Muster’s Stunning 1995 Comeback
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on 14 April 2020.
Thomas Muster dug deep in the 1995 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final, while Boris Becker considers it one of the toughest losses of his career.
Muster had barely been able to complete his semi-final victory over Andrea Gaudenzi, the current ATP Chairman, the day before, suffering from fatigue, dehydration and a lack of sugar in his blood. But after 10 hours’ sleep and a doctor’s green light, Muster extended his clay-court winning streak to 22 matches after recovering from a two-sets-to-love deficit against Becker in the final.
Muster, the 1992 champion, saved two match points in the fourth set of a 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-0 victory over three hours and 16 minutes.
“I don’t know how I won the match,” said Muster, afterwards. “After what happened yesterday, I didn’t think I could be able to play today. I would like to thank the medical service that got me ready to play.”
Becker led 6/4 in the fourth set tie-break, double faulting on his first match point and hitting a forehand into the net on the second. But his Austrian opponent fought back to capture his 20th red dirt title since 1990.
“I was feeling confident,” said Becker, who committed 82 unforced errors. “I was risking a lot on my second serve all week. At that moment I had a gut feeling to risk it on my second serve. I had all the chances in the world. But he didn’t give up.”
Unfortunately for former Monte Carlo resident Becker, who also appeared in the 1989 and 1991 finals, he finished his career without a clay-court crown. Muster rose to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 12 February 1996.