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Sampras to play Agassi for first time since retiring

MACAU – Tennis legends Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will renew their epic rivalry later this year for the first time since the US Open final in 2002.

The two Americans, who played each other 34 times, have not faced off since Sampras won that classic match and then retired.

But they will be back on court in front of 15,000 fans at the Venetian Macau Showdown on October 25 for an exhibition.

“I really enjoy playing, keeping sharp and staying in shape. It’s great to see Andre playing again as well, after the problems with his back,” said Sampras.

“My motivation to play Andre in Macau will be playing my rival and the great energy that Macau has, so I am very excited to play him in October.”

Asked what he remembered most about facing Agassi, Sampras, who won 20 of their encounters, said it was the intensity of their rivalry.

“Andre had a great return of serve, passing shots and first serve. We always had really tough matches and we brought out the best in each other,” he said.

“Back in the mid-90s when we were No.1 and 2 in the world I think it was a great rivalry and we transcended the sport.

“When people ask me who my great rival is I always tell them Andre — our matches were so competitive, so it will be great to play him again.”

Between them they have won 22 Grand Slams.

“I have followed the Macau events featuring Roger (Federer), Pete, John (McEnroe) and Bjorn (Borg) so when the opportunity arose … I was excited to join such an illustrious roster of top tennis names,” said Agassi. – AFP/vm

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