montreal93pernfors_martin

montreal93pernfors_martin

Points won by each set: [ 27-36, 32-19, 38-36 ]
Points won directly on serve:
24 % Pernfors – 24 of 98
28 % Martin – 26 of 90

There are four shocking triumphs in the Mercedes Super 9 history (the predecessor of Masters 1K): Pernfors (Montreal ’93), Roberto Carretero (Hamburg ’96), Chris Woodruff (Montreal ’97) & Albert Portas (Hamburg ’01). Pernfors’ case is different because the Spaniards and the American claimed their shocking titles not having achieved any big results. Pernfors [95], a French Open ’86 runner-up, was considered as a broad elite player in the second half of the 80s, but when he began struggling with injuries at the beginning of 1990, he had won only two minor titles at the main level. His physical problems lasted three years in total, he dropped to No. 993 at one stage! The healthy 30-year-old Pernfors came back to the Top 100 thanks to three Challenger titles (all on clay), and his win over Stoltenberg in the 2nd round could already be considered as an upset. And then in the 3rd round happened something unimaginable – he defeated 6-3, 6-2 Jim Courier [2] to whom had lost a few months earlier 0-6, 3-6 in Key Biscayne! It boosted his self-confidence so much, that in his another two matches he eliminated much higher left-handers in straight sets. For the 23-year-old Martin, the advancement to the final was career-best achievement at the time. Early on it seemed that he couldn’t lose the match: 25 cm taller, better server, also more aggressive receiver. He led 5:0* (30-all) when Pernfors played an excellent forehand lob and since that moment the final changed its progress. Very surprisingly at the beginning of the 2nd set the Swede won as many as 12 points in a row! Martin [20] led 5:2* in the 3rd set anyway, yet he somehow managed to lose five games in a consequence of his tentative play and Pernfors’ agility. The Swede converted his first match point after the longest rally of the final (20 strokes).
I’d say that Martin is the only guy out of the best 20 players born in the 70s, who never won a really big title (an event gathering all the best in the world). It was the first of his four big finals, preceding Aussie Open ’94, Munich-GSC ’95 & US Open ’99.

Pernfors’ route to his 3rd and last title:
1 Mark Kaplan 6-2, 7-5
2 Jason Stoltenberg 6-4, 6-4
3 Jim Courier 6-3, 6-2
Q Alexander Volkov 6-2, 6-1
S Petr Korda 7-6(4), 7-5
W Todd Martin 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

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