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  Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 04:38 GMT 05:38 UK
Sampras beats Agassi in epic
Pete Sampras now faces Marat Safin in the semi-final
Pete Sampras now faces Marat Safin in the semi-final
P Sampras (US) bt A Agassi (US) 6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6

Pete Sampras came back from a set down to beat Andre Agassi in a classic US Open quarter-final match at Flushing Meadows.

With the prospect of it being the last Grand Slam showdown between the two greatest players of the last generation, the match had top billing.

And it lived up to expectations as both players produced tennis as good as they have ever played in their illustrious careers.


Every loss is hard and disappointing in its own right. All you can do is make him earn it, and that I did
Andre Agassi

The match was decided on four tie-breaks as neither player could force a break of serve.

The first went the way of Agassi as he overturned three set points to take the set 9-7.

Neither player mustered even a break point in the second set as it too went to a breaker.

This time Sampras took control with a mini-break in the first point and he did not look back as he ran away with the tie-break 7-2.

Agassi played his part in a classic
Agassi played his part in a classic

The level of play reached unbelievable heights in the third set but neither player could break the other's serve.

So another tie-break was necessary and for once Agassi's level dropped as two unforced errors gave Sampras the advantage.

Once again Sampras took the breaker by a 7-2 scoreline.

As the fourth set developed still without a break of serve, the prospect of five tie-breaks loomed large.

But Sampras had other ideas.

He took control of the fourth tie-break and at 6-3 served for the match.


When he's down he comes up with some unbelievable shots
Pete Sampras

Yet Sampras netted a volley and then double-faulted to give Agassi a chance to escape.

The pressure proved too much, however, and Agassi succumbed to a third match point.

An end to a spellbinding match and Sampras now plays Marat Safin in the semi-final.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"It was a classic"
Pete Sampras
"It always comes down to a couple of points against Andre"
Andre Agassi
"When you lose like that it is difficult"
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