stutgart96becker_sampras

Points won by each set: [ 25-34, 29-26, 20-24, 33-25, 32-28 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
42 % Becker – 58 of 138
35 % Sampras – 49 of 138

Upgraded tournament, and moved from February to October. Sampras [1] was a big favorite to claim the title having won 21 straight matches (24 indoors) in 1996 and four consecutive wins over Becker [6]. But the German found his best form at the end of ’96 and pleased the packed crowd with a 3-hour win. It didn’t seem probable when he lost the opener leading 3:1* and not converting break points in Sampras’ two service games. In that match the service games of both guys were unexpectedly vulnerable though, they created break point chances in 13 games (one month later they play one hour longer match with only 5 break point games) # “I am a bit perplexed. I never expected to be able to beat him,” Becker said. “But you try everything against Pete Sampras in a final like this. My legs hurt in the final set.”

Becker’s route to his 48th title:
2 Greg Rusedski 6-4, 6-4
3 Thomas Enqvist 6-4, 7-5
Q Magnus Gustafsson 6-2, 6-2
S Michael Chang 6-4, 6-3
W Pete Sampras 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

# Comparison of their two 1996 indoor finals:
Stuttgart: Becker d. Sampras 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4… 2 hours 57 minutes… Total points: 139-137 (aces: 29-14)… Breaks: 4-3
Hannover: Sampras d. Becker 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4… 4 hours 1 minute… Total points: 160-178 (aces: 15-30)… Breaks: 1-1

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