1994 – 1995, US Open

U.S. Open, New York
August 29, 1994; 128 Draw (16 seeded) – $4,100,800; Surface – Hard 

The most shocking US Open of the 90s. All main favorites were eliminated before quarterfinals, including defending champion Pete Sampras, who came back in action after a 6-week injury break. His injured ankle was already fine, but he wasn’t prepared physically and lost in the 4th round to one of the shortest players of the Open era – Jaime Yzaga, who had eliminated the 1993 finalist Cedric Pioline in the previous round (Yzaga in both those matches won fewer points!). Andre Agassi became the only unseeded champion in the tournament history, defeating five seeded players (no other U.S. champion had beaten even four before)!
All scorelines
First round: Steve Wilstein

Doubles specialist Richey Reneberg [48] played the singles match of his life Monday night and ousted seventh-seeded Boris Becker [7] from the U.S. Open in a five-set first-round victory. With fans chanting: “Who needs baseball! Who needs baseball!” Houston’s Reneberg beat Becker, a former U.S. Open champion, 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 7-6(5) in a match that lasted more 3 hours, 6 minutes, and ended well past midnight (Becker’s first 5-set defeat in which the scoreline reached 5-all in the final set, had previously won six times in these circumstances). Trailing, 5:4 in the final set, Becker fought off triple match point with a service winner, a 119-mph ace and another service winner. In the tie-break he saved another two match points. “That fifth set probably was the best set of tennis I’ve ever played,” Reneberg said. “I was thinking he usually wins matches like this, so I decided to go for my shots and they were all going in.” It was Reneberg’s first victory ever against Becker. Day one of the Open lasted more than 13 hours, Reneberg closed the show with an overhead into an open court that Becker couldn’t reach. Reneberg, 28, covered so much of the court that it seemed at times as if he had an invisible doubles partner on his side. Becker tried to beat him from the baseline, then from the net, but couldn’t overcome a sluggish start. There were patches when Becker was brilliant: he served 10 of his 20 aces in the fifth set. But there were other times when he seemed destined to lose: he hit 29 of his 59 unforced errors in the first two sets. He was coming off tour victories in Los Angeles and New Haven, and was deemed a potent contender at the Open. But Reneberg, a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team, poked holes in that theory. Reneberg was nearly flawless with only 28 unforced errors in the whole match. For two sets, he could do no wrong. He hit lunging winners off the frame of his racket, passing shots that left Becker stunned, ground-strokes that nicked the corners. Even when Becker evened the match in the next two sets, Reneberg played far above his usual standard or anything he showed while dropping all six of their previous matches. “He slowed down in the fourth set and saved his energy for the fifth,” Becker said. “The balls here are heavier and softer. That suits his game very much. He’s a counter-puncher.” Goran Ivanisevic [2] stood meekly behind the baseline during most of his 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 loss to Marcus Zoecke [68]. Zoecke serves hard, and that’s about it. At 6 feet 5 inches, his head is always hunched over his thick chest, as if he’s trying not to show how tall he really is. He looks awkward, top heavy, his legs surprisingly slender, and he walks with little mincing steps. Ivanisevic could have taken advantage of Zoecke’s slowness, his erratic ground-strokes, his weak second serve. Instead, Ivanisevic displayed a mixture of indifference and confusion. He strolled away from one of Zoecke’s 16 aces before the ball even crossed the net. He stared plaintively in the last game when one forehand by Zoecke clipped the net cord and skipped into the corner for a winner, and when one of his own sat up for Zoecke to put away on match point. Todd Martin punched the air with a right uppercut to punctuate his five-set victory Tuesday at the U.S. Open. He was lucky he didn’t hit himself. Martin did everything to knock himself out in the first round. He lost the first two sets and sprayed three unforced errors to set up match points in the fifth set against the bespectacled and decidedly unspectacular Guillaume Raoux. Raoux, a squat, bookish Frenchman who turned the hard-court match into a clay-court baseline duel, took all the gifts Martin offered yet still couldn’t quite win. No matter how many chances Raoux had, there was a sense in watching the match that he would find a way to lose and that Martin would find a way to win. That crystallized in the fifth set when Martin served, trailing 4:5, and he faced three match points after errors. On the first, he hit a perfect backhand pass crosscourt to save the match; on the second, Raoux dumped a forehand into the net after a deep forehand by Martin; and on the third, Raoux slapped a forehand wide. Both players looked exhausted as they wiped the sweat from their faces, but they persevered and pushed the match to the tie breaker. Now they were in Martin’s element, the time he seems to wait for to assert himself. Sure enough, he played his best tennis of the day and Raoux his worst. And when Martin slugged a forehand return to close out the match, 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(1), he celebrated with a punch he should have thrown much earlier. The crowd wanted Martin, an American, to win, but it also wanted an upset. Martin said he didn’t think the crowd knew what it wanted or what it saw. “It’s quite a good feeling to play in front of people who yell every point and tell you you’re terrible when you aren’t, and tell you you’re good when you aren’t,’‘ said Martin, who was slightly bothered by a strained groin. “And it was an awful lot of fun after the first two sets to be out there. It was just nice to be out there and finish the job that I started.” This was supposed to be an easy victory for the No. 9 Martin, the start of a peaceful stroll at least as far as the semifinals. The only two players ranked higher in his quarter of the draw were already gone, No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic and No. 7 Boris Becker, victims of Monday’s massacre. But Martin doesn’t seem to do anything easily. He lost his first two sets last year at the Open to one Jordi Burillo. Martin played a record four five-setters at Wimbledon before falling in the semifinals to champion Pete Sampras. If Martin doesn’t get upset along the way, he’s seeded to meet Michael Chang in the semifinals next week. “I didn’t think, `Oh, gee, here I am, another upset in the U.S. Open,”’ Martin said. “I don’t care if Becker and Ivanisevic lost. Actually, I was pretty happy for Richey (Reneberg) last night. You’ve just got to fight, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what your credentials are.” Taking an easier route into the second round Tuesday were No. 5 Stefan Edberg, a 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 winner against Lars Jonsson; and No. 4 Michael Stich, who beat Olivier Delaitre 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-3. No. 15 Marc Rosset, seeded to play Martin in the quarters, struggled to beat Mark Woodforde 4-6, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3. Richard Krajicek, unseeded [31], had one of the more curious victories as he blew a 6:0 lead in a fourth-set tie breaker, lost the set, but still beat Jan Siemerink, 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(8), 6-4. “I was already taking a shower in my head,” Krajicek said, “and suddenly I find myself 7-6 down and actually two sets all. I really relaxed at 6-love and paid the penalty – almost.” When Siemerink [100] trailed by the six match points, USA Cable commentator John McEnroe blurted out: “If he comes back from here, I’ll stand on my head during the Courier-Krickstein match. I’ll call it upside down,” McEnroe said. When Krajicek had his seventh match point in the fourth set, McEnroe put aside his supposedly impartial journalistic ethics, saying, “I don’t know who wants this more, Richard or me.” Krajicek started the decider with a 0:1 (0/40) deficit but saved a triple break point, came back mentally and won the last three games of the match to survive in 3 hours 41 minutes. In the second round Krajicek again lost two tie-breaks, this time the second one was crucial – it was 5th set tie-break against Carlos Costa. Kevin Ullyett didn’t know it, but he wasn’t the only one dealing with some pre-match nerves on Wednesday. Pete Sampras, the defending champion and top seed, also had some butterflies in his stomach. His ankle seemed fine. But he hadn’t played on the tour since it began to bother him six weeks ago at Wimbledon. Practice was one thing. A match at the U.S. Open was another. “I felt a little vulnerable coming in,” Sampras said. “But it’s like riding a bike.” In this case, like riding a bike real fast. Sampras needed only 85 minutes to finish the Tour De Ullyett, rolling to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory in his first-round match against a 206th-ranked and slightly awestruck South African. “I was excited,” Ullyett said. “You don’t get chances like this too often in your lifetime. I think guys are going to find him tough to beat, even though he hasn’t played in six weeks.” You could tell Jim Courier‘s head was screwed on straight as soon as he took the court. His nose was pointed in the same direction as his feet. Tennis’ most celebrated – or is that overblown? – case of burnout made his grand re-entrance to the game Tuesday night, and what better place to unveil himself again than at the U.S. Open. Courier always did appreciate a big crowd, and he had 18,000 at the National Tennis Center and a nationally-televised audience as well. He quickly ran through a game but under-equipped Aaron Krickstein 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, showing off the straight-ahead power of his ground strokes and the pugnacity that once took him to the top of the rankings. Burnout? It lasted three days, he admitted. Yevgeny Kafelnikov, one of the hottest young players on the men’s tour, got off to a good start at his first U.S. Open but wasn’t too impressed by the ambience of the raucous National Tennis Center. Kafelnikov, who won his third title at last week’s Hamlet Cup, said he was warned about the Open, but didn’t expect it to be this bad. “Here it is like a nightmare,” the 20-year-old Russian said, comparing the Open to other Grand Slams. “You cannot walk here easily and everybody is touching you. The most easy for me is the Australian Open because I like the atmosphere there and it is not like here.” Kafelnikov, No. 14, posted a 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-3 victory over Dutchman Jacco Eltingh on Stadium Court.

Second round: Jerry Magee

Playing tennis against Michael Chang has to be like developing the flu. After a while, you begin to hurt all over. It was like that last night for MaliVai Washington, who began strongly but ultimately submitted, it seemed, to attrition as much as to what Chang was directing at him. Scores in this second-round U.S. Open match were 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(3). For the evening session, the crowd was 22,050, of which only a fraction was still present when Chang and Washington concluded matters at 17 minutes after midnight in the East, 3 hours, 2 minutes after the match’s start. For Chang, that was a relatively snappy get-together. In 1992, he and Stefan Edberg labored in the semifinals for 5:26 – the longest match in Open history. Edberg won in five sets. Chang is like a pitcher whose stuff improves as the innings go by. If you’re going to get him, you had best do it quickly. Trailing, 0:2, after losing the first set, Chang cut down on his errors and watched Washington make plenty of his own to win six straight games and take control. There were moments when each produced great shots, but those were offset by a total of 111 unforced errors in a generally sloppy match. Washington seemed beaten when he was broken to 5:3 in the third set, then hit a defensive lob as high as the top of the stadium at 30/15 in the next game. Chang waited a few seconds for the ball to come down, put it away on a bounce with an overhead, then served an ace to close out the set. But Washington, who loves long matches as much as Chang, bore down to push the fourth set to a tiebreaker. Cruising for bruisings in the U.S. Open: There was Jim Courier getting clobbered in the stadium, Andrei Medvedev crumbling in the grandstand. It was a Friday afternoon of sunshine and sucker punches, players hardly anyone ever heard of sneaking up and knocking out four big names. Courier’s lassitude caught up to him against a fiery, fist-pumping Italian, 21-year-old Andrea Gaudenzi, who took out the No. 11 seed 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round – the same round Courier lost in at Wimbledon. A couple of weeks ago, Courier spoke of bagging his rackets, maybe the sport, if he couldn’t recover his desire. He almost stayed away from the Open, and perhaps now wishes he did. After losing in his 22nd straight tournament, Courier was asked how he might get back to the level he played at when he won two Australian Opens and two French Opens. “Do you want to tell me?” he said. “It is a process. You have to work through it. I know I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.” Defending champion and top seed Pete Sampras had no such problems at night, serving 17 aces and neatly dismissing a potential threat in Daniel Vacek, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in just more than 1 1/2 hours – slightly longer than his opening match two days earlier (it was their third major match within 12 months). Sampras , whose injured left ankle sidelined him for six weeks before the tournament, looked much more impressive in his second match against a player ranked No. 54 than in his first against a less challenging qualifier. This time, Sampras raised the level of his play, serving and volleying with authority and chasing down baseline shots as if he never had been hurt. “My ankle feels great,” Sampras said. Courier’s performance, while not as utterly indifferent as some of the ones he has put on in the past year, lacked passion for the first two sets and revealed again why he has fallen so precipitously from the top of tennis. Courier plays at two paces, hard and harder. When those aren’t enough, when his timing or accuracy are a tad off, he doesn’t adjust to the conditions or his opponents. He might have thrown Gaudenzi off by coming to the net more, mixing up strokes, doing anything different. It took an hour and a half for Courier to try a drop shot, and though it worked, he never tried it again. Instead, he slugged and slugged until he was slugged out, dumping the last ball into the net. Karel Novacek played one of the best matches of his life to beat Andrei Medvedev 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Medvedev seemed slow on the court, stuck at times, unsure whether to come in or stay back. Novacek was playing as if in a dream, and Medvedev had no idea what to do. “I’m sure his impression before the match was kind of like, `I will go for my shots because I actually have nothing to lose,’ and you know, he played a very smart, tactical game,” Medvedev said. Andre Agassi says there are “six or seven guys” who can win the U.S. Open. And even though he is unseeded, Agassi puts himself in that select group. Agassi, ranked 20th in the world, certainly looked sharp in defeating veteran Frenchman Guy Forget, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2, in Thursday night’s featured match at the National Tennis Center. Agassi wasted a 5:2* lead in the 3rd set and 5:4* in the tie-breaker. He next faces No. 12 seed Wayne Ferreira in a third-round match, probably on Saturday. His likely fourth-round opponent would be No. 6 Michael Chang. A title at the Canadian Open in Toronto four weeks ago his first tournament win since February has Agassi in an upbeat mood. “That’s the most important thing in playing a tournament when you step into the arena out on stadium court, you actually believe you can beat who you are playing against. And I do,” said Agassi. “I think the win in Canada really helped me. If I continue to play my best tennis, I do have a shot to win the Open, absolutely.” Forget was ranked 108th but he was no pushover for Agassi. After missing almost a year after a serious knee injury suffered in 1993, Forget converted a wild-card entry at Wimbledon in June into a surprising quarterfinal appearance, which included a victory over Jim Courier. While Agassi is known as a brilliant service returner, Forget’s first four serves of the match were a blistering 114, 117, 123, and 106 mph (the last one on a second serve). The first two went for aces but the last two led to a double-fault. That would be a problem that would plague Forget all night. It ended abruptly, with Ivan Lendl [30] in his chair, his back too stiff to play, this year’s U.S. Open over too early for him. Lendl dropped the first set Thursday against [41] Bernd Karbacher, 6-4, but was up, 5:0, in the second when the pain began to get to him. He played on, trying to get through it, trying to find a way to win. There were nine set points (!), nine chances to put his man away and stretch the match. Each of them went to Karbacher and progressively Lendl’s back got worse and his mobility vanished before he lost, 6-4, 7-6(5), 1-0, default. What was he thinking, Lendl was asked. “It wouldn’t help you to know,” he said. After Karbacher won the set in a tiebreaker, the trainer visited Lendl. “It got stiff fairly early,” Lendl said. “It’s the same thing. It has been going on for a while.” He tried to play on but Karbacher took him apart in the first game of the third set. And now it was over, Lendl wincing as he walked off center court, a place he has dominated. This is a man who played for the U.S. Open title every year from 1982 through 1989. But he’s 34 now, in the twilight of his career. And for the second year in a row, his Open would end with him injured, unable to complete a match. Last year, it was his knee that sent Lendl home in the first round. This time it was his back. Was it frustrating? “More than I can explain,” he said. “It is sad in a way, but it is normal,” Karbacher said. “What he reached in his career was great but he is 34. You can’t play 20 years. It is normal that some young guy will come up and beat him.” Lendl never came back on tour after that loss…

Third round: Steve Wilstein, Mark Woods

They were the perfect antidote to slam-bang tennis, Andre Agassi winning in three sweet sets, Michael Chang in just one and a half, each showing why baseliners are dominating this year’s U.S. Open. The way they played Saturday, Agassi and Chang looked as if they were sharpening up for the final. Too bad one must bump off the other in the round of 16. Agassi beat the tougher opponent, No. 12 Wayne Ferreira, 7-5, 6-1, 7-5, and he did it in thoroughly convincing fashion. Ferreira was so frustrated he was reduced to childish fits of racket-throwing and ball-whacking. Chang was equally in command of his match but got away in half the time when Jim Grabb retired with an aggravated shoulder injury while trailing 6-1, 4-1. Chang played his best tennis so far, serving like a bigger man and chasing down almost everything. It is no coincidence that Agassi and Chang are playing so well. So, too, are other baseliners like No. 3 Sergi Bruguera, who beat big Marc-Kevin Goellner 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(4) 6-1, and No. 13 Thomas Muster, who beat Thomas Enqvist, 6-0, 6-4, 6-2. Richey Reneberg, an unseeded baseliner who upset Boris Becker in the first round, reached the fourth round with a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Richard Fromberg. No. 9 Todd Martin, a classic serve-and-volleyer, struggled through five sets in the first round. He’s stayed back more ever since, and on Saturday night he approached the net about half as often as Patrick Rafter in beating him 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-2. Roger Smith stood on the edge of the Stadium Court, a standing ovation filling his ears, a CBS camera in his smiling face. “Hello, Bahamas,” he said. “I’m still here!” Actually, he was on his way out of the U.S. Open. He had just lost a third-round match to top-seeded Pete Sampras. But the oldest (30) and lowest-ranked player (187th) left in the men’s draw had stuck around a lot longer than anyone expected. And he had managed to give the defending champion a surprisingly tense 2 hours, 22 minutes Sunday before losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. “He wasn’t intimidated by a big feature match on CBS,” Sampras said. “He was playing well. He had nothing to lose and I did. This was the first bad match I’ve played in a (Grand) Slam in a while.” All the seeds who played Sunday – other than two-time former champion Stefan Edberg – managed to get through to the second week of the Open. The highlights: – Edberg, the fifth seed, fell apart in his third-round match, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 to Jonas Bjorkman, a fellow Swede who is ranked eighth in doubles but only 71st in singles. Edberg, 28, won the tournament in 1991 and 1992. Edberg’s timing certainly was off. A prime example came when he was down 5:4 in the second set and serving. He double-faulted, his second serve flying off the frame of his racket and landing beyond the baseline. It took only 1 hour, 35 minutes for the 22-year-old Bjorkman to finish off Edberg and move into the fourth round. He made it to the fourth round at Wimbledon. In his only other U.S. Open appearance, Bjorkman lost in the second round. “I didn’t really get myself going,” Edberg said. “It’s very difficult when a guy tees off and basically everything goes in. He really did play well tonight.” Jaime Yzaga ousted last year’s finalist Cedric Pioline 1-6, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1, 6-4, having lost their previous match a week earlier 1-6, 3-6 at Long Island. In other similar 5-setter, Todd Woodbridge [136] blew a match point in 3rd and 5th sets of his match against Karel Novacek, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-7(2). Woodbridge had lost a match from a 3rd set tie-break leading 2-sets-to-0 also a year before to his countryman Richard Fromberg.

Fourth round: Steve Wilstein

This was the Andre Agassi who won Wimbledon, the one who once threatened to rule tennis, the one U.S. Open fans have been waiting to see ever since Pete Sampras blew him out in the final here four years ago. For one nearly perfect set at the start, another at the end, and three grueling sets in the middle, Agassi put on a show Monday that rivaled the best matches of his career as he beat No. 6 Michael Chang, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, to reach the quarterfinals. Agassi, unseeded at the Open for the first time since 1987, knew he was playing well before this match but realized “you don’t really know that for sure until you are pushed”  the way he was against Chang. It allows me to believe that I can win the tournament. This is a perfect example of a match I never would have gotten through even a year ago. I should say, especially a year ago, with the year that I had last year.” The first set lasted only 23 minutes, but Agassi and everyone else knew that level of perfection couldn’t last. “The last thing I wanted is for Michael to just rally with me until he gets his ball, because there is nobody better at seizing an opportunity than Michael,” Agassi said. Chang lived up to his reputation as a relentless competitor, pushing the second set to a tiebreaker. There were points in this brilliant match – the best by far at the Open this year – that had fans gasping and cheering at the way Agassi and Chang each covered so much ground chasing balls and hitting winners on the run. Agassi got a crucial break point against Chang exactly that way in the third game of the fifth set when Chang popped up a defensive half-volley near the net. Racing diagonally across the court from the baseline, Agassi hammered a forehand at Chang’s feet that brought a standing ovation from the crowd and a glare from Chang. Agassi went on to break Chang at love, then put on another show of athleticism to hold serve to 3:1 with a rapid-fire exchange at the net that ended with a backhand volley by Agassi. He raised both hands in triumph, jumped a few times and heard the crowd’s cheers sweep down on him. “What made that point such a turning point for me,” Agassi said, “is that earlier that game I was up, 30-15, and I had him way off the court and I hit a backhand volley crosscourt into the wide-open court.”  To get to Super Saturday’s semifinals, Agassi still must get past 13th seed Thomas Muster, a 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4 winner over third-seeded Sergi Bruguera. Another unseeded player and a greater longshot, Richey Reneberg, seemed on his way to the quarters when he beat No. 9 Todd Martin 6-3 in the first set at night. But Reneberg, who upset No. 7 Boris Becker in the first round, felt a pop in the upper part of his left leg in the last game of that set, got treatment from a trainer at courtside twice, then retired after losing the first three games of the second set. “It’s very frustrating,” Reneberg said. “I felt something in my inner leg snap. I just can’t move. So I don’t see any point in trying to play him on one leg. I can’t even play 75 percent.” Martin will play unseeded Bernd Karbacher, who beat qualifier Gianluca Pozzi 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Pete Sampras leaned on his racket like it was a cane. He took deep breaths. He mustered enough energy for another serve, his 165th of an afternoon that was rapidly turning into evening. And then it was over. Jaime Yzaga, a 26-year-old Peruvian [26] who has won eight tournaments in nine years as a pro tennis player, blasted a backhand across the court to finish off a stunning fourth-round, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 victory over the Sampras – the defending champion, the top seed, the player everyone kept saying was unbeatable. Sampras stumbled off the court after the three-hour, 38-minute match, keeping his head down while giving a weak wave to the crowd. He spent a half hour receiving medical attention. Then he came to the interview room and answered The Question – How could he lose? – before anyone even asked it. “It’s very simple,” he said. “I’m not in the greatest shape. To win a Grand Slam, you have to be in great shape.” Sampras injured his left ankle shortly after winning Wimbledon. He didn’t play tennis for six weeks. And even though he arrived at the Open with the best winning percentage in the tournament’s history, there were doubts about that ankle. The ankle held up. His lungs did not. “I just hit the wall,” he said. “I didn’t have anything left… Give him credit. He had the crowd against him. He came up with a huge match point.” The Peruvian won the second set and although he lost the third, he forced Sampras to work for it. “In the third set, my recovery time was getting longer and longer,” Sampras said. “I’d play a hard point and it would take a couple points to get over it.” In the 4th set tie-break Sampras led 2:0, earlier he was one game away from victory at 5:4, but Yzaga held to ‘love’. By the fifth set, Sampras was repeatedly leaning on his racket, reaching for towels, stalling for time any way he could. Yzaga took a 5:2 (30-all) lead in the final set, 5:3 (30/0) on serve. But then he began to struggle with his serve. And Sampras kept coming up with clutch shots. He won three consecutive games, tying the final set at 5:5. Each game ended with a standing ovation. Each lean on the racket was met by shouts of “Come on, Pete.” “The last three or four games, I was just going on the adrenaline from the crowd,” he said. “The crowd was great.” But it wasn’t enough. In the final game Sampras had a game point to enter another tie-break, but played too casual forehand and Yzaga passed him with a backhand down the line. Yzaga kept Sampras on the run long enough to force him to make 69 unforced errors – nearly half of them in the final two sets. “Everyone kept saying he was unbeatable,” Yzaga said. “He’s a great player, probably the best player in the world right now, and you have to play real, real well to beat him. But everybody is beatable.” In fact, every U.S. Open top men’s seed since 1987 has proven beatable. That was the year Ivan Lendl was seeded No. 1 and won the title. Yzaga had beaten Sampras in five sets at Flushing Meadows also in 1988, when 17-year-old Sampras played his first Grand Slam match.

Quarterfinals: Richard Finn

Todd Martin added to his glittering 1994 Grand Slam record Wednesday by beating Bernd Karbacher in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. Martin’s sometimes uneasy 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 defeat of the unseeded German put the ninth-seeded Lansing, Mich. native into his third Grand Slam final four, a mark unequaled by any other male this season. Yet, Martin is remarkably low-keyed about his exceptional results at the majors or about his chances Saturday against Andre Agassi, who advanced with a victory over Thomas Muster Wednesday night. “It’s anybody’s tournament. I have a one-in-four chance,” said the 24-year-old. “What I’ve done in the past round and in the past months doesn’t really matter. It matters how I play on Saturday and hopefully, it will matter how I play on Sunday.” Martin reached the Australian Open final and the Wimbledon semifinals – both times losing to Pete Sampras, who went on to win the titles. “I think I’d be impressed with myself if I’d done what Pete has done,” Martin said. In the second set tiebreaker, up 4:3, Martin unloaded one of his 11 aces in the match, followed by a service winner for 6:3. After Karbacher had stiffened with two aces of his own to wipe out two set points, Martin responded with an 111 mph first-serve winner for the tiebreaker, 7/5. In the final set, after an exchange of early service breaks, Martin scored the decisive break in the ninth game for a 5:4 lead. He then served out the match, ripping a forehand approach winner on the first match point. “I’m pleased with the way I did certain things out there,” Martin said. “Most of all, I’m pleased that I get to play another match here.” The Andre Agassi Show continued Wednesday night. And its run will last at least until Saturday. Agassi, attempting to become the first unseeded player to win the U.S. Open since 1968, advanced to the semifinals – the so-called Super Saturday of tennis – with a 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0 victory over Thomas Muster. Giving up a point might seem like a minor act to Muster. He is the player who in 1989 made it to the final of the Lipton Championships, only to get hit by a drunk driver in the parking lot. Ligaments in his left knee were severed. He spent nine months away from tennis, then had a special wheelchair built, so he could hit tennis balls. To this day, Muster has problems with that knee. But he refused to blame the loss on the soreness – or his unwillingness to accept a bad call in his favor. ”It is not a question of one shot,” he said. “He obviously was playing better today.” Agassi breezed through the third set without committing a single unforced error, backing up a guarantee he had made earlier in the day on television. He had said that, despite a 1-4 record against Muster, he would win the big match. ”I was just popping off,” Agassi said. “I have a lot of respect for Thomas. We’ve had some close ones, and I felt I was overdue.” Michael Stich served with all the consistency of a once-a-week hacker, double-faulting 15 times Thursday night in his worst match of the U.S. Open as he stutter-stepped into the semifinals. The highest-seeded man left in the tournament, Stich (No. 4) created trouble for himself and got plenty from young Swede Jonas Bjorkman before escaping with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4 victory. Stich’s next opponent is Karel Novacek [56], the quintessential journeyman of tennis, who served 28 aces to beat Jaime Yzaga 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 and reach his first Grand Slam semifinal after 30 early exits. Stich, the 1991 Wimbledon champion, had never gone past the quarters at the U.S. Open. There were times in this match when it seemed he wouldn’t make it this time. “I was serving very, very badly,” said Stich , whose double-faults more than offset his 13 aces against the player who knocked out Stefan Edberg. “Right now I’m really, really tired. All the credit to Bjorkman, the way he kept fighting. He never gave up. Not many guys are doing that. Today I played my worst match of the Open. But it’s very important to me that I made it into the semis, that I stayed in there.” Stich knew his performance would not convince many people he could win this tournament, but he didn’t much care. “Let everybody think Agassi’s supposed to win,” Stich said. “I like that.” He cruised in the first two sets, held a 4:2 lead in the third, but let the opportunistic Bjorkman back in by serving erratically. Stich, who also blew a 5:2 lead in the third-set tiebreaker, succumbed to tiredness and lost his rhythm as the match wore on. Stich ‘s loss in the tiebreaker cost him his first set of the tournament, and the way he was serving it seemed he could quickly lose another. But he broke Bjorkman to take a 3:1 lead in the fourth set, overcame one more poor service game, and broke him again for the match with a lob that Bjorkman leaped to hit and tapped just wide. Novacek, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic who logs more miles and plays more tournaments than anyone else, relied on his serve to get him out of trouble as he scored a victory over the man who upset defending champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round. After playing so well against Sampras, Yzaga played sloppily and slow in a terribly tedious match, spraying 73 unforced errors and carrying on a non-stop conversation with himself about his mistakes. He changed his shoes near the end of the first set, changed his rackets several times, but couldn’t change the way he was playing. “The Sampras match took a lot out of me,” Yzaga said. “I was sore yesterday and I was sore today. It was hard.” Novacek, who hit 78 unforced errors while playing mostly from the baseline, wasn’t much livelier in one of the worst matches of the tournament. Some fans talked on cellular telephones, others read newspapers, and long silences were interrupted on occasion by snores and yawns. Most of those in the two-thirds full stadium awoke at last to cheer Novacek at the end, perhaps grateful that the match was finally over after nearly 3 1/2 hours. But none of that really mattered to Novacek, happy to get this far no matter how he did it. In five previous U.S. Opens, he never got past the third round. Despite his height – at 6 feet 3 inches he towered eight inches over Yzaga – Novacek’s style is best on clay, and hardcourts have rarely been kind to him. Novacek, ranked 56th, has been a professional since 1984. He’s always been a good enough player to threaten the best. He just never came close in the Grand Slams, getting only as far the quarterfinals at the 1987 & 1993 French Opens. “It was the dream destination to break the quarterfinals of the Grand Slams, and I am endlessly happy that I did it today,” Novacek said. “I won 13 tournaments. I have been playing Davis Cup. I have been playing Masters. I have been playing everything basically that exists in tennis, but I never went to play semifinal of Grand Slams.” The Czech player kept his composure after squandering chances to win this match much more quicker: he wasted six set points since leading 5:2* in the 2nd set, and a 5:4* (30/0) lead in the 4th set. If Yzaga had won that match, it would have been his third consecutive 5-set win despite winning less points than opponents! “I am really proud of myself that I was able to push myself to the limit in the end to play my best points,” said Novacek. 

Semifinals: Charles Bricker

Michael Stich picked up his serve, and Andre Agassi picked up his feet. And when both had finished working on a blustery Saturday afternoon they found themselves, not unexpectedly, in the final of today’s U.S. Open tennis tournament. “This is what you’ve been hoping for,” said Todd Martin, who committed a whopping 60 unforced errors and went out 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Agassi. “Not the fact that Agassi is there, but the fact that the two best players in the tournament are there. Michael is playing great and Andre is playing great. So you’ve got a guy who has a much better serve than I do. But if Andre controls the point, Michael is going to be challenged by a lot of the same things I was today.” The No. 4-seeded Stich, who has had the easier route to this final, thumped unseeded Karel Novacek 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(4). Stich has lost only one set in six matches, but has played only one top opponent – No. 14 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov. His job also was made easier by Novacek’s fatigue. At 29, his legs are not as resilient as they once were and he had to play 14 sets in his last three rounds to make the semis. It was a match in which Stich needed to reassert the power of his most potent weapon, his serve, and he did. He had come into the match getting only 50 percent of his serves into play. Against Novacek he hit 62 percent and won 81 percent of the first serves he popped in. At one point beginning the second set, Stich won 21 consecutive points on serve, leaving Novacek shaking his head, wondering how to get back into the match. Like Stich , Martin’s game flows out of his serve, but he couldn’t get enough firsts in and Agassi was all over his slower second. The victory took Agassi, who has reinvented himself here for at least the third time, to within one win of re-establishing himself as a major force in the game. “Quite honestly,” he said, “the public’s or press’ expectations of me to `do it’ or `not do it’ is not making me want this any more or less. I want this because I want this. This is very important to me. I am going to do everything in my power to win it.” Agassi called Stich “a gifted, great tennis player who can go out there and play the match of his life.” But, he added slyly, “The way I am hitting the ball, yes, I do think I can win.” Incredibly, Agassi committed only 16 unforced errors in 36 games. “Todd’s game is very predictable in the sense that you know his strengths, and you know what he is going to throw at you,” said Agassi. “He’s not the kind of guy that is going to sit back there and want to push the ball around the court and rally. He’s going to take chances from the ground, going to get to the net on any short ball. I pretty much expected what he was going to do.” It was Agassi’s quick feet, so much quicker than the feet of the 6-foot-6-inch Martin, that made the difference in the raging wind. It takes quick steps to make last-second adjustments to movement of the ball, and Agassi can do that as well anyone in the game. “The ball was getting back a lot quicker than I’ve been used to this week,” said Martin. “I never made a successful attempt at changing the momentum or changing just the sway of the match. He was controlling every point, and that’s when he’s at his best.”

Final: Greensboro News & Record

Andre Agassi, navigating the most perilous path to the U.S. Open championship in history, battered Michael Stich from the start Sunday and slammed him with a shot at his wrist at the end of a thoroughly ruthless performance. Agassi never lost his serve in his 6-1, 7-6(5), 7-5 victory, putting on such a commanding show that he beat the former Wimbledon champion in every phase of the game. “I’m still in a state of shock,” Agassi said after receiving the $550,000 winner’s check and the silver trophy. Girlfriend Brooke Shields stood by, snapping photos of the moment. “It’s quite amazing what I pulled off,” Agassi said. “I can’t believe it. It’s been an incredible two weeks for me.” No unseeded player had ever run a gantlet of five seeded players as Agassi did. None even beat more than three. To win this title, Agassi had to beat, in order, No. 12 Wayne Ferreira, No. 6 Michael Chang, No. 13 Thomas Muster, No. 9 Todd Martin and No. 4 Stich. The only other champion to beat five seeds was Vic Seixas in 1954, when 20 players were seeded. No player ever won a Grand Slam dressed like Agassi with his black cap, black shorts and black socks, nor did any other champion have his shoulder-length hair and gold earrings. But the image-is-everything Andre Boy once again proved there is substance behind his style, and it came in the form of rocketing returns of serve, compact ground-strokes and all-court pressure. He played better in this match than he did even in winning Wimbledon two years ago in five sets. Agassi dominated Stich at the start and at the most crucial times later in the match. He broke the German at love in the first game, held with the help of three aces, broke him again in the third game, then held at love for a 4:0 lead. The set was effectively over, and it ended officially after just 24 minutes with a bit of luck for Agassi and a double-fault for Stich. The luck came for Agassi with Stich serving at deuce. They had a rapid exchange, which Agassi capped with a reflex volley on a volley by Stich at his chest. and pranced around the court, as if saying, “I can do no wrong.” That shot and show by Agassi rattled Stich enough that he double-faulted to lose the set, his second serve sailing five feet long. Stich got his serve working in the second set, holding all the way to the tiebreaker. But Agassi gained the advantage he needed in the tiebreaker with a bullet backhand return that ticked the net cord and threw off Stich as he came in. Stich dumped the half-volley into the net to fall behind 4:2, and Agassi served out the set. Nothing was working for Stich, least of all his most important weapon – his serve. His frustration was visible in the way he bowed his head and it was audible in the way he shouted angrily at umpire David Littlefield, asking him at one point, “Are you American?” Littlefield, from Florida, didn’t penalize Stich for any of his repeated outbursts, and he let Stich have his way when he asked for a change of a linesman. “I was holding serve so handily, it threw him for a loop,” Agassi said. In the final set, when Agassi broke Stich for the last time for a 6:5 lead, one of the shots came at close range and hit Stich in the wrist. The aim was purposeful. “I’m a big guy. I’m easy to hit,” Stich said, admitting he would have done the same himself. “I just wanted to make him a little hesitant to get that close to the net,” Agassi said. “I don’t come here to hit somebody, I just wanted to win the point.” Agassi tossed away his racket and dropped to his knees when his last backhand into an open court sealed the match. Stich came over to help him up and hug him. Agassi, 24, won Wimbledon in 1992 and reached the final of Grand Slam events two other times – the U.S. Open and the French Open in 1990. “Nothing can touch my winning Wimbledon,” Agassi said. “Nobody believed I could win it. Winning this has its own place. It’s the greatest thing I experienced after Wimbledon. I can’t believe it’s all over. I can’t believe I did this.” Agassi’s 22nd title. Stats of the match

***********************************

U.S. Open, NY, U.S.A.
August 28, 1995; 128 Draw (16 seeded) – $4,282,400; Surface – Hard

From the beginning of the tournament the final line-up was actually foregone because Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were far beyond the rest on hard-courts at the time. They met in a big final for the 5th time that year and a slight underdog (Sampras) took the title, simultaneously edging their No. 1 rivalry in 1995. As many as three matches were concluded in retirements of players who led two-sets-to-one.
All scorelines
First round: AP

Monday was a painful day for some players. No. 6 Goran Ivanisevic sprained his ankle in the third set after winning the first two against Brett Steven. Ivanisevic had the ankle wrapped and tried to play out the match, but he was forced to default at 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 3-1. Impervious to aces and immune to scorching heat, defending champion Andre Agassi blazed through the first round of the U.S. Open in 81 minutes Tuesday to push his winning streak to 21 matches. Agassi, seeded No. 1, shrugged off 15 aces by Bryan Shelton, drilled all the balls he could reach, and turned a potentially tough opponent into a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory. Agassi picked up where he left off a year ago when he started his surge to the top of tennis. Shelton accommodated him by spraying 47 unforced errors – Agassi had 14 – and double-faulting nine times while trying too hard to score an upset. “I am used to that feeling of playing guys who are just playing, in a sense, outside themselves,” Agassi said. “I don’t spend too much time thinking about the ranking very much.” Agassi rated himself a much better player than he was last year when he came into the Open unseeded. “I am executing with total confidence,” he said. “I have definitely taken my lumps. I have definitely learned my lessons, some of them the hard way. But I have never given up.” Two-time champion and No. 2 seed Pete Sampras was nearly as efficient in a 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Fernando Meligeni. But Sampras punched a hole in the notion all the men’s matches are little more than a prelude to a final between him and Agassi. “Everyone’s assuming that, expecting that, but that’s the last thing on my mind,” Sampras said. “It would be special to play Andre. But there’s a lot of time between now and next Sunday. I think I’m off to a good start.” Jeff Tarango is feeling the effects – financial and psychological – of his outburst at Wimbledon. “I am completely exhausted and devastated from this whole thing,” Tarango said after his 6-0, 6-4, 7-5 U.S. Open first-round loss to Yevgeny Kafelnikov on stadium court Tuesday. Tarango was fined a total $63,256 by the ITF, ATP and Wimbledon for walking off the court during a match against Alexander Mronz. He also was fined for calling chair umpire Bruno Rebeuh corrupt. In addition, Tarango was suspended for three tournaments by the ATP and two Grand Slam tournaments by the ITF. “I play singles, doubles and mixed doubles in those tournaments,” Tarango said. “So that is a lot of money. It is probably going to be around $150,000, $175,000. People think I make a lot of money, but I have got $100,000 in expenses a year. I have got 40 percent taxes every year.” Tarango, 26, issued a public apology for the incident last week. He is allowed to play the U.S. Open because he is appealing the fine. Against the seventh-seeded Kafelnikov, Tarango, ranked No. 56, won only three points in the first seven games. Every stroke was an adventure. “I am spending four hours talking to my lawyer on the phone a day and trying to collect some kind of sanity,” he said. “I’m taking two sleeping pills a night and I’m still not getting any sleep.” The men of clay ruled the hardcourts of the U.S. Open on Wednesday, French Open champion Thomas Muster enduring the antics of the wildest wild card and runner-up Michael Chang making a joke of his embarrassed opponent. Muster, a stranger to green surfaces despite his No. 3 seeding, arrived jet-lagged from winning the oddest of tuneup tournaments on clay in Croatia on Sunday. Every other top player practiced on hardcourts for at least a month before the U.S. Open. Not Muster. Clay is where Muster makes his living and earns his ranking, and if he could pick up some extra bucks and extra points in Croatia, that’s where he was going. That trip close to a war zone paid off in his 10th title on clay this year. Against Luke Jensen, the clown prince of tennis, Muster didn’t need much practice of any kind to walk away with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-0 victory. It wasn’t nearly as impressive as Chang’s 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 rout of Gianluca Pozzi – the most lopsided men’s match in the Open since 1987 (since Ivan Lendl triple bageled Barry Moir) – and it did nothing to convince Muster he could actually win this Grand Slam event. “That would be fantastic,” said Muster. “But being realistic, I am in the second round. I am facing Mark Woodforde, who I have never beat on hardcourt, so it is a very difficult draw for me. Let the favorites be the favorites.” In other men’s matches, No. 8 Michael Stich beat Javier Sanchez 6-2, 6-3, 6-0, and No. 12 Richard Krajicek defeated Karel Novacek, a semifinalist last year, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Krajicek next plays Justin Gimelstob, who gained a wild card into the tournament by winning the USTA Boys 18 championship. Gimelstob [1154] gained his first Grand Slam victory Wednesday, beating [65] David Prinosil 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3. Gimelstob, a straight-A student at UCLA, still isn’t sure if he will turn pro before the start of the school term. Asked what he’s studying at UCLA, Gimelstob replied: “Girls. They don’t want to study me, so that I spend the rest of my time studying English, history, the basic classes.” The most dramatic moment of the day came when Japan’s Shuzo Matsuoka defaulted to Petr Korda in the fourth set after winning the second-set and third-set tiebreakers. Matsuoka, who played an inspired Wimbledon before losing to  Sampras in the quarters, clutched his left leg and collapsed as if he had been shot as cramps bulged his thighs after he won the first point while serving at 5:6 in the fourth set; chair umpire announced in succession a time warning, a point penalty and, finally, a disqualification. The fans, most of them unaware of the rules, booed the umpire for what seemed like callousness in letting Matsuoka lie there without help. The umpire never even left his chair to see whether Matsuoka was having cramps or something more serious. Matsuoka, though, knew what was happening and rejected the idea of changing the rules. “If somebody touch me, it is finish,” Matsuoka said. “Nobody can touch for the cramp. I have to do it myself to get out and play again.” He said he’s been bothered by cramps many times, especially over the past year. This time, he began feeling a little cramp in the front of his left leg when he broke Korda’s serve at 3:2 in the fourth set. “But next game I serve, I could not hit 100 percent because every time I bend my leg, it is coming, coming. So I start changing a little bit, not hit the ball low. Every time I had hit the ball low, I feel it. This is a U.S. Open. Even I am winning, so I have to keep going. Many times, I look at coach because I was scared. I feel like I am cramping every time I hit the ball. But I just keep going, and at 5-6 in the first point is when I hit the forehand. Just cramping very bad, strong, and I fall down. Both legs. All I can do is scream, I was in so much pain. I know match is finished, but I was very sad.” Korda, who gained a 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-7(8), 6-5 victory by default, sympathized with Matsuoka but knew he couldn’t even go across the net to help him. “I would get some penalty points because I cannot cross the net,” Korda said. There was immediate backlash over the lack of treatment options for Matsuoka, and the injury timeout rule that exists today was quickly adopted soon after this incident. In a match of two promising young players, 21-year-old Thomas Enqvist prevailed 2-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) over one year younger Marcelo Rios, saving a match point on return in the deciding tie-break.

Second round: Meri-Jo Borzilleri

This U.S. Open was supposed to be the year-ending major that determined who was best in 1995: Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras. Trouble is, no one told Alex Corretja. The Spanish baseliner, pumping both elbows before an exuberant crowd of 19,907, threw a huge scare into Agassi, the world No. 1 and U.S. Open defending champion, before succumbing to leg cramps and a barrage of winners, 5-7, 6-3, 5-7, 6-0, 6-2, in a second-round match Thursday night. Groaning audibly with each stroke in the final two sets, Corretja wore down. “He was struggling physically, there’s no doubt about it,” said a relieved Agassi, who won despite six double faults and a total 67 unforced errors. Corretja had 32. Corretja, who received treatment for the cramps after the match, won two points in the final three games of the three-hour seven-minute match. “One of the strengths in his game is he runs down a lot of balls,” Agassi said. When it ended with an Agassi crosscourt backhand that landed in the corner, Corretja made a valiant run to the ball, missed, and fell sprawling. Agassi crossed to his side and they clasped hands warmly. Then Corretja hobbled to the umpire and eventually left the court to the biggest cheers of the night. Even though mistakes nearly cost him the match, Agassi’s blind shot in late in the fourth set might have given him the boost he needed. If not, it was simply one of the most spectacular shots of the tournament. Up 5:0, 30/30, Agassi sprinted after a lob. Nearing the back wall with his back to the net, Agassi whipped his racquet across his left shoulder, hitting a stinging forehand past a shocked Corretja. Said Agassi: “I didn’t have too many options. I had to get creative.” Agassi entered the tournament as the top seed and more than a favorite. He was riding a 21-match victory streak coming into the match. He won seven titles this year and hasn’t lost since Boris Becker defeated him in the semifinals at Wimbledon. Corretja, from Barcelona, Spain, is ranked No. 28 in the world. He has never advanced past the first round here, losing three times. He owns one career title, won last year. It was apparent from the start Agassi was off his game. With girlfriend Brooke Shields and brother Philip in the audience, Agassi double-faulted to give Corretja the first set. Another double-fault put Corretja up a break early in the fifth set, one Agassi got back for 2:2. He wouldn’t come close to losing another game. “I was fighting uphill the whole match,” Agassi said. Stefan Edberg, the tournament’s two-time champion, was bumped to an outer court by relative unknowns Marc Rosset and Patrick Rafter, who played the stadium in the afternoon (Rosset won in four sets). Edberg defeated Daniel Nestor, 6-1, 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-1. “It was a long time since I played on an outside court,” Edberg said. “It was quite nice. For a change, at least the place is full.” Spain’s Sergi Bruguera got more of a challenge than he could handle. Bruguera, the 11th seed who reached the fourth round here last year, was surprised by Daniel Vacek, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Not even John McEnroe, whom Bruguera hired to prepare him for the tournament, could help the 1993 and 1994 French Open champion adjust to a hard court. “He is not God,” said Bruguera. “He cannot make me God.” One year after Pete Sampras was eliminated from the U.S. Open by Peru’s Jaime Yzaga, they met again Friday night. It took Sampras just three sets – and 92 minutes – to gain a measure of revenge. The second-seeded Sampras used a powerful serve and an aggressive all-court attack to beat Yzaga 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in a second-round match on the Stadium Court at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow. “What happened last year really didn’t sit well with me,” Sampras said. “I mean you never forget a loss like that, especially at a major tournament. I was ready to go from the first point on. This is a match I was looking forward to, once I saw the draw, to get a little revenge.” Sampras and Yzaga had split their previous six matches, including three memorable matches at the U.S. Open. Last year, Sampras lost a five-set marathon to Yzaga in the fourth round. His feet were worn raw by the experience. This time, Sampras wore Yzaga down with blistering shots from the baseline.  This is the United States Open, so Boris Becker isn’t stunned that nearly all of the attention on the men’s side has focused on Americans Agassi and Sampras, who happen to be the world’s top two players. But that doesn’t mean the No. 4 player has conceded the final to them. In fact, he is on a bit of a rampage, having added an impressive straight-sets victory in a second-round match last night to the one he had Monday. Taking complete command early against German countryman Carsten Arriens, ranked 118th, Becker took a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 victory that advanced him to a match vs. Jason Stoltenberg. Becker is proclaiming himself unusually fresh and fit this late in a season because “I was injured and I couldn’t play for a couple of weeks. At this stage of the year, I am still very fresh and I think it shows out on the court. I am eager to play. My body and my mind are still very fresh and that is very good for me.” Karsten Braasch [142] experienced Matsuoka’s case with almost identical scoreline playing against Kenneth Carlsen [73]. The German had a match point at 5:4 in the 4th set, but it was a game in which he suffered an injury, lost two games and retired – final score: Carlsen d. Braasch 6-7(2), 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-5 ret. Braasch didn’t play another match in 1995. Sargis Sargsian [392] of Armenia, made a huge upset overcoming [18] Andrei Medvedev 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. For the 22-year-old Sargsian, who won a 5-setter in the opening round too, it was just the third tournament at the main level – his Grand Slam debut.

Third round: John Packett

Andre Agassi vs. Stefan Edberg conjures up visions of a Wimbledon final or an Australian Open semifinal. After all, Edberg has won six Grand Slam titles and Agassi three. Between them, they’ve been in the finals of 17 major championships and claimed 72 career singles crowns. So what were they doing on the stadium court yesterday in the third round of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships? “I’m not used to seeing him in the third round… unless he’s scouting one of my matches,” said Agassi. “It was kind of strange.” Edberg, whose ranking has dipped to No. 19, is unseeded in the Open for the first time since 1984, and consequently wound up in Agassi’s quarter of the draw. That was unfortunate for the Swede, who was unable to cope with the top seed’s ferocious ground strokes and didn’t stick around long. “When I walked in, I felt like it was a semifinal or a final because it is a tremendous crowd,” said Edberg, after absorbing a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 licking. “I just wish it would have been a tougher match, and the people had some more time to spend and see a better match. It had potential. If I got to one-set all, things could have been a little different.” Although he lost the opening set, Edberg rallied from a 1:5 deficit and won six of seven games en route to a 3:0 lead in the second. But Agassi, firing passing shots down the line and crosscourt against the net-charging Edberg, turned on the afterburners and cranked out 11 straight games to take command. “I am a firm believer in that yesterday has no relevance to tomorrow,” said Agassi, who meets Jared Palmer in the round of 16 tomorrow. “Regardless of what he has played like (lately), he is still Edberg. He is still the guy that can put together some of the best tennis in the world. I’ve got to be respectful of that enough to step on the court and know that I have to play my best.” Looming as a potential semifinal opponent for Agassi is No. 4 seed Boris Becker, who struggled with his serve before subduing Jason Stoltenberg 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4. Becker, runner-up to Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in July, double faulted five times in the second set in losing his serve four straight times. “I was really trying to concentrate just to hold serve once, and I wasn’t able to do it,” said Becker. “Nyet” isn’t a tennis term, is it? Whatever, it was the statement Yevgeny Kafelnikov appeared to be making last night at the National Tennis Center. Translation: ‘No’, he wasn’t all that interested in playing tennis. The Russian, the No. 7 seed in the U.S. Open, gave a curious performance in which he did not always seem to be extending himself. With Kafelnikov playing as he was, unseeded Vince Spadea of Boca Raton, Fla., was able to cruise to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 third-round upset. Kafelnikov would not blame the U.S. Tennis Association, the Open’s sponsor, for not previously having scheduled him in Louis Armstrong Stadium. “Maybe it was my fault, not their fault,” he said. “It was definitely my fault. But I’m not disappointed. I’m really happy.” The Russian, the No. 7 seed in the U.S. Open, gave a curious performance in which he did not always seem to be extending himself. With a drumbeat of 42 aces and heavy ground strokes echoing from one end of the court to the other, Pete Sampras survived an attack by a younger, bigger, stronger version of himself yesterday in the finest match of power tennis so far at this year’s e U.S. Open. Sampras, who thumped 27 of those aces, saw his own image in 18-year-old Mark Philippoussis – and barely avoided an upset with a 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 victory that took nearly three hours. Philippoussis, a 6-foot-4 Australian who shares Sampras’ Greek ancestry, brought back memories of Sampras when he won the first of his two Open titles at 19 five years ago. It could be seen not only in Philippoussis’ serves but in his leaping overheads, his crushing forehands and backhands, his killer volleys and fearless play. When Philippoussis slammed a second-serve ace into the corner to take the tiebreaker in the first set, the packed stadium roared at the prospect of an upset. But Sampras didn’t win his U.S. Open and Wimbledon titles by fading easily, and he bore down to break Philippoussis for the first time in the tournament for a 4:1 lead in the second set. But Philippoussis gave Sampras his first break of the tournament at 4:3 to put the set back on serve. Sampras shrugged off one of his 14 double-faults to hold to 6:5, then took the set when he broke Philippoussis with a backhand return that the Aussie netted. Sampras pumped his fist twice at the end of that set and thought he was on a roll when he broke Philippoussis twice again for a 4:0, 40-love lead in the third set. That’s when Sampras surprised himself and everyone else by double-faulting six times in a nine-point stretch to let Philippoussis back in the match. “I looked like an idiot,” Sampras said. “Up 40-love, that’s a 6-1 set. It’s routine. It’s over. I was the one who went away. He hung in there.” But the set wasn’t over until Sampras broke him at 15/40 with a crisp backhand that Philippoussis netted off a half-volley. Sampras then won the fourth set with a variety of shots, spins and angles that showed his experience. “I see a lot of myself in him,” Sampras said. “We both serve well. We hit big off the ground. I think he has to not hit so hard and play a little smarter out there. He has a lot of time to improve.” Dade City native Jim Courier and disgruntled Austrian Thomas Muster, past and present French Open champions, won third-round matches Sunday at the U.S. Open. They will meet in the Round of 16 on Tuesday; Courier leads in head-to-head meetings, 4-2. Courier, the 14th seed, defeated Kenneth Carlsen 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Muster, the No. 3 seed, overcame the indignity of a Court 16 assignment and free-swinging Spaniard Francisco Clavet, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. “I think it is ridiculous to put the No. 3 player in the world out on Court 16,” Muster said. “I think it is pretty stupid to schedule it like that. I mean, if Americans come to Europe [if they were] No. 3 they would play on a good court.” It took five sets, three tiebreakers and close to 3 1/2 hours, but Michael Tebbutt finally got his 12th-seeded man last night, shocking Richard Krajicek [13], the rocket-serving 6’5 Dutchman, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 7-6(4). Tebbutt, a 24-year-old Australian ranked 119th in the world, won despite 35 aces from Krajicek, who lost his serve just once in five sets. Tebbutt had 23 aces himself. Tebbutt’s next foe will be Michael Chang, who made quick work of Mark Woodbridge, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, in the Stadium nightcap. Krajicek for the second year running lost in New York after a 5th set tie-break, he won more points than Tebbutt (228-224).

Fourth round: Steve Wilstein

Boris Becker, who defeated Mark Rosset 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3 Monday in a fourth-round match at the U.S. Open, wouldn’t have it any other way. “I hope they keep talking about them,” the fourth-seeded Becker deadpanned. Becker advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1990. He won his only U.S. Open in 1989. However, the U.S. Open has not always been kind to Becker. He was upset by Richey Reneberg in the first round last year. This year he has yet to be pushed in four matches. He has dropped just one set, in the third round to Jason Stoltenberg. He beat Rosset, the 13th seed, in workmanlike fashion. Becker hit 58 percent of his first serves, including 14 aces, and won 85 percent of those points. “Whenever I needed to win a point, I was able to raise my game,” Becker said. Becker’s on course to face Agassi in the semifinals. “For me, there’s still another match, the quarterfinals,” said Becker, who will face Patrick McEnroe, a 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-4 winner over Daniel Vacek – “I’ve been in this game long enough to know you can’t look ahead a match.” Defending champion and top seed Andre Agassi advanced to the quarters with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jared Palmer. He’ll face Petr Korda, a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 winner over Vince Spadea, in the quarterfinals. “(Korda’s) a dangerous player,” Agassi said. “When he’s on, he’s tough for anyone to beat. But my confidence is at an all-time high right now.” Jim Courier wandered out of his strange wilderness and into contention at the U.S. Open on Tuesday, thumping foot-sore French Open champion Thomas Muster in straight sets on a day when upsets reigned. There was no indifference by Courier this time, none of the haphazard stretches or moody moments that have marked his descent in the rankings. This time, for the better part of two hours, he was the Courier of old, drilling 10 aces, drumming baseline winners and reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-0, 7-6(4) romp over No. 3 Muster, a clay-court specialist who ripped up his feet on these hot hardcourts. Courier, No. 14, will find out just how far back he’s come when he plays his next match against No. 5 Michael Chang, a 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Michael Tebbutt. Muster never got his rhythm against Courier. Muster’s bleeding blisters were covered with a yard of tape, but for all it mattered he might as well have played barefoot the way Byron Black [70] of Zimbabwe used to do. Ex-USC star Black pulled the first upset of the afternoon by sending 6-foot-4, 1994 runner-up Michael Stich [8] packing, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3. “I played a lot of barefoot,” Black said of his youth on the grass courts his father, once a player at Wimbledon, installed back home. “I have very high arches. I started getting a very bad heel, and then I had to play in shoes, although my dad didn’t like me tearing up his court too much.” Black tore up Stich with a variety of two-fisted forehands and backhands, and the net-charging Stich accommodated him with 79 unforced errors. “I know how he plays, and I just think I got off to a very bad start,” said Stich, the No. 8 seed. “He didn’t make any unforced errors. From the third set on, I was just in charge. I changed my style. I went for more. I had my chance in the fifth set, that break point for 2-1, but I just gave it away. I played a poor game, made a double fault and missed an easy volley.” Black never got beyong the third round at majors in 14 previous attempts, he lost to Stich in straight sets in New York one year before, in the third round. Courier and Muster waged a fierce baseline duel, slugging hard all the way, but Courier took more chances and put away far more winners – 42 to 14 – while out-acing Muster 10-0. “Personally, I feel good going out against Thomas on any surface, even clay,” Courier said. “He’s had a phenomenal year, and he deserves all the credit he’s gotten. We’re going to play the same match on any surface. We’re going to play power vs. power, even on clay.” Once the best player in the game, the winner of four Grand Slam titles from 1991 to 1993, Courier lost in the second round of the Open a year ago and drifted in this year with few of the other players giving him a chance of winning. But Courier said he started to feel good about his tennis a few days before the Open started. “When I feel good,” he said, “I always play well.” The problem for Courier has been that his tennis shifts with his mood, going from unbeatable one day to vulnerable another. “Sometimes you have to take some steps backward to take some more steps forward,” Courier said. “I really haven’t pinpointed it. All I know is that’s the way it is. Today I am playing well and I am going to try to keep playing well for a good long time.” Pete Sampras is No. 2 in the world, a winner of six Grand Slam tournament titles and a high-school dropout. Todd Martin is No. 16, the winner of four tournaments in his entire career and a former linguistics major at Northwestern University. How their lopsided meeting Tuesday night on a tennis court could be so compelling may have more to say about a slow day in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open than anything about the potential mystery as to who might win the match. Sampras ran his record against Martin in Grand Slam tournaments to 4-0 with a 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Quarterfinals: Tom Weir, Mike Delnagro

Only the Mac involved was Patrick, not John, extending an opponent his brother never played in New York. They played four maniacal sets, with three tie-breakers that stretched their quarterfinal to a grueling four hours and seven minutes. Along the way, echoes of the older McEnroe also were heard. Patrick McEnroe [42] might not have John’s game, but when the big points were called wrong there was no mistaking that the brothers howl with exactly the same tone. But when it was over and McEnroe was beaten, a different tennis flashback came into focus. Standing with his arms raised in victory was Boris Becker. And, just like at Wimbledon this year, no one is quite sure what to make of him. Becker straggled into this year’s Wimbledon semifinal, and that also describes how he has reached the same stage of the U.S. Open, after this 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-7(3), 7-6(6) victory saving a set point at 5:6 in the 4th set tie-break. At Wimbledon, Becker seemed like a tired old man after requiring five sets to defeat Cedric Pioline in another quarterfinal that cracked the four-hour barrier. He was given little chance to progress any further. But then Becker hit the recall button in his semifinal against Andre Agassi and summoned some of the best tennis ever seen in a career that has witnessed five grand-slam championships. It was an astounding performance, and not just because Becker came back after dropping the first set 6-2 and then lagged behind by 4:1 in the second. In that victory, Becker also ended an eight-match losing streak against Agassi, the world’s No. 1-ranked player. To some, Becker’s comeback ruined so the so-called “match that everyone wants to see,” Agassi against Pete Sampras for a grand-slam championship. To others, it provided a poignant reminder of how long Becker has been a factor in the big tournaments, as the upset marked the 10th anniversary of the first of his three Wimbledon titles, to the day. In the Wimbledon championship, Becker inflicted little damage on Sampras . But the point still had been made: There’s still plenty of tennis left in his 27-year-old body. Oddly, it was McEnroe who had raised the most doubts about that. This year, he had knocked Becker out of the Australian Open, in the first round. That early exit followed Becker’s first-round departure from last year’s U.S. Open, his worst back-to-back performances ever in the grand slams. “I don’t really care how I win matches, as long as I win them,” Becker said after his struggle Wednesday. He ranked the match as one of his best five at the U.S. Open. “Unfortunately, I never had the chance to play against John (McEnroe) here at the Open, but his younger brother gave me more than a handful, and I am just very happy to have come through.” Claiming two of the three tie-breakers provided the difference, and Becker didn’t mind admitting that winning those showdowns “has to do with luck, I would say… In general, a good server has the edge.” And clearly Becker was the stronger server, with 30 aces to McEnroe’s five. The biggest two came in the fourth-set tie-breaker, on Becker’s fourth and sixth points. The one Becker rifled for a 4:2 lead also was the one that left McEnroe sounding like his brother, certain the serve was wide. In the end, though, McEnroe conceded the close calls weren’t the difference, and he seemed glad simply to have lived up to the family name. “He built this place,” McEnroe said of his brother. “So I draw a little bit from that.” Petr Korda, nicknamed ‘Woodstock’ on the pro tennis tour because his slender build and short, spiked blond hair resemble the Peanuts comics character of the same name, put quite a scare into Andre Agassi, the defending champion and No. 1-ranked player in the world. After winning the third set easily, Korda led 5:3 and served with a chance to force a fifth set before Agassi tightened the screws and put away a 6-4, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 victory in a quarterfinal match. It was vintage Agassi in the first two sets against the erratic Korda, who ranked as high as fifth in the world in 1993, but has been in decline the last two years. Agassi had just 18 unforced errors in running away with the first two sets. But 14 errors cost him in the third, as Korda put the set away in 28 minutes. An early service break put Korda up 3:0 and 4:1 in the fourth. Agassi broke back and got to 4:3, but Korda broke again, gaining the chance to serve for the set and even the match. But Agassi showed the skill and perseverance that has made him the best player in the world the last year and won the next four games. “I finally realized that if he won that (fourth) set, it wouldn’t be even; he’d have all the momentum,” Agassi said. “I recognized I needed to pick my game up a level.” Korda said he recognized it as well. “He had the guts to hit the ball hard, and it went in,” he said. Jim Courier, the former No. 1 player in the world who dropped out of the Top 10 in 1994, and who was seeded 14th in this year’s U.S. Open, advanced into the Open semifinals by beating fifth-seeded Michael Chang Thursday night in a tight three-set match as imaginable, 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 7-5 (3:07 hrs). Courier’s semifinal opponent will be Pete Sampras, the No. 2 seed who breezed over 70th-ranked Byron Black of Zimbabwe 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-0, Thursday afternoon. Sampras’ career record is 11-3 against Courier. The last time the two met in the U.S. Open semifinals was in 1992, when Sampras’ victory knocked Courier out of the No. 1 ranking. Chang actually served for the set in all three sets. In the first set, he had four set points. “You expect to win at least one of those,” Chang said. “It’s disappointing to have to go through that.” Chang, who had defeated Courier in five of the six previous matches broke Courier’s serve in Game 8 in the second set for a 5:3 lead. But Courier broke back in the next game. After a 3:3 deadlock in the tiebreaker, Courier won the next four points, two on Chang serves. In the third set, Chang again led, this time 5:4, but was unable to finish the set serving the tenth game, this time squandering 1 set point. Courier broke his serve, then held for 6:5. The Sampras match went considerably quicker. “There is no reason to fool around at this point in the tournament,” Sampras said. “I just stayed on top of him. The last set was the best set I played all week.” Said Black: “I was pretty much overpowered out there. He blew me off the court.” Sampras served 22 aces. Black managed just two. Sampras won the third set in 21 minutes, out-pointing Black 24-8. “Unfortunately, every match from this point on gets a little tougher,” Sampras said.

Semifinals: Hal Bock

Andre Agassi and Boris Becker really respect each other. Honestly, they really do, even if it was hard to tell from the cursory handshake they exchanged after Agassi defeated Becker in Saturday’s U.S. Open semifinal. Agassi’s 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4 victory propelled him into today’s championship showdown against Pete Sampras, who advanced earlier on the fifth anniversary of his first Open title with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Jim Courier. Both winners struggled at times, but the post-match climate was considerably cooler between Agassi and Becker than it was between Sampras and Courier. Sampras and Courier had nothing but praise for each other. Agassi and Becker had nothing much of anything for each other. Their feud dates back to Wimbledon, where Becker defeated Agassi in the semifinals, coming from one set and two service breaks behind for the victory. After the match, he was less than complimentary about the No. 1-ranked player in the world and his corporate sponsor, Nike, which also happens to underwrite Sampras. Agassi took it personally. Becker insisted it wasn’t meant that way. “In the heat of the moment, you say something and days later, you think maybe I shouldn’t have said that,” he said. “He took it personally. It wasn’t meant to be. It was about his company.” Agassi responded: “It is hard for me to respect anybody who is going to beat me and say so many things that are not only wrong but meant to hurt. I don’t understand that and I don’t respect it. I respect his tennis play. But once a match is over, it ends there.” So don’t expect any hugs between these two. It’s different with Agassi and Sampras, corporate sidekicks who have appeared in a successful ad campaign for Nike. They like each other and that adds to today’s showdown. “I’m happy to be in the final,” Agassi said. “Pete kind of makes it more special.” Agassi and Sampras played tenacious tennis to set up today’s confrontation. Service breaks were tough to come by in both matches. There were just four in the morning match, three by Sampras and one by Courier, and each decided a set (Sampras lost the 2nd set despite serving 10 aces  to set up a 4:3 lead!). Agassi and Becker had two each in the late match, sailing through the first two sets without a break. Each set barreled into a tiebreaker. And each time, Agassi won, drilling serves and returns that buzzed all over the court. Becker thought some of the points should have gone his way. He complained bitterly to chair umpire Wayne McKewen, pointing at the corner following one of Agassi’s shots that nicked the backline. “One ” he exclaimed. “Just one for me!” He then took one for himself, winning a point and derisively rolling the ball off the court as he headed for a changeover. Later, after Agassi won the second tiebreak, Becker berated McKewen again. Finally, in the fourth game of the third set, Agassi had the first break of the match to lead 4:1. Becker refused to go away, though, getting his first break and winning the next five games to force a fourth set, as his wife, Barbara, seated at courtside, hid her eyes, unable to stand the tension. In the fourth set, they stayed on serve until the 10th game. Then, suddenly, Agassi sprang, breaking Becker without losing a point to win the set and the match. It was his 26th consecutive match victory, dating from the Wimbledon loss. Agassi shrugged off the third-set lapse. “It would be weird if I went a whole match and didn’t lose my serve,” he said. “I had to close it out. I had to win it. He wasn’t going to give it to me.” Agassi will have about 20 hours to recover before facing Sampras for the title this afternoon. The quick turnaround will be no problem, he said. “I’ve got plenty of time,” he said, “and Pete, if you’re watching, I’m coming.” Sampras will go after his third Open title while Agassi seeks to retain the championship he won a year ago. Sampras was the youngest champion in Open history when he won the title in 1990 at the age of 19 years, 28 days. Now he’s all grown up at 24, and played tough, taut tennis against Courier, waiting for opportunities and seizing them when they came. Mixing up his game masterfully, Sampras finished off Courier with only the fourth service break of the match. In each set, there was only one service break. Each was decisive. “As in all close matches, there were just a few key points,” Courier said. “It just comes down to that.” The two longtime opponents – they’ve been playing since their days in junior tennis – know each other’s game very well and that made their semifinal showdown something of a chess match.

Final: Robin Finn

Tampa’s Pete Sampras held his serve, kept his nerve and captured the U.S. Open on Sunday by defeating the defending champion, Andre Agassi, the man who has become his significant other in a ballyhooed battle between two polar opposites who have become the top players in the world. Sampras took a 9-8 edge in that rivalry, and a 4-3 lead in their Grand Slam encounters, with a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 victory that lasted 2 hours, 28 minutes and re-established Sampras as the most talented player to lift a racket in this decade and, perhaps, ever. ”It’s a little bit different when I can beat Andre, you know, two Americans, No. 1 and 2 in the world,” said Sampras. Faced with the daunting prospect of having to test his vaunted serve, one of the game’s finest, against Agassi’s vaunted return, also one of the game’s finest, under tricky, chilly, windy conditions on the Stadium Court, Sampras maintained a laconic yet lethal presence from start to finish. The same could not be said for Agassi, who rose to the occasion in the third set but let Sampras do most of the talking in the other three. ”When Pete plays well it doesn’t matter who he’s playing,” said Paul Annacone, the former player who has filled in as Sampras’ coach for the absent Tim Gullikson, who was diagnosed with brain cancer after collapsing at the Australian Open. ”There are very few human beings who can do everything at the level Pete can when he’s playing well.” Annacone made it clear that Sampras needed far more than one weapon, his textbook serve, to tame a contender of Agassi’s caliber. Nonetheless, Sampras ended the proceedings with a signature touch, an ace. His 24th of the match, it was an unanswerable 120-mph missile that streaked across the net and out of Agassi’s range. The 25-year-old Agassi, unseeded when he won the U.S. Open last year, and the 24-year-old Sampras , who at 19 became this Grand Slam’s youngest champion in 1990 and won again in 1993, are archrivals who are expected to carry their feud, and their sport, into the 21st century. But Sunday the showmanship belonged to Sampras. And so, according to a gentleman’s agreement between the two of them that deeds the No. 1 ranking to whoever ends the year with the most 1995 Slam titles, does the sobriquet of being the world’s best player this year. ”Pete ‘s won two Slams, so I’d have to say that come Dec. 31st, he’s gonna feel better about the year than I will,” said Agassi, who captured the Australian Open by ousting Sampras, its defending champion, in the final, a development that helped him knock Sampras from the top spot in March. But since then Agassi, although displaying a consistency that brought him into this slam with seven titles to just three for Sampras , has not prevailed on the Grand Slam front. With the exception of the French Open, where both faltered early, it has been Sampras who has come up with the most classic play in the tennis world’s consummate events. Just as he had done this year when he became the first American man to win Wimbledon three times, Sampras dedicated the victory that brought him a seventh career slam championship to Gullikson, the coach and confidant whose breakdown in Australia reduced Sampras to public tears as he struggled through a quarterfinal match against Jim Courier. ”That’s for you, Timmy,” Sampras said to the television camera, knowing Gullikson was watching at home in suburban Chicago. ”Wish you were here.” According to the tired-legged Agassi, Sunday’s Tom Weir, Mike Delnagro final featured ”less than great tennis” due to a breeze that nipped and tugged at shots and provoked 73 unforced errors, 40 of them launched by Sampras. ”I didn’t come near his serve in the fourth set,” Agassi said, ”and that was the problem.” Sampras insisted that he can get even better. ”I’m extremely happy with the serve and my volleys… but I still feel I can improve. I really believe that,” Sampras said. ”I don’t think there will be a day when I’m satisfied with my tennis. I always want to get better. That is what gets me up in the morning to practice.” Becoming only the fourth player in history to collect three U.S. Open and three Wimbledon titles and the seventh to win both in the same year, put Sampras in such exalted company as John McEnroe, Bill Tilden and his hero, Rod Laver. ”Walking out today, I felt like I had to be at my best and that is really the bottom line whenever I play Andre,” Sampras said. There is a healthy respect between the two and just as important to Agassi is the respect he’s won in the tennis community. ”A year ago, I wasn’t seeded here and nobody gave a damn, and I didn’t blame them,” he said. ”A year later, you guys are asking me why I lost. I kind of like that.” Sampras’ 35th title. Stats of the final.

Five finals between Agassi & Sampras in 1995:
Australian Open: Agassi 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-4
Indian Wells: Sampras 7-5, 6-3, 7-5
Key Biscayne: Agassi 3-6, 6-2, 7-6
Montreal: Agassi 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
US Open: Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

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