2 minute read

Jim Courier

Dropoff In Play

However, his performance on the professional circuit fell into a steep, uncharacteristic dive following a strong start in 1993. Following the 1993 French Open in Paris, Courier "suddenly lost his edge. Despite taking frequent breaks to get his head and his game back together, Courier rarely has been a threat during the last five years, although he did comeback somewhat to reach the world's eight ranking in 1995," Hickok Sports wrote. To resurrect his career, Courier in 1997 parted ways with longtime coach Jose Higueras and decided to train with Harold Solomon, a former Top 10 player later credited with saving the career of Jennifer Capriati.

Courier excelled late his career on the Davis Cup team. By winning the deciding fifth sets of five-set matches in 1998 and 1999, he became the first American to do so since the competition originated in 1900. Other noteworthy twilight career achievements include winning the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship in 1998 and a quarterfinalist showing at the duMaurier Open in Canada in 1999. But about nine months later, on May 8, 2000, Courier announced that he was retiring from professional tennis.

After retiring, Courier became coach of the U.S. Davis Cup team. "I think the players are happy, especially the younger players, to have Jim Courier around and have his insight and experience. When he talks, they listen," U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe told the Associated Press upon Courier's appointment. "We want the guys to do well individually, but this is about the U.S. team, and who better epitomizes what the team is about than Courier?" McEnroe asked rhetorically.

Chronology

1970 Born August 17 in Sanford, Florida
1983-90 Trained at Nick Bollettieri's training camp in Bradenton, Florida
1988 Joins men's professional tennis tour
1990 Begins training with Jose Higueras
1992 Competes in Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain
1993 Loses French Open, Wimbledon finals; ranking drops to third
2000 Retires from competitive tennis
2001 Signs multi-year agreement with Turner Sports as analyst for Wimbledon coverage
2002 Named coach of U.S. Davis Cup team; Americans reach semifinals

Awards and Accomplishments

1986 Wins 14-and-under Orange Bowl championship, the World Series of junior tennis
1991 Ranked No. 2 among men worldwide at end of year
1991-92 Back-to-back French Open champion
1992 Ranked No. 1 most of year; named ATP Tour Player of the Year, Florida Pro Athlete of the Year and Jim Thorpe Player of the Year
1992 Competes on Davis Cup champion U.S. team
1992-93 Back-to-back Australian Open champion

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTennisJim Courier Biography - Raised In Florida, Soars To No. 1, Dropoff In Play, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - Brief but Noteworthy Reign