uo96sampras_corretja_

uo96sampras_corretja_

Points won by each set: [ 44-41, 41-45, 30-39, 31-24, 42-39 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
38 % Sampras – 73 of 189
28 % Corretja – 54 of 187

One of the most dramatic matches in the US Open history. Corretja [31], known as a clay-court specialist, certainly wasn’t supposed to play on equal terms against the best guy in the world, the two-time champion of the event (1990, 1993). But the 22-year-old Spaniard not only delivered his best tennis from the back of the court, he was also serving better than anyone would expect (the only time in his career he struck more than 20 aces).

1st set: Corretja led 5:3, at 5:4 he had two set points on serve – Sampras saved them both with volleys, and built a comfortable 6:3* lead in the ensuing tie-break to hit a service winner at 6:5
2nd & 3rd sets: quite similar sets in terms of the progress, Corretja was ahead all the time; wasted break points in two games (one BP-game in each of sets two & three) didn’t upset him, and obtained the crucial breaks in the 12th games (in the 2nd set with great passing-shots, in the 3rd set Sampras helped missing overheads)
4th set: Sampras broke to lead 2:1 and held five times without troubles
5th set: no breaks of serve even though Sampras had physical problems… at 1-all in the tie-break Sampras vomited – it affected somehow Corretja, who started to play timorously – despite that he reached a match point at 7:6* – Sampras saved it with a lunge FH volley; at 7-all Sampras gambled & deceived his opponent a bit (he missed the 1st serve with the speed much below his average, then accelerated the 2nd serve to notch an ace!)… facing the second match point at 7:8, Corretja committed a double fault, only his third in the 4-hour 9-minute battle!

Comparison of two five-set matches between them:
US Open 1996: Sampras d. Corretja 7-6, 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6… 4 hours 9 minutes… Aces: 25-25
Davis Cup 2002: Corretja d. Sampras 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4… 3 hours 57 minutes… Aces: 12-28

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply