Worship at the Thomas Muster altar - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Worship at the Thomas Muster altar

OK, so who remembers Thomas Muster, Austrian clay court master of the late 80s / early 90s?

He was the first player i really followed on the ATP tour...his never give up style and bullish attitude on court were great to watch. He's the best clay court player of the last decade and a half without a doubt and amassed 49 titles, leaving him 11th on the all-time title leaders list, yet is rarely talked about these days:

SINGLES CAREER TITLES: 1986--Hilversum; 1988--Bari, Bordeaux, Boston, Prague; 1990--Adelaide, Casablanca, Rome; 1991--Florence, Geneva; 1992--Florence, Monte Carlo, Umag; 1993--Florence, Genova, Kitzbuhel, Mexico City, Palermo, San Marino, Umag; 1994--Madrid, Mexico City, St. Poelten; 1995--Barcelona, Bucharest, Essen, Estoril, Mexico City, Monte Carlo, Roland Garros, Rome, San Marino, St. Poelten, Stuttgart Outdoor, Umag; 1996--Barcelona, Bogota, Estoril, Mexico City, Monte Carlo, Rome, Stuttgart Outdoor; 1997--Dubai, Key Biscayne FINALIST (13): 1988--Barcelona, Vienna; 1989--Key Biscayne; 1990--Monte Carlo, Munich; 1993--Sydney Outdoor, Vienna; 1995--Kitzbuhel, Vienna; 1997--Cincinnati; 1998--Estoril
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 10:36 PM
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Of course, I remember Thomas Muster, nice that you mentioned him, he was a great player with an extraordinary will to win. I saw him playing and pracitcing a few times and it was great. He was also the reason why a lot of young people started to play tennis here in Austria at the time - me included.
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-28-2003, 01:21 AM
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He was one of the first tennis players I ever saw play. Great claycourter and extraordinary career.

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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-28-2003, 07:36 AM
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Loved him. Got his autograph. Nearly knocked me over. At that moment, I would have done anything he wanted. I guess I was 15. Good times.

What a bod. Oh man

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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 03-01-2003, 07:39 AM
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My favorite memory of Thomas was after he got hit by a car at the lipton while putting rackets in the trunk of his car and his leg got badly hurt, he hit groundstrokes from a special chiar and then went on later to return to miami and i think he won that event.

anyway to come back and become number one was amazing.

also after winning so many clay events the computer placed him at number one and he was criticised.

so thomus siad "i didnt buy my points at the supermarket" that was funny
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 03-01-2003, 08:25 AM
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muster beat sampras on indoor then.

I couldn't stand him, but that was a good thing also beating the jerk on clay after the jerk had matchpoint

then the loser said muster was on drugs
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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 03-01-2003, 12:43 PM
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talk about your sore losers.
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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 03-04-2003, 03:16 AM
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I am glad that someone decided to start such a thread on Muster. He was one of the most underrated champions of all time and unfortunately because of his accident he never really achieved according to his talent. It is possible that if not for the accident of 1989, Chang would not have won that year's French Open and inspired his generation the way he did in Sampras, Agassi, and Courier. Muster may have been there to stop it from happening, and the course of men's tennis as we know may have changed. What people do not know about Muster's accident and his knee after it was that his left leg became shorter than the other, and the rest of his body and mind had to compensate. His one French Open he achieved is literally the equivalent of 10 French Opens as far as I am concerned. He may have won slams in the other venues as well. His saga is sad but he made the most of it by working hard, achieving and in the end having no real regrets because he took care of what he could not what he could not. That is an example we all should follow. Praise to Muster!!!
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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 03-07-2003, 06:17 PM
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Any pictures of him?

How many slams did he win?

You and I
Two of a kind
A meeting of minds
The time of our lives
The perfect night
Outta sight
As I look in your eyes
Never felt so right
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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Old news now, but he's back (on the senior tour at least, for now)...

from www.tennisreporters.net

They called him the "Tom-inator" and the "Moo Man". But, he was more an ox, a beast of burden. Few players seemed to be working harder when playing than Thomas Muster.

The 1995 Roland Garros champion and former No. 1 attacked points like he was an infidel storming the palace. Driven and determined, Muster stormed the great cities of Europe as the best clay court player of the mid-90s, repeatedly conquered the red dirt of the continents capitals. Between 1988 and 1994, the Austrian was the king of many cities, including Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Prague, Geneva and Florence (three times). In 1995 he went on an exquisite run rarely seen in men’s tennis: a 35-match winning streak on clay that included titles in Estoril, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome, the French Open and St. Poelten.

Beside a bellowed grunt and his topspin-heavy, left-handed groundstrokes, Muster was remembered for a drive and work ethic second to none. In 1989, he had won a breakthrough to the semis of Key Biscayne and was set to face the game's dominant player, Ivan Lendl. But, on that Saturday night, an unattended car rolled only a few feet, but crushed his leg. During his long recovery, Muster had a special chair designed so he could practice hitting balls before he was allowed to walk. The next year he was named ATP Comeback Player of the Year.

His retirement in 1999 coincided with a divorce from his wife, a former Australian TV personality. He undertook a total change of scenery by moving to Australia, and began to engage in more artistic pursuits like painting, photography and playing the drums.

Muster has now back in Austria, has refocused his massive energy on tennis and has signed up to play in senior tournaments in Europe. He sat down with tennisreporters.net before competing at a senior exhibition in Atlanta.

tennisreporters.net: How long has it been since you’ve played?
Thomas Muster: I haven’t touched a racket in, pretty much, three-and-a-half years I’ve been practicing for the last six months. This is a new experience for me. Six months is a pretty long time.

tr.net: Why did you put down a racket for that long?
Muster: I was’nt interested in playing anymore. I gained some weight. I felt like I had to do something. I started running again. You hit the ball if you can and I started to enjoy playing again.

tr.net: You let your weight get up to 217 and are now down to 167 pounds. How did you lose the weight?
Muster: Running about 10 miles a day. Gym work. Played tennis about five times a week.

tr.net: You were known as one of the fittest players on the tour. Is that one of the reasons you didn’t pick up a racket for a while, that you had worked so hard in your playing days?
Muster: It was probably a bit of burn. My career wasn’t an easy one. It had some ups and downs. I guess I got tired of doing what I was doing. Now I’m enjoying it again.

tr.net: You made news when you had that wheelchair built after that auto accident. It showed your determination to come back. Was your work in the last six months anything like that?
Muster: It felt a bit similar. It takes a bit of willpower to do it. In the back of your mind it’s "you don’t have to do it." So, your life doesn’t depend on playing tennis. So it comes down to pure enjoyment. You’re not doing it for money; you’re not doing it basically to survive. You’re doing it because you love doing it.

tr.net: What’s your schedule look like this year?
Muster: I’m playing a tournament in Austria in two weeks. And then I haven’t really decided. I don’t know if I’m going to stay on the senior tour [ATP Delta Tour of Champions] and play a few more events this year. I gave myself some time to hit the ball and make a decision on what I’m going to do.

tr.net: From an American point of view, it’s great to have an event here [in Atlanta]. We’ve been out of the senior business except for an event here and an event there. Do you think there’s any future in America for senior tournaments?
Muster: Oh, sure there is. You’ve got good examples of players in really high age performing well. You’ve got John McEnroe pretty playing solid tennis still. Jimmy Connors used to be a pretty good example. I think it has great potential. There’s always room to improve. I think the senior tour has got to be acknowledged. You’ve got Jim Courier playing now. Michael Stich. Boris Becker. That’s a generation that can play really good tennis. It’s always going to be you have stars and young players who are going to be an age where they want to play, but they don’t want to play a full schedule. If we get players who are 33, 34, they can play five, six years, you’ll have some really good tennis there.

tr.net: Are you guys are going to be more realistic with your fees and than other players have?
Muster: It’s not about money. Most of the guys playing don’t need the money to survive and to live. They want the challenge; they want to play in front of a crowd. That’s basically what they want. I don’t think it’s an issue. I mean the market is there but everyone is going to make a little bit. That’s fine. But, mainly, we want to play.

tr.net: We have a new Roland Garros champion, Juan Carlos Ferrero. Do you think he’s going to continue at that level?
Muster: Tennis is played at such a high level. Look at Lleyton Hewitt. It’s almost like you’ve got a two- or three-year rotations on No. 1s, because you’re playing on such a high level, year-in and year-out. You’ve got to get the breaks. The burnout factor is fairly high. You’re going to have people dominate for a while and then it’s going to change again. It’s just more competition. It’s very competitive. These guys are really good. The human body is still a human body. They’re not machines. You’re going year-in and year-out. It’s not only the tennis: You’re got to practice; you’ve got to prepare; you’ve got to rest. Media. Sponsors. You’ve got 10-, 12-hour days. It’s not sitting in an office.

tr.net: If you look at the three former No. 1 players who are here [Muster, Mats Wilander, Jim Courier] all had relatively short runs at No. 1.
Muster: It’s over; you can’t dominate the game for five to 10 years. Today it’s too competitive. Look at the women’s game. The first three or four rounds it’s easy. Then it starts: the quarterfinals. That used to be men’s tennis probably 10 or 15 years ago. Not now. You play five sets from the first round on. It’s tough.

tr.net: How about Roger Federer? Do you think he’ll have success on clay?
Muster: If someone is playing well on hard courts and on grass, then they say, "Can he play well on clay?" If they play well on clay, they say, "Can he play well on hard courts." He’s got great potential. He’s young. He’s going to have all the opportunities from a technical point of view. He could be a great player on all surfaces.

tr.net: Have you been surprised that Pete Sampras hasn’t elected to make a decision on his future?
Muster: No. He has a great career. Maybe he wants to have a year off and decide what he wants to do, instead of announcing a retirement and then starting to come back. He has all the time in the world to make a decision.

Theres a pic here:
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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 11:22 PM
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Re: Worship at the Thomas Muster altar

french open winner in 1995... grunted after every shot but very tough competetitor.

raises a glass to muster :-)
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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-21-2003, 05:43 AM
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Thomas Muster has been my favorite tennis player since I watched him play Noah at the Lipton in '89. I have seven 6 hour tapes of Muster matches and they are amazing. His on-court intensity is unmatched as is his conditioning and toughness. What about the semi match that he barely made it through and needed an IV after the match for severe dehydration, only to come back the next day and win the final!! He is the man forever!!
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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-23-2003, 08:09 AM
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Thomas Muster wasn't just one surface clown that people tried to make him out to be. No matter he will always be respected for his fierce determination and how he came back from his injury to come back to the top.

One of his funnier comments was when he was playing Richey Reneberg at the Aus Open. This guy wouldn't sit down and he was about to serve. He turned around to him, hey man sit down this is not cricket and yes the crowd loved that comment.

It was funny how he put on all that weight but I bet he was still skinnier than his best friend Horst Skoff.
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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 07:19 PM
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Re: Worship at the Thomas Muster altar

I love Muster, so much.

Besides my weird fascination with him... thinking he's so cute... the guy was tough. Not just because he came back from the car accident. He was by far, not the most talented player... but he fought his heart out every point.

Unfortunately, I never saw him play until 1994... so I don't know how he played for much of his early career. I wish I could find some tapes.

Originally Posted by GeorgeWHitler
Thomas Muster wasn't just one surface clown that people tried to make him out to be.
Exactly. While obviously, he won the majority of his tournaments on clay... he was an all-surface player. I hated the ignorance of tennis "experts" who said he was #1 by just dominating the clay circuit. He reached 2 Aus Open SF's, a bunch of US Open QF's, and of course that great win in Essen that I'll never ever forget.

I remember crying during '97 Roland Garros... because even then, you could tell the torch was being passed. I could tell he was really struggling in his 1st round match, and then Guga got him. That day I lost my love for men's tennis.

I last got to watch Muster in person, at his 1R match vs. Berasategui at US Open.

I miss Muster... a lot.
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 08:21 PM
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Much as I liked Muster, and certainly wouldn't have kicked him out of bed by a long stretch (might have taped his mouth), I always used to love how Stefan Edberg handled him. Muster would go out there and grunt and groand and hit is bullish lefty forehands and topspin groundies and Edberg would float into the net and cut of the angles like it was nothing.
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