Before all courts followed a relatively similar pattern between them, there were eras in tennis where specialists they populated the circuit en masse. The grass was dominated by a select club with few intruders (among them probably stands out Andre Agassi with his title at Wimbledon 1992), while South Americans and Spaniards formed a large legion that devastated almost the entire ground tour. One of those clay specialists in the 1990s, after leaving behind an unfortunate car accident, was Thomas muster.

So far everything normal. In the hierarchy of the circuit of that time, where the variety and heterogeneity of the profiles were the order of the day, Muster built an empire sheltered in the reddish cloak of the earth. Three times he conquered Monte Carlo, three others did the same in Rome, Meanwhile in Roland Garros he raised the only Major of his career, in a final in 1995 in which he gave no option to Michael Chang. In addition to a host of minor tournament victories and commendable consistency, Thomas reached the number one in nineteen ninety six. Exactly the year of your final disagreement with Wimbledon.

Muster was unable to perform at a decent level on grass, much less the level required of the best in the world. His first little tips on the surface already indicated his aversion to it. In 1987 she made her debut at the All England Tennis Club before Guy forget. Back then, the Austrian still lacked mileage on the circuit, and on his worst surface, a 3-4 triple loss to the Frenchman was no shame. But the tables did not change at any time.

Years passed, Muster was climbing the ranking, but Wimbledon was still his particular thorn. Three other first-round losses would worsen his baggage by up to 0-4 difficult to digest. All of them, in addition, came before rivals outside the top-100: before Grant Stafford (# 162) in 1992, before Oliver Delaitre (# 103) in 1993, and the most painful of all, the icing on the cake, before Alexander Mronz (# 124) in 1994 for a tough 8-6 in the deciding set. The Austrian reached the maturity of his career without ever having tasted the honeys of victory on London grass.

Arrived in 1995, the year of his confirmation in the world tennis constellation after the conquest of Roland Garros, Muster decided that had enough. He could skip Wimbledon, and boy did he. He skipped the whole grass tour, actually. “Now I will have a few days off and then I will play a tournament in Austria. Then I will have another two weeks off and prepare for the second part of the season.” Done the law done the snare. With the ability to handpick his calendar without ATP obligations, Thomas did not set foot in London. In 1996 the final climax of this story would take place.

Leibnitz’s was world number two and made his appearance in tournaments prior to Wimbledon for the first time in his career. In Queen’sIn fact, things went relatively well for him, reaching the semifinals (he lost to Edberg) and experiencing the feeling of being competitive on the surface that had always choked him. In FindA little physical discomfort began to put him in trouble, but it was the news from the All England Tennis Club that made Muster uneasy.

Wimbledon had done his math to put together his series head system. There are usually certain licenses based on grass performance in recent years, but not too drastic changes. However, Muster had not won not a single match in the Tennis Cathedral, and that was something to keep in mind. to keep in mind. Organizers relegated Thomas to seventh place. He was close to number one in the ranking, he had already been, but if he wanted to win Wimbledon he had to start as seventh on that ‘starting grid’. And that did not sit well.

“Never in the history of Wimbledon has a world number two, former number one, been so low on the list of seeded men. It is a subtle way of expressing that they don’t want us there. It is further proof that British people do not value Thomas Muster. When they call us on Monday, we’ll see if he travels there or not, “said his coach, Roland Leitgeb. Muster himself acknowledged that” he deserved, at least, to be among the first four seeded men. ”

After losing to Brett Steven in the second round of Halle, the news expected by many jumped. Thomas muster resigned to dispute Wimbledon 1996 claiming a thigh injury who needed rest. The reality is that we will never know what was the real reason for Muster’s resignation, but the decision made by Wimbledon probably had some weight. To make matters worse, her abandonment in the London tournament allowed the entry of a new seed. That person would be, almost in a kind of mockery of fate, the wimbledon champion in that crazy edition: Richard Krajicek.

As Muster’s light faded on the circuit, so did his results. In 1997 he was still top-4, but after reaching the quarterfinals in Halle and losing in the first round in Rosmalen, Thomas again gave up playing at the All England Tennis Club due to hip pain. And that that year he had built a grass court on his vacation retreat in Australia. A track that, yes … barely used.

Muster was never seen again at Wimbledon. In fact, he never won a grass game again. His balance of 8 to 10 on the surface says it all and transports us to a totally different reality from the one we live in today, with versatile players who perform well on all courts. Before, you could be mediocre on one surface if you perfected some other. Thomas Muster’s story is that of someone who has never won in the most important tournament of the sport that he dominated for a few weeks. It is a story worth reliving. Difícilmente repeat something the same.