munich90sampras_ivanisevic

munich90sampras_ivanisevic

Points won by each set: | 40-37, 36-37, 42-39 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
31 % Sampras – 38 of 120
29 % Ivanisevic – 33 of 111

Even though the 19-year-old Sampras [5] already collected a Grand Slam title, his peer Ivanisevic [9] seemed to be at the same level, and a magnificent future was wide open for them both. In retrospect I’d say it was very important match for their careers, not only because Sampras got the title two days later, receiving a check for 2 million dollars and didn’t need to worry about money anymore, but also because the match was very tight, and the American found a way to victory. I think he built a mental advantage over Ivanisevic then. For the next few years this pattern of Sampras playing ‘big points’ better in their confrontations, will be repeated several times – every time as it goes to 5-all in the deciding 3rd set (three times including Munich) or a 5-setter (three times)…
After no breaks in 22 games, Ivanisevic was broken at 5-all in the 2nd set, but he broke back to win the tie-break, converting his third set point benefiting from Sampras’ forehand error. In the decider, the Yugoslavian squandered break points in two games: at 1-all (one) & 4-all (four mini-match points). In that decisive 9th game, Ivanisevic first led 40/15 – Sampras got two points with a FH volley & service winner. On another break point Sampras showed something special – he was able to play a BH stop-volley despite the ball off Ivanisevic’s return hit the net-cord, slightly changing its direction! On fourth & last break point Sampras struck another service winner on Ivanisevic’s backhand. The match was finished with a double fault of Ivanisevic, who was not trying to risk the second serve. Also with a double fault will be concluded a copy-cat match six years later, played in Germany too, at ‘Masters’ in Hanover.

# Comparison of their three tight “best of 3” matches:
Munich 1990 (QF): Sampras d. Ivanisevic 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 8-6… 2 hours 24 minutes… Total points: 118-113 (aces: 11-14)… Ivanisevic 5 pts away
Paris 1991 (3R): Sampras d. Ivanisevic 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5)… 2 hours 17 minutes… Total points: 117-105 (aces: 7-27)… Ivanisevic 3 pts away
Hanover 1996 (SF): Sampras d. Ivanisevic 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 7-5… 1 hour 56 minutes… Total points: 110-100 (aces: 17-35)… Ivanisevic 3 pts away

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