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Sampras sweeps into semifinals at Hamlet Cup

August 24, 2001

Third seed Pete Sampras inched closer to his first tournament win in more than a year Friday night with a straight-sets victory over Spain's Felix Mantilla in the quarterfinals of the $400,000 Hamlet Cup Tennis event.

Winless since capturing a record 13th Grand Slam at Wimbledon last year, Sampras swept past Mantilla, 7-5, 6-3, to reach his fourth semifinal of the year. He is trying to end his longest drought since 1990, when he claimed his first ATP title in his 34th event.

"I had my hands full, but I feel like my game is getting progressively better and better," Sampras said. "Compared to my first match, I feel like I've got a pretty good rhythm out there, serving well, hitting the ball well from the backcourt. I'm moving fine."

Sampras, the highest seed remaining in the field, is making his second appearance at this U.S. Open tuneup event.

"I've got some good matches under my belt. The court here is very similar to U.S. Open courts, same ball, so you can't ask for a better week," he said.


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