In an interview with Eurosport, Muster said that he expected to be coaching Thiem for two years – and hinted that the opportunity was not at all what he had expected… Mit dem Triumph bei den French Open in Paris, seinem einzigen auf Major-Ebene, hat sich Thomas Muster einen Lebenstraum erfüllt und zugleich ein Denkmal in der heimischen Tenniswelt gesetzt. He lost the tie-break and, then, without winning another single game, he lost the match. He wasn’t happy. “There’s no big secret,” Muster said regarding Becker’s allegations. “I mean, I haven’t been doing much different things than the years before. Federer und Millman fighten bei den Australian Open um alles. Es steht 4:6, 7:6, 6:4, 4:6, 6:6 aus Sicht des Maestros. Der Super-Tiebreak muss entscheiden. Maybe he just learned to swallow the bitter pill that Muster was just the better player on that day, which must have been doubly hard to take given he never did manage to win that elusive clay court title.

Thiem hatte nach seinem Sieg über Taylor Fritz die Trennung bestätigt, wollte die Sache jedoch relativ klein halten. Es habe einfach nicht gepasst – und schon bevor man gemeinsam begonnen habe, habe man festgehalten: Man wolle es gemeinsam probieren, aber wenn es nicht funktioniere, werde es wieder beendet, so Thiem. It was a serious allegation, and when asked if he appreciated just how serious it was, he didn’t relent. “I am a serious guy,” he added. “I am just talking about what everybody can see, including myself.” Becker meanwhile, was fined $20,000 for his comments. Der Druck von der Box seitens Muster sei zu groß gewesen, hieß es weiter; zudem, so Thiem, seien zwei unterschiedliche Charaktere aufeinandergetroffen. Böses Blut habe es jedoch nicht gegeben. Man verstehe sich super. Muster, though, responded with ferocity. He pummelled Becker 6-1 in the third set as he appeared to find his groove, before Becker blew his chance in the fourth.

Zu den Details, warum Thiem sich für die Beendigung der Zusammenarbeit entschieden habe, wollte Muster sich jedoch nicht äußern. « Ich weiß es, will das aber hier nicht kommentieren », so der 52-Jährige. « Vereinfacht gesagt: Es gibt Häuser mit schönen, ja mit ganz wunderbaren Fassaden. Aber man weiß sehr selten, wer drinnen wohnt. » At 6-4 up in the fourth-set tiebreak whilst he was two sets to one ahead, he must have been even more confident. Alexander Zverev verrät im Eurosport-Studio bei Boris Becker und Matthias Stach, wie er seine Freundin Brenda Patea kennenlernte. The Italian pushed Muster all the way, with Muster complaining of dehydration before the end of the second and clinching set, which he won on a tie-break. Muster had even spent the night before the final on a drip in hospital. “To assume something because somebody has won a Grand Slam or is fitter, is totally out of order.” Unfortunately for former Monte Carlo resident Becker, who also appeared in the 1989 and 1991 finals, he finished his career without a clay-court crown. Muster rose to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 12 February 1996.

Haben Alexander Zverev die Showkämpfe mit Roger Federer geschadet? Die Legenden John McEnroe, Mats Wilander und Boris Becker sind unterschiedlicher Meinung. Muster, the 1992 champion, saved two match points in the fourth set of a 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-0 victory over three hours and 16 minutes. After the match, Becker vented his frustration. “I don’t want to know what he did [Saturday night or Sunday morning]. He has been known to be very fit but [Saturday] on the court he almost seemed to be dying” he said. “The remarks by Boris Becker raised inappropriate questions about the reputation of Thomas Muster and the tournament physician, Dr. Patrick Coudert,” said David Cooper, the ATP’s administrator of regulations. 21-years-later, when the coach of the then world number one, Novak Djokovic, Becker dismissed similar observations from Andy Murray that he was playing a lot of players who “don’t seem to be getting tired”.