Re: Legendary clips from legendary matches
Hear is a nice piece from a legendary match.
09 Sep 2002
SAMPRAS RETURNS TO GLORY
Welcome back Pete Sampras, where have you been?
After more than two years in the tennis wilderness, Pete Sampras found what he was looking for. It was his 14th Grand Slam crown for he had won the US Open for a fifth time. Much was expected and hoped of this match. Agassi and Sampras had played 33 times before and so often they had produced cliffhanger matches like last yearís quarterfinal final match at the National Tennis Centre, which Sampras won in four tiebreakers and which is regarded as one of the greatest matches ever.
For two and a half sets it was an awesome Pete Sampras as he dissected every aspect of Andre Agassiís game. But then the tide slowly turned. Sampras was getting a touch slower as Agassi lifted his level. However, in the ninth game of the fourth set Sampras found something extra in his armoury. He broke serve and a game later, on match point two, he played a classic backhand volley that went crosscourt for a winner.
Heís waited a very long time to get that winning feeling back and he has done it with the unending love and support of his wife, his family and the people close to him. They never let him consider that he was washed up, not that he did, but that backing only emphasised his own self-belief.
"This one might take the cake," said Sampras. "I never thought anything would surpass what happened at Wimbledon a couple of years ago, but the way Iíve been going this year, to kind of come through this and play the way I did, it was awesome.
"I peaked at the right time against Andre. I had to play five matches in seven days - that was a lot of work. Just glad itís over. I feel really good. Feel like I played extremely well and I had to against Andre, whoís very tough to beat.
"Just after winning 13 (Grand Slams) I was trying to figure out my goals from there - was to try and win another major. This year, struggling and hearing I should stop, kind of negative tone from the press and commentary. To kind of get through and kind of believe in myself at a very tough time means a lot. It means more than anything probably because of the adversity, and to be able to get through the adversity feels great."
With that match point barely complete, Sampras turned to where his pregnant wife Bridgette Wilson was sitting, and with his face beaming he raised his arms in victory, 64 63 57 64. It had taken him two hours 54 minutes to get past his rival and score his 20th win over him.
"It was just a tough day for me. On top of him playing well, I just got off to a rough start," said Agassi. "I just was flat and I tried to get myself into the match and had to work pretty hard just to give myself a chance. Just was never quite enough."
Sampras came out with all guns blazing in the final. He was aggressive and attacking from the word go and was pressuring Agassi. He broke serve in the eighth game and then served out the first set in 29 minutes. The second set began with Sampras breaking in the first game and he opened up a 52 lead with a second break. Agassi got one back but Pete clinched it with his 16th ace.
Agassi was however slowly getting into the match. There was a bit more spring in his step and Samprasí serve was slowing down, he was also physically slowing and he admitted it. Agassi broke to win the third set and the capacity crowd went crazy. The atmosphere was electric.
The match really was won and lost in the fourth game of the fourth set as Sampras faced seven deuces and break points, but he held. He survived another mini crisis in the eighth game but Sampras got a second wind as Agassi served for a 54 lead but Andre netted a forehand to drop his serve.
Sampras, who had served 33 aces, could see the end and he produced the big serves again and on match point two struck that backhand cross court winner for glory.
Agassi indicated that Sampras is a pressure player and he is able to sense the important times of a match so well. He pressures an opponent and then "elevates his game".
"He can play for an hour where you donít even break a sweat sometimes because heís just taking the rhythm out of the match. Heís playing quick points, getting in, missing a few and then all of a sudden he plays a good game and heís off," said Agassi.
So what of the future for Pete Sampras? The door for retirement has been opened.
"Iím going to have to weigh (retirement) up in the next couple of months to see where Iím at," said Sampras. "I still want to play. I love to play. But to beat a rival like Andre in a major tournament at the US Open, a storybook ending, it might be nice to stop.
"But (laughing) I still want to compete. Iíll see where Iím at in a couple of months, where my heartís at and my mind. Right now itís hard to talk about it. My headís spinning."
The womenís doubles title was won by the second seeds Virginia Ruano-Pascual and Paola Suarez - they defeated the sixth seeds Elena Dementieva and Janette Husarova 62 61. For the new champions this is their first US Open title but their second Grand Slam title this year - they won the French Open and for the record were finalists at Wimbledon.