rome96muster_krajicek

rome96muster_krajicek

Points won by each set: [ 32-19, 30-28, 21-31, 28-23 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
25 % Muster – 27 of 105
25 % Krajicek – 27 of 107

Even though Muster [2] was a “King of Clay” at the time, the score of the first two sets surprised many… due to a few of factors: Krajicek advanced to the final playing superb tennis, he hadn’t even face a break point in his previous match vs Muster (6-4 6-4 on clay two years before), and the Austrian generally couldn’t play his best tennis against serve-and-volleyers. Krajicek [25] fell down serving at 2-all (deuce) in the opening set, and perhaps lost his volley rhythm because of that. At the beginning of the 3rd set he saved three break points and broke in the following game with the help of his first two BH winners to make the final more competitive. In the 4th set the Austrian was 15/40 twice on serve, including the last game. “There is no must for me to be the favorite,” Muster said about being again the main favorite to claim the French Open title. “I am, I guess, because I’ve played well but there is no guarantee. I’m expecting to do well, but if I don’t, I won in Paris once already. There is much less pressure than last year.” Krajicek exaggerated: “He is No. 2 or No. 1 in the world because he wins 99% of big points.” A few months later they face each other for the fourth and last time in Hannover (Masters) and the Dutchman wins 7-6 6-7 6-3 taking the deciding break at the beginning of the decider.

Muster’s route to his 40th title:
1 Herbert Wiltschnig 6-3, 6-0
2 Petr Korda 6-2, 6-3
3 Todd Martin 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
Q Marcelo Rios 6-3, 6-2
S Albert Costa 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
W Richard Krajicek 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

# Martin led 6-1, 4:3 on serve; Muster two games away from defeat at 4-all in the 3rd set vs Costa too… almost a copy of Muster’s Roman title a year before, then he also won the final in four sets, having played two similarly difficult matches en route to the title (2R & SF in 1995 while 3R & SF in 1996)

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