Sampras  – the king of Lyon. The American won three titles in a row in the Eastern-French city of the years 1991-93; he had everything under full control until the last two matches of the ’93 edition. In the final he trailed 1:4* (15/30) in the decider, having lost his service rhythm, but still he had some other tools in the box which allowed him to turn the match around. At 5-all Sampras faced a mini match point when delivered a powerful first serve, and Pioline  couldn’t return it properly… Three weeks later they face each other again (Antwerp semifinal), and the Frenchman creates even better opportunity to win – he leads 6-4, 5:3* (30/15) when is unable to return Sampras’ serve and loses 10 out of the next 11 games! Pioline, one of the best players of the 90s, never defeated any of two best players of the decade (0-9 vs Sampras, 0-3 vs Agassi)… He has to wait until London ’08 to finally beat Sampras; he does it in two tie-breaks in a round robin match at Masters of Legends when they both are already a few years on retirement…. The American finished his career with a 21-1 record in Lyon, suffering the only defeat to Ferreira in the 1995 final.
Sampras’ route to his 20th title:
1 Tomas Carbonell 7-5, 6-3
2 Markus Naewie 6-3, 6-3
Q Stephane Simian 6-4, 7-5
S Jakob Hlasek 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(6)
W Cedric Pioline 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-5
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