Night session, and one of the most important matches in  Safin’s career. Even though he had all attributes to be the most dangerous on hardcourts, by that moment, he was considered a clay-court specialist. In the opener he got a lucky break at 2-all when Sampras  missed a forehand by intches from a comfortable position at the net. Nothing interesting happened in the decider until the Russian led 6:5. Through eleven games they were both holding quickly, and then Sampras survived the longest game of the match (six deuces) withstanding three match points. In the tie-break Sampras trailed *1:4 when struck an ace down the T off his second serve. What had worked for him then, didn’t work in two other critical moments: when he had a match point at 7:6 and when he faced the fourth match point at 8:9 – he committed double faults, trying the same type of serve that had helped him to escape at 1:4. In the meantime, SamPe had two other match points on return (Safin’s service winner & firm backhand cross passing-shot). Before that match, Safin legitimated a weak 4-10 record in deciding set tie-breaks.
You must be logged in to post a comment.