queens99sampras_henman

Points won by each set: [ 47-54, 35-29, 43-41 ]
Points won directly on serve:
39 % Sampras – 47 of 118
30 % Henman – 40 of 131

# Arguably the toughest route for Sampras [3] to get a title when he needed five wins. Paradoxically he easily outplayed two left-handers possessing great serves (Arthurs, Ivanisevic) in matches that could be anticipated as very tight. In the 1st set Henman [6] firmly fought off two set points at *4:5 and another one at 5:6. Given grass, the set was exceptionally long because of the last three games (they consisted of 4, 1 & 6 ‘deuces’ respectively). Sampras obtained the only break of the final at 1-all when Henman badly missed a high forehand volley having already saved three break points in that game. From that moment to the end, Henman – who was mixing serve-and-volley game with the baseline – hadn’t problems with nine holds; Sampras struggled in the decider at 1:2 (15/40) and 2:3 (30/40) – he saved four break points in those games, one of them being pushed to no-man’s land, the last one with a perfect forehand volley. Only one mini-break separated them in the decisive tie-break – Sampras showed his special talent in tight moments when at 4-all he played a perfect backhand lob not using that shot in the entire contest. He converted his first match point with a volley winner. That very difficult event turned around the season for Sampras – he came to London with a poor, by his standards 11-6 record, then won four consecutive tournaments, including Wimbledon where he ousted Henman again, that time in the semifinals.

Sampras’ route to his 57th title:
2 Todd Woodbridge 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-4
3 Wayne Arthurs 7-5, 6-3
Q Goran Ivanisevic 7-5, 6-4
S Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4)
W Tim Henman 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-6(4)

# Sampras saved mini-match points in 3rd sets vs Woodbridge (at 4-all; at 1-all trailed 0/40) & Hewitt (at 5-all); five points away from defeat to Woodbridge, three points away vs Hewitt & Henman

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