An almost 3-hour repeat of the ’93 French Open final. A year before Bruguera shocked the tennis world overcoming the two-time defending champion just under 4 hours, he was the favorite in 1994 though. In the span of the year he improved his serve, and was a better clay-courter in that season (participated in finals of three successive events while Courier reached only one clay-court final in which he was badly beaten). Bruguera advanced to the semifinal not dropping a set, Courier was involved in three more-than-three-hour 4-setters, two of them were nerve-wracking, against players (Pescosolido, Delaitre) he was supposed to beat in only 2 hours more or less. Perhaps it was a decisive factor in the last two sets of the semifinal, the Spaniard was simply fresher. Actually Courier was very lucky that he hung in there after two hours of play. In the first two sets he couldn’t find his rhythm at all (strong wind), he trailed 3-6, *2:5, then at *4:5 (0/30) he committed a “double fault” – Bruguera switched his return position being sure he had a triple set point, but the umpire (Wayne McKewan) changed the linesman’s decision awarding Courier the first serve. On the repeat the American was lucky again – he played a poor forehand volley, but Bruguera stumbled, and instead of an easy passing shot down the line, he delivered a slow ball which Courier finished with his forehand volley. To some degree that match may be considered as the farewell of Courier in the elite: between French Opens ’91 and ’94 he was a regular member of the best four at Slams, even though he was 24 at the time, he added just one Slam semifinal to his resume (US Open ’95) when he also lost a three-hour 4-setter stealing the 2nd set.
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