Linda Courier couldn't figure out what was wrong with Jim Courier's serve during her son's French Open quarterfinal match Wednesday against Stefan Edberg in Paris. "He seemed to be taking something off and I thought at first something was wrong," Linda Courier said. "Then I realized he was going for a higher first-serve percentage to keep Edberg from jumping on the second serve and going to the net."
The strategy seemed to work as the ninth-seeded Courier of Dade City upset the world's top-ranked player and the defending champion 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"It looked like Jim took away some of Edberg's best weapons," Linda Courier said. "It looked like he was just rolling in that first serve, but with enough to keep Edberg back and make him use his groundstrokes. And those are not some of Edberg's best shots."
Jim Courier Sr. said his son looked forward to playing the Swede. "Jim has worked for the French and he was really aiming for Edberg," the elder Courier said. "He knew he would have to get through him to get to the final and he really thought he had a good chance on the slower clay surface."
Courier Sr. said his son's chances are good in Friday's semifinals against Michael Stich of Germany.
"Stich is a lot like Edberg and I think Jim's game is well-suited toward him," Courier said. "If Stich's serve is on, he could be tough. But I think Jim has an excellent shot to reach the final."
It could be an all-American final if Andre Agassi beats Boris Becker in the other semifinal. A final that would pit two opponents who know each other well. Courier and Agassi trained together at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Bradenton.
"Jim and Agassi tangled a few times there and it was very competitive," Linda Courier said. "I would be thrilled to see any all-American final. But I don't have to tell you who I would be rooting for."