BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: US Open tennis  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK
Sampras celebrates classic duel
Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi at the end of their thrilling quarter-final
Over 30, but still among the best - Sampras and Agassi
Pete Sampras gave full credit to Andre Agassi for his part in their classic four-set battle in the US Open quarter-final at Flushing Meadows.

It was Sampras who emerged victorious in a match which featured no breaks of serve and contained three tie-breaks.

After dropping the first set, Sampras came back to triumph 6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6 in a match already being compared to some of the great duels of the court.

As well as Agassi played, it is the performance of Sampras which is drawing the attention of tennis observers, with many believing that his best days had passed.

But after dismissing Pat Rafter and Agassi in consecutive matches, the holder of 13 Grand Slam titles must be considered back to his very best.


I felt it could be a classic and it was. It all lived up to the hype
Pete Sampras

But Sampras was content to linger on about this match, rather than the obstacle barring his progression to the final - reigning champion Marat Safin.

"We both played at a very high level, the best returner against a serve and volleyer going toe-to-toe.

"He didn't lose serve and can't feel bad about how he played. I just got the breaks," said the 30-year-old.

"I felt it could be a classic and it was. It all lived up to the hype. I have never played in a match before when we both never lost a serve.

"But I knew it was going to be a dogfight and it turned into one of our greatest matches."

For Agassi, there was reflection on the fact that he had lost a match in which he never played at less than 100%.

Andre Agassi during his four set defeat to Pete Sampras
Agassi pushed himself to the limit - and still lost
"It just boiled down to a few shots, that's the difficulty and the beauty of it," he admitted.

"It's disappointing for me but I'm glad to have been a part of it. It came down to the wire. How much closer can you get? When I won the first set tie-break I had the momentum but he came up with such great shots.

"I felt the pace of the match was up his alley, both of us taking care of the serve. It was a match more to his liking.

Final word to Sampras, who almost certainly spoke for his vanquished foe when he said that this pair of over-30s are not ready for retirement.

"Andre and I still have it. When we play the difference in our games and personalities means it is a good clash. It's always intense and we'll go toe-to-toe again," Sampras said.

"I don't know where all the stories about my retirement came from. Andre and Pete has the sort of rivalry that will go down in history."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Pete Sampras
"It always comes down to a couple of points against Andre"
Andre Agassi
"When you lose like that it is difficult"
All the latest news from the US Open

Daily results

In-depth coverage

Player profiles

Clickable guide

Sports Talk

Internet link
See also:

06 Sep 01 | US Open tennis
Links to more US Open tennis stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more US Open tennis stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales