Clay-court tennis of the 90s at its finest as the best clay-court player of the years 1993-94 Bruguera, faced the best man of the years 1995-96, Muster. The Spaniard led on serve 4:3 (deuce) in the 2nd set, in the tie-break he was three points away from the set as improved from 3:6 to 5:6* – Muster finished it with a nail-overhead. In the 4th set, Bruguera came back from a break down to lead 3:2*, but the Austrian took the next four games to win the 2-hour 51-minute final (2:54 hrs lasted their other 4-set final, which Muster won in Madrid one year before: 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5). “This year, Muster is the best on clay,” the Spaniard said. “He’s won all the tournaments. He’s had a long undefeated streak.” Muster replied: “Maybe right now I am. But anyone who wins the French Open twice in a row is the No. 1 on clay. I know I’m playing really well now, but anything can happen at the French Open.” Their final at Roland Garros ’95 was highly anticipated, but Bruguera was unexpectedly beaten in straight sets in the semifinal by Michael Chang, and that loss actually ended his reign on clay-courts. The victory was worth $277,000 for Muster. Bruguera received $146,000.
Muster’s route to his second Italian Open title (the first he conquered five years before):
1 Paul Haarhuis 6-4, 6-4
2 Jan Siemerink 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
3 Bohdan Ulihrach 6-2, 6-2
Q Michael Chang 6-3, 6-2
S Wayne Ferreira 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
W Sergi Bruguera 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-3
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