It was a time when the 26-year-old ‘Pistol Pete’  enjoyed his biggest serving maturity. He won back-to-back events at Wimbledon & Cincinnati (four-week break between those titles) holding 161 out of 166 service games in twelve matches (Tillstrom, Woodbridge, Rafter, A.Costa & Muster – each of them broke Sampras once)! The 30-year-old Austrian  was bidding to become the first man to claim two titles winning all matches in three-setters (he achieved such a feat in Florence ’91). He’ll never play such a big final afterwards, but defeats Sampras 7-5, 6-3 at Indian Wells ’98 in their last meeting…
Sampras’ route to his 49th title:
2 Justin Gimelstob 6-2, 6-4
3 Patrick Rafter 7-6(4), 6-4
Q Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-2, 6-2
S Albert Costa 6-3, 6-4
W Thomas Muster 6-3, 6-4
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