1994 – 1995, Roland Garros

French Open, Paris
May 23, 1994; 128 Draw (16 seeds) – $4,090,101; Surface – Clay

Definitely the best chance in Pete Sampras’ career to win Roland Garros. The American came to Paris having won 41 of his 43 last matches, with three consecutive Grand Slam titles, full of confidence after triumphing in a great style in Rome – at the time considered as the second biggest clay-court tournament behind Roland Garros. In the quarterfinals Sampras was stunned by his friend and 2-time former champion Jim Courier, against whom had a 10-2 Head to Head record. Curiosity: in the opening two rounds, Sampras eliminated Grand Slam debutants – Albert Costa & Marcelo Rios, future Grand Slam champion and finalist respectively… First all-Spanish major final with an unexpected participation of Alberto Berasategui, who was playing his fourth major, and en route to the final eliminated five great players in straight sets!
All scorelines
First round: David Crary

Sergi Bruguera and Jim Courier, the men’s finalists last year, advanced in straight sets. Courier, the 1991 and 1992 champion but now only the No. 7 seed, downed France’s Jean-Philippe Fleurian 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Bruguera, a surprise champion last year when he lost only three sets, is seeded only sixth this year and has struggled with shoulder problems. But the Spaniard’s muscular baseline game looked devastating today in the early stages of his 6-1, 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over Martin Damm, the 68th-ranked Czech. ”I always feel good when I come here. This time of year, this is my home,” Courier said. “I’ll play the best I can, and hopefully that will take me a long way.” Pete Sampras, seeking to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four consecutive Grand Slam events, overpowered Spanish qualifier Alberto Costa of Spain, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. In the day’s featured Center Court match, unseeded Andre Agassi outplayed three-time champion Mats Wilander, back on the tour after three years of semi-retirement, 6-2, 7-5, 6-1. It was their first meeting since boetsch_rg94Wilander downed Agassi in five sets in the French Open semifinals in 1988. “It wasn’t a normal first-round match,” Agassi said. “I felt a sense of nerves, a sense of pressure, excitement. It was a fun start for me.” The highest seed to go out yesterday was No. 3 Stefan Edberg, who lost to fellow Swede Henrik Holm, 7-5, 7-6(1), 6-7(2), 6-7(8), 6-4 in a 4-hour, 4-minute marathon. Ivan Lendl‘s 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 loss to France’s Arnaud Boetsch wasn’t a big surprise. Unseeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 1980, the former three-time French Open champion bowed out in the first round here for the second year in a row. Petr Korda, the No. 12 seed and runner-up in Paris two years ago to Courier, was beaten, 6-2, 5-7, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2, by Italy’s Andrea Gaudenzi. Edberg’s loss on Court One came in the tightest contest of the day. After dropping the first two sets, he fought back to win the next two in tiebreakers. Holm immediately grabbed the edge in the decisive 5th set by breaking Edberg in the opening game. Serving for the match at 5:4, Holm saved three break points. On the first match point, Edberg leaped to get his racket on a lob by Holm, and the ball hit the top of the net and fell over for a winner. But Holm hit a forehand winner to earn his second match point – and this time he converted with a backhand passing shot down the line. “It was a great win, especially because Stefan doesn’t lose that much to Swedish guys,” said Holm, who had dropped all three previous matches to Edberg. For Edberg, who served 18 double-faults, it marked another frustrating setback in his attempt to win the Grand Slam title that has eluded him. He was runner-up here in 1989 but lost in the first round the next year. “It’s never easy to lose in the first round, but this is a tough one today,” Edberg, 28, said. “I had been hitting the ball quite well the last couple of days.” He acknowledged that his chances of ever winning the French Open are dim. “It doesn’t look good now,” the serve-and-volleyer said. “I won’t get that many more chances. I might have another crack at it next year, but it’s going to be very tough because age is not on my champion_rg94side.” Edberg plans to head straight to England to prepare on grass for Wimbledon. Someone who won’t be going to Wimbledon is Lendl, who announced his withdrawal from the tournament immediately after his Center Court loss to Boetsch. Lendl, 34, said he is suffering from a lingering back problem and is unsure whether he will be back here next year. “It depends how my health is,” he said. “It’s not impossible, but it’s going to take some time (to feel fit again).” It was Lendl’s last match at Roland Garros, he began his career there in 1978… French player with “wild card”, Thierry Champion [192] defeated Jamie Morgan [55] 4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5), 9-7 saving a match point in the 5th set. Champion, finalist of just one ATP tournament, but two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist (Roland Garros ’90, Wimbledon ’91) possesses 8th best 5-set record of the Open era (stand for May 2013): 11-4 (.733).

Second round: Stephen Wilson

Battered by the intermittent spring showers that drenched the French Open on Thursday, bolstered by the silver screws that keep the bones in both feet intact and emboldened by his unblemished record against Michael Stich, what else could Aaron Krickstein do but win his second-round match? In fact, Krickstein positively trounced Stich, but the 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 upset didn’t seem to surprise either the subdued victor or the sullen loser. Stich’s recent first-round losses at the Australian and U.S. opens and the second-round exit Thursday have provided a stark counterpoint to his No. 2 ranking. He committed 10 double faults and 57 unforced errors. “I didn’t serve well, and I had a little problem with my elbow,” said Stich, who took a spill in the first round, “but it’s just one of those days when you better stay in bed and don’t get up, and there’s no excuse for that. I just played bad tennis. It had nothing to do with the court or the weather or anything like that.” muster_agassi_rg94According to Krickstein, Stich without his sterling serve is like a fish out of water, especially here in Paris, where Stich’s three losses in the second round overshadow his 1991 trip to the semifinals. Andre Agassi left the court to a hero’s ovation. But not as a winner. Agassi repeatedly battled from behind — including 1:5 in the 5th set – before losing to Thomas Muster in one of the most compelling French Open matches in years. After 3 hours and 43 minutes of fierce clay-court tennis, Muster emerged with a 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 victory. Agassi bowed and blew kisses to the crowd before walking off to a standing ovation on the new Court A at Roland Garros. “It’s very disappointing,” he said. “When I got the match tied up at 5-all, my expectations were there… I just gave it everything I have and it didn’t fall for me. He picked up his level of play and deserves a lot of credit for the way he finished.” Muster was just as heroic in the second-round victory as he overcame blisters on both feet, Agassi’s inspired comeback and a crowd pulling wildly for his opponent. “At 5:1, he just risked everything because he had the match lost already,” the 11th-seeded Austrian said. “He was putting me under pressure and he had the crowd on his side. I had to play against everybody.” Agassi’s dramatic comeback efforts were nearly undermined by his language – he was warned once for an obscenity in the fourth set and received a penalty point in the fifth set for a second offense. A third violation and he would have been defaulted. Agassi was defiant afterward. “A match like that and that’s what you ask me?” he said when a reporter asked about his language. “I’ll choose to pass.” Moments later, however, Agassi criticized French chair umpire Bruno Rebeuh for giving him a penalty point for shouting out “Faggot!” at himself after making an error. In the 2nd set Agassi came back from a *2:5 (15/30) deficit, and 3:5 in the tie-break; then blew a set point leading 5:4* in the 3rd. The Agassi-Muster match was the highlight of a day that included victories by top-seeded Pete Sampras, defending agenor_rg94champion Sergi Bruguera and former two-time titlist Jim Courier. Sampras had his hands full with Chile’s Marcelo Rios, the youngest (18) and lowest ranked (283) player in the men’s field, winning 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 6-4. It was Rios’ second main-level tournament, SamPe won just one point more. Bruguera, the No. 6 seed, beat Christian Ruud, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3), while Courier wasted five match points in the 3rd set, but labored to a 7-5, 6-0, 6-7(7), 6-4 win over Stefano Pescosolido. Ronald Agenor, at 29 the oldest man left in the field, outlasted 21-year-old David Prinosil in the longest match at the tournament since the tie-breaker was adopted in 1973. It took 5 hours 2 minutes, and 71 games – played over two days – but Agenor came out on top 6-7(4), 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4, 14-12. The match was suspended at 9-all in the 5th set, the previous record in terms of number of games (1992, E.Sanchez d. W.Masur) was overcome by  seven games. “I felt better after the resumption because the first day I had a blister and couldn’t hold the racquet” said Agenor, “I drank a little Bordeaux before.” Agenor rallied from a two-set deficit also in the first round.

Third round: Stephen Wilson

rafter_rg94Australian Patrick Rafter won 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 over Thomas Muster, who ousted Agassi in the second round. Muster, a player who whips himself into such a martial frenzy that he can’t bear to sit during the changeovers, was a cantankerous competitor this afternoon. In the 2nd set, Muster indulged in a display of bad manners that threatened to become contagious: when Rafter leaped across the net to question a call, umpire Dana Loconto immediately issued the Australian a warning as punishment for imitating Muster’s bad example. “I think he found something offensive in it,” said the 21-year-old Rafter, who began crafting a reputation as an upset artist by defeating Sampras last summer and reaching this year’s Lipton semifinal. Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden, a qualifier ranked 226th playing in his first Grand Slam, surprised Richard Krajicek 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3 to earn a fourth-round match with Pete Sampras, who playing his best tennis of the tournament, overwhelmed Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in just 99 minutes. Jim Courier, the men’s runner-up last year and champion in 1991 and 1992, also advanced with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 drubbing of Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman. So did fourth-seeded Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine, but with difficulty. He outlasted Canada’s Greg Rusedski, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. ”It was a strange match,” Courier said. “He made quite a few unforced errors. It’s hard to say how I’m hitting the ball.” If tennis needed some excitement, the French Open provided plenty of it Saturday. Five men’s matches were decided in five sets, including thrillers involving fourth-seeded Goran Ivanisevic and No. 8 Michael Chang. When play ended, only one seeded player was left in the upset-filled bottom half of the draw: Ivanisevic. In one of the biggest comebacks of his career, Ivanisevic overcame Spanish clay-court expert Alex Corretja 6-7(3), 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, in a racket-tossing, fist-pumping display on Center Court. In a match played simultaneously on Court A, Chang engineered one of his patented five-set rallies but fell short against Peru’s Jaime Yzaga in a 4 hour, 25-minute marathon that ended 6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 1-6, 7-5. Also advancing to the round of 16 with five-set victories were Magnus Larsson, Javier Frana and Hendrik Dreekmann. Larsson upset ninth-seeded Todd Martin 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0, 1-6, 6-3. Midway through the tournament, 11 of the men’s 16 seeds have been eliminated an Open era record for the French. ”There’s no more respect for seeded players,” Ivanisevic said. “It’s more of an advantage not to be seeded.” Chang, the 1989 French Open champion, lost the final two games after tripping and banging his head against a small metal yzaga_rg94billboard next to the net judge. He lay sprawled on his back for several seconds before getting up. Afterwards, Chang made no mention of the incident but said he’d been bothered by back trouble for the past 10 days. ”I think I was sleeping on soft beds,” he said. “I think the beds in Europe tend to be a little softer and you don’t have that support. But I don’t want to take anything away from Jaime. I think he was tired in the fourth set and he was able to get it back in the fifth. He hung tough.” It was a battle of attrition between two baseline players with similar styles. The two traded deep topspin strokes and scrambled all over the court to chase down drop shots and lobs. And neither could seem to hold serve. The match included a remarkable 23 service breaks 12 for Yzaga and 11 for Chang and 71 (!) break points. Yzaga dominated the first two sets, dictating the play by moving Chang from side to side with his forehand shots. But then he started spraying his shots wildly and making numerous unforced errors, and Chang took advantage, winning the next two sets. Yzaga said he stopped exerting himself at the end of the fourth set to save energy for the fifth. ”I knew it was going to be all or nothing,” he said. Chang, who entered his match with a formidable 12-6 record in five- setters, appeared to have the momentum going into the decisive set. But it was Yzaga who went up a break, 4:3, and held serve for 5:3 with a pretty forehand drop shot. Yzaga served for the match in the 10th game and was promptly broken. In the next game, Chang was broken after racing for another drop shot and tumbling into the billboard. Yzaga served for the match again, and this time the game ended with him watching Chang’s errant forehand and dropping to his knees in triumph. In a duel of two Frenchmen a day before, and doubles partners, Olivier Delaitre defeated Fabrice Santoro  1-6, 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-2 saving a match point in the 3rd set (trailed *2:4 in 3rd).

Fourth round: Elliot Almond

Andrea Gaudenzi‘s fast-rising game reached Center Court at Roland Garros Stadium in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday, and it was full of surprises, if not success. Gaudenzi provided a touch of humor and drama on an otherwise drab day of tennis while losing to No. 5 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Battling the last remaining seeded player in the lower ivanisevic_rg94bracket, Gaudenzi fought for every point in every way he knew. An umpire leaving the chair during a Center Court match in a Grand Slam tournament might have been a first, but Gaudenzi seized the moment. Talking into the umpire’s microphone, he said in French: “Reprise,” meaning to start play. Then in English, he said: “Game, set, match, Gaudenzi.” Perhaps it was wishful thinking, because Gaudenzi became angry in the 4th set when a line call went against him. He received a warning for uttering an audible obscenity, and after Ivanisevic finally put him away, Gaudenzi said: “Bognar should be fined.” Then on the way to the locker room, he complained to Ed Hardisty, a supervisor of officials for the Association of Tennis Professionals. Ivanisevic will face Alberto Berasategui of Spain, who advanced to the quarterfinals when Javier Frana of Argentina retired because of a pulled stomach muscle while trailing 6-2, 6-0. “I have to come in a lot (to the net) against Berasategui, otherwise I’m going to die,” Ivanisevic said. Also advancing to the quarterfinals was German teen-ager Henrik Dreekmann. Dreekmann, who two years ago lost in the first round of the French Open juniors competition, advanced past Aaron Krickstein, who self-destructed in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss. Dreekmann, ranked No. 89, faces Magnus Larsson of Sweden, who breezed past Jaime Yzaga of Peru 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. Dreekmann, 19, lost in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open this year, his only previous Grand Slam event. “He doesn’t look like a great player,” Krickstein said. “But he’s in the quarters. He must be doing something right.” For Dreekmann it was 14th main-level tournament, but he hadn’t won a clay-court match at this level prior to Roland Garros ’94! In the second round he upset [15] Carlos Costa 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4, in the dreekmann_rg94third round came back from a break in the 3rd set to beat Richey Reneberg 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Pete Sampras had to fend off qualifier Mikael Tillstroem of Sweden, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, in a match that could easily have gone five sets. Moments earlier on Center Court, Jim Courier escaped with a 6-1, 6-7(7), 6-1, 7-6(6) victory over French favorite Olivier Delaitre. Sampras had to break Tillstroem in the fourth set to serve for the match. But the Swede did not give in easily. “I was playing the No. 1,” Tillstroem said. “I had nothing to lose.” Tillstroem, who had never played in a Grand Slam tournament, said his only goal was to not lose in an hour. If not for a few missed opportunities (four mini-set points at 4:3), the match could have continued late into the evening instead of ending after 2 hours 35 minutes. “I was surprised by him,” Sampras said. “He showed a lot of determination. I can’t play that way against Courier.” But Courier also will have to improve if he hopes to get past his old friend. A two-time winner at Roland Garros Stadium, Courier has not been on top of his game, and it showed against Delaitre. He was lucky to end it in four sets after trailing, 1:5* in the 4th. Delaitre has a weak serve, so he was not surprised when Courier broke him to begin the comeback, saving two set points in the meantime. But after breaking Delaitre to take a 6:5 lead, the Frenchman broke back to force a tiebreaker. Delaitre stopped one match point in the tiebreaker, but on the second one Courier made a nice cross shot at the net to end it. In the other quarterfinal of the top-half of the men’s bracket, No. 4 Andrei Medvedev of the Ukraine will play No. 6 Sergi Bruguera of Spain, last year’s champion. Bruguera has four consecutive straight-set victories after defeating Patrick Rafter of Australia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in 95 minutes. Medvedev ousted Jacco Eltingh of the Netherlands, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Quarterfinals: David Crary, Ian Thomsen

courier_rg94Jim Courier dashed archrival Pete Sampras‘ dream of a fourth straight Grand Slam title, outplaying the world No. 1 in four sets today in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Courier, seeking to regain the crown he won in 1991 and 1992, had lost 10 of 12 matches to Sampras, including the last four in a row. But this was their first clash on clay, and the No. 7 seed showed why he likes the surface with a relentless 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory. Courier will seek revenge in Friday’s semifinals against Sergi Bruguera, who dethroned him in last year’s final. The Spaniard, yet to lose a set in five matches here, ousted fourth-seed Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 (three set points saved in the 3rd set). At the net after match point, Courier said he apologized to Sampras for breaking the Grand Slam streak. “You go out there and play the best you can,” Courier said, speaking French to a local TV network, “That’s life.” Courier, supplanted by Sampras as world No. 1 last year, played confidently in the first set while Sampras looked uneasy, changing rackets repeatedly and missing close to half his first serves. In the 2nd set, Sampras gained confidence by saving two break points that would have given Courier a 4:1 lead. Sampras broke service for the first time in the next game when Courier double-faulted and suddenly took command. The 3rd set stayed on serve until the 9th game, when Courier broke Sampras for a 5:4 lead with help from a great defensive lob, then served out the set with an ace on set point. The 4th set turned on the 7th game, with Sampras serving to go up 4:3. Instead, after saving three break points, he hit a forehand long to go down 3:4. Courier held serve in the next game at love en route to closing out the match. The loss ended Sampras’ winning streak of 25 Grand Slam matches. It was the third straight year he has lost in the French Open quarterfinals – he has never gotten farther. On Friday will meet: No. 23 Alberto Berasategui against No. 46 Magnus Larsson of Sweden, who benefited from German inefficiency to sting the aforementioned Hendrik Dreekmann, 3-6, 6-7(1), 7-6(3), 6-0, 6-1. Of all the underdogs, Berasategui is the one to come the farthest and arrive with the best chance. At 5 feet, 8 inches (1.72 meters), with two career titles and no Grand Slam experience past the second round, he might have been overwhelmed by the taller and fifth-seeded Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, a 1992 Wimbledon finalist. Instead, it was a bit like the lion vs. the giraffe. Ivanisevic went down by 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 as Berasategui served his only two aces in the last five points of the match“I like to finish with an ace,” said Berasategui, “When I was young, I saw big players like Boris Becker finishing matches with an ace.” Ivanisevic was typically self-destructive. “I couldn’t put one, two balls on the court,” he said. The audience at Center Court reacted to Berasategui’s scurrying and yet direct style of play. His forehand, remarkably, proved a greater threat than the 11 aces conjured by Ivanisevic. The other quarterfinal was not so kind to Dreekmann, who was moving without delay toward the final four. “He was playing really well,” said Larsson, a tall Swede dressed in white. “I didn’t have a chance. He was taking the ball on the rise all the time. I felt very uncomfortable out there, but at 4:5, 15/40 – if you save your serve that time, you are still in the match.” At that stage in the 3rd set, Larsson saved the first two match points; two games later he was back in the same predicament. Match point number three was staved off with an ace – Larsson had 19 of them – while the fourth turned out to be Dreekmann’s best chance. Coming in against the Swede’s second serve, he was larsson_rg94beaten by a running Larsson forehand down the line; had Larsson been a split-moment late, Dreekmann could have trampled over him like a fast train. “He was serving unbelievable,” said Dreekmann, playing in his second Grand Slam tournament. “I didn’t have any chance to make the point. I couldn’t do anything.” He kept earning opportunities nonetheless. Match point No. 5 was rescued by Larsson’s forehand, sending them back to deuce in that 12th game. Whereupon Larsson double-faulted off of the net tape. Another match point – the sixth – and he was turning away, chuckling in Swedish understatement. “I was thinking that I’d sent my laundry out and it won’t be back until tomorrow, so I’d better stay around,” he said. He saved No. 6 with a big serve; another ace finally sent them toward the tiebreaker. By then, all Larsson needed was to take one point from Dreekmann’s serve – pull one brick out of the foundation – and the whole thing came down. The erratic Larsson simply kept the ball in play and the last two sets went by in 43 minutes. He won 14 of the last 15 games. “I didn’t know what do after that third set,” Dreekmann said, “I was only thinking of the six match points I had, and then the fourth set was gone.”

Semifinals: Robin Finn

The day had plenty of bluster, but it emanated from the wind, not from Jim Courier. Instead, the mistake-free topspin from a pair of Spaniards in a pair of less than riveting semifinals guaranteed the French Open its first Spanish-only finale ever. Courier, who hasn’t been the same stalwart player since Sergi Bruguera rendered him a former French Open champion in last year’s Roland Garros final, is going to remain a former French Open champion. Again, the damage was done by Bruguera in a flawed semifinal that denied Courier, the event’s 1991 and 1992 champion, a consecutive final-round berth for the first time in four years. Out on Center Court, where a hardy wind ruffled the marigolds along the sidelines and wreaked havoc with Courier’s aim from the baseline, Bruguera turned in another steady performance and advanced to his second consecutive French Open final, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, in just under 3 hours today. Bruguera was later pronounced “the best player on clay in the world,” by Manuel Santana of Spain, the revered two-time French Open champion who sat alongside Bruguera’s father/coach, Luis, in the stands, as he did last year. Win or lose, Bruguera will have his name etched into the record books in Sunday’s finale when he takes berasategui_rg94on his close comrade and Davis Cup teammate, Alberto Berasategui, in the first All-Spanish final in Grand Slam tournament history. The unseeded Berasategui, the only player in the draw who has yet to lose a set now that Bruguera deeded one to Courier, advanced to his first Slam final in consummate form with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 demolition of 46th-ranked Magnus Larsson of Sweden. “It’s a story for Spain,” observed Bruguera upon learning the identity of his final-round opponent. Berasategui, the 20-year-old with the inimitable twisted grip, has had the season of his life this spring on red clay, a surface on which he already has victories against Bruguera and Courier and, unlike them, has a 1994 title. “If I win, my dream will be completed,” said Berasategui, who paid no attention to his 0-2 record against Larsson when he took to the court this afternoon and served so convincingly that Larsson gained only two break points and converted neither. “It wasn’t fun,” said Larsson, of his 72 minutes across the net from Berasategui. “He just smacked the ball, and I had almost no chance unless he started to miss, and he didn’t.” Berasategui’s advancement to the final without dropping a set was amazing taking into account players he ousted: Ferreira, Pioline, Kafelnikov, Ivanisevic, Larsson – five Top 10ers, and no-one even got a tie-break against the short Basque! However, Ferreira and Frana retired against Berasategui under an hour. Courier didn’t play well enough to reach a final, much less end his 10-month drought without a title. Hoping that the momentum from his quarterfinal victory against No. 1 Sampras, the current holder of all three other Grand Slam tournament titles, would continue to rejuvenate him, Courier reverted to the wrong kind of form. “I didn’t play quite the way I could have or should have,” said Courier, who hasn’t won a tournament since August and this year has faltered in four of the five semifinals he did reach. “What I lacked a little bit of in the defining moments of the match was aggression,” said Courier, who saved a set point against his serve in the 3rd set only to fumble away two break points against Bruguera in the last game of the set. “I only seemed to find my bruguera_rg94aggression when I was behind,” he said. And whenever he found his aggression, it came at the expense of his consistency, which was dreadful. “I don’t mind losing as long as I played the way I think I should play,” said Courier. “If I’d played my best tennis, I would’ve won.” With the exception of the five-game tear that rescued him from a 5:2* deficit in the 2nd set, Courier’s game was punctuated by unforced errors, 64 of them, and mangled opportunities, all of which conspired to make this an afternoon of self-destruction for the 23-year-old American. Bruguera was not unaware of his premier role in dismantling of the ramrod confidence and rip-cord forehand that once made Courier the No. 1 player in the world and virtually invulnerable here at the Grand Slam tournament where he piled up a 20-match winning streak. “I think Jim is playing the same, but maybe the confidence he had before, he lose,” said Bruguera, “Before he was having unbelievable confidence, he was like blind, hitting everything with a feeling that it’s going to go in.” Bruguera’s confidence seems to skyrocket just in time for this Grand Slam event. In the last year, he skipped two others and fell in the first round of the United States Open, but in Paris he has compiled a 13-match unbeaten streak.

Final: Robin Finn

As Spain made a clean sweep of the French Open, with that nation’s clay-court specialists turning this Grand Slam into the Spanish Open at least for the day, Sergi Bruguera outplayed his unseeded friend and countryman Alberto Berasategui and extended his reign at Roland Garros for another year. With a 6-3, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 victory, the sixth-seeded Bruguera became the ninth man in French Open history to repeat as champion. The last was Jim Courier, the man Bruguera dethroned last year and detoured this year in the semifinals. Bruguera, who today won his first title of the year, is on a 14-0 undefeated streak atop the changeable Paris clay, and is 25-5 over all on the surface in 1994. This was the first All-Spanish men’s final in Grand Slam history, and Bruguera’s victory over the first unseeded finalist since 1986 allowed him to join Arantxa Sanchez Vicario on the victory stand. “I don’t think this win is better than the first one,” Bruguera said. “I think they’re the same, but I was very happy today to look up and see the King of Spain there.” Bruguera is generally considered to be the best in the game when dueling atop clay. The long rally becomes him, as does the mitigating effect this surface has on the importance of the serve.  bruguera_rg94_championFor two weeks, Berasategui’s hatchet forehand with its twisted grip had been the bane of every opponent. Through six rounds, he was the only man not to lose a set, and Magnus Larsson, whom he defeated in the semifinals, described the forehand as the fastest in the business. But against the unflagging groundstrokes of Bruguera, the 23d-ranked Berasategui finally appeared mortal, and today he lashed out with 65 unforced errors and lost his serve a half dozen times. “To control the forehand of Alberto is almost impossible, but you can’t be afraid of one shot,” said Bruguera, who is 3-1 against his Davis Cup companion. Today Bruguera, bothered by a callous on the ring finger of his right hand, suffered a 2nd set letdown that left him down by 4:1*, but after having the sore finger tended by a trainer during a changeover, he bounced back with a vengeance. By the time he had broken Berasategui and taken a 6:5 lead  (earlier he led 5:4, 30-all), Bruguera had committed only five unforced errors and was the beneficiary of 38 by his opponent. “I think I know how to play Sergi, but I think my legs got tired, and I think if I would have won the second set things might have changed,” said Berasategui, who had never before advanced beyond the second round of a Grand Slam, “But against Sergi you have to play at 100 percent the whole match and that’s very difficult.” Bruguera staked Berasategui a 4:1 lead in the 3rd set and this time failed to neutralize it (Bruguera had five game points to win the 8th game). But in the final set, Bruguera was again the aggressor. He sprinted off with the first four games almost before Berasategui, whose aim had deteriorated, realized the danger he was in. It didn’t take long before the underdog ballooned a backhand beyond bounds to end things. Bruguera’s 12th title. Stats of the final.


French Open, Paris
May 29, 1995; 128 Draw (16 seeds) – $4,941,266; Surface – Clay

Unprecedented time in the Open era, never before (afterwards too) a player without a Grand Slam title was such a huge favorite to get the first one as Thomas Muster in Paris ’95. The Austrian had won 23 consecutive matches on clay in 1995 (four titles) prior to the Roland Garros leaving an impression of invincibility, three matches during that streak he won from a match point down. In Paris, unexpectedly, he was also close to defeat in quarterfinals as he faced 19-year-old unheralded Albert Costa. The Spaniard was two games from a sensational 4-set victory, despite the loss his triumph in Paris seemed guaranteed, however, he had to wait another seven years to lift the trophy.
All scorelines
First round: David Crary

The only problem Andre Agassi had in his opening match Monday at the French Open was figuring out his opponent’s herky-jerky service motion. He was more bemused than confused. Karsten Braasch, a left-handed German, has a windup similar to that of a baseball pitcher. Dipping his racket and head unusually low, he then uncoils, springing forward over the baseline and hitting the ball with both feet in the air. “I have trouble reading his serve every time I play him,” Agassi said. “There is so much body happening that it is tough to keep your eye on the yellow fuzzy thing.” The top-seeded Las Vegan saw the ball well enough to pound out a comfortable 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory in 93 minutes, a perfect start to Agassi’s quest to win his first French Open title and complete a career sweep of all four Grand Slam tournaments. “When you have played here so many years and you have had so many big matches, you have a certain chemistry with it that give you a sense of peace and spirit out there,” Agassi said. “It has been really nice to be back.” Agassi, who lost in the French Open finals in 1990 and 1991, comes in as the favorite after winning the last two Grand Slam events – the 1994 U.S. Open and the Australian Open in January. “There is no question that I am here to accomplish something that I have to do,” he said. “By the same token, there is such a safe feeling being back here because I feel like I just know this place so well.” It was a quiet day at Roland Garros, with no major upsets and little drama. Two-time champion Jim Courier won in straight sets and Thomas Muster extended his clay-court winning streak to 29 matches. The Austran had shockingly been a set and break down before outplayed  Gerard Solves [191]  3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. Pete Sampras, the No. 2 seed, tumbled out of the French Open in the first round today, losing a five-set match to Austrian Gilbert Schaller. Schaller [24], in the most impressive victory of his life, came back after losing two sets to win 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 in 4 hours 2 minutes. The match was suspended by darkness Tuesday with Sampras leading 3:1 in the 3rd set. Schaller, 26, has won only one tournament in his career, in Morocco this year, and had won only one match in seven previous Grand Slams. But he returned Sampras’ powerful serves with aplomb – despite the American’s 24 aces – and scored well with his backhand. Sampras, who committed 99 unforced errors to 41 for Schaller, continued a streak of misery on clay this year. This was the fourth time in five clay outings that he failed to survive his opening match. “This loss is probably going to sit with me for quite a while,” Sampras said. “One of my major goals was to play well here and hopefully win. I had some chances and just came up a little bit short.” When Schaller led 4:3* in the 5th set (Sampras began that set with a break), a dove landed on his side of the court and wasn’t eager to fly upwards.  The last time Sampras lost in the first round of a Grand Slam was at Wimbledon in 1990, just before his first Grand Slam title at the 1990 U.S. Open.  Tenth-seeded Magnus Larrson — a surprise semifinalist last year – triumphed 6-1, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 over Jordi Arrese of Spain. Third-seeded Boris Becker, one of several serve-and-volley players overshadowed here by clay-court experts, won his first-round match Tuesday, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-3 over Javier Frana, coming back from a 2:6 deficit in the tie-break, and said he still nurtures hope of winning the first clay title of his 11-year career. “I haven’t given up the hope, I haven’t given up the desire.” Becker, 27, said. “I’m still at the age where running is fun.” Becker has a 98-47 career record on clay, including 24-8 at the French Open, where he reached the semifinals three times. Goran, Goran, gone. He’s outta there, the third straight Grand Slam in which tennis’ Dr. Strange Racket has been bounced in the first round. “I am not going to be happy. I am down. I am disappointed in this moment,” fourth-seed Goran Ivanisevic said after he was chucked to the sidelines by qualifier Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 at the French Open. And then he went into his usual share-my-funk overload. “If I have a chance, I would break all my rackets. I will stop playing tennis, you know. But, maybe, after one hour I am not going to think like that.” It was just another burp in the inscrutable Croatian’s sometimes unfathomable career. He is totally unpredictable. He plays like a genius. He plays horribly. He lost in the first round of the U.S. Open last year to Markus Zoecke and in the first round of the Australian Open to Carl-Uwe Steeb, though in all fairness to Ivanisevic, he had cartilage damage in his knee for that one. Carsten Arriens of Germany became the first player ever thrown out of the French Open when he hurled a racket that struck a linesman on the leg. Arriens, a little-known qualifier ranked 131st in the world, first was warned for throwing his racket into the net after losing the second set against Brett Steven of New Zealand 6-2. Arriens, who won the first set in a tiebreaker (8/6), then picked up his racket and hurled it toward his chair. It struck a linesman en route, bruising his lower leg. Steven was declared the winner. Sergi Bruguera, 24, became the third Spanish man to win in Paris in 1993 and repeated last year by beating countryman Alberto Berasategui in the final. Manuel Santana captured the title in 1961 and ’64, and Andres Gimeno won it in 1972. Yesterday Santana sat with Luis Bruguera, Sergi’s father and principal coach. “I think Sergi is the best player in the world on this surface,” Santana said last year. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes for Borg’s record.” Borg’s record is four in a row from 1978-81 and six in all. Don’t be shocked if Bruguera wins four. In fact, this year might be the toughest of all, because of a nagging left knee injury he sustained in February. “I am not sure going into this year, because it is a completely different preparation,” Bruguera said. “I used to play a lot of clay before the French, winning a lot of matches, having a lot of confidence, and this year I play only a few matches.” (12-4 clay-court record coming to Paris, pretty good).  Bruguera took his first step toward a third title yesterday in a strong first-round showing by downing Patrick Rafter of Australia 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(3). Born and raised in Barcelona, Bruguera is one of the few men’s players who is coached by his father. Luis is a bearded man whose passion is watching his son play tennis. This professional-personal relationship is more blessing than burden for Bruguera. “I think it can be difficult because you have the problems that are normally there between father and son, but I think in my case it is good,” he said. “My father was a very good coach and he had a lot of success before coaching me and I think he knows what he is doing. Our communication is very good, too.”

Second round: David Crary

Jim Courier, the No. 13 seed who was champion here in 1991 and 1992, breezed past Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark 6-3, 6-4, 6-0. Another seeded serve-and-volleyer (after Sampras and Ivanisevic), No. 15 Richard Krajicek, also was ousted. Andrew Ilie, a qualifier from Australia ranked only 256th, beat the Dutchman 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a second-round match. Fifth-seeded Thomas Muster, one of the top favorites for the title, powered to his 30th straight victory on clay with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory of Cedric Pioline of France. Eighth-seeded Wayne Ferreira of South Africa survived a 4 hour, 23-minute battle with three-time former champion Mats Wilander, prevailing 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-7(4), 8-6 despite fervant crowd support for the 30-year-old Swede. After saving three match points, Wilander was serving at 6:5 in the decider. Wilander won his first title here in 1982, when Ferreira was 11. Guy Forget, the highest ranked Frenchmen at No. 29, was humiliated by Spaniard Alex Corretja on Center Court, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. Sergi Bruguera and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain, the defending champions in the French Open, scored solid second-round victories today over low-ranked opponents. But the tournament ended abruptly for Stefan Edberg, unseeded here for the first time in 10 years. Michael Stich, the No. 12 seed, beat the Swede 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2, again thwarting Edberg’s hopes of completing a career sweep of the Grand Slam events. “He’s a little bit slower, maybe not as confident,” Stich said of Edberg. Stich said he expected a more difficult match and described the outcome as “a little bit sad.” “It hurts a little bit more to see him not playing that well,” Stich said. “He’s one of the heroes, one of the guys you look up to.” Bruguera, pursuing his third straight title, won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 over fellow Spaniard Emilio Alvarez, a qualifier ranked only 166th. No. 14 seed Todd Martin also advanced, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) over Slava Dosedel [62] of the Czech Republic. Dosedel miracously survived a first round encounter against a French teenager Olivier Mutis [911]. Dosedel was 1:5 down in the final set, but won 6-7(6), 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4), 8-6 – first match in the Roland Garros history in which all five sets went to 5-all! Germany’s Bernd Karbacher won a five-set marathon over Sweden’s Mikael Tillstrom, first-round winner over No. 4 seed Goran Ivanisevic. Karbacher won 9-7 in the 5th set, having won two points more (175-173). The man who eliminated second-seeded Pete Sampras had less than a day to savor his upset before he, too, was sent home. Gilbert Schaller of Austria was defeated Thursday by 20-year-old Scott Draper, a qualifier from Australia. The match took 3 hours 48 minutes as Draper [125] came back from two sets down to win, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-5, 8-6. Magnus Larsson, the 10th seed, overcame Hendrik Dreekmann, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-2. The two met in the quarterfinals last year, with Larsson winning after saving several match points in the 3rd set. This time Dreekmann saved a couple match points in the 3rd set but couldn’t take a revenge in the end.

Third round: David Crary

Top-seeded Andre Agassi rolled to his third consecutive straight-set victory at the French Open today, and Thomas Muster ran his winning streak on clay to 31 with an equally devastating performance. The third-round victories kept the two on a collision course for a possible semifinal showdown next week. Agassi, seeking the only Grand Slam title still to elude him, demolished Francisco Clavet of Spain 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 in just 89 minutes, one of the quickest men’s matches thus far. “Everything feels great,” Agassi said. “Today was the first clay-court specialist I played. It was a test for me.” The fifth-seeded Muster , who has won five tournaments in a row and lost only one set in three matches here, beat Spaniard Carlos Costa 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. Muster’s clay winning streak is the longest since Mats Wilander’s 31 straight in 1982-83. Muster will play next against Andrei Medvedev, who battled from behind to beat 1994 finalist Alberto Berasategui, the No. 11 seed. Medvedev mixed powerful ground strokes with seven winning drop shots for a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 three-hour victory over Berasategui, a skilled clay-court player with a ferocious forehand. Medvedev’s game appeared on the brink of collapse in the fourth set, as he squandered a 3:1 lead by losing two straight games at love after a jarring fall on the court. He recovered to salvage the set (saved a double mini-match point at 3:4), and took firm control in the last set, pressuring Berasategui into errors. “I’m lucky I’m sitting here smiling,” Medvedev said afterward. “I was running like a dog trying to get his forehands. I played my best tennis for sure, for a long, long time, but I also got lucky.” Berasategui emerged from obscurity a year ago to reach the final here, losing to fellow Spaniard Sergi Bruguera in four sets. Alex Corretja, one of five Spanish men in action today, eliminated No. 8 seed Wayne Ferreira 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. He will play in the fourth round against ninth-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who beat American David Wheaton 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Jim Courier, champion here in 1991 and 1992 but seeded only 13th this year, beat Norway’s Christian Ruud 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. His next opponent will be Alberto Costa, an unseeded Spaniard who downed Germany’s Bernd Karbacher 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Agassi’s fourth-round opponent will be 224th-ranked Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco, who beat a fellow qualifier, 256th-ranked Andrew Ilie of Australia 6-2, 7-5, 6-2. The men’s competition has been enlivened by the surprisingly strong showings of two little-known Australians, Scott Draper and Andrew Ilie, both in the tournament only by winning qualification matches. Ilie, a 19-year-old ranked 256th in the world, had never before won a match in any official tour event. But he stunned 15th-seeded Richard Krajicek in a second-round five-setter after beating Italy’s Christiano Caratti in first round (also in five sets). The 135th-ranked Draper, who turns 21 next Monday, beat No. 21 Jonas Bjorkman in first round in five sets, then upset 24th-ranked Gilbert Schaller on Thursday in another five-setter. Schaller entered the match with fanfare, having just conquered world No. 2 Pete Sampras in the first round. “I wanted Sampras to win, so I could play him,” Draper said. “But to be here, in the third round of a Grand Slam, it’s a dream for me.” Ilie and Draper are both playing only their second career Grand Slam. They were admitted into this year’s Australian Open as wild cards, and promptly lost their opening matches. Ilie, 19, was born in Bucharest, Romania, to an Australian mother and Romanian father. The family moved to Australia when he was 10. Draper had won only three tour matches previously in his career, all in the Japan Open when he reached the quarterfinals after winning a berth through qualifying. He hasn’t lost a set in three matches. In the third round Draper beat Richey Reneberg in four sets.   Third-seeded Boris Becker uncorked one of his vintage whines, bickering throughout a two-day match that finally ended in a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 loss to qualifier Adrian Voinea. Going into Sunday’s match, Courier was 22-1 over the last four Frenches. There isn’t a player in the tournament, including two- time defending champ Sergi Bruguera, who can match those figures. Boris has pulled this stuff before. There was his tirade at the Lipton Championships two years ago, when he failed to bully tournament officials over his schedule and walked out the next day, claiming he had the flu. This time he really went over the edge. Even his conqueror, a tall, slender unknown Romanian with something of a poet’s soul, said he felt “how do you say… shame for him because this kind of behavior is not at the same level we expect from him.” The ugliness began late Saturday afternoon in the slow, annoying drizzle that often dampens Paris. Nothing would assuage Becker’s tortured tennis soul this weekend: It was wet. The balls were heavy. Tournament officials didn’t know what they were doing. And then there was his futile attempt to play mind games with Voinea as the match slipped from his control on Sunday. “I had before the match a very good impression about Becker,” Voinea said. “He was, for me, the best one, as a person and a player. But I have to say now his behavior in the court, especially today… he wanted to intimidate me. At 3:3 in the third set, I had an advantage and break point, and I return and he was looking at me and saying something in German. I didn’t understand. But he was looking strong at me.” Becker was furious that the match had started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in dark and wet conditions after a four-hour wait. “They said it’s good weather,” he said. “We look out and we say, `Are they talking about Paris or some place in Africa?’ I can’t believe they made me play. Then it’s 9:30, and I’m home, and down two sets to love against somebody I never heard of before.” After Becker was broken to end the match, he offered a perfunctory handshake without even glancing at Voinea. It was typical of the disdain Becker showed all day. He glared at Voinea between points. When Voinea drilled a passing shot near his body, Becker took a few menacing steps toward him. Becker was denied another chance to win the French to go with his Australian, U.S. Open and Wimbledon titles. He has never won a clay-court tournament in 47 tries. Voinea barely escaped a loss in second qualifying round as he beat Stephen Matheu 11-9 in the 3rd set. Finishing another suspended third-round match, seventh-seeded Sergi Bruguera, the two-time defending champion, quickly wrapped up Brett Steven of New Zealand 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Fourth round: David Crary

You wanted so much more for Jim Courier. Despite his occasional, annoying sarcasm, there is real substance there. You can’t say that about a lot of tennis players. You always want to plumb the depths with Courier, and he can be accommodating. But there will be no plumbing the second week of the French Open. Courier is out, and the tournament won’t feel quite right without him. On a Sunday afternoon that turned chilly and then was made worse by a biting wind, he was beaten by wiry Spanish dirt-baller Alberto Costa 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 in a fourth-round match that surprised but didn’t stun people who know Barcelona tennis players. Sergi Bruguera survived his toughest match of the French Open in a fourth-round victory Monday over Magnus Larsson, but the two-time defending champion was booed off the court for a drawn-out dispute with the umpire. Upset that the umpire would not come down from his chair to inspect a ball mark, Bruguera refused to play for about five minutes during the final tiebreaker. He survived to take the match 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) but admitted his protest turned the crowd against him. Bruguera opened the match strongly (6-1, 2-all), then lost seven games in a row while dropping his first set in four matches. Larsson, who was a surprise semifinalist last year, pulled to a 5:2 lead in the pivotal third set, and had three set points on serve in the ninth game. But Bruguera saved them and stormed on to win the set.  In the controversial tiebreaker, Brugera bitterly contested a line call on Larsson forehand winner that evened the score 1:1. Bruguera insisted that the chair umpire, Soeren Friemel of Belgium, come down onto the court to inspect the mark. Friemel refused, and Bruguera – to a loud chorus of boos – sulkingly refused to resume play until a match supervisor confronted him. Larsson had the crowd behind him, but let the match slip away with three unforced errors during the last four points.  Bruguera’s quarterfinal foe will be 61st-ranked Renzo Furlan of Italy, who has moved through the fourth round without meeting a seeded player. He overcame a shaky start Monday to win 7-5, 6-1, 7-6(6) over Scott Draper, a little-known qualifier from Australia who had engineered three straight upsets. The 135th-ranked Draper, celebrating his 21st birthday on Center Court, began the match with seeming invincibility – mixing aces and ground-stroke winners to build a quick 4:0 lead. But Furlan, trailing 5:2, suddenly took command, winning 10 straight games as Draper’s errors multiplied. Draper – who had beaten three players in the Top 50 to reach the round of 16 – connected on only 51 percent of his first serves, and made 64 unforced errors to 35 for Furlan. Furlan, who had never before reached a Grand Slam fourth round, is the first Italian to reach the French Open quarterfinals since Corrado Barrazzutti in 1980. Andre Agassi powered into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, win over Morocco’s Younes El Aynaoui.  “We’re on our way,” said Agassi, who hasn’t lost a set as he pursues the only Grand Slam title to elude him. “Now it really kicks in.”

 Quarterfinals: Associated Press

Top-seeded Andre Agassi [1], hampered by a sore hip, was knocked out of the French Open today by Yevgeny Kafelnikov [9]. Agassi had sailed through the first four rounds in pursuit of his third straight Grand Slam title and a career sweep of the four Grand Slam events. But, he needed an injury timeout in the 2nd set to get his upper right leg taped, and thereafter he was a step slower in chasing down Kafelnikov’s best shots. The ninth-seeded Russian won 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time. Agassi tried to battle back in the final set, taking a 4:1* lead. But Kafelnikov came back, winning 11 points in a row to draw level at 4:4. Agassi’s first Grand Slam loss after 18-match winning streak. Kafelnikov will have a shot at stopping Thomas Muster‘s winning streak in the semifinals. Muster [5] was tested to the limit by 19-year-old Spaniard Alberto Costa [36] before surviving a five-set quarterfinal and extending his clay-court winning streak to 33. But the Austrian never wavered despite trailing after three sets, and battled to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2 victory after 3 hours 15 minutes being two games away from defeat. Muster, whose last loss on clay was in September, has the longest clay winning streak on the men’s tour since Bjorn Borg in 1979-80. But Costa, although nervous about playing his first match on Center Court, said he was not awed by the most feared player of the season. “I really believed that I could win, and I wasn’t impressed by the fact he hadn’t lost,” Costa said. “But I felt tired in fifth set. When you’re feeling tired, he’s still feeling fit.” Muster, in turn, said he wasn’t surprised by Costa’s strong play, but he said he could have avoided such a struggle by converting some break points in the second set. And he said the five-set battle would not pose a problem of fatigue for the semifinals, because he had two days off to recover. Later on in 1995, Costa took a revenge on Muster overcoming the Austrian in five sets in Kitzbuhel. Sergi Bruguera [7], winner of the last two French Opens, and 1989 champion Michael Chang [6] moved to a semifinal showdown with straight-sets victories today. Bruguera, seeded seventh despite his two successive titles, advanced with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Renzo Furlan [61] of Italy, who was battling leg and back injuries. Chang, seeded sixth, breezed past qualifier Adrian Voinea [128] of Romania, 7-5, 6-0, 6-1, in another one-sided match. Voinea, who had ousted third-seeded Boris Becker in the third round, held two set points in the ninth game (5:3) but squandered both. Chang won the next 12 games (till 2:0 in the 3rd set) as Voinea’s resistance collapsed. The American converted his third match point just as a rain shower began over the Center Court. Furlan took a three-minute injury timeout after the first game of the second set while ATP trainer Bill Norris sprayed Furlan’s left hamstring and put a special tight elastic strap around it. “I felt pain, I couldn’t move too fast and Bill also gave me two aspirins,” Furlan said.

Semifinals:  Nesha Starcevic

Michael Chang ended Sergi Bruguera‘s reign as French Open champion today, beating the two-time winner 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-6(0) in the semifinals. Chang will play Thomas Muster for the title. Muster, playing the kind of awesome tennis that has made him invincible this year on clay, overwhelmed Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 in the first semifinal. Bruguera won the tournament the last two years but was seeded only seventh this year, one spot below Chang. And the outcome confirmed the rankings. Chang, who became in the youngest champion in the history of Grand Slams when he won here in 1989 at the age of 17, outlasted the Spaniard in a duel of long rallies from the baseline. Bruguera had won 19 consecutive matches at Roland Garros since losing to Ivan Lendl in the first round of 1992. Chang used one break to win the first set. A trade of breaks in the second forced the set to the tiebreaker, which Chang won on two Bruguera errors, a long backhand and a wide forehand. Twice Bruguera went up a break in the third set, and twice Chang came right back. Serving for the set, Bruguera fell behind 15/40 and dropped his serve, after two weak drop shots that were easily exploited by Chang. The American fought off a break point in the next game and the last two games went with serve. In the tiebreaker, Chang jumped to a 5:0 lead as Bruguera appeared to surrender. He double-faulted and then hit a backhand into the net to lose his crown. Muster simply rolled past Kafelnikov. “I felt like a small mouse against a big elephant,’‘ Kafelnikov said after the short match. “I felt that he is something unusual. I didn’t think that I could beat Thomas. Thomas is something like a wall, he’s unbeatable.” “I’m not unbeatable, I’m just a human being. It takes a lot experience to play a Grand Slam semifinal.” Muster’s lopsided victory extended his streak to 34, the longest since Bjorn Borg’s 34-match run ended in 1980, and it took him to the first Grand Slam final of his career. “One more to go for me, but winning or losing is not going to change my life,” he said. Muster, seeded fifth, was never challenged by Kafelnikov, who ousted an ailing top-ranked Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals. Kafelnikov is often called ‘Kalashnikov,’ after the weapon, by his peers, but Muster had all the big-caliber guns today. He broke for a 2:0 lead and cruised through the first set. He was two sets up before the match was one hour old and before many among the crowd on Center Court had returned from lunch. Kafelnikov, a ninth-seeded 21-year-old Russian playing his first Grand Slam semifinal, tried coming to the net more but even that could not save him. “I stayed on the baseline in the first two sets and it didn’t work. So I tried serve and volley but that didn’t work too well either.” Muster employed his full rang Becker was furious that the match had started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in dark and wet conditions after a four-hour wait. e of shot – drop shots, lobs, searing forehands, passing backhands. Kafelnikov held his second break point of the match at 4:4 in the third set. The Austrian replied with a brilliant cross-court forehand and then slammed two aces. The rest was a formality and it ended after 1 hour, 23 minutes. “I expected Thomas to beat me but I thought the match could be a little bit longer,” Kafelnikov said.

Final: David Crary

Maybe he isn’t unbeatable. But in this match, 10 years after turning pro, six years after a drunk driver shattered his knee, there was no way to stop Thomas Muster from at last becoming a Grand Slam champion. Crowning his perfect clay-court season with the trophy he dreamed of as a child, Muster fused firepower and willpower to overcome Michael Chang in straight sets Sunday in the French Open final. Suspense was short-lived, yet the play often was spectacular, with Chang battling tenaciously enough to bring out the best of Muster ‘s awe-inspiring clay-court talent. “I don’t look at anyone as unbeatable. Everyone’s human,” Chang said after losing 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. “But there are times when some players are very, very tough to beat.” Muster has been tough to beat for a long time, winning six tournaments in a row. The 121-minute final was his 30th straight victory, longest streak on the men’s tour since Ivan Lendl in 1985, and his 35th straight victory on clay, third-longest in the Open era. It was the first Grand Slam title for Muster , 27, who is the first Austrian to win one of the four elite events. Fans in his hometown of Leibnitz, Austria, cheered every winning point as they watched a giant video screen in the main square. His career appeared in jeopardy in 1989, when a drunk driver in Florida rammed into him as he stood behind his car, severing ligaments in his left knee. Muster practiced groundstrokes while seated on a bench, later worked out on crutches, and made an astounding comeback just six months after surgery. But while he developed into one of the world’s top clay-court players, superstardom and Grand Slam success eluded him – until Sunday. “I always believed I could do it,” he said. “It’s great that I could prove it today… that makes me happy even six years later.” Briefly, Chang looked capable of dashing Muster ‘s dream. The 23-year-old American – in his first Grand Slam final since winning here in 1989 – won an early service break and took a 4:1 lead. But the match turned in the sixth game, when Chang lost a 0/40 advantage and failed to convert four break points as Muster refused to crack. The Austrian won that game and 10 of the next 12 to take command. His groundstrokes seemed to gain intensity as a point progressed, until the crowd was gasping at their ferocity. “From 5-2 on, the tide swung quite a bit… things didn’t fall my way,” Chang said. On the verge of trailing 5:1, Muster said he was already thinking about how to make a comeback in the second set. “It didn’t look good,” he said. “I just moved further into the court – I was staying too far back. He started missing, because I put more pressure on him, and I really got on a good roll.” Muster dominated the 2nd set, winning it in 30 minutes. Broken in the third game to fall behind 2:1, the usually impassive Chang yelled at himself, but Muster won the next three games anyway. Chang made a last stand early in the third set, taking Muster to 3:3 even though he had to save three break points in the fifth game to do so. In the seventh game, Chang tried desperately to hold serve again, at one point making an incredible retrieve of an overhead only to have Muster answer with a drop volley to gain break point. Muster won the game by lobbing back a Chang overhead, then taking the offensive to ram home a groundstroke winner on the tape. Smelling victory, he thrust his first through the air. Muster’s 29th title. Stats of the final

1 Response to 1994 – 1995, Roland Garros

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    YT films:

    Agassi vs. Wilander – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JZpov0LNZs
    Muster vs. Agassi – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARAmugAt7GI
    Sampras vs. Rios – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CjYOtBTbJ4
    Ivanisevic vs. Corretja – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGt9syGgx1w
    Bruguera vs. Rafter – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LHLUnq1ZiY
    Courier vs. Delaitre – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDJN0MIX1f8
    Courier vs. Sampras – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op5UsMc_Weg
    Bruguera vs. Berasategui – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozw6ZLh-uMA

    Entire matches
    in English:
    Schaller vs. Sampras – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD6QUIp9KqI
    in German
    Muster vs. Chang – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6iY4Te10tc

    Short clips in French:
    Agassi vs. Clavet – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWAUsHXW8nM
    Boetsch vs. Enqvist – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOBPvFrDj5s
    A.Costa vs. Raoux – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm59uKjcRS0
    Agassi vs. Woodbridge – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFHyv6Zy2wM
    El Aynaoui vs. Ilie – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itwJ0jHdaaM
    Stich vs. Boetsch – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b976F7LO1Q
    Bruguera vs. Larsson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K9SO64sMFs
    Chang vs. Stich – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlEFy7COQuU
    Muster vs. Medvedev – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNPUmd9zJiA
    Bruguera vs. Furlan – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_VSZjxZdRk
    Kafelnikov vs. Agassi – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SXZM7X_0dM
    Muster vs. A.Costa – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv_SLx8jISQ
    Chang vs. Voinea – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz2cjsRtQvc
    Muster vs. Kafelnikov – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XnB6wW3ezc
    Chang vs. Bruguera – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC7rfO8ROcw

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