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John Lloyd
"I though Pat Rafter would win"
 real 28k


Monday, 10 July, 2000, 01:27 GMT 02:27 UK
Lloyd: An amazing finale
Pete Sampras
Taken his rightful place in Wimbledon history
BBC TV commentator John Lloyd looks back at an historic men's final.

I can not believe that the final was ever completed. It carried over six hours and really was a marathon for everyone involved.

It was amazing. It nearly wasn't completed, if Patrick Rafter had taken his chances in the second set tie break, Pete Sampras would have taken it into a fifth set to come back and the failing light would not have let the match go that far.

Rafter could have won it easily. But it really was an historic match, with an incredible finish.

It wasn't a great final by any means. But it was an unbelievably exciting match at the end because of what it meant.
Pat Rafter
Made it a thrilling final

The two styles really didn't make for a good match up. We were spoilt with the Agassi-Rafter match and I knew the final would never reach those heights - not many matches could.

It was very serve dominated for a couple of sets, although Sampras would have kicked himself for losing the first set. He, at least, had some great point chances. Somehow Rafter managed to win that set.

No-one looked like breaking serve in the second set. Then we went into the tie-breaker and Sampras went down 4-1. It looked like Rafter was going to make it two sets to love, but he choked and he said afterwards that he was nervous.

Amazing

It was almost as though he realised he was going to win and he took his foot off the accelerator. The next minute it was one set all and the match really changed after that.

I did think Rafter was going to win, and if he'd won that second set he probably would have done.

But in the end, the result had something to do with Rafter's lack of tough matches during the year because of his injuries.

It also showed how much effort, physically and mentally, the match with Agassi had taken out of him.

But you must not take the credit away from Sampras. The record is amazing. They are going to have to handicap him until he gets too old, otherwise he's going to keep winning Wimbledon forever.

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See also:

09 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Sampras in seventh heaven
09 Jul 00 |  Photo Galleries
Men's singles final: In pictures
09 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Sampras v Rafter: Clockwatch
Internet links:


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