Re: Pete Sampras defeated John McEnroe 6-3, 6-4
Boston: Sampras beats McEnroe, faces Martin in Final
BOSTON — Todd Martin’s path to a second consecutive Champions Cup Boston title will have to go through 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras.
Martin and Sampras each won their third-round matches on Saturday to improve to 3-0 in group play and advance to Sunday’s final of the $142,000 Champions Cup Boston, the second tournament of the 2007 Outback Champions Series.
Playing in his first tournament since winning the 2002 U.S. Open, Sampras advanced with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over John McEnroe in the nightcap. Earlier in the day, Martin held on to beat a surging Jim Courier 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 (TB).
Both McEnroe and Courier finished group play 2-1 and will play in the third-place playoff on Sunday.
Sampras owns an 18-4 career record against Martin, but they haven’t play since 2002. To beat Sampras for the fifth time, Martin says he’ll have to improve his serve.
“I’ll have a chance to win if I play like I did today,” Martin said. “But in order to compete, I won’t be able to let my serve wane at all in the middle of the match like I did today. I really struggled with my first serve for a while.”
After winning the final three games to take the first set, Martin’s serving woes cost him the second set. Courier won a break to take a 2-0 lead and coasted from there.
Martin, who beat McEnroe in last year’s final, turned it around in the tiebreaker. He took a commanding 9-5 lead, then squashed Courier’s comeback bid with an ace for the winner.
“In the breaker, it’s a bit of a roll of dice,” said Courier, co-founder of the Outback Champions Series. “He just picked it up at the right time. There’s not a whole lot I could change about the breaker.”
Sampras had an easier time holding up his end of the bargain. He had six aces, and kept McEnroe off balance with an array of well-placed baseline shots.
“The guy hit the outside of the line like 20 times, it was unbelievable,” McEnroe said. “It’s incredible how many lines he hits. I’ve never played a guy who can consistently do that.”
Sampras won the first three games of the first set and never trailed after breaking to go up 2-1 in the second.
In coasting to the final in his Outback Champions Series debut, Sampras didn’t lose a set. The seven games McEnroe took from him were by far the most in three matches.
“I think I can still play at a pretty high level,” Sampras said. “I can probably compete against anyone in the world today.”
In the other matches, Petr Korda improved to 1-2 in group play with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tim Mayotte. Wayne Ferreira also improved to 1-2 in group play with a 6-3, 7-6 (0) win over Pat Cash.
Champions Cup Boston, like all Outback Champions Series events, features an eight-man round-robin format with the winner of each four-player division meeting in the title match and the second-place finishers from each division playing in the third-place match.
Each event features $142,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $50,000 as well as Outback Champions Series ranking points that will determine a year-end champion.
To be eligible to compete in the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team.
Schedule for Sunday, May 6
Afternoon Session, Beginning at 2:30 pm
Third Place Playoff
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier
Pete Sampras vs. Todd Martin