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Sampras wins second-round match at Hamlet Cup

August 22, 2001

Pete Sampras took another step toward ending his 15-tournament title drought with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alexander Peya in the second round of the Hamlet Cup on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Sampras, who holds the record with 13 Grand Slam titles, needed just 56 minutes to beat the 21-year-old Austrian, who began the year playing in Futures events.

The third-seeded Sampras, who is in this hard-court tournament as a wildcard, credited his 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-4) first-round victory over Olivier Rochus with helping him advance.

"I was a little rusty on Tuesday and the fact I had a tough match made me a lot sharper today and gave me more confidence," Sampras said. "My serve was definitely improved and I'm getting used to the court. I got better as the match went on. I just hope I can keep going."

Sampras, who dominated the match by winning 26 of 29 first-serve points, broke Peya three times.

"He is a shot-maker," Sampras said of Peya, "but tonight his wheels came off in the second set."

In Friday night's quarterfinals, Sampras will play Felix Mantilla, who beat Guillermo Canas 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 Wednesday.

Sampras isn't looking ahead to next week's U.S. Open.

"I know everybody's focused on next week but all I'm thinking about is hopefully winning five matches here," he said.


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