Sampras beats Agassi in Macao... twice!
Pete Sampras put one over his old nemesis Andre Agassi, beating the 8-time Grand Slam champion in a final set match tiebreak at the Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown 2009. In a close affair that thrilled the 11,000 strong crowd at the CotaiArena today, Sampras nicked the showpiece event 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.
The match was preceded by a 45-minute timed encounter between junior no.1 Yuki Bhambri and America's leading junior Ryan Harrison. Bhambri was a little fortunate to win that match with the set tied at 5-5, and the Indian ahead 15-0 in the game when the match was timed out.
The kids returned on court to partner their heroes in a doubles exhibition later, which Pete and Yuki won 7-5.
Speaking after the match Andre said, "It was a great afternoon. Playing in front of 11,000 enthusiastic fans was fantastic and there was real energy. It was a pleasure competing against Pete. It's always a joy to test your skills and see where you are at, no matter where you are in life.
"Pete's feel for the ball is unparalleled and his movement is still good enough that you can't be careful with the shots you hit against him.
"It brought back a lot of old memories. It's great when you can go out and play against someone whose game you are really familiar with. It all came flooding back to me on court, including the ace Pete did at the end (on match point)."
Sampras was lavish in his praise for his old foe, "Andre still hits the ball very clean and very heavy. His serving was great today and I think he even out-aced me. He's a great player with a great return of serve, and it just came down to a couple of points in the (tie) breaker. It was great tennis, a great crowd and hopefully we'll do it again.
"Back in the day, Andre was one of those players where if you weren't playing your best, you're going to lose. Some of the other guys I could beat them even when I wasn't playing me best, but not Andre."
Yuki Bhambri (IND) def. Ryan Harrison (USA) 5-5 15-0
Pete Sampras (USA) def. Andre Agassi (USA) 3-6 6-3 10-8
P. Sampras (USA) & Y. Bhambri (IND) def. A. Agassi (USA) & R. Harrison (USA) 7-5
And two photos