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- Age: 42 (17.08.1970)
- Birthplace: Sanford, Florida, USA
- Residence: Orlando, Florida, USA
- Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
- Weight: 182 lbs (83 kg)
- Plays: Right-handed
- Turned Pro: 1988
- Coach: Brad Stine
As of 20.05.2013
*Singles & Doubles combined
*Singles & Doubles combined
He had his own deadly dance—the Backside Boogie. That was Jim Courier, shuffling swiftly to his left to strike with a dynamite inside-out forehand. It’s a fairly standard tactic now, but it was Courier who first made it pay off in substantial dividends: four major championships, and in 1992 the No. 1 world ranking. He finished in the ATP top 10 for three other years: Nos. 2, 3 and 8 in 1991, 93, 95. And also was in the U.S. top 10 eight times between 1991 and 1998, No. 1 in 1991-92.
Born Aug. 17, 1970, Sanford, Florida, as James Spencer Courier, he grew up in Dade City, Florida. Turned pro in 1988 while a hopeful at Nick Bollettieri’s tennis boot camp, and the next year began his romance with French earth by jolting camp-mate, No. 5 seed Andre Agassi, 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the fourth round at Roland Garros.
The French returned his love, especially when he beat Agassi again for the 1991 title, 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, amid rain and a dust storm, then delivered his acceptance speech in French, unique for an American in Paris. “Beeg Jeem!” they called him, admiringly, awed by his solid frame (6-1, 182 lbs) and slugging double-handed backhand along with the racing forehand. He won again the following year, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1, over Czech Petr Korda, but couldn’t make a fifth set service break hold up against Spain’s Sergi Bruguera in the 1993 final, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Still, he was the lone American guy to make three straight French finals, alone, too, among Americans in holding the Roland Garros (clay) and Australian (hard) titles at the same time, 1992. Jim beat Stefan Edberg 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, in Melbourne, and dittoed in 1993, 6-2, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, over the Swede for his fourth major.
Edberg got him in the 1991 U.S. title bout, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0, but Jim countered in a 1993 Wimbledon semi, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, then lost to Pete Sampras, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-3. It all meant that Courier appeared in every major final, a rarity that he shares with only two countrymen, Don Budge and Agassi. In winning the Italian twice—1992 over Carlos Costa of Spain, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0, 6-4; 1993 over Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2—he is the only American man to win a pair in Rome and Paris.
A formidable competitor, he was a mainstay of seven U.S. Davis Cup teams, 1991-92, 94-95, 97-98-99, Cup winners in 1992 and 1995, 16-10 in singles. He was the Cup-clincher against Switzerland in ‘92, beating Jakob Hlasek, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Thrice he won the decisive fifth match, a U.S. record: over Netherlander Jacco Eltingh in 1994, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1; Russian Marat Safin in 1998, 0-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Brit Greg Rusedski in 1999, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 1-6, 8-6. The last, an excruciating screamer at Birmingham, England, enabled the U.S. and Australia to butt heads in a quarter-final celebrating the 100th year of Davis Cup at its origin, Boston’s Longwood Cricket Club. The U.S. was 13-1 with Jim in the lineup. The “1” was Australia in 1999 — his Cup finale.
Retiring in 2000, he had won 23 singles (a finalist in nine others), 13 doubles pro titles, $14,033,132 in prize money, had a 25-match winning streak in 1992. His W-L in singles 506-237, doubles 124-97. In 2004, he founded his own sports and entertainment company, InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, and in
2005, brought champions (over 30) seniors tennis back to the United States starting the Outback Champions Series circuit, which grew global.
MAJOR TITLES (4) — Australian singles, 1992-93; French singles, 1991-92.
DAVIS CUP — 1991-92, 94-95, 97-98-99, 16-10 singles, 1-0 doubles.
SINGLES RECORD IN THE MAJORS — Australian (35-7), French (40-9), Wimbledon (19-11), U.S. (24-10).
- Bio Courtesy Bud Collins
During junior career, won Orange Bowl in 1986-87 and French Open junior doubles title (w/Stark)...Reached final of USTA Boys' 18s in '87, losing to Chang...Parents, Jim and Linda...A member of winning U.S. Davis Cup team in 1992 and '95 and has a 17-10 career record (16-10 in singles) in 14 ties...Played in 1992 Summer Olympics...Finished No. 1 in '92 and named ATP Tour Player of the Year, Florida Pro Athlete of the Year and Jim Thorpe Player of the Year...Enjoys playing drums and guitar...Served as ATP Tour Charities chairman in 1996...Golfs left-handed and played in the AT&T Pebble Beach (Calif.) National Pro-Am with PGA pro Frank Nobilo in February 1999...Coached by Brad Stine (since September 1997) and fitness trainer is Todd Snyder, who used to work for the ATP Tour.
1988 -- Won the Vina del Mar Challenger (d. Duncan) and then turned pro...Reached first Tour SF in Charleston and advanced to SF in Stockholm...
1989 -- Beat Agassi for first career Top 10 win at French Open en route to the RD 16...Rallied from a 1-2 sets deficit to defeat Edberg in the Basel final, giving the 19-year-old his first Tour singles title...Captured first Tour doubles title in Rome (w/Sampras) and played in doubles Masters...
1990 -- Best showing SF in Indian Wells and QF in seven other Tour stops...Won second doubles title in Hamburg (w/Bruguera)...
1991 -- Won three titles, including Key Biscayne and French Open (d. Agassi in first all-American final since 1954)...Also a runner-up at U.S. Open and ATP Tour World Championship, SF six times and QF at Wimbledon...Improved ranking from 25 to No. 2...Became first American to be ranked No. 2 since J. McEnroe in 1985...
1992 -- Became the 10th player to rank No. 1 in ATP Tour Rankings on Feb. 10 after his runner-up showing in San Francisco...Won Australian Open, Tokyo-outdoor, Hong Kong, Rome and second consecutive French Open...Career-best winning streak stretched to 25 matches before 3rd RD loss at Wimbledon (l. to Olhovskiy)...Reached four finals, including ATP Tour World Championship (l. to Becker)...Clinched U.S. victory over Switzerland in Davis Cup final with four-set win over Hlasek...
1993 -- Won five titles for the second year, with runner-up efforts in Hong Kong, French Open and Wimbledon...Successfully defended titles at Australian Open and Rome...Ranked No. 1 for 17 weeks...
1994 -- Finished out of Top 10 and did not win a title for first time since 1990...Runner-up at Nice (l. to Berasategui) and Lyon (l. to Rosset)...Played in two U.S. Davis Cup ties, posting a 4-0 record against India and The Netherlands, including a fifth and decisive victory over Eltingh in QF...
1995 -- Returned to the Top 10 for the fourth time in the last five years...Won four titles in five finals, all on different continents - Adelaide (Australia), Scottsdale (North America), Tokyo-outdoor (Asia) and Basel (Europe)...Reached QF at the Australian Open, losing a five-set marathon to Sampras...Helped the U.S. to a 4-1 opening-round Davis Cup win over France in February...Reached U.S. Open SF (l. to Sampras)...Reappeared in the Top 10 (from 11 to No. 9) after the Open for the first time since Aug. 15, 1994...Appeared in his fourth ATP Tour World Championship...
1996 -- Finished out of Top 25 for first time since his rookie season in 1988...Ranked in Top 10 most of year until falling out after U.S. Open where he withdrew because of a right knee injury...Missed his first Grand Slam tournament since 1989 French Open, a streak of 30 consecutive Grand Slams played...Injury persisted and he missed two months...Reached QF at Australian Open (l. to Agassi) and played in first U.S. tournament of year in Philadelphia and won lone title (d. Woodruff)...SF effort in Barcelona (l. to Rios) and QF at French Open (l. to Sampras)...His 45 singles matches played were fewest since 1988 when he played 36...
1997 -- Captured three titles in as many finals: Doha (d. Henman), Los Angeles (d. Enqvist) and Beijing (d. Gustafsson)...Helped U.S. to Davis Cup SF with five-set triumph over Siemerink (rallied from 0-2 sets deficit for first time and saved one match point)...Went 7-4 vs. Top 10 opponents and compiled 27-10 record on hard and 6-4 on clay...
1998 -- Won his lone title of season in his hometown of Orlando, defeating long-time rival Chang in three sets...Fell to No. 118 on Oct. 12 before climbing back with SF in Singapore and QF in Bogota and Santiago, both on clay...Helped U.S. to 3-2 1st RD Davis Cup victory over Russia by beating Safin 6-4 in fifth set...One of only four Americans to win a five-set match in fifth and decisiver rubber, joining Chang, John McEnroe and Don Budge.
1999 -- The American rebounded back from a disappointing 1998 season...Improved his match wins total by 10 and jumped over 40 ranking positions...In January, retired for first time in a Grand Slam tournament in 3rd RD of Australian Open (vs. Kafelnikov) due to left groin pull...One month later, advanced to his lone ATP Tour final of year in Memphis (l. to Haas), where he suffered a left foot sprain in SF but played in title match despite injury...Afterward, jumped from 69 to No. 45 on Feb. 22...One of biggest moments of his career came in 1st RD Davis Cup tie in Birmingham, England where he lifted U.S. to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Great Britain...Posted a 4:12 five-set victory over No. 7 Henman in opening match and beat No. 11 Rusedski 8-6 in fifth set in decisive match, which lasted 3:46...During claycourt circuit, reached QF in Orlando and SF in Atlanta...On grass, advanced to 4th RD at Wimbledon for first time since '93 when he reached final...Provided more drama in England, defeating No. 10 Moya in 2nd RD in five sets and Schalken 13-11 in fifth set of 3rd RD in 4:25...Fell short to Henman in 4th RD, losing 9-7 in fifth set in second-longest singles match (4:30) in Wimbledon Open Era history...Posted 4-1 record in five-set matches during season...In August, beat No. 5 Henman in 2nd RD of Super 9 in Montreal en route to QF, losing to eventual winner Johansson...Closed out year with 6-3 mark during European indoor circuit, reaching 3rd RD in Lyon, 2nd RD in Stuttgart and QF in Paris (d. Moya, No. 9 Enqvist, l. to Safin)...Played consistently on all surfaces --16-13 on hard, 6-4 on clay, 5-2 on carpet, 4-2 on grass.