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  Monday, 3 September, 2001, 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK
Sampras sets up Agassi showdown
Pat Rafter
Rafter had no answer to Sampras' power
P Sampras (US, 10) bt P Rafter (Aus, 6)
6-3 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

Pete Sampras underlined why he has been one of the greatest tennis players of modern times with a comprehensive win over Pat Rafter.

The four-time US Open champion will now meet fellow American Andre Agassi in a mouthwatering quarter-final.

Agassi powered to a straight sets victory over Roger Federer earlier on Monday.


I'm going to enjoy this for about five minutes - then I have to get ready for Andre
Pete Sampras
Sampras was in awesome form as he sent Rafter scurrying around the court.

Wimbledon finalist Rafter, himself a two-time winner, let his guard down as early as the fourth game, netting an easy forehand volley to give the American the advantage.

The rest of the set went to serve but by now Rafter had sensed that he may have caught Sampras on a very good day.

The 10th seed American took until the third game of the second set to break Rafter again.

Rafter comeback

Another unforced error from the Australian handed Sampras two crucial break points. Sampras took the second with a superb backhand cross-court return.

He broke Rafter again in the fifth and by this time it was looking embarrassing.

The third set told a slightly different tale with the games going to serve and it seemed almost inevitable that a tie-break was in the offing.

The match began to swing in Rafter's favour and a gutsy backhand gave the Australian the advantage before a second serve ace took him to a 7-5 win in the tie-break.

The fourth set followed a similar pattern until the 10th game when Rafter's game fell apart.


I've got a lot of respect for Pat and his game
Pete Sampras

The Australian made unforced errors to hand Sampras two match points.

Rafter saved both before Sampras clinched the match with a superb overhead smash.

"It's a huge match, playing Pat, who is worthy of a big match, a semi or final here," said Sampras after.

"You have to emotionally treat it like a final, at least I did.

"I've got a lot of respect for Pat and his game. I wanted to show some emotion.

"I think coming in here, he was one of the strong favourites to go all the way. He's had a great summer."

Rafter, meanwhile, who has said he wants to take a break from tennis, spoke of his desire to do things outside the tennis arena.

'Unfinished business'

"I've been thinking about it for a little while," he said.

"There's new things I want to do. Just sort of live a life.

"We live in an unreal world here. I just want to touch down a little bit. Maybe I might not like it. I'll wait and see."

However, when asked if this would be his final Grand Slam match, he replied "I don't know."

But he did suggest he still has one unfulfilled ambition in the game.

"The unfinished business for me is Wimbledon for sure," said Rafter.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Barry Millns reports
"Sampras dashed Rafters hopes of going further"
Pete Sampras
"I was on a roll and treated it like a final"
Ausralia's Pat Rafter
"Pete was the better player - he was pumped up"
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