ao97sampras_hrbaty

ao97sampras_hrbaty

Points won by each set: [ 39-40, 25-22, 35-33, 25-29, 33-28 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
43 % Sampras – 65 of 150
30 % Hrbaty – 49 of 159

Incredibly fast paced match under the scorching sun (~50 Celsius throughout the match!) because they were both serving tremendously well, an average point concluded in 1-4 strokes, and the match lasted only 2 hours 52 minutes. Sampras [1] squandered a 4:2 lead in the tie-break (lost it 4/7) and something what at the beginning seemed like a routine straight set victory turned into a 5-set nightmare against the inexperienced heavy-hitter from Slovakia. The American barely survived the decider trailing *1:3, 0/30 (hit two aces, two service winners) 2:4, 15/40 (saved the double mini-match point with service winner and very good forehand that forced Hrbaty’s error) 4-all, 30/40 (saved the third mini MP with a solid baseline rally). On the first match point Sampras played a sloppy forehand inside-out, and the ball probably touched the line, Hrbaty [76] didn’t protest, albeit it didn’t make any sense at the time, almost a decade before the hawk-eye introduction…

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