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Sampras holds on in roller-coaster

April 17, 1992

Pete Sampras, whose form fluctuated almost as wildly as Henri Leconte's, held on to gain revenge for his Davis Cup final defeat here on Friday and reach the Nice Open semi-finals.

"I still have a lot to prove," said the American who won 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes.

Sampras, the youngest US Open men's singles winner as a 19-year-old two years ago, has set his heart on winning on all surfaces.

"All the best players were able to play on any type of surface," he said. "I still have a lot to learn but I'm improving."

He plays either Thierry Champion of France or Argentina's Gabriel Markus for a place in the final.

Defeat for both Leconte and Guy Forget, France's Davis Cup heroes in last December's final against the United States, seemed to prove Yannick Noah's point.

Noah, who resigned as captain after last month's defeat to Switzerland for which he dropped the two men from the singles, claimed they had not looked after themselves properly.

Forget, who yesterday had been talking confidently about doing well at the French Open, lost to Spain's Javier Sanchez.

Sanchez, ranked 30 places below Forget at 37, won 7-6, 6-3 in one hour 46 minutes to earn a semi-final encounter with another Frenchman, Fabrice Santoro.

"I don't have any excuses. He played a lot better than me. I obviously still have some work to do on my clay court game," said the second-seeded Forget.

There was never any doubt about the outcome after Sanchez, who held serve throughout, won a first set tie-break 7-1.

Gabriel Markus of Argentina, ranked 78th in the world, beat Thierry Champion of France 7-5, 6-4 and now plays Sampras.

Copyright 1992 The Times Mirror Company


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