PDA

View Full Version : Muster was a machine


netman
04-10-2007, 06:50 PM
Just finished watching the French Open highlights on the Tennis Channel. I had forgotten what a machine Thomas Muster was in his prime.

We all comment on how hard everybody hits the ball these days, but watching Muster made me think most players today are wimps. Every stroke looks like he is trying to rip the cover off the ball. And he was using a Kniessel small head frame that weighed about 14 oz. He prowled the court like a predator, giving absolutely nothing away. Watching him dismantle Chang, who could run all day like a cheetah, made me realize just how dominant Muster was in his prime.

Not pretty, but brutally efficient. Kind of makes Nadal look like a lightweight.

-k-

Craig Sheppard
04-10-2007, 07:06 PM
Man I hope they replay that. Muster is a monster, I want to see that again. Just wondering , has he ever been accused/investigated for the ol' loosey juicy? I know they weren't testing back in the day (at all?)... (I'm NOT accusing him, I'm a big fan of his, just asking)

rdumonde
04-10-2007, 07:11 PM
Muster had to come baack from a potential career ending injury. His knee was caught between two car bumpers after a drunk driver hit a cab that was a couple of cars back. Thomas was putting his bags into the trunk. His knee was crushed. Many doctors felt that he would be lucky to walk without a cane. But he would have none of that. Soon after his knee operation he was back on the court hitting rocks but this time he was sitting on a seat made by his coach that held his leg immobile. They both felt it was important not to lose muscle memory.

Many players would have limped away from tennis but Muster kept at it. He did make a comeback and for about 1 week or so became #1. If you Wikipedia him you will find out more. But that is such a great story.

r

OrangeOne
04-10-2007, 07:20 PM
Muster had to come baack from a potential career ending injury. His knee was caught between two car bumpers after a drunk driver hit a cab that was a couple of cars back. Thomas was putting his bags into the trunk. His knee was crushed. Many doctors felt that he would be lucky to walk without a cane. But he would have none of that. Soon after his knee operation he was back on the court hitting rocks but this time he was sitting on a seat made by his coach that held his leg immobile. They both felt it was important not to lose muscle memory.

Many players would have limped away from tennis but Muster kept at it. He did make a comeback and for about 1 week or so became #1. If you Wikipedia him you will find out more. But that is such a great story.

r

In fact, the above happened quite early in his career and before any of his big successes, he really was an amazing fighter. I remember seeing him practice on a 40+ degree day in Sydney, as netman said, every shot was 100%, and then he got into the medicine ball fitness workout on the court too. True machine in the mold of Lendl, but even more brutal....

!Tym
04-10-2007, 07:56 PM
Man I hope they replay that. Muster is a monster, I want to see that again. Just wondering , has he ever been accused/investigated for the ol' loosey juicy? I know they weren't testing back in the day (at all?)... (I'm NOT accusing him, I'm a big fan of his, just asking)

Lol, go ask ol' Boris about that. He more or less said that there was NO WAY IN HUMANLY HECK that it was possible for Muster to be running around like a mad man with more energy than he has had all match long in the fifth set on a hot day on clay after such an ALREADY grueling match against him. Of course, Becker who had never before won a clay court title before might have thought he had Muster when he was up I believe two sets to none on him in the finals of Monte Carlo during Muster's prime...WRONG.

Lol, and Becker was the one who once said the fifth set is all about heart, not tennis anymore...up to a point. I don't know about Boris, but I sure know that I'd rather have fresh legs in the fifth set than heart...though, of course, having more heart than anyone since Connors doesn't hurt either, again, lol.

Only accept of course, Muster huffed and puffed when he heard Boris had to say afterward. He was, in short, incensed and took it as an attack on him as a man.

I think Muster's stance was, if you don't like watching me jump rope like a maniac on the practice courts, that can only mean one thing. You sure ain't jump roping enough.

Pro_Tour_630
04-10-2007, 10:46 PM
Many players would have limped away from tennis but Muster kept at it

he sure did , Muster when his leg was broken he made a bench out of wood for his leg and kept practicing his shots.

http://re3.mm-a1.yimg.com/image/2098849868

galain
04-11-2007, 12:13 AM
I remember his semi final against Lendl at the AO, in baking Aussie January heat - which he pretty much lost on a bad call. Lendl - who was always held up as a machine and the epitome of the tennis professional - looked like he was dead once the match was over. Muster looked as though he would have been happy to play another 4 hours.

Deuce
04-11-2007, 01:08 AM
One of my favourite tennis memories is from about 10 years ago...
I was working at a tournament. On a beautiful summer morning, I got to the site early - 7am or so. I made my way out to the practice courts - on the odd chance that something might be going on.
I heard some balls being hit. As I approached, I saw that it was Muster and Ivanisevic hitting. Just the two of them on the court.
I settled in to watch them.
There they were, at about 7:30am, with the sun still rising, both sweating profusely already, smashing the crap out of the ball back and forth as if it were a U.S. Open Final. And out of the billions of humans on the planet at the time, only myself and two others had the privilege of witnessing this beautiful moment.

It was magical.

classic tennis
04-11-2007, 02:27 AM
Man I hope they replay that. Muster is a monster, I want to see that again. Just wondering , has he ever been accused/investigated for the ol' loosey juicy? I know they weren't testing back in the day (at all?)... (I'm NOT accusing him, I'm a big fan of his, just asking)

Actually they started testing in 82-3 & no he was never tested positive.

great player & bloody hard worker (& nice guy).

Craig Sheppard
04-11-2007, 08:21 AM
Actually they started testing in 82-3 & no he was never tested positive.

great player & bloody hard worker (& nice guy).

That's awesome, I didn't know they started testing that early. You know if he played today, all you'd hear about is how he's on the juice and how they'd need to test him more.

tkramer15
04-11-2007, 10:42 AM
One of my favourite tennis memories is from about 10 years ago...
I was working at a tournament. On a beautiful summer morning, I got to the site early - 7am or so. I made my way out to the practice courts - on the odd chance that something might be going on.
I heard some balls being hit. As I approached, I saw that it was Muster and Ivanisevic hitting. Just the two of them on the court.
I settled in to watch them.
There they were, at about 7:30am, with the sun still rising, both sweating profusely already, smashing the crap out of the ball back and forth as if it were a U.S. Open Final. And out of the billions of humans on the planet at the time, only myself and two others had the privilege of witnessing this beautiful moment.

It was magical.

I've always been a huge Muster fan and live in Dayton, OH about 45 minutes from the Mason tournament site. I've gone to the event every August since 1996 and saw Muster play in '97 and '98. He reached the final in '97 by winning four straight three setters before losing to Sampras. I got to see him practice up close in '98 and wondered what tournament and year you saw Muster and Ivanisevic in the morning?

!Tym
04-12-2007, 06:11 PM
The big thing about Muster that stook out for me besides his fitness was his ability to pound one-handed topspin backhands from an OPEN STANCE. I think that was one of the things that really separated him from the host of other great clay courters who had one-handed backhands during his era. He didn't need to step into the shot to hit a solid shot. In fact, I can't think of any other one-handed backhand player who was able to make an open stance one-handed backhand look completely routine like Muster could. It was like the savage hulk ripping them, not just anybody could pull that off.

The other amazing thing was that he was never credited as being very talented, but for a guy who did take such savage cuts at the ball, in particular with a one-handed backhand open stance like he did with a small headed frame strung ridiculously tight...he rarely mishit the ball.

netman
04-12-2007, 07:03 PM
I never saw Pancho Gonzales play but when you read about him, Muster sounds like he played a similar game. It was all about intimidation and single- minded focus on not just beating the opponent, but destroying him. Gonzales came out blasting from the start and never let up. Pure power tennis. He was supposedly a great guy, fun to hang out with off the court. But once he stepped between the lines. he showed no mercy to whoever was on the other side of the net. Muster played the same way.

!Tym is right. Watching him blast those one handed open stance backhands is awe-inspiring. The arm and upper body strength and stamina required to do it over and over is amazing. And he hits every shot hard, where ever he is on the court. You can almost hear the balls crying out in pain.

Folks that discredited him probably did so because they thought of themselves as tennis artists and couldn't stand the fact that they got beat up by a street brawler who simply pummeled them until they ran out of gas.

-k-

Kirko
04-12-2007, 07:33 PM
saw Muster play Agassi at the longwood cricket club in Boston,Ma 1988, he oblitrated Agassi. another routine day for the Moo-Man.

mctennis
04-12-2007, 07:45 PM
I've always been a huge Muster fan and live in Dayton, OH about 45 minutes from the Mason tournament site. I've gone to the event every August since 1996 and saw Muster play in '97 and '98. He reached the final in '97 by winning four straight three setters before losing to Sampras. I got to see him practice up close in '98 and wondered what tournament and year you saw Muster and Ivanisevic in the morning?

Same here. I'm in Dayton also. Love going to Mason and seeing all the quality tennis. I do miss Muster and I am also a huge fan of his. I hated that he isn't on the tour anymore. I miss his aggressive playing style and the way he just crushed the ball. I wish I had more of his matches on tape or DVD. It's hard to explain to someone how he played and how hard he hit the ball unless you actually saw him play.

Kirko
04-12-2007, 08:01 PM
Muster got me interested in the prestige pro. he was so awesome! Muster skis at my brother in law's resort in St. Anton Arlberg. my brother in law says he's a neat guy.

stormholloway
04-12-2007, 08:09 PM
You can see him play on the Champions Tour. McEnroe/Muster is a good clash.

alwaysatnet
04-12-2007, 08:56 PM
He got horribly out of shape when his career ended and just decided to get back into shape one day and did it! He lost about forty pounds in a short time. He said he treated it like a job and worked out 8 hours a day! He's a one of a kind maniac.

chrisdaniel
04-12-2007, 09:45 PM
I loved watching Muster....And I totally agree about making Nadal look like a lightweight,at least shot wise.... although someone mentioned Agassi getting wiped out by Muster,yes that happened...but in the end Agassi led the series 5-4......and had a wipe out of Muster of his own so there you go, pretty good little rivalry there...wow thats some hard hitting going on!!!!!

tkramer15
04-13-2007, 09:00 AM
I first got into tennis in 1995 when I was 12 years old (I've followed the tour closely ever since). It was the Sampras/Agassi rivalry that year that got me interested. Initially, I didn't know who the 3rd ranked player was (just some Austrian named Muster). I kept hearing about how he had won the French Open and was basically unbeatable on clay, but I didn't actually get to see him play on TV until the spring of 1996 when I caught an early morning broadcast of the ATP Tennis show that used to run on ESPN/ESPN 2. It showed the highlights from the Barcelona event the previous week which Muster had won (beat Rios in the final in 4 sets).

Finally, I got to see this guy that I had heard about. After watching the highlights, Muster immediately became my favorite. Although some people criticized his grinding style, I actually loved it. I liked Muster's grunting, huge lefty topspin forehands, impressive one-handed backhand, never-say-die attitude, incredible fitness and funny demeanor off the court. I guess I just appreciated and respected how hard the guy had to work to play that kind of style and be so successful. That was before I even knew about the car accident.

I got to see Muster play in person three times at Cincinnati, but his disappearance in 1999 was unexpected for me. I've always regretted not taking any pictures back in '97 and '98, but I just didn't think about the possibility of him retiring within a year or two even though he was close to 30 then. It was tough watching him fade in 1998 and then struggle to win matches in 1999 before quitting after the French Open. At least he came back to the Senior Tour in '03. It's been fun to follow his results against guys he played back then. I seriously hope Muster is inducted into the Hall of Fame. From my perspective he should be a lock.