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Sampras Sees Off Muster And Eyes Ivanisevic In Zurich

March 8, 2011 – Pete Sampras beat Thomas Muster 6-3, 7-6(2) at the BNP Paribas Zurich Open, and will now face his old rival Goran Ivanisevic on Wednesday in his second round-robin match.

The American needed to fire on all cylinders to see off the super-fit Muster, and ultimately it was his greater weight of shot that told.

“I played Thomas a few years ago in Brazil and he’s in much better shape now than he was then,” said Sampras. “He’s hitting the ball well, he served well and he made me work pretty hard there in the second set.”

He will now face Ivanisevic, who suffered a straight-sets loss against the in-form Mark Philippoussis, who recently won the Delray Beach ATP Champions Tour event.

“Although I got the better of Goran during our careers I never liked playing him,” said Sampras. “That serve is just so big I never felt comfortable on the court with him and I’ve heard that he still serves really big so it’s definitely going to be tough against him tomorrow. The field here is so good that there are no easy matches and I’ve been drawn in a tough group as well. I’m here to win though.”

When told that Ivanisevic believes Sampras “took a lot of years off my life” with his victories over the Croatian at Wimbledon, Sampras replied:

“I might just have! Those Wimbledons were tough to swallow for him, especially the one where I felt like he played a bit better than I did (in 1998). He’s a great champion and it was nice to see him finally win it there. It will be memorable for us to get out there tomorrow and play again.”

Ivanisevic struggled to contain the raw power of Philippoussis on Tuesday. The Australian broke the Croatian in the very first game and went on to win 6-3, 7-6(2).

“It was definitely a good start for me today,” said Philippoussis. “I have a lot of respect for Goran’s game and he played well today so it’s a good win to get on the board. I hit some big serves out there too so I’m pleased with that.”

Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner. After all round-robin matches are complete, the top player in each group will meet in Saturday’s final.

View the round-robin groups, results and the order of play for the week in Zurich.

After Zurich The ATP Champions Tour will head to the Southern hemisphere for a South American swing that will cover Sao Paulo, Brazil (May 5-8), Guadalajara, Mexico (May 11-14) and Bogota, Colombia (May 19-22).

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

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