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Did Thomas Muster Under-Achieve In His Career?

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Thomas Muster!

World Number 1 for a combined 6 weeks (1 week + 5 weeks)
44 Career Titles
inc. 7 Super 9 Titles
Won 614 Career Matches
Won 414 Matches On Clay
Superb Career!


However!

- Only 1 Grand Slam Title Out Of 39 (never reached another final!)

- For All His Supremacy On Clay, He Only Reached The French Open Semi Finals On One Other Occasion.

- He Also Only Reached The Quarter Finals Of The French Open On One Other Occasion. Other Than That, R16 Twice, R32 Four Times, R64 Twice, R128 Three Times.

- Only 2 SF's, 4 QF's And 3 R16's In Grand Slams On Other Surfaces - in 15-year career!

- Never Won The ATP Tour World Championship/Olympics/Davis Cup.

- 13 First Round Grand Slam Exits + 3 R64 and 9 R32 Exits!

- Never Won A Match At Wimbledon
 

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Fed Fo Mod
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I think he underachieved Grand Slam wise. He was such a great player on clay but he only made it past the 4th round at Roland Garros 3 times like you mentioned which is amazing. He did lose to a some great players like Courier, Guga, Stich but still.

Injuries didn't help his cause. Nor did learning to flatten out his shots so late in his career. He had trouble against attacking players but got better near the end of his career which showed with good hard court results. I think the last tourny he won was in Miami and not on clay.

To sum it up, he was a great claycourt player who won a lot of little tournaments, some big ones on clay and underachieved at Roland Garros. I don't think he underachieved overall because there were some great players he had to contend with in his prime that were better than him. When he was beginning, Lendl was there. As he matured, Edberg, Becker, Agassi, and Sampras had more talent. Near his prime, Courier played extremely well.

He was a pleasure to watch though, not because his game was beautiful, but because of the intensity and the determination he played with.
 

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Considering he nearly lost his leg in a nasty tumble with a car (in Florida wasn't it?), I'd say his fighting spirit brought him back from the dead to achieve more than most mere mortals (ATP pros, that is) ever accomplished.
 

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he did pretty well. his game required a lot of energy and i think he got a bit burnt out towards the end of his career with injuries and i think personal problems taking their toll. still goes down a name to remember. being left handed is something to be proud of as well ;)
 

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Certainly not. Hadn't he worked so hard, he'd have achieved much less. I agree, however, that he could have done better at RG.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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No, he made the most use out of his talents and should have won the AO in 89 against a wilting Lendl in searing heat, all for a missed volley.

Muster hating playing serve/volleyers anywhere and 3 of this losses at RG were Sampras, Rafter and Stich. He did the best he could with the game he had, it's not like Muster was full of natural ability.
 

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NYCtennisfan said:
I think he underachieved Grand Slam wise.
Yes I see your point. Considering that Muster was a constant fixture in the top 25 for 8 or 9 years, maybe he underachieved a bit overall in that category, even though he won a Slam of course. He has a few SF and QFs, but maybe he could have added a few other ones. Also a few years in Roland Garros he just got bitchslapped by other good players like Courier (twice) or Stich (who had one last great run back then and was capable winning against everybody on every surface), Kuerten, and ran into them quite early.

But I think Muster doesn't/shouldn't complain, he was a very hard worker, had one hell of a comeback from his very severe injury/accident which probably means in most cases the end of the career for most players, he won enough Mickey Mouses and other titles, he won lots of Masters, reached #1 and the cherry on the cake: French Open
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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What people forget is that Muster's leg was shorter than the other after the accident and actually couldn't play too many weeks in a row on a hardcourt and it was that which effected his hip that stuffed him up, but he has done a lot more than players with 50 per cent more natural talent.
 

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I would have thought Muster is the perfect example of how to make the most of your ability.

He won a lot of the smaller tournaments on clay. So his schedule was built around one surface and achieving tournament victories. If he had wanted to target Roland Garros more he might have played a different schedule.

Coria has yet to win the French and it must be touch and go if he will now that Nadal has emerged. He too is a superb player on clay but limited threat on other surfaces.

Muster overachieved not underachieved.
 

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kundalini said:
I would have thought Muster is the perfect example of how to make the most of your ability.

He won a lot of the smaller tournaments on clay. So his schedule was built around one surface and achieving tournament victories. If he had wanted to target Roland Garros more he might have played a different schedule.

Coria has yet to win the French and it must be touch and go if he will now that Nadal has emerged. He too is a superb player on clay but limited threat on other surfaces.

Muster overachieved not underachieved.

I completely agree with your comments! Muster was a very hard worker and got the best out of his abilities. I always liked watching him live at the US OPEN.
 

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GeorgeWHitler said:
What people forget is that Muster's leg was shorter than the other after the accident and actually couldn't play too many weeks in a row on a hardcourt and it was that which effected his hip that stuffed him up, but he has done a lot more than players with 50 per cent more natural talent.
NO idea it wasn't that bad :sad:
 

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wcr said:
Considering he nearly lost his leg in a nasty tumble with a car in Florida (wasn't it?), I'd say his fighting spirit brought him back from the dead to achieve more than most mere mortals (ATP pros, that is) ever accomplished.
:eek: so that's what happened. Thomas :hug: Thank god his butt was intact :drool:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Do people have a theory of why Muster did so well on clay, but rarely produced his best form at Roland Garros?
 

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Boris Franz Ecker said:
Essen was a Super 9 indoor event for one year, Muster won it and beat Sampras in semi final.
You are spot on, my friend!

He defeated the great MaliVai Washington in the final 7-6 (8/6) 2-6 6-3 6-4
(October 1995).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
kundalini said:
I would have thought Muster is the perfect example of how to make the most of your ability.
Yes, true, but why was he able to make the most of his ability in Super 9 tournaments and other tour tournaments, on a regular basis, but (other than RG 1995) never in grand slams?
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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cleverdutchclogs said:
Do people have a theory of why Muster did so well on clay, but rarely produced his best form at Roland Garros?
He hated playing serve/volleyers and the fact that 3 of his RG losses came to Sampras, Stich and Rafter illustrates that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
GeorgeWHitler said:
He hated playing serve/volleyers and the fact that 3 of his RG losses came to Sampras, Stich and Rafter illustrates that.
What accounts for 10 of the other matches he lost there?
 
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