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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Tuesday, 26 October 2010 18:31 UK

Austria's Thomas Muster beaten on ATP Tour return

Thomas Muster
Muster bids farewell to the crowd after his disappointing return in Vienna

Former world number one Thomas Muster lost on his return to the ATP Tour after an 11-year absence as he went out in round one of the Vienna Trophy.

The 43-year-old, who won the French Open in 1995 and topped the rankings the year after, accepted a wild card for the event in Austria's capital.

But he was swept aside in the first set by 23-year-old fellow Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, ranked 157 in the world.

And despite taking the second to a tie-break, Muster went down 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

Afterwards, Muster insisted his reappearance on the tour was not a one-off, saying: "I'll keep training hard and plan to enter 20 to 25 events from March.

"I don't want to define my goals. There is no pressure of getting into the top 10. It's about enjoying tennis. In '99, I hated tennis, now I love it."

The veteran has played on the ATP Champions Tour for former players since 2003 but first returned to the second-tier Challenger circuit in June, and had been due to face world number 24 Ernests Gulbis in Vienna before the Latvian's withdrawal on Monday for personal reasons.


Despite his defeat in front of a capacity crowd of 8,700 at the Stadthalle, Muster - who won 40 of his 44 career titles on clay and looked ill at ease on the Viennese hard court - remained unbowed.

"I am relieved despite losing as I gave my best and played pretty well," he said. "A third set would have been great but well done to Andreas.

"There was more in it if I could have played more aggressively in the first set. In the second, I managed to dictate the pace of the game sometimes."

The result means that Jimmy Connors remains the oldest player to win a match on the ATP Tour by reaching the quarter-finals in Halle, Germany, in 1995 at age 42.

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see also
Quiz Thomas Muster
08 Apr 06 |  Tennis
How Muster mastered Roland Garros
21 May 04 |  Tennis

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