1] In addition, he won eight Masters 1000 series titles, placing him seventh on the all-time list. Muster is one of only three players to win Masters titles on three different surfaces (clay, carpet, and hard court).

Tennis career[edit]

Juniors[edit]

Muster first came to prominence when he reached the final of the French Open junior tournament and the Orange Bowl juniors tournament in 1985.

Junior Slam results – Singles:

Australian Open: –
French Open: F (1985)
Wimbledon: 2R (1984)
US Open: 2R (1985)

Pro tour[edit]

He turned professional late 1985 and won his first tour title at Hilversum, (Netherlands) in 1986.

In 1988, Muster reached six tour finals, winning four of them. He finished the year ranked in the world's top 20 for the first time.

Early in 1989, Muster became the first Austrian to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open and, shortly after that, the first Austrian to be ranked in the world's top 10. In March, he defeated Yannick Noah in the semifinals of the Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne, Florida (now known as the Sony Ericsson Open) to set up a final match with world no. 1 Ivan Lendl. But in the hours that followed that semifinal victory, Muster was struck by a drunk driver, severing ligaments in his left knee and forcing him to default the final. He flew back to Vienna to undergo surgery. With the aid of a special chair designed to allow him to practice hitting balls while recovering from knee surgery, Muster returned to competitive tennis just six months later.[2]

Muster's comeback continued in 1990, when he won three titles on clay (among which the Italian Open, defeating Andrei Chesnokov in the final) and one on hardcourts; he was runner-up in three tournaments, and reached the semifinals of the French Open. He also helped Austria reach the semifinals of Davis Cup, where they were eliminated 3–2 by the United States despite Muster winning both his singles rubbers against Andre Agassi and Michael Chang. For these achievements, Muster was named the ATP Tour's "Comeback Player of the Year."

Muster was selected Austrian Sportsman of the Year in 1990 and 1995.

Muster won two more titles in 1991 and three in 1992 (all on clay courts).

In 1993, he reached nine tournament finals, winning seven of them. He won 55 of 65 matches on clay.

Muster won three clay-court titles in 1994. He also beat Michael Stich of Germany in a first round Davis Cup tie in Graz.[3] Muster won the five-set, 5-hour 25-minute match 12–10 in the final set. The match was the longest professional tennis match in the world that year.[citation needed]

In 1995, Muster won 12 tournament finals in 14 attempts. Between February and June, he won 40 consecutive clay court matches (the longest winning streak on the surface since Björn Borg had won 46 in 1977–79). He clinched his second Italian Open, defeating Sergi Bruguera, 3–6, 7–6, 6–2, 6–3. At the Monte-Carlo Masters he defeated with 40° fever in the semifinal match Andrea Gaudenzi to reach the final against Boris Becker. He won the final after a tough match 4–6, 5–7, 6–1, 7–6(6), 6–0, surviving a championship point in the fourth set tiebreak when Becker double-faulted. At the French Open, Muster won his first and only Grand Slam singles title, when he defeated former champion Michael Chang in the final, 7–5, 6–2, 6–4. Muster is the first, and to date, the only Austrian to win a Grand Slam singles title. Muster had a 65–2 win-loss record on clay during 1995. Although his record on other surfaces was less impressive, a late season victory over Pete Sampras on a fast indoor carpet in Essen, Germany, gave him an outside chance at finishing the year no. 1; however, Sampras finished the year at no. 1.

Muster continued to rack up clay-court victories in 1996. He won seven tournaments, six of them titles he successfully defended after winning them in 1995. His win-loss clay court record in 1996 was 46–3. This made his 1995–96 record on the surface 111–5–the best two-year clay-court record since the open era began in 1968.[citation needed] In February, Muster attained the world no. 1 ranking. He held the ranking initially for just one week, and then regained it for five weeks in March and April. The validity of Muster's number one ranking was called into question by top Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, who argued that Muster had achieved the top spot based almost solely on his clay court results in 1995 and 1996. He has a poor record on lawn (having never passed the Wimbledon first round), but had success on hard courts, reaching two Australian Open semifinals and three US Open quarterfinals.

Muster achieved his best results on hard courts in 1997. He won two hard-court titles, including the Lipton International Players Championships, the same tournament where his career had nearly ended just eight years earlier—by defeating Sergi Bruguera in the final, after Bruguera had defeated Pete Sampras in the semifinals. Muster was the runner-up at the ATP Masters Series event in Cincinnati, and reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and the ATP Masters event in Indian Wells. At both Cincinnati and the Australian Open, Muster lost to Pete Sampras in straight sets. He compiled a 29–8 win-loss record on hard courts, while slumping to 9–9 on clay.

Muster reached his last top-level tournament final in Estoril (on clay) in 1998. That year, the veteran lefty mounted one last deep run at Roland Garros, where he reached the quarterfinals, before falling to Spaniard Félix Mantilla in four sets. Muster's 1998 results faded after the spring, as he reached just one semifinal (Mallorca) and one quarterfinal (Boston) in the remainder of the year. The Austrian opened 1999 with a strong semifinal showing at the Australian Open warm-up event in Sydney, but he struggled mightily in the next few months, eventually disappearing from the tour after an opening-round exit at Roland Garros to Nicolas Lapentti. He remains the only world no. 1 singles player of the open era who has never won a match at Wimbledon.

Muster only lost one Davis Cup singles match on clay during his career, to Goran Ivanišević in 1997. He won 29 Davis Cup singles matches on that surface and 38 overall, far more than any other Austrian.

When he stopped playing tennis in 1999, Muster moved to Noosa Australia and married television presenter Jo Beth Taylor in 2000. The couple lived on a 90-acre estate complete with helipad and had one child (Christian). They divorced in 2002. Muster then moved back to Austria, where he has served as coach of the Austrian Davis Cup team and established a brand named Toms that has included apparel, wine, and bottled water.

On 16 June 2010, Muster announced his comeback to professional tennis by playing a Challenger tournament in Braunschweig in July 2010. He lost in the first round, as well as in the following three Challenger tournaments in Kitzbühel, Como, and Rijeka. Eventually, in his fifth Challenger tournament in Ljubljana, he won the first comeback match, which brought him back into the ATP singles ranking list as number 988. Subsequently, Austrian tennis experts discussed whether his mental fortitude would be sufficient to bring him back into the top 100 in 2011, at age 43.

On 13 September 2011, Muster won his second match after his comeback in the Todi Challenger against fifth seed from Argentina, Leonardo Mayer. His next opponent was countryman Martin Fischer, to whom Muster lost. He then lost in his next Challenger, in Palermo, to Italian Alessio di Mauro.

After this, Muster played at the Erste Bank Open, where he lost to countryman Dominic Thiem. This was the last match of the Austrian at high level tournaments,[4] meaning that after this he will just compete in Challengers.

As he said, 2 weeks after his "high level retire", Muster was playing in a Challenger tournament again, this time in Salzburg. Despite having a good start against German Dennis Bloemke, he lost in a three set fight, even after saving a match point in the final set.

Equipment[edit]

Muster played with Austrian manufactured Head, Kneissl and then Kneissl Tom's Reach tennis racquets during his first Pro Tour era. He continued to use Kneissl Tom's Reach on the Champions Tour. He began making a comeback to the Pro Tour using Head, then switched to Babolat and went back to Head again, always using adidas clothing.

Grand Slam and Masters Series finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1–0)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1995 French Open Clay United States Michael Chang 7–5, 6–2, 6–4

Masters Series finals[edit]

Singles: 10 (8–2)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1990 Monte Carlo Clay Soviet Union Andrei Chesnokov 5–7, 3–6, 3–6
Winner 1990 Rome Clay Soviet Union Andrei Chesnokov 6–1, 6–3, 6–1
Winner 1992 Monte Carlo Clay United States Aaron Krickstein 6–3, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1995 Monte Carlo Clay Germany Boris Becker 4–6, 5–7, 6–1, 7–6(8–6), 6–0
Winner 1995 Rome Clay Spain Sergi Bruguera 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2, 6–3
Winner 1995 Essen Carpet United States MaliVai Washington 7–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 1996 Monte Carlo Clay Spain Albert Costa 6–3, 5–7, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 1996 Rome Clay Netherlands Richard Krajicek 6–2, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1997 Key Biscayne Hard Spain Sergi Bruguera 7–6(8–6), 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 1997 Cincinnati Hard United States Pete Sampras 3–6, 4–6

Career finals[edit]

Singles: 55 (44–11)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam (1–0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0–0)
ATP Masters Series (8–2)
ATP Championship Series (4–0)
ATP Tour (31–9)
Titles by Surface
Hard (3–3)
Grass (0–0)
Clay (40–5)
Carpet (1–3)
Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 4 August 1986 NetherlandsHilversum Clay Switzerland Jakob Hlasek 6–1, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 2. 11 July 1988 United StatesBoston Clay United States Lawson Duncan 6–2, 6–2
Winner 3. 1 August 1988 FranceBordeaux Clay Haiti Ronald Agénor 6–3, 6–3
Winner 4. 15 August 1988 CzechoslovakiaPrague Clay Argentina Guillermo Pérez-Roldán 6–4, 5–7, 6–2
Runner-up 1. 19 September 1988 SpainBarcelona Clay Sweden Kent Carlsson 3–6, 3–6, 6–3, 1–6
Winner 5. 26 September 1988 ItalyBari Clay Uruguay Marcelo Filippini 2–6, 6–1, 7–5
Runner-up 2. 24 October 1988 AustriaVienna Carpet Austria Horst Skoff 6–4, 3–6, 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 3. 3 April 1989 United StatesMiami Hard Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl W/O
Winner 6. 8 January 1990 AustraliaAdelaide Hard United States Jimmy Arias 3–6, 6–2, 7–5
Winner 7. 12 March 1990 MoroccoCasablanca Clay Argentina Guillermo Pérez-Roldán 6–1, 6–7(6–8), 6–2
Runner-up 4. 30 April 1990 MonacoMonte Carlo Clay Soviet Union Andrei Chesnokov 5–7, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 5. 7 May 1990 West GermanyMunich Clay Czechoslovakia Karel Nováček 4–6, 2–6
Winner 8. 21 May 1990 ItalyRome Clay Soviet Union Andrei Chesnokov 6–1, 6–3, 6–1
Winner 9. 17 June 1991 ItalyFlorence Clay Austria Horst Skoff 6–2, 6–7(2–7), 6–2
Winner 10. 16 September 1991 SwitzerlandGeneva Clay Austria Horst Skoff 6–2, 6–4
Winner 11. 27 April 1992 MonacoMonte Carlo Clay United States Aaron Krickstein 6–3, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 12. 15 June 1992 ItalyFlorence Clay Italy Renzo Furlan 6–3, 1–6, 6–1
Winner 13. 31 August 1992 CroatiaUmag Clay Argentina Franco Davín 6–1, 4–6, 6–4
Runner-up 6. 18 January 1993 AustraliaSydney Hard United States Pete Sampras 6–7(7–9), 1–6
Winner 14. 1 March 1993 MexicoMexico City Clay Spain Carlos Costa 6–2, 6–4
Winner 15. 14 June 1993 ItalyFlorence Clay Spain Jordi Burillo 6–1, 7–5
Winner 16. 21 June 1993 ItalyGenova Clay Sweden Magnus Gustafsson 7–6(7–3), 6–4
Winner 17. 9 August 1993 AustriaKitzbühel Clay Spain Javier Sánchez 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
Winner 18. 16 August 1993 San MarinoSan Marino Clay Italy Renzo Furlan 7–5, 7–5
Winner 19. 30 August 1993 CroatiaUmag Clay Spain Alberto Berasategui 7–5, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 20. 3 October 1993 ItalyPalermo Clay Spain Sergi Bruguera 7–6(7–2), 7–5
Runner-up 7. 25 October 1993 AustriaVienna Carpet Croatia Goran Ivanišević 6–4, 4–6, 4–6, 6–7(3–7)
Winner 21. 28 February 1994 MexicoMexico City Clay Brazil Roberto Jabali 6–3, 6–1
Winner 22. 2 May 1994 SpainMadrid Clay Spain Sergi Bruguera 6–2, 3–6, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 23. 20 June 1994 AustriaSankt Pölten Clay Spain Tomás Carbonell 4–6, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 24. 6 March 1995 MexicoMexico City Clay Brazil Fernando Meligeni 7–6(7–4), 7–5
Winner 25. 10 April 1995 PortugalEstoril Clay Spain Albert Costa 6–4, 6–2
Winner 26. 17 April 1995 SpainBarcelona Clay Sweden Magnus Larsson 6–2, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 27. 1 May 1995 MonacoMonte Carlo Clay Germany Boris Becker 4–6, 5–7, 6–1, 7–6(8–6), 6–0
Winner 28. 22 May 1995 ItalyRome Clay Spain Sergi Bruguera 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2, 6–3
Winner 29. 12 June 1995 FranceFrench Open Clay United States Michael Chang 7–5, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 30. 26 June 1995 AustriaSankt Pölten Clay Czech Republic Bohdan Ulihrach 6–3, 3–6, 6–1
Winner 31. 24 July 1995 GermanyStuttgart Outdoor Clay Sweden Jan Apell 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 8. 7 August 1995 AustriaKitzbühel Clay Spain Albert Costa 6–4, 4–6, 6–7(3–7), 6–2, 4–6
Winner 32. 14 August 1995 San MarinoSan Marino Clay Italy Andrea Gaudenzi 6–2, 6–0
Winner 33. 28 August 1995 CroatiaUmag Clay Spain Carlos Costa 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–4
Winner 34. 18 September 1995 RomaniaBucharest Clay Austria Gilbert Schaller 6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 9. 23 October 1995 AustriaVienna Carpet Belgium Filip Dewulf 5–7, 2–6, 6–1, 5–7
Winner 35. 30 October 1995 GermanyEssen Carpet United States MaliVai Washington 7–6(8–6), 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 36. 11 March 1996 MexicoMexico City Clay Czech Republic Jiří Novák 7–6(7–3), 6–2
Winner 37. 15 April 1996 PortugalEstoril Clay Italy Andrea Gaudenzi 7–6(7–4), 6–4
Winner 38. 22 April 1996 SpainBarcelona Clay Chile Marcelo Ríos 6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 6–1
Winner 39. 29 April 1996 MonacoMonte Carlo Clay Spain Albert Costa 6–3, 5–7, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 40. 20 May 1996 ItalyRome Clay Netherlands Richard Krajicek 6–2, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 41. 22 July 1996 GermanyStuttgart Outdoor Clay Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6–2, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 42. 16 September 1996 ColombiaBogotá Clay Ecuador Nicolás Lapentti 6–7(6–8), 6–2, 6–3
Winner 43. 17 February 1997 United Arab EmiratesDubai Hard Croatia Goran Ivanišević 7–5, 7–6(7–3)
Winner 44. 31 March 1997 United StatesMiami Hard Spain Sergi Bruguera 7–6(8–6), 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 10. 11 August 1997 United StatesCincinnati Hard United States Pete Sampras 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 11. 13 April 1998 PortugalEstoril Clay Spain Alberto Berasategui 6–3, 1–6, 3–6

Singles[edit]

Tournament 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2010 2011 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A NH A 1R SF 3R A 3R 2R QF 3R 4R SF 1R 1R A A 0 / 11 23–11
French Open 1R 2R 3R 3R A SF 1R 2R 4R 3R W 4R 3R QF 1R A A 1 / 14 32–13
Wimbledon A A 1R A A A A 1R 1R 1R A A A A A A A 0 / 4 0–4
US Open A 1R 3R 1R A 4R A A QF QF 4R QF 1R 3R A A A 0 / 10 22–10
Win–Loss 0–1 1–2 4–3 2–3 4–1 10–3 0–1 3–3 8–4 10–4 12–2 10–3 7–3 6–3 0–2 0–0 0–0 1 / 39 77–38
Year-End Championship
ATP Tour World Championships A A A A A RR A A A A RR RR RR A A A A 0 / 4 2–8
Super 9 Series/Tennis Masters Series
Indian Wells A A A A 2R A 2R A 3R QF QF 2R SF SF 1R A A 0 / 9 14–9
Miami A A 3R 3R F A A A 3R A A 2R W A A A A 1 / 6 18–4
Monte Carlo A 2R 3R 1R A F 1R W SF QF W W 2R 1R 2R A A 3 / 13 32–10
Hamburg A QF 1R 1R A A 1R 2R 3R 3R A A 3R QF A A A 0 / 9 11–9
Rome A A 1R 3R A W 3R 1R 2R 3R W W 2R 3R 1R A A 3 / 12 28–9
Canada A A A A A A A A A A A 2R 3R A A A A 0 / 2 1–2
Cincinnati A A A A A A A A A 1R A SF F 2R A A A 0 / 4 8–4
Stockholm/Essen/Stuttgart A A A 3R 3R A A 3R A 2R W 2R 1R A A A A 1 / 7 8–6
Paris NH A A 2R 1R A A 1R A 2R 2R 2R QF A A A A 0 / 7 3–7
Win–Loss 0–0 4–2 4–4 6–6 7–3 11–1 2–4 8–4 9–5 9–7 20–2 14–6 18–8 10–5 1–3 0–0 0–0 8 / 69 123–60
Year End Ranking 98 47 56 16 21 7 35 18 9 16 3 5 9 25 189 980 1,075

Note: These events were designated as the 'Masters Series' and the 'ATP Tour World Championships' only after the ATP took over the running of the men's tour in 1990.

Private life[edit]

Thomas Muster was married to Jo Beth Taylor, an Australian television personality, from 2000 to 2002.[5] They have a son, Christian, who was born in 2001. In 2010, Muster married Caroline Ofner and they have a daughter, Maxim, born in 2009. Thomas Muster lives in Styria, a province in Southern Austria and also has a villa on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Muster, King of Clay, Gets His Slam Crown". New York Times. 12 June 1995. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  2. ^ S.L. Price (19 June 1995). "Back in the Swing". Vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "TENNIS ROUNDUP : Germany Rallies to Reach Davis Cup Quarterfinals". Retrieved 28 March 1994. 
  4. ^ "Former No. 1 Muster to retire again at age 44 – Tennis". CBSSports.com. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Gold Coast agency Celebrities Entertainment guest speakers master of ceremonies emcees MC's Brisbane Queensland hosts coordinators stars hosting award performers Sydney Brisbane Melbourne Adelaide Perth Darwin Canberra Mt Isa". Addictiveentertainment.com.au. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Thomas Muster heiratet heute". Oe24.at. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 

External links[edit]