Philippoussis appeared on the tennis scene in 1995 as a well-built teenager with tremendous power, but almost entirely depending on two strokes: the serve & the forehand. In a match which was played indoors on Rod Laver Arena, he stunned Sampras  with clinical service performance; perhaps it wouldn’t have been enough if his backhand hadn’t been working exceptionally well (The Scud was nicely placing his BHs in both directions with different speed). The only break of the match came in the 10th game of the 1st set (SamPe broken at ’15’). In the 2nd set tie-break, Sampras led 5:2*, 6:5 & 8:7 – both set points Philippoussis  saved with the help of crisp cross-court forehands to win the tie-break 11/9 and another one 7/3. After that sensational victory, some people began to wonder whether the 19-year-old Australian would win the title, however, in the next round on the same court, but under the dazzling Sun, he was completely deflated and in the consequence humiliated 2-6 2-6 0-6 by a fellow Aussie – the 30-year-old Mark Woodforde… Sampras will lose similar match later that year in the Wimbledon quarterfinal.
You must be logged in to post a comment.