Martin def Sampras 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4 6-4
Based on Sampras' mediocre performance in previous matches I thought Martin
had a chance but I didn't think Pete would fall this easy. After all Sampras
lead Martin something like 17-2 in previous encounters.
Basically I think Sampras' main problem was that he got a bit though draw,
and after having two tough four-setters he tried to take it easy against
Chela which didn't quite work. In that match it was only about 9th game of
the fourth set when he wake up that he was about to lose a match. Today he
looked sloppy and sleepy all the time. He thought too much about meeting
Agassi and saving strength for that instead of concentrating on the match
currently going on. Martin OTOH played calmly and his shots looked very
I don't know whether Sampras just serves badly nowadays, but both Chela and
Martin constantly hit terrific low returns at Sampras' legs. By contrast,
Sampras had only something like three break points against Martin which he
all lost. Martin simply out-served Sampras by gross margin and that was the
key of the match. Rather predictably there were very few long rallies.
I think Sampras is slowly going to be like Graf in her last years, an "old
joker", always dangerous but not a candidate for No. 1 spot. Curiously just
like Graf he uses more and more backhand slice. Congrats to Todd, maybe he
finally this time goes all the way to the end.