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Sports Then and Now



Thomas Muster Is On The Comeback Trail 4

Posted on August 12, 2010 by Rob York

More than a decade after last playing on tour, Thomas Muster is back playing with the top players in the world.

Thomas Muster first attracted attention for his strokes. Ivan Lendl, who defeated the then-21-year-old in the semis of the Australian Open in 1989, said the Austrian had one of the hardest forehands on tour.

Those strokes had made him the first Austrian to go that deep in a major or reach the top 10, and he looked likely to keep ascending: Just a couple of months later, he backed up his Australian run by reaching the finals of the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, where he was set for another encounter with Lendl.

It was not to be, as Muster was hit by a drunk driver just hours after winning in the semis, leaving him with a severely injured knee. This setback, though, only served to reveal a bigger weapon than his forehand: his determination.

The Austrian became one of the stories of the men’s tour that year as he was videotaped on the courts sitting in a specially designed chair that allowed him to practice hitting as his injury continued to heal. Then, just six months after the accident, he was not only recovered but back on tour, and would win Adelaide, the first event he played in 1990.

Muster would forever be associated with this comeback, and it would be repeatedly cited by those who could think of little else that was nice to say to about him. Read the rest of this entry →

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