Articles Comments

Samprasfanz » Archives 2003 to 2011 » Once again, Sampras serves up a winner

Once again, Sampras serves up a winner

Oct. 01, 2007 – The surface was fast for clay, but it wasn’t fast enough for Todd Martin.

Thanks to the dry conditions around Charlotte, the clay surface for the Championships at The Palisades was almost as fast as a hard court. Almost. Martin needed it that much faster Sunday to hold his serve as easily as Pete Sampras did in his 6-3, 6-4 victory in the final.

Sampras’ serve is so exceptional, he could probably hit aces on a court of Marshmallow Fluff. Martin is a big server, too, but not quite in Sampras’ class.

“I didn’t serve particularly well all day,” said Martin, who managed to break in the second set, only to be broken in the next game on four straight points to essentially clinch the match for Sampras.

“I’m better on a faster surface” when facing Sampras, Martin said. “Then I don’t have to work quite so hard on my service games. He can serve his way out on every court.”

Sampras, a former world No. 1, went undefeated in this tournament (3-0 in the round-robin, plus the final) and has yet to lose in the Outback Champions Series, an over-30 men’s tennis tour. Martin came closest to beating him, with match points on an indoor surface in Boston.

His peers say Sampras is playing pressure-free, hitting out as never before off his backhand, in part thanks to a bigger racket and high-tech strings. He enjoys playing these events, but isn’t sure he wants a steady diet of over-30 tennis.

“I want to do something every two or three months,” said Sampras, who will play a series of exhibitions against world No. 1 Roger Federer this fall in Asia. “I’d rather not play enough than play too much.”

Still, he likes the format — serious, but social, with a bunch of old friends.

“It’s competitive, but fun. And it’s real tennis,” Sampras said. “You know prize money is involved. It’s not just an exhibition.”

So does that mean he’ll be back in Charlotte next year?

“We’ll see,” Sampras said.

In the third-place match, Wayne Ferreira beat Jim Courier in a match tiebreaker (10-4) after the two split sets. Courier won the first set 6-3, and Ferreira took the second 7-6 (2).

Source: Charlotte Observer

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Leave a Reply