SAMPRAS OVERCOMES FATIGUE
Pete Sampras admitted after winning the US Open title he had been struggling against tiredness in the third set as Andre Agassi lifted his game.
"I was feeling it. I was definitely feeling a little bit of fatigue. I just hung in there the best that I could at the end and got it done," said Sampras.
"He started picking it up, especially his return of serve - he made me work real hard, then broke me. I was still up a set, I still felt pretty good out there.
"I just hung in there, got through some tough games at 2-1, down a couple break points. 4-3 down a couple break points. Then picked it up there to serve it out. It all happened pretty quick."
He was happy to bask in the pleasure of his win, but admitted he would soon be contemplating where to take his career from here.
"Just, you know, I don't know where I'm going to go from here; I really don't. Gonna take some time to enjoy it, reflect a little bit and kind of see where I'm at."
He picked out holding his serve in the fourth game of the fourth set as the key to breaking Agassi's momentum, which had built so compellingly in the third set.
"It was a massive game. The momentum definitely switched there in the third. The crowd was getting into it. He had a couple break points there. I managed to squeak it out.
"It was a huge turning point just to kind of hold on to serve there. I still felt like I was in it. So there's some big points there I got through."
Agassi also reflected on that turning point, and said the match was as close as any the pair had ever fought out over their long careers.
"It was close," Agassi said.
"But you certainly come here to try to get the job done. (I) felt like I had a good opportunity to do that.
"I feel like a first loser, if that makes sense," said Agassi, who converted only two of his 12 break points while Sampras was successful four of eight.
"It's disappointing, there's no way around that. (But) I think I've been more disappointed in my career."
He took a moment to contemplate his own immediate future.
"I suppose I'll sit down and assess (my plans for the rest of the year)," Agassi said.
"I mean, I'm obviously scheduled to play the big tournaments that are still left, so I'll go from there."
Sampras summed up the moment when reflected on whether the two, who have been playing each other since they were up-and coming stars, would ever meet again in such a high-profile match.
"It's hard to say what the future is going to hold for us," Sampras said.
"You know, to meet in major finals, players are too good today - where we were five years ago when we were dominating, now, this could be it for us.
"But maybe next year we'll do it again."