brussels92becker_courier

Points won by each set: [ 43-47, 15-25, 44-44, 51-48, 40-34 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
32 % Becker – 62 of 193… 30 % Courier – 60 of 198
Winners by percentage:
36 % Becker – 70 of 193… 34 % Courier – 69 of 198

Extraordinary 4-hour 54-minute match which was begun and finished with Courier’s double faults – the only final in the Open Era, in which the loser found himself in a good position to win the match in three consecutive sets he lost! Courier entered the event as a new No. 1 in the world, skyrocketing his self-confidence, and also from the mental point of view he was like a giant at the time. A week earlier he won a marathon match against Woodforde in San Francisco, saving a triple set point in a tie-break; he saved set points in two different sets against Volkov (7-6 7-6) too, and a double set point against Forget (7-6 6-4) in matches preceding the final against Becker [5]. So if the American player had won one of his match points against Becker, he could have extended his winning streaks in tie-breaks to 7, and his record overall at the beginning of 1992 to 15-1. He lost in five sets though, and who knows, maybe that bitter loss defined to some degree his career – he won’t be neither specialist of long tie-breaks, nor specialist of winning five-setters… only five days later he lost to Goran Ivanisevic 6-3 6-7 6-7 in Stuttgart, that time squandering two match points. In the future he will lose three times more very important matches leading two-sets-to-love – twice to Sampras, once to Agassi.

1st set: Courier wasted a set point at 5:4* with an easy miss (passing-shot), but improved in the tie-break from 0:2 to 6:3
2nd set: Courier quickly jumped to a 4:0 lead
3rd set: they held twelve times without problems, in the tie-break Becker fought off three match points – 5:6 (FH volley), 6:7* (Courier’s FH error), 7:8 (smash)… Becker converted his third set point with the help of the net-cord
4th set: Becker saved two break points at 0:3, another two break points at 1:4, and he was two points away from defeat at 5:6 (30-all) and *4:5 in the tie-break… he waited 3 hours 18 minutes to create his first break point opportunity which he converted at 2:4!
5th set: Becker improved from 2:4 to 5:4* (40/15) and converted his fourth match point in the 12th game

Becker’s route to his 32nd title:
1 Jonas Svensson 6-4, 6-0
2 Patrick McEnroe 7-6(6), 6-1
Q Carl-Uwe Steeb 6-4, 7-6(3)
S Stefan Edberg 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
W Jim Courier 6-7(5), 2-6, 7-6(10), 7-6(5), 7-5 – 3 m.p.

Courier’s five defeats as he led 2:0 in sets:
Roland Garros ’89: 4th round, Chesnokov 6-2, 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 5-7
Brussels ’92: final, Becker 7-6, 6-2, 6-7, 6-7, 5-7
Australian Open ’95: q-final, Sampras 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 4-6, 3-6
Australian Open ’96: q-final, Agassi 7-6, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 2-6
Roland Garros ’96: q-final, Sampras 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 4-6

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