mc96muster_costa

Points won directly behind the serve:
11 % Muster – 18 of 151
9 % Costa – 14 of 147

Muster’s 35th consecutive win on clay after a 3-hour 12-minute contest. He led 3:0* in the 3rd set, and trailed *1:2 in the decider to win the last five games finishing the tournament with a forehand inside-out winner. Muster won the Monte Carlo title second successive year after a 5-set struggle (in 1995 against Becker it lasted five minutes longer). “I probably used my power better at the end, and when it was necessary, I put more pressure on him,” Muster said. “He was tired at the end, I think.” “My game doesn’t suit him,” Costa said. “I play a lot of points on his backhand. I mix the game, and I win many points and that bothers him. I got him into a fifth set and I couldn’t do any more.”

Muster’s route to his 39th title:
2 Tomas Carbonell 7-5, 6-4
3 Carlos Moya 6-2, 7-6(3)
Q Sjeng Schalken 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
S Cedric Pioline 6-3, 6-3
W Albert Costa 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

* Schalken had an easy volley to lead 3:0* in the 3rd set vs Muster

# Comparison of their three 5-setters within 10 months:
French Open ’95 (QF): Muster 6-2, 3-6, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2… 197 minutes… Breaks: 9/5
Kitzbuhel ’95 (F): Costa 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-4… 193 minutes… Breaks: 5/4
Monte Carlo ’96 (F): Muster 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2… 192 minutes… Breaks: 12/9

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