Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2000 Australian Open SF: Agassi def. Sampras

Agassi def. Sampras: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (0), 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Classic: no.
Rating: 89.

The plot:
Agassi was trying to make his fourth straight major final, but first he had to beat long time rival Sampras in the semis.

The match: Sampras seems to have the upper hand early in the 1st set, but his level drops off, and Agassi takes advantage to take the set 6-4. Agassi continues to be dominant early in the 2nd set, but Sampras hangs tough, then elevates his game and breaks Agassi, and takes the 2nd set 6-3. Sampras continues to dominate in the 3rd set, but without any breaks, it is decided in a tie-break. Here, Sampras plays the most unbelievable tennis to win it 7-0. He continues to pressure Agassi early in the 4th set, but Agassi slowly gains the upper hand. The set is decided in a tie-break, where Sampras is up a mini-break twice, only to see Agassi eventually take it 7-5. Agassi breaks Sampras in the 2nd game of the 5th set, and Sampras is looking a little despondent now. Sampras loses serve again 6th game to go down 5-1, and Agassi serves out the match.

The bottom line: The level of tennis is very good in sets 1-4, and is even exhilarating at times in sets 3 and 4. But whereas Agassi plays a very clean match, with less than 20 unforced errors in 5 sets, Sampras misses a few too many shots. There aren't that many good rallies because Sampras almost invariably makes an error. Sampras plays some good volleys and serves great (30+ aces), but the match isn't really a feast for the eyes when it comes to winners and gets. The 5th set is a let-down, when Sampras seemingly is too tired to keep fighting. Sets 3 and 4 are very exciting stuff, and the match is worth seeing because of that. But heed my warning: this is not a classic, it is simply a very good and entertaining grand-slam semi-final.


Sportsceo said...

It is a classic because Agassi fought back from 2-1 sets down, overcame his Kryptonite in Sampras, overcame 30 plus aces, and overcame a 7-0 beatdown tie-break in set 3 to battle back from mini-breaks in set 4 tiebreak. Sampras ran out of gas or was in shock in set 5.

DeltaEsseQuattro said...

Exactly. It's a classic match! Great Agassi. Great return. Great game. Great match. A Classic Match.