Friday, November 9, 2007

1991 US Open final: Edberg def. Courier

Edberg def. Courier: 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.
Classic: No, but a must-have if you're a big Edberg fan.
Rating: 87

The Plot: Edberg played possibly his best tournament ever at the 1991 US Open. In the final, Edberg played one of the very best matches of his career, beating Courier (the French Open champion) in the most emphatic fashion.

The Match: It is a hot day in New York, and the on-court temperature is in the 90's (F). Both players seem a little lethargic at first. In the 3rd game, Courier runs into trouble on his serve and the game goes to 6 deuces before Edberg breaks. A few games later Edberg hits top form and is near perfect for the rest of the match. He takes the set 6-2. In the 2nd set, Courier puts in a great effort to turn the tide of battle, but he is broken early in the set and can't recover against Edberg, who is playing out of his mind and holding serve with ease. After losing the 2nd set Courier is clearly deflated and is bageled as Edberg unleashes a storm of winners from every part of the court.

The bottom line: If Courier had been able to give Edberg more resistance, as he does in the 2nd set, the match could have been a classic. Instead, he seems to spend sets 1 and 3 being upset with the linesmen and the noisy New York crowd. Edberg's performance is flawless from midway through the 1st set. There are many brilliant volleys from Edberg (along with some fine winners off the ground) for the serve-volley enthusiast to marvel at, but I hessitate to recommend the match unless you're a big Edberg fan (like me.)

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