Btw, regarding the individual posters who felt this, it's not important. Just a difference of opinion and/or who you're more a fan of, everyone has one, it's not really a big deal either way.
As for the beginning of the final, I don't remember much. I watched the match once, and I just remember being frustrated at why Bruguera wasn't willing to dig deeper. Yes, he was getting pasted, but still, come on, it's the French Open final, you've had two injury plagued years now, so just lay it on the line. I don't know what it was, but he just felt to me really "flat" I think is the word, and could just never get that really "activated" look you see from players when their mind and body both are really actively engaged in a match. I kind of liken it to how Ferrero in his first French final, just had that same feel to him, Safin in that Johansson Australian final. I just don't get it, sometimes you have days like that, whether it be nerves, your opponent in the zone, or whatever else, but geez, LAY IT on the line, do something, slap your face, pour a bucket of water on your head, something.
In other words, you know how Becker was one of those guys where he was on or off, "it" or not. BUT, the difference is that on his bad or flat days or when the other guys in the zone like Stich in that Wimbledon final, he didn't just lay down and die, and almost look eager to shake hands in the end and just get it over with.
Becker I remembered was freaking howling to the moon. When Becker had these days where he just couldn't get it going (and ALL players get these days), he would start howling and screaming and cursing at himself in German in that embarrassing way of his.
That was my biggest frustration with his performance that day, he didn't leave it all on the line. If you lose, if you get smoked, ok, whatever, it happens to EVERYONE, even the GOAT's level candidates, but don't just raise the white flag in the third set, and wear the no ma's, too good today for me chap, you seem like a great guy, and maybe our girlfriends can share lunch sometime in the clubhouse body language. That's what I loved about Connors and Chang, they were going for your throat no matter how good or bad they were playing, irrespective of what their opponent was doing to them.
Anyway, I tried to download the match, but could get no sound. Watched the highlights, and that was about it. They probably were both tight in the beginning, but I don't remember it lasting for long, not for Guga at least. I just remember him zoning, and years later saying that he could never play that well again, that when you get older, you think too much, think a lot more, that he just swung out that day and everything was just going in like it was practice and he couldn't believe it.
This was in response to the reporter saying that when Bruguera was younger, he seemed to swing with such freedom and without fear, he was so loose (this is what struck them), but then as he got older, and the injuries, and years wore on, he seemed to lose that. That (they) the press had observed that he just wasn't as "free" and unhibited in his play anymore. And if he thought he was seeing the same thing in himself.
And Guga, responded as above, basically, saying oh yeah, of course, when you're young you don't think too much. Another way to think of it is that I think as you get older and more experienced in life, you get more JADED.
You see more good and bad, and as you become more aware of the possibility of failure, and realize how hard it really is to do what you do, now it's suddenly harder.
Navratalova is one who is ALWAYS one to point this out. Saying that when your young and stupid, it's easy to just swing for the fences. You're too stupid, you don't know any better. In other words, as you get older, you become more aware of how many different ways there are to LOSE...rather than there are to win. It's really how you look at it, and that's what age and "life experience" does to you. You become dissilusioned...rather than just going straight for the jugular, going straight for the throat. You gonna just stand there thinking about tackling somebody, and which angle to take, and which foot to take off on, and how deep should I bend my knees before taking off, OR you gonna just TACKLE him for Christ's sake!
I felt like Bruguera was thinking philosophical, what have I been through to get back here these past few years, and all that "self-help" mumbo jumbo? And I think Guga was thinking, hey that trophy looks cool, I want to win one of these too!
Btw, Courier's racket was the Wilson Pro Straff 6.0 85, don't know if it was the St. Vincent batch (I think it was), but for what it's worth Courier was a well-known 6.0 85 user, as was Mary Pierce back in those early years too. He strung his rackets very tight, like 67lbs. or so I believe, with plain synthetic gut (don't know if he was using the fabled Gosen JC Courier namesake string back then or not though). Back then, Courier was thought to be unusual in that he didn't use VS natural gut. Back then, natural gut was basically considered like Luxilon these days, i.e. the absolute pinnacle in performance, and if you weren't using it and paying for it out of your own pocket, you were losing. Courier, however, didn't like the excessive spring of gut, and preferred the more predictable string bed of plain old synthetic gut strung tight.
It suited his game very well, me thinks. A board like response from a stiffer small headed frame. I think it gave him the pin point bullet-like response and control he desired on his forehand.
As for Bruguera, McEnroe couldn't get over how small the grip Bruguera used was. He said he's got to use the smallest grip on tour from when he picked up his racket or something to that effect. He did this, as noted, to try and get extra whip on the ball. As Cliff Drysdale would always be want to point out during Bruguera matches, Bruguera's got the whippiest, wristiest, forehand motion in the history of the game and it's not really even close.
Back then, Bruguera also was known to string his rackets very, very low. I believe the range he'd string at was something like 46lbs. to 52 or 53lbs. I don't believe he used gut, but instead some Technifibre multifilament (maybe an earlier version of 515? I don't know exactly).
You can hear the difference in pitch between the looseness of Bruguera's harmonic strings and tension and Courier's crisper, cleaner, purer, more plank-like sounding string bed.
As for the actual model, I think Thomas Martinez, stringer to the pros, said it was a Kneissel White Star or something or other painted or something or other. Honestly, I'm not exactly sure. I've always been curious about that too. I really don't know what the heck he was using, I just know it's one of the FUGliest rackets I've ever had the misfortune of laying my eyes on. I'm not a fan of ugly rackets, and that racket to me, was most definitely ugly. First, there was the ugly plain black paint job. Next, there was the Volkswagen Bug like, curves of the thing...eww, puke city. I mean seriously, what were these engineers thinking when they designed this thing?
I will say that the racket did look rather primitive, not unlike Courier's.
I don't imagine that it could have been that powerful, as Bruguera switched to Yonex for endorsement money reasons it seems once he became a star. He said that it took him awhile to adjust to the new frame, as he had to adjust his strokes to tame the power, it was more powerful than he was used to. He said it took him awile to get used to that, that he felt he couldn't swing out as freely with the RD-7.
The RD-7 was not a tremendously powerful racket by the way. It has decent pop for a player's racket, but really it's not a power racket by ANY stretch of the imagination. A Pure Drive Plus feels about 2.5 to 3 or even 4 times more powerful to me by comparison, the difference in power was quite dramatic to me. As back then I used the RD-7, and fell into the hype of the Pure Drive rage going on back then. I realized that it's just a plain sucky racket with minimal control, but made serving bombs on the serve easy.
Now, of course, I realize that it's the STRINGS that make the real difference. Polys changed the way we all think about playing this game. With polys, I just ALWAYS feel like I want to try and bash the ball...why? Because I feel like it may actualy have a chance to go in. With gut, man, if you struing it in the mid 50s, just a mere tap and you were afraid the ball was liable to hit the back fence.