Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Tennis
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Football 
Cricket 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Tennis 
Golf 
Motorsport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Andre Agassi
"The level of concentration on both our parts was extremely high"
 real 28k

Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 12:49 GMT
Agassi beats Sampras in epic

Agassi has now reached 4 Grand Slam finals in a row


Andre Agassi is through to to final of the Australian Open after beating his old rival Pete Sampras in a thrilling five-set battle.

Agassi came from two sets to one behind to clinch the match 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 6-1 to the delight of the Australian crowd.



We just kept raising the stakes. I think the best feeling is when somebody pushes you to the limit and you dig down a little bit extra
Andre Agassi
This was tennis at its finest with both players reaching top performance in a match which surpassed it's billing as "the real deal".

Both men produced some scintillating shots although in such an epic battle there were short periods when each temporarily lost their way.

Agassi's baseline play was as dynamic as it has ever been, his blistering returns defying Sampras' booming serve.

The match had been the talk of Melbourne and eagerly anticipated by the capacity crowd.


Agassi: Baseline shots were simply brilliant
They were not disappointed as Agassi set about making amends for his November defeat in straight sets at the hands of Sampras.

He took the first set 6-4, saving three break points on his own serve before breaking Sampras in the fifth game.

Sampras was still struggling to find the groove with his first serve, but he powered back to take the second set 6-3 and square the match.

The third set proved decisive.

Agassi began to wind up the pressure on the Sampras serve and the No 2 was forced to save nine break points, two of them at set point down.

But every time Agassi sensed a breakthough, he produced his best.

Sampras hung on to take the set to a tie-break and then tore through it with surprising ease, Agassi failing to take a single point.


Sampras: Even 37 aces was not enough
Having seemed set to re-take the lead, Agassi found himself behind for the first time in the match.

But the American used all his street-fighting determination to cling onto Sampras' coat-tails.

By mid-way through the fourth set Sampras had served 30 aces but it was not enough to shake off Agassi.

He shrugged off break points into two of his service games to take the set to a tie-breaker.

This time it was his strength of character which triumphed, producing two unplayable first serves to take a 6-5 lead before breaking Sampras with a fierce baseline one-two.

The crowd, who had thrilled to Agassi's exciting brand of tennis, erupted.

While Agassi virtually ran from the court at the prosect of a final set, Sampras shuffled somewhat disconsolately.

With the psychological edge restored, Agassi broke his man twice and ran out an easy 6-1 winner in the final set - the only anti-climax of a fantastic match.

He now plays Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia or 12th seed Magnus Norman of Sweden in Sunday's final.

After the match, Sampras said he had been troubled by a hip strain which may force him to miss next week's opening Davis Cup clash against Zimbabwe.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Tennis Contents


See also:
27 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Awesome Hingis claims final place
27 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Davenport smashes through
26 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Unfancied Norman reaches last four
25 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Sampras sets up Agassi showdown
23 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Sampras through to last eight
24 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Hewitt falls to storming Norman
23 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Henman agony in five-set epic
21 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Sampras shows signs of weakness
28 Nov 99 |  Tennis
Sampras crowned world champion
14 Jan 00 |  Tennis
American dream Down Under
Links to other Tennis stories are at the foot of the page.