Tennis: Former world no.1 and 4-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier recalls the match and the moment when he became world no.1 Tennis player. The American had defeated another American Derrick Rostagno in 3 sets to achieve the feat.
Courier, the champion of 1991 and 1992 French Open and 1992 and 1993 Australian Open, faced Derrick Rostagno in the semifinal of San Francisco Open and needed to reach the final to become world no.1 It was a tight 3 set match that Courier had to win to get to the glory.
"I was stressed out about it," said Courier. "I was very aware of the situation. I just wanted to get there for one week, just to say I'd been to the top of the mountain. "[Against Rostagno], we went to three sets and I toughed it out.
I remember going down to my knees, this is it, this is the moment [and] they can never take it away from me." Aged 21 years, five months, his hold on No. 1 was never secure. In the space of 18 months, he exchanged top spot with Stefan Edberg and his compatriot Pete Sampras.
Courier spent a total of 52 weeks at the summit, relinquishing the position on 13 September 1993. "It was all gravy for me, all upside, a dream come true. You hold on as long as you can, and if someone takes it, it’s a bit like being President of the United States. It is the office, not the person who has the power."