Sampras beats Agassi in Champion Series L.A.
It was a real treat for me to see Sampras, Agassi, Courier, and McEnroe at the Champion Series tournament in Los Angeles last Friday. Agassi overpowered Mac handily in the first match 6-2. It seemed like Andre hit everything in the sweetspot- still the supreme ball striker. Sampras and Courier went to tiebreak in a wonderful match. Courier was crushing the hell out of his groundstrokes but Sampras always seemed to have the answer. He finished a lot of points off at the net and I was amazed at how he well he handled Courier's screamers right at him at him.
Fittingly Pete and Andre played each other in the final. Same old Sampras. He broke Andre early and then just cruised the rest of the way relying on his serve to finish out the match. He even threw in some second serve aces. It was wonderful to watch the variety in his game just like the old days: serves of all kinds, volleys, drop shots, slices, then occasionally matching Andre groundstroke for groundstroke.
One interesting thing to me was how each player's face looked close up. Their faces were hard to miss because the giant jumbotron screen at Staples Center projected their faces close up in high definition whenever they sat in their chairs during the changeovers. I have to say Andre looked the best to me- smiling constantly, content. He looks like he's "in a good place" in his life. Mac and Courier looked pretty good too. Poor Pete though. He may still be the Man on the tennis court but the years seemingly haven't been kind to him.
"My belief is that we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." -Dick Cheney