As I’ve previously stated, Thomas Muster is my new favorite player. And now, thanks to his first comeback appearance in an ATP tournament, I’m no longer alone in my admiration.

Though he lost in the first round in Vienna, several news outlets and blogs picked up on the story. The story lines mainly took one of two forms: 1) This is pretty cool, here’s hoping he does well, and 2) What the hell is this old guy trying to prove – he’s probably just trying to grow publicity for his other businesses.

I fall in the former camp.

Reading some of the stories though, two items of note stood out to me:

* According to a story about Muster on bleacherreport.com, he once ran a marathon by accident. If that’s true then, as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel would say, he just cranked up to 11 on my scale.

* His former trainer/manager, Ronnie Leitgeb, who now trains Austrian player Jurgen Melzer was quoted in the NY Times saying, “I think he’s also taking a hell of a health risk, because he was smoking, he was overweight, and now he’s training so hard in such a short period of time. I’m not sure at age 43 if this is the best thing you can do for your body.” That strikes me as a bizarre attitude for a athletic coach/trainer to have. At what age does Leitgeb think we should all just lie down and wait for the sweet release of death? 35? 40? Melzer, if I were paid to advise you, I’d advise you consider a change in management.

In one of the articles, Muster stated he planned to play 20-25 events through March.

Best of luck Thomas. I, and others, will be rooting you on the entire way.

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