ATP HERITAGE PROGRAMME
ATP Heritage: Jim Courier, 1992
by ATP Staff|
On 23 August, ATP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. We continue our countdown with a look at Jim Courier, the 1992 year-end No. 1. #ATPHeritage
Jim Courier was the epitome of consistency, who worked himself to the bone in order to become the third American to rank No. 1 in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Courier was the 10th player to become No. 1 on 10 February 1992, when he beat Derrick Rostagno to reach the San Francisco indoor final.
"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."
Courier won four major titles – 1991-92 Roland Garros and 1992-93 Australian Open – in seven finals. The American was ranked in the year-end Top 10 on four occasions in 1991-93 and 1995. "Few people get to No. 1 and the emotion I felt was equal to winning a major, if not greater."
Read more about Courier in "No. 1", our special commemorative coffee table book, celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. Buy Online Through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe
This year, the ATP pays special tribute to 25 former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.