Originally Posted by tennis4josh
By 2002 Sampras was pretty much at the end of his career while Safin was nearing his peak. It was interesting too see Safin feed off one the "best" serve in tennis. It looked like Safin got more free points off his serve than Sampras. Sampras is noticeably slower and hence relies more on slice backhand than top spin.
Safin was no where near his peak here in 2002, in fact, Safin never really got to peak; Everytime he got going, he got injured. His attitude this tournament wasn't great and he wasn't exactly where he was physically in 2004 and 2005. The final was damn right annoying to see someone with Safin's talent lose to someone he would normally straight set if playing well. Oh well.
As for the match, Safin is nightmare match-up for Sampras; Passes like a gunshot (powerful and accurate), can out hit Sampras from the baseline and can have those crazy return games as well as being a superior mover. I think the only surface Sampras would be able to beat an in-form Safin would be grass.