JIM COURIER(U. S. A.)
Australian Open 1992,1993
French Open 1991,1992
For a period of a year and a half in the early 1990s, Jim Courier dominated the game. His unorthodox forehand, played with a ‘frying pan’ grip, was his main weapon and when at his peak, he was mentally tough. Courier made his Grand Slam debut in the 1988 US Open, where he lost in the second round to Mikael Pernfors. At the 1991 French Open Courier beat Todd Martin in the fourth round, Stefan Edberg in the quarters in four sets, Michael Stich in the semis in four sets and Andre Agassi in the final in five sets. At the US Open Courier put an end to Jimmy Connors' great run in the semis before being annihilated by Stefan Edberg in the final. At the 1992 Australian Open Courier beat Edberg in four sets in the final to take his second Grand Slam title. At the French he beat Goran Ivanisevic in four sets in the quarters, Agassi in straight sets in the semis and Petr Korda in straight sets in the final. Top seeded at Wimbledon, Courier lost surprisingly to Andrei Olhovskiy in the third round. At the US Open he beat John McEnroe in the fourth round and Agassi in four sets in the quarters before losing in four sets to Pete Sampras in the semis. Courier successfully defended his title at the Australian Open in 1993, beating Sergi Bruguera in the fourth round, Korda in the quarters, Stich in the semis in straight sets and Edberg in the final in four sets. At the French Open Courier beat Thomas Muster in the fourth round, Goran Prpic in the quarters and Richard Krajicek in the semis but was outplayed by Bruguera in a gripping five set final. At Wimbledon it was dry and the balls were bouncing higher than usual. Courier hit form and beat former champion Edberg in the semis but lost to Sampras in the final in four sets. At the 1994 Australian Open he lost in the semis to Sampras in straight sets. Courier gained a rare victory over Sampras in the quarters of the French but lost in the semis to Bruguera in four sets. Then Courier went rapidly downhill and struggled to win matches. Some thought it was burn out, others thought it was some sort of breakdown. At the ATP championships he was spotted reading a book at changeovers! Courier never recaptured his old form and spent the remainder of his career in the shadow of his compatriots Sampras and Agassi. At the 1995 Australian Open he led Sampras by two sets to love in the quarters before Sampras staged a great comeback to win in five sets. Courier managed to regain some momentum at the US Open, beating Muster and Michael Chang before losing in the semis to Sampras in four sets. In the quarters of the 1996 Australian Open Courier led Agassi by two sets to love and a break in the third set before losing in five sets. At the French Open he lost another two set lead against Sampras in the quarters. Courier's ranking began to fall and he struggled to remain in the top 100. He returned to form at Wimbledon in 1999, where he beat Carlos Moya in the second round and won an epic match 13-11 in the fifth set against Sjeng Schalken in the third round. Courier was taken to hospital after that match and put on a drip but was fully recovered for his fourth round match against Tim Henman. Courier had match points in an epic fifth set before losing. It was a fitting swansong for Courier and a rare highlight in his last years on the tour. After a first round defeat at the 2000 Australian Open Courier decided to call it a day and retired. He then became a TV commentator and played on the seniors tour.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 4-2, S.Bruguera 1-2, M.Chang 1-0, J.Connors 1-0, A.Costa 0-1, S.Edberg 4-2, G.Ivanisevic 2-0, T.Johansson 0-1, Y.Kafelnikov 0-1, P.Korda 2-0, R.Krajicek 1-0, I.Lendl 0-1, J.McEnroe 1-0, C.Moya 1-0, T.Muster 4-1, P.Sampras 2-6, M.Stich 2-2
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