ThrowbackTimes Miami: Michael Chang dethrones Jim Courier to reach final



by   |  VIEW 2511

ThrowbackTimes Miami: Michael Chang dethrones Jim Courier to reach final

Back in 1991, Jim Courier became the first winner of the "Sunshine Double," delivering incredible tennis in March to conquer both Indian Wells and Miami, his first ATP titles after 1989. A year later, the American lost both crowns to his compatriot Michael Chang who beat Courier in the semi-final in Miami 6-2, 6-4 in 80 minutes to reach back-to-back Masters 1000 finals just after turning 20.

It was the fifth meeting between Courier and Chang and the fourth victory for the younger American who had the upper hand in their opening encounters before Jim took charge in the next six clashes after Florida. He stood no chance in this one, though, taking nine points on the return and never creating a break chance.

Following that perfect serving display, Chang was capable of pushing hard on the return, creating six opportunities and seizing three to control the scoreboard and march into the title match. They had around 20 winners in total and Chang managed to force more mistakes from Courier, having the upper hand in the shortest and most extended exchanges to cross the finish line first and set the final clash against Alberto Mancini.

Jim held at love in the opening two service games and that all changed in the fifth game when Michael landed a deep backhand that his rival failed to control, securing a break and opening a 3-2 gap. Chang confirmed the advantage with a hold at 15 and grabbed another break in the next game following a forehand error from Courier, forging a 5-2 lead and closing the opener with a hold at love a few minutes later.

An incredible lob seized a break chance for Michael in the opening game of the second set, denied by a solid smash from Courier who brought the game home to end his downfall and avoid av even more significant deficit. Chang had his chance in the third game as well, creating another break opportunity that Jim erased with an ace, holding after a backhand error from his rival to stay 2-1 in front.

Delivering one good hold after another, Michael leveled the score once again and gained a break in game five following a costly double fault from Courier to open a 3-2 gap, closing the next game with a service winner to take a big step towards the finish line.

Both players served well in the remaining games and it was Chang who brought the victory home with three winners at 5-3, extending the winning streak to 11 matches.