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Agassi Beats Sampras in Five

January 27, 2000

Three points away from defeat in the fourth-round tiebreak of his semifinal match against Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi bounced back with great returns and winners crosscourt, down the line or into Sampras' body, to win the set and eventually the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 7-1. He will meet the winner of the match between defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov and No.12 Magnus Norman for the 2000 Australian Open title.

Pete Sampras hit 34 aces and had a perfect tiebreak in the third set. He led 4-3 in the fourth-set tiebreak and was in a strong position when Agassi broke his serve with a return that skipped off the net cord, forcing Pete to volley wide. Agassi bagged the set with a forehand winner off a short Sampras volley.

"I felt like that was my chance. I let it slip away in the tiebreaker. I just got a little down on myself," Sampras said, "and he just took advantage of it."

The fourth-set tiebreak was the turning point of the match. Thereafter, Pete Sampras managed just 3 aces and was broken twice in the 2nd and 6th games of the fifth set.

It was an emotional match," Sampras said. "In the span of five minutes, the whole match changed." The loss ended his perfect record of five-setters at the Australian Open.

During his post-match interview, Sampras revealed that he injured his right hip flexor early in the first set and will have it examined the following day. The final decision to join the American Davis Cup team in Zimbabwe will depend on the result of the examination.

With this win, Agassi becomes the first man to reach four consecutive Grand Slam finals since Rod Laver won all four in 1969. Pete Sampras, on the other hand, is trying to break his and Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam titles.

Based on: Agassi beats out Sampras in five (AP), Agassi edges Sampras, reaches fourth consecutive final (AP), Press conference

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