Sampras triumphs in clash of the Titans
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:53
The latest chapter of one of the greatest rivalries in tennis did not reach the same heights as their previous epic encounters, which included five grand slam finals, as Sampras came through 3-6 6-3 10-8 in just over an hour at the Venetian Macao Showdown.
Agassi edged the first set in 27 minutes with a solitary break in the fourth game, but Sampras responded with a much-improved performance in the second to prevail in 21 minutes to send the match to a decider with also a single break in the third game.
And in the third, a first to 10 championship tie-break, Sampras, who holds a 20-14 lifetime record over Agassi, was always ahead and despite a late rally from Agassi, capped the win with an emphatic ace.
Sampras said: “Andre just hits the ball so cleanly even after being retired for three years. The pace of his shots is just very heavy.
“Today he was serving great, I think he even out-aced me. It was a pleasure playing him, he is a great player with a great return of serve.
“I got off to a slow start, Andre was hitting it hard in the warm-up. Whenever I played Andre if I wasn’t on it I was going to lose. Back in the day, I could beat some of the guys when not playing well, but Andre doesn’t give you any room to breathe.”