Mathieu Upsets Sampras at Waterhouse
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 20, 2002; 10:44 PM
COMMACK, N.Y. –– Paul-Henri Mathieu, the last of the 48 players to get into the main draw, stunned Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-4 in a second-round match at the TD Waterhouse Cup on Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old, a pro since 1999, originally was scheduled to play in the qualifier but was moved up when Thomas Enqvist withdrew because of an upper respiratory infection.
Earlier this year Mathieu reached the fourth round of the French Open in his native Paris, losing to Andre Agassi after taking a 2-0 lead.
"This is the biggest win of my career," he said. "It's a great feeling. I had the same feeling when I played against Agassi. You see them on television all the time, but I tried not to be in awe of them. I played my own game."
Sampras has not won a tournament since Wimbledon in 2000, the last of record 13 Grand Slam titles. The non-winning streak has reached 32 straight tournaments and next up is the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 26.
Sampras has won the Open four times and was the runner-up the last two years.
"People have to realize who I am when I get to the U.S. Open next week," he said. "I sure won't be the man to beat, Lleyton Hewitt has taken care of that, but when it comes to that tournament, I'm there."
Sampras blew three break points in the seventh game of the third set.
"I lost the first set before I knew it and the crowd helped me get through the second," he said. "I started slow but he returned great winners and got into a zone. I never saw him play before so I didn't know what to expect. He's a great shotmaker and has talent."
Asked if he saw a decline in the play of Sampras, Mathieu politely responded: "He still has his serve."