Tennis

Thomas Muster: Former King of Clay

Published 1758 GMT (0158 HKT) December 23, 2011
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Thomas Muster finally retired at the age of 44 after losing in the first round of his home event in Vienna in October 2011. AFP/Getty Images
Muster became the first Austrian tennis player to win a grand slam title when he beat former champion Michael Chang of the U.S. in the final of the 1995 French Open, and briefly topped the world rankings the following year. Getty Images
Muster's career was almost over before it had started, after being hit by a drunk driver in a car park before the final of an American event in 1989. But he returned to action within six months despite suffering serious knee injuries. Getty Images
In 1997 Muster returned to Key Biscayne in Florida, the scene of his accident, and beat two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain in the final. AFP/Getty Images
Although 40 of his 44 ATP Tour titles came on clay, Muster was also an accomplished hard-court player. He twice reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, losing to Pete Sampras in 1997, and on three occasions made the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Bongarts/Getty Images
However, he was not so successful on grass. In fact, Muster is the only top-ranked singles player of the post-1968 Open Era to never win a match at Wimbledon. AFP/Getty Images
Muster stopped playing in 1999, but returned in 2010 playing second-tier Challenger tour events and exhibitions such as this match with former women's pin-up Anna Kournikova. AFP/Getty Images