The event was moved from December to September in 1997. Sampras became the only man to win the Compaq Grand Slam Cup twice (he previously did it in the first edition – 1990). “Because he just won the U.S. Open, it raised my intensity,” Sampras said. “He’s No. 3 now, so you come out firing.” “It was very frustrating for me out there,” Rafter said. “He’s just too good and too strong. I’ve got to look for something new, something different to crack Pete.” Sampras’ advantage was overwhelming, he won 20 points on serve in a row from scratch, created break points in three games of the 2nd set, and only once was forced to play ‘deuce’ on serve (at 2-all in the last set)… A week before they met in the Davis Cup semifinals, and Sampras won 6-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4. To some degree, Rafter’s excuse for a poor appearance in the Munich final it could be his marathon & exceptionally dramatic semifinal against Korda while Sampras had super fast 4-setter vs Rusedski.
Sampras’ road to his 50th title:
1 Felix Mantilla 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Q Jonas Bjorkman 7-6(6), 6-4
S Greg Rusedski 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(4), 6-2
W Patrick Rafter 6-2, 6-4, 7-5
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