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September 2, 2000

At his press conference yesterday, Pete Sampras admitted that he knew nothing about his next opponent, Agustin Calleri. He knows a good deal more about him today, having been taken to two tie-breakers in the first two sets, before figuring out the determined, athletic Argentinean, to take the final set 6-3.

"I didn't know what to expect, it was the first time we had met", said Sampras. "I'd never even seen him play. He's got a big, big serve, and he backs it up with huge groundies. Really caught me off guard."

Playing in his first US Open, the 23-year-old Calleri failed to take his only break opportunity in the opening set. The younger man also had opportunities in the tie-breaker, levelling to 5-5, but then his forehand let him down twice and Sampras broke him to take the first set. The second set tie-breaker was more decisive, Sampras finishing it at 7-3 with an ace, for a comfortable two-set lead.

The third set saw Calleri producing some pleasing ground strokes, and powerful serving which took his ace count to 17, the same as Sampras. The Argentinean saved several break points, but then handed Sampras the pivotal break when he hit a backhand long.

The American lost no time in serving out the match, sealing victory in just over two hours: 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3. His verdict on the match was:

"Well, he came out swinging away. It's just a sign of the game and how strong it is, from the No. 1 guy to wherever you're ranked. I don't know where he's ranked, but he's got a good game, good future. Really made me work hard."

Sampras's next potential victim will be the South Korean qualifier Hyung-Taik Lee.

Based on Sports Ticker news report


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