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

  Saturday, 8 September, 2001, 04:11 GMT 05:11 UK
Sampras eyes revenge
Pete Sampras
Pete Sampras is fired up for another Grand Slam title
Pete Sampras is hoping to embarrass his critics again by avenging last year's final defeat against Marat Safin in Saturday's US Open semi-final.

The former world number one has not won a tournament since claiming a record 13th Grand Slam title at last year's Wimbledon.

That prompted many observers to write off his chances ahead of the championships in New York.


Last time I played Marat I was pretty humbled out there
Pete Sampras
Sampras admits that his form has been poor in 2001 but insists he will be around for some time to come.

"It has been a disappointing year," he said.

"What I don't appreciate is retirement talk. It has gotten a bit carried away.

"But it doesn't phase me too much. I'm still around."

The American's form at Flushing Meadows has been spectacular as he has overcome both Pat Rafter and Andre Agassi on his way to the last four.

"It would be nice to do well here and to have won a couple of epic matches against two great players," said Sampras.

"But I'm not content in any means. I feel like I've got a couple good matches left in me."

Marat Safin
Marat Safin has been in top form
Sampras was overwhelmed in straight sets by Safin in last year's final and has a 3-2 losing record against the Russian.

"I've got some work to do," he admitted. "Last time I played Marat I was pretty humbled out there. It should be another good test.

"I hope he comes down to Earth. I'm sure he will feel a little bit more pressure this year than last year. He's a great player, possesses a big game. He's playing well. It should be a good one."

Safin has struggled since surprising everyone by claiming his first Grand Slam title last year and he is determined to prove it was not a one-off.

"I need to win," said the Russian. "I would love to win a few more Grand Slams and I think I'm capable. My game is improving. I'll be there. I'll be really tough in the Grand Slams.

"I have to forget last year. Last year doesn't exist. I played too good. I cannot play this good again. It's impossible. It's too good.

"I have to find another way to beat him. It's going to be a different story."

Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt won an epic semi-final
The other semi-final sees another Russian, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, take on Australia's Lleyton Hewitt.

Kafelnikov has already won the French and Australian Open titles and is keen to add the US Open crown.

"It's going to be very interesting for me to play on that particular stage," Kafelnikov said.

"I could not even realise I was going to be here again with this opportunity. It's still a long way to win the title, but to have two steps left to winning another major, this is great."

Hewitt has lost only once in five meetings with Kafelnikov but expects to face a different player at this stage of a Grand Slam.

"He's a tough player, especially in Grand Slams, a lot tougher than week-in, week-out," Hewitt said.

"I'm going to have to be prepared to match it with him from the baseline and take my opportunities when I can. It's going to be awfully tough.

"I'm going out and give everything I've got. Hopefully I have got enough energy in the tank."

All the latest news from the US Open

Daily results

In-depth coverage

Player profiles

Clickable guide

Sports Talk

Internet link
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