uo01sampras_safin

uo01sampras_safin

Points won by each set: [ 31-21, 39-43, 27-22 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
42 % Sampras – 43 of 102
41 % Safin – 34 of 81

Their third meeting on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and for the third time one-sided. Two champions of the event, but Sampras [10] getting older, so his straight-sets victory could be the least anticipated. Who knows what could have been if the chair-umpire (Wayne McKewan) hadn’t overruled linesman’s decision at 5:4* (40/30) for Safin [3] in the 2nd set – Sampras got ace on his first serve, but the replay didn’t undoubtedly tell if the ball touched the line or not (still a couple of years before the hawk-eye introduction). The Russian was a better player in that set (he also had two break points at 2:1), but on Sampras’ second set point he made a very bad error with his forehand and at 1:2 in the 3rd set he committed two consecutive double faults which basically cost him the match.

# Comparison of their back-to-back US Open meetings:
2000 (F): Safin d. Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3… 1 hour 38 minutes… Total points: 89-72 (aces: 12-8)
2001 (S): Sampras d. Safin 6-3, 7-6, 6-3… 1 hour 54 minutes… Total points: 97-86 (aces: 18-22)

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