paris91sampras_ivanisevic

The stats without three games (aces, double faults & break points correct for the entire contest)
Points won by each set: [ 29-23, 40-37, 48-45 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
34 % Sampras – 40 of 115
42 % Ivanisevic – 46 of 107

Their fourth meeting, split two apiece & a specific pattern is developed – Ivanisevic has easily won twice while Sampras twice after tight battles. This pattern will mark their rivalry in the 90s – Sampras always wins tighter matches, arguably with one exception (Key Biscayne ’96). Actually in Paris ’91 they almost copied their indoor meeting from Munich a year before – in both tight matches Sampras [7] was close to win in straight sets, then serving as the first in the decider, he was very close to lose his serve which could be crucial for the final outcome – in Munich he saved four beak points at 4-all, in Paris three break points at 3-all; twice escaping from 15/40… in Paris the double break point was withstood with overhead & service winner… Just like in Munich, the Yugoslav [14] was the closest to break on his third break point: the net-cord separated them twice, it somehow helped Sampras to play successful volley in Munich whereas in Paris it stopped Ivanisevic’s passing-shot after the longest rally of the match (32 strokes) – he should actually have won that point. Even though Ivanisevic began the deciding tie-break with a mini-break, he found himself at 2:6*, quickly saved three match points, but on the fourth chance Sampras delivered a service winner to Ivanisevic’s backhand.
Another bitter pillow for the young Yugoslav, within a one-year period of two dramatic defeats to Sampras, he lost 5 out of 6 matches involving tight deciders (being 5 & 3 points away from defeating Sampras, 2 & 4 points away from defeating Edberg and 4 (?) points away from defeating Gomez). This bad streak will be snapped in Stuttgart ’92 with an MPs-down 3-6 7-6 7-6 over Courier; since that victory to the end of his career, Ivanisevic will usually be winning tight deciders.

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