American tennis legend says Jim Courier says winning back-to-back Masters titles in Indian Wells and Miami in the spring of 1991 gave him the confidence that he could go deeper at a Grand Slam. Two months later, Courier captured his first clay title and his maiden Grand Slam title after edging out fellow compatriot Andre Agassi in the French Open final.
"Those were catalysts for me to believe I could go deeper in a Slam than I had before,” Agassi told TENNIS.com. “I had been to the fourth round of the last couple of French Opens, but never past that in a Slam.
But I felt different psychologically going into the 1991 French Open. I knew I was in better shape than I had ever been in. I didn’t expect to win the tournament, but thought I had a chance to go deep."
Jim Courier admitted he felt pressure and nerves
Courier showed courage and came up big the 1991 French Open as he came from two sets to one down to beat former world No.
1 Andre Agassi 3-6 6-4 2-6 6-1 6-4. "The moment is massive and I didn’t know how I was going to react,” Courier recalled the 1991 French Open final. “The final felt different for me than the quarters or semis, and I played like it early in the match.
My coach, Jose Higueras, would describe it as me playing a little frozen. But trying to put my hands on that trophy meant so much to me. I struggled to get things going until the rain delay broke the ice for me. "There was a lot of emotion in the moment,” he says.
“I certainly recall not believing I had actually done it, and realizing that all of the hard work I had put in had come to fruition. Being a Grand Slam champion travels with you for the rest of your days”. Jim Courier, who eventually finished his career with four Grand Slam titles, succesfully defended his title at Roland Garros a year later after he handed a straight-set defeat to Petr Korda in the final.