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Sampras & the Great Escape!

June 13, 2000

LONDON - Pete Sampras appeared to have forgotten that the green grass courts, which has long been acknowledged to be his preferred surface in his first round match at Queen's Club with Great Britain's Arvind Parmar.

This is Sampras's warm-up tournament for his defence of his Wimbledon title which if he is successful at Wimbledon would mean him breaking Roy Emerson's record which he equalled the previous year of 12 Grand Slam singles titles.

But that is not what Pete was thinking about during his match against Parmar. Following a sluggish start to the match, which saw Parmar taking the first set on a tie breaker 8 points to 6 and saw Sampras lose his serve in the opening game of the second set, Pete gradually and surely played his way back into the match, immediately breaking Parmar back and breaking him again to take the second set 6-4.

From that point on it was plain sailing for Pete Sampras serving out the match with an ace to win the 3rd set 6-3 and the match.

During the match Parmar managed to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sampras, mirroring him on precision serving throughout the first set and winning the set in the tiebreaker on his 3rd set point with a backhand return. He then managed to break Sampras's serve in the first game of the second set, with a wonderfully hit forehand passing shot off a short second serve. But all thoughts of beating without a doubt the greatest grass court player were quickly shattered when Pete Sampras immediately broke back and took firm control of the match eventually finishing the match with his 20th ace.

After the match he said, "It's nice to be back on the grass,"

"He was playing great, I've never seen him play before. He was coming out serving big bombs, pretty much dominating me. But I got through it and played pretty well at the end. I'm happy to get it over."

Sampras also admitted to being a little out of practice when it came to playing on grass, but one assumes this great player was merely just warming up to the task ahead.

"In your first match, you can't expect miracles" Sampras said.

This win was off the back of a very disappointing year so far for Pete Sampras and also having come off a first round loss to Australia's Mark Philippoussis at the French Open in Paris, the only Grand Slam to elude Pete Sampras.

Many have come to realise that the pieces of his game always fall into place in time for his defence of his Wimbledon crown.

Based on the report by


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