uo00safin_sampras

Points won by each set: | 29-26, 26-23, 34-23 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
30 % – Safin 25 of 82
44 % – Sampras 35 of 79

# Safin [7] actually did to Sampras [4] the same what Sampras had done to Agassi ten years before – gave him no chance. One slight difference: Sampras overwhelmed his opponent with serves, forehands & volleys while Safin with serves, forehands & backhands. The American was serving very well (except one game in the opener) until he led 3:2 in the 2nd set, then something bad happened and he was in danger in five consecutive service games (!) – broken three times in a row, then he needed to save break points to hold twice escaping a disaster in the 3rd set. When everything seemed done & dusted, out of nowhere Sampras created his lone break points in the last game of the championships – Safin saved them with shots he hadn’t tried in the final until those moments: drive-volley (FH) & overhead!

Safin’s route to his 5th title:
1 Thierry Guardiola 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4
2 Gianluca Pozzi 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
3 Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 7-6(3), 1-6, 3-6, 7-6(5)
4 Juan-Carlos Ferrero 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
Q Nicolas Kiefer 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3
S Todd Martin 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-6(1)
W Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

# Safin was two points away from losing in the third round

# Comparison of US Open finals beginning new decades:
1990: Sampras d. Agassi 6-4, 6-3, 6-2… 1 hour 42 minutes… Total points: 98-73 (aces: 13-0)
2000: Safin d. Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3… 1 hour 38 minutes… Total points: 89-72 (aces: 12-8)

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