Duel Match Stats/Reports - Agassi vs Sampras, Australian Open & US Open finals, 1995


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Pete Sampras 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-4 in the Australian Open final, 1995 on hard court

It was Agassi's first Australian Open, while Sampras had been the defending champion. The two would go onto meet in the finals of both Indian Wells (Sampras won) and Miami (Agassi won) shortly after

Agassi won 135 points, Sampras 122

Sampras serve-volleyed off all but 5 first serves and occasionally off seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (82/118) 69%
- 1st serve points won (58/82) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (22/36) 61%
- Aces 10
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (36/118) 31%

- 1st serve percentage (71/139) 51%
- 1st serve points won (54/71) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (30/68) 44%
- Aces 28, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (57/139) 41%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 34%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 5%

Sampras served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 76 (34 FH, 42 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 7 Winners (3 FH, 4 BH)
- 28 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (7 FH, 4 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 17 Forced (8 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (76/133) 57%

Sampras made...
- 78 (23 FH, 55 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 2 return-approaches
- 3 Winners (3 BH)
- 26 Errors, comprising...
- 22 Unforced (9 FH, 13 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 4 Forced (3 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (78/114) 68%

Break Points
Agassi 5/21 (8 games)
Sampras 2/4 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 40 (25 FH, 11 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)
Sampras 25 (11 FH, 5 BH, 2 FHV, 4 BHV, 2 BH1/2V, 2 OH)

Agassi had 7 return passes (3 FH, 4 BH) and 12 regular passes (9 FH, 3 BH)
- FH returns - 1 dtl and 2 inside-in
- BH returns - 2 cc and 2 inside-in
- regular FHs - 6 cc, 1 dtl, 1 longline/cc and 1 lob
- regular BHs - 2 cc and 1 dtl

- regular (non-pass) FHs - 4 cc (1 at net), 3 dtl, 2 inside-out and 4 inside-in
- regular BHs - 2 dtl, 1 inside-out and 1 longline/inside-out

- 1 FHV can reasonably be called an OH and 1 BHV can reasonably be called a BHOH (neither were smashes)

Sampras had 6 from serve-volley points
- 4 first 'volleys' (3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- 2 second volleys (2 FHV)

- 1 from a return-approach point (1 OH)
- 1 other BHV can reasonably be called a BHOH

- FHs - 1 cc, 7 dtl (1 pass), 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 3 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out return and 1 net chord dribbler return

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 36
- 15 Unforced (9 FH, 5 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH at net
- 21 Forced (11 FH, 9 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH at net & 1 non-net BHV pass attempt
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.3

Sampras 53
- 36 Unforced (18 FH, 11 BH, 4 FHV, 3 BHV)… with 1 FH at net
- 17 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 4 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50.8

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Agassi was...
- 10/15 (67%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Sampras was...
- 39/76 (51%) at net, including...
- 26/54 (48%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 22/41 (54%) off 1st serve and...
- 4/13 (31%) off 2nd serve
- 1/2 return-approaching

Match Report
Agassi commands play - including when Sampras is at net - while Sampras barely stays in touching distance on back of big serving on a slow hard court

Agassi wins 135 points to Sampras' 122, despite Sampras serving 139 of those points and break point figures -
- Agassi 5/21 in 8 games, Sampras 2/4 in 3

... accurately indicates Agassi large superiority. Even so, result isn't a sure thing. Sampras has the first 2 set points in the third set tiebreak - 1 of them on his serve, on which he gets his first serve in (on which he wins 76% match long). Still, he needs things to fall just so to even reach the tiebreak in the first place, having saved 6 break points across 2 games (including holding from 0-40 down), 4 of them second serve points (of which he wins just 44% over match) in the set. Earlier, he'd survived a torrid 18 point hold in the first set also

Its not uncommon for Sampras to be ineffective returning most of match, only to pull out a particularly strong game to break. As long as he can keep holding, that's good enough

Here, he's stretched to limits to hold - and probably lucky not to have been broken more often.

Outstanding baseline play from Agassi and poor returning from Sampras are two keys to the match

Agassi's service games
The usual dynamic for an Agassi-Sampras match is

- Agassi hitting BH cc's to keep Sampras pinned in BH corner and Sampras playing along with very safe, less hard hit BH cc's

Agassi virtually always has more consistent - and harder hit - BH cc and wins bulk of points by outlasting Pete. Otherwise, if Pete's BH holds up better, Agassi eventually goes dtl attackingly and Pete takes his chances on the running FH winner attempt. Usually missing but if he makes a couple in a row, it tends to end the point and goes a long way to getting him a break

In this match, there are two things making matters more in Agassi's favour than usual. He hits his BH exceptionally well, firm to hard while barely missing (match low 5 UEs. about half as many as the next shot, his FH with 9) and occasionally goes attackingly wide with the shot and use of FH inside-out and inside-in to either go at the Sampras BH still harder or finish the point. He has 4 FH inside-in winners, 2 BH dtl and his FH inside-out puts Pete firmly on back foot along the staple rally. Not bad on the BH from Pete - he has 11 UEs and hits firmly - but he's out of his league exchanging BH cc's with Agassi

On the FH, Agassi tends to hit wider while looking for errors. Its necessary because Sampras is constantly on the look out for killing FHs. With a fair amount of success - he has 10 baseline-to-baseline winners to Agassi's 9 - but also match high 18 UEs (to Agassi's 9). Agassi's wide FH cc also forces most of Pete's 5 FH FEs. Agassi misses just 2 winner attempts, while for Pete, the figure is a huge 16. Most of these would be FHs, which up 18 of his 36 UEs

Prospects for grabbing a break aren't too bad for Pete but for poor returning as he gives up 31% unreturned rate. The court is slow and Agassi's serve is harmless. 22/26 return errors have been marked unforced, just regulation, in swing-zone returns that Pete can't make. Agassi's serve is slow enough that even wide-ish serves aren't difficult to put in play

Agassi does have high 10 aces. Almost all of them are out wide to the FH and surprise element has a hand in there going through (he only serves to FH 34% of the time). They're not placed overly wide and Sampras regularly doesn't move as they go by

So Agassi predictably the stronger baseliner and playing particularly well from the back with Pete gaining some counter-play with ambitious attacking FHs. As a match long strategy, that's not bad outlook from Pete's point of view. Its the 31% unreturned rate - for which I'd completely discredit him - that allows Agassi to hold comfortably almost always. Against Agassi's serve on this court, 80-85% return rate is achievable. Pete manages just 68%


Hall of Fame
Sampras' service games
Sampras serve-volleys 98% off the time off 1st serve and 21% off seconds

He only wins 48% serve-volleying total. Even off his first serve, the figure is a low 54% - and that includes a good lot of near unreturnable strong serves that don't come back (in other words, the serve would most likely not have come back regardless of Pete following it to net or not)

Pete with typically large 41% unreturned serves - including 28 aces. When the serve comes back though, he wins just 27/76 or 36% of points

Agassi takes 1st serve returns from on the baseline and steps in a bit against most second serves. Its a very early position against such a fast serve and big part of the reason for all the aces and unreturned serves. The trade off being that anything he can hit, he hits at least firmly, and usually, more than that

He seems to read the second serve, and is out of the way to body serves in a flash to slap FHs. Some powerful second serving from Pete - including forceful ones he stays back on - and its at least as strong as Agassi's typical first serve. Sampras' unpredictable second serve-volleying possibly has a hand in Agassi returning even those vigorously, though Agassi tends to return second serves that in general. He's got 11 UEs on the return, 10 of them second serves Pete stays back on... would probably have fewer if safe in knowing Pete definitely won't be following them to net

Good enough on the regulation volley from Pete. He doesn't see too many and has moderate 7 UEs and puts the ball to corners to leave extremely difficult running passes.
Plenty of very difficult volleys for Pete to make first up, and even one's around net high are powerful enough to be tricky. He's not convincing on these. He's forced into 6 errors and leaves passing chances for Agassi when he can make them. All credit to Agassi for the thumping returns and passes. It doesn't come cheap - all those unreturned serves are the cost

Off second serves, Pete wins 31% serve-volleying and 53% staying back, which falls to 41% when return is made. He plays with more care from the back on his service games and is more apt to manufacture an approach than in return games. Approach shots are usually wide hit shots that should be good enough to win large lot of points with decent volleys. He wins 12/20 or 60%... mostly credit to Agassi for great passing for keeping it that low

Winning 41% second serve points starting baseline-to-baseline is reasonable indicator of how the two players stack up from the back. More care or more approaching from Pete doesn't change Agassi's dominance from the back - he's the one to control direction, has the heavier BH and a dependable weapon in the FH. Pete's BH is harmless, his approaches are met with blazing passes and his FH though deadly, misfires as often as not

Match Progression
Both players hold serve comfortably - Agassi slightly more so - til end of first set. Serving at 4-4, Sampras is extended in an 18 point game where he has to save 3 break point. He has second serves on all of them - and succeeds by coming to net, twice from rallying, once serve-volleying

Poor game by Agassi right after to get broken to 15 with 2 double faults. Pete also hits a FH dtl winner and wins a point with a nice, BH longline chip approach shot

Just 6/22 first serves in from Pete in second set - and he only wins 3 of those. Lots of hammering, low returns from Agassi against the serve-volleying (1st and 2nd serves) and while baseline-to-baseline, he pushes Pete back and about. Agassi takes to moving around to finish points with FH inside-in or inside-out and sweep through the set 6-1

Players trade breaks early in the third - Sampras breaking first in an 8 point game by winning 3 net points (1 a delayed return-approach against a first serve), Agassi hitting back with some terrific passing and returning to 30 despite Pete making 5/6 first serves

Pete has break point next game too, which Agassi saves with his sole serve-volley off the match. Thereafter, its Pete whose under the gun and endures 8 and 12 point game holds

The tiebreak is one of the best you'll see with both players going for shots they hadn't been, with good success and some spectacular points

Agassi moves ahead 3-0 with 2 mini-breaks - a flawless FH cc passing winner and a BH dtl one (a shot he wasn't playing). Pete errs in looking to volley when he could have played a groundstroke at net to lose the other point

Pete wins next 5 points - gaining the mini-breaks back with point ending FH dtl's (1 his only winning pass) and consolidating with 2 unreturned serves. He throws in his only chip-charge return of the match but is met by a wide pass he can't handle

5-4 up, Pete somehow manages to make reflex FHV winner from a drilled pass from about the service line to give himself 2 set points. He blasts down the first serve but a stretched Agassi is able to swat the return FH dtl for winner. Next set point is a return one and Pete misses an unlikely FH winner attempt

Agassi converts his first set point, with of all things, a quick dash to net from neutral position and a very nice drop BHV winner. The only such point he played all match

Both players hold with complete ease in 4th set. Pete rains down aces - he has 9 and his only service winner from 21 first serves - and is particularly lax and cavalier on return games

The break comes in game 9. A stunning, running FH dtl pass brings up 2 break points for Agassi. The first is saved by a superb first 'volley' drop BH1/2V winner from a bullet return and a pair of aces follow to Pete game point. 3 strong return & passing combinations later, Agassi's broken and he serves out to 15 to end the match

Summing up, good match and very strong showing from Agassi, whose baseline play is heavy and commanding. On return, Agassi takes second shot early - which sees him aced aplenty but anything he can hit, he does meatily. Sampras gains some counter-play with flashing FHs while being bossed around from the back, but poor returning sets him back still more. The usual lot of big serving from Sampras but Agassi's outstanding on the pass off both sides and a bit too much for Sampras in the forecourt

Stats for pair's Indian Wells and Miami finals - (15) Duel Match Stats/Reports - Sampras vs Agassi, Indian Wells & Miami finals, 1995 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for the '94 final between Sampras and Todd Martin - (15) Match Stats/Report - Sampras vs Martin, Australian Open final, 1994 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)


Hall of Fame
Sampras beat Agassi 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the US Open final, 1995 on hard court

Agassi was the defending champion and had been won his last 4 tournaments (Washington, Canadian Open, Cincinnati and New Haven), all on hard court with a win over Sampras in Canadian Open final heading into the event. Sampras had won Wimbledon shortly before and would go onto defend the title the following year

Sampras won 124 points, Agassi 112

Sampras serve-volleyed off all but 3 first serves and rarely off seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (65/121) 54%
- 1st serve points won (56/65) 86%
- 2nd serve points won (30/56) 54%
- Aces 25 (1 not clean, 1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (57/121) 47%

- 1st serve percentage (64/115) 56%
- 1st serve points won (45/64) 70%
- 2nd serve points won (32/51) 63%
- Aces 8
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/115) 25%

Serve Patterns
Sampras served...
- to FH 52%
- to BH 38%
- to Body 10%

Agassi served...
- to FH 24%
- to BH 75%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 81 (22 FH, 59 BH), including 7 runaround FHs & 5 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 14 Unforced (7 FH, 7 BH) including 2 return-approach attempts
- 7 Forced (5 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (81/110) 74%

Agassi made...
- 58 (28 FH, 30 BH)
- 31 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (5 FH, 4 BH)
- 22 Forced (15 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (58/115) 50%

Break Points
Sampras 4/8 (5 games)
Agassi 2/6 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Sampras 28 (9 FH, 4 BH, 7 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH)
Agassi 23 (11 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 3 OH)

Sampras had 10 from serve-volley points
- 5 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH, 1 BH at net)
- 4 second volleys (2 FHV, 2 OH)
- 1 third 'volley' (1 FH at net)

- 1 from a return-approach point, a FHV

- FHs - 2 dtl, 2 inside-out, 3 inside-in (1 return) and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc pass at net
- BHs - 2 cc (1 at net) and 1 dtl

Agassi's regular FHs - 4 cc, 1 dtl, 2 inside-in and 2 inside-in/cc
- regular BHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl and 1 dtl/inside-out
- FH passes - 1 cc and 1 inside-out
- BH passes - 3 cc (1 at net) and 1 dtl

- 1 from a serve-volley point - a first volley, FHV

- the BHV can reasonably be called a BHOH

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Sampras 54
- 33 Unforced (17 FH, 11 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV)... with 2 FH at net
- 21 Forced (8 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)... with 1 BHV from the baseline
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

Agassi 34
- 21 Unforced (11 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)... with 1 swinging FHV
- 13 Forced (5 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.2

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Sampras was...
- 48/64 (75%) at net, including...
- 33/44 (75%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 30/37 (81%) off 1st serve and...
- 3/7 (43%) off 2nd serve
- 3/5 (60%) return-approaching

Agassi was...
- 14/21 (67%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
A sped up version of the Australian Open match - same playing dynamics, about the same quality of play from both players - with the faster conditions shifting advantage Sampras' way

Court is fast enough that match becomes a who-plays-big-points-better deal, where regular holds are the norm and the returner is left to wait around for double faults or otherwise throwaway bad errors from the server for chances to break. Sampras' serve is virtually untouchable and he holds on the strength of it. Even Agassi's serve isn't easy to return - unlike the previous match - but he's just as good from the back as he was their and even more punishing. From the baseline, Agassi actively beats down and pounds Sampras, including by coming to net a bit more to decisively put points away

The return is the key (taking for granted Sampras' stellar serving) and Sampras is able to do what he wasn't Down Under: Get into rallies. He returns at 74% here - as opposed to 68% in previous match. And its harder to return here. While Agassi dominates the rallies, it shifts odds of Pete getting a break eventually. With his service games secure, he just needs one... the liklihood of Agassi shutting him out from the baseline more regularly than Sampras can shut Agassi out with big serving doesn't seem good. And so it plays out. Both players have their chances and break point stats read -

- Sampras 4/8, Agassi 2/6... with both players having them in 5 games

Agassi can barely make a return and errs a bit in how he returns second serves (more on that later). He gets his chances when Sampras mucks up with double faults or misses easy volleys. Flashes of brilliant passes or returns are very few and far between
Sampras can get rallies going, but is dominated in them off both wings. He gets his chances when Agassi messes up from the back (or front). Flashes of brilliant attacking FHs, conjuring an approach or BH holding up are few and far between

That's the difference - Agassi 'very few and far between', Sampras just 'few and far between'

First serve points, Return Strategies & Play
Sampras' first serve is irresistibly powerful. He has 24 aces/service winners, significant chunk of the remainder is close to unreturnable and absolutely nothing is easy. Its fairly windy at start of match but that doesn't seem to bother Sampras' ball tossing and Agassi clearly has no read on the serve at all. Agassi stands on baseline to take returns

There is no returning position that'd yield particularly good results against this kind of serving but Agassi's chosen one is a bust. He has 0 return winners and can rarely return as to give anything more than a regulation first volley

Sampras serve-volleys 93% of the time or all but 3 first serves. No reason not to do so 100% of the time. He loses the 2 points he clearly stays back on and the third is a serve he stops his forward movement to (probably thinking the ball wasn't coming back), volleys the return from closer to baseline than service line and approaches to finish. A virtual serve-volley

The few returns that come back are usually above net and volleyed away from Agassi, short of into corners. Its more than good enough. 7 forecourt UEs (including 2 particularly easy groundstrokes) has room for improvement but don't matter much amidst all the unreturned serves. Agassi's left to make improbable running passes and rare can. 86% first serve points won by Sampras with 47% unreturned. Basically, shutting Agassi out with the serve shot alone

Agassi's first serve points are more interesting. He mixes them up and sends down plenty of genuinely forcefully strong serves, unlike in Australia. And Sampras' returning against it is good, usually putting balls in play

Its the more moderate serves that prove more effective. Agassi sends down bait serves wide to Sampras' FH and Sampras looks to blast them with point-finishing force. He virtually always misses. He's got 12 FH return errors (7 UEs) to 9 BHs (also 7 UEs), despite Agassi serving just 24% of the time to FH and 75% to BH. Solid, consistent BH returning by Pete, especially against Agassi's better serves and risky serving by Agassi to Sampras' FH that ends up paying off


Hall of Fame
Second serve points, Return Strategies & Play
Sampras serve-volleys just 14% of the time and wins 43% of those. Despite 6 double faults, overall he wins decent 54% second serve points. This is where Agassi errs.

Note the 9 return UEs from Agassi. All are against second serves Sampras stays back on (there are also a small number of FEs from that situation). Its a hefty second serve but made to look more so due to Agassi's early returning position inside court. Agassi returns attackingly, taking return on up and smacking them hard and deep. This kind of aggressive returning isn't necessary.

The advantage it gives Agassi is Sampras is often pushed back at start of rally. The disadvantage is all the missed returns. Does Agassi need Sampras on back foot to start rallies to be confident of winning the bulk? Almost certainly not. Most of the rallies from Agassi's second serve points start from neutral position after Sampras' regulation returns... and Agassi wins very healthy 63% second serve points (despite 5 double faults). A sizable amount of Agassi's first serve points also start neutrally or nearly so and Agassi wins the overwhelming bulk of those too. In other words, he doesn't need an advantageous starting position to win baseline rallies. Missing second serve returns by going for a lot on the returns isn't worth the advantage of pushing Pete back since he's able to take Pete out from the baseline even from neutral positions

If Agassi returns too aggressively, Pete is the opposite, though whether he's capable of attacking returning from his BH remains to be seen. He returns neutrally, and Agassi avoids serving to FH with second serves. And Agassi bosses him about from the back. Given this is how things are going throughout and Pete holding easily... what does he have to lose by going for low percentage, attacking returning? He wins 3/5 chip-charging. The returns aren't particularly good - they tend to be floated rather than kniefed and Agassi's able to measure the pass. Again, worth doing more of

Play - Baseline & Net
There's relatively little Sampras on the volley vs Agassi on the pass going. The bulk of net points are Sampras' first serve serve-volley points and that turns out to be a battle of Sampras' serve shot vs Agassi's return rather than a volley vs pass deal. Suffice to say, Sampras serve wins by a humongous margin

When Agassi can make return, he leaves regulation first volleys that Sampras pushes or guides away to leave very improbably running passing shots that Agassi can rarely make. Wisely, not trying for too much on the volley by Pete. It would be unnecessary

Sampras is a very impressive 12/15 rallying his way to net. Its very difficult for him to create an approach and he's reluctant to come in off neutral shots, let alone junk. In other words, he looks for strong approach shot to do the work, not unlike his serve-volley points. Agassi isn't particularly convincing on the passes he can line up either, so its probably worth pressuring him a bit more with more neutral approaches

On Agassi's serve and Sampras' second serve points, play begins baseline-to-baseline. And Agassi is very impressive. His hard hitting play is a couple of steps up from Australia match and he's in beat-down, bullying and overpowering mode

He leads with particularly strong BH cc's and switches to even more forceful FH inside-outs to beat down Sampras' BH. A few errors going so heavy, but he has 3 fewer UEs, 2 more winners and forces plenty of errors on BH side of things. Again, Pete's BH isn't particularly weak, but it is outmatched. He's willing or forced to fall well behind baseline to play, and despite being patient, his BH can't handle what its up against

Unlike other match, Agassi dominates FH-FH too. He has 9 baseline-to-baseline winners to Pete's 6 (and 1 of them was out but went uncalled), Sampras has match high 15 UEs (to Agassi's 11). Pete's not even able to be low-percentage dangerous and his UEFI is 48.5 with 16/26 baseline UEs being neutral shots. Like on the BH, Agassi beats him down, pushes him back and to boot, pushes him wide

The particularly bullying, hard hitting play leads to a few more UEs than necessary for Agassi, but it does serve to keep Pete from thinking of coming in (though there isn't much sign that he was particularly looking to). Agassi also utilizes his advantage to come forward to finish points when in the mood. He only gets easy volleys with the approach shot doing the work

There is a catch that gets back to the who-plays-big-points-better nature of the match. Just 2 UEs in forecourt for Agassi (Sampras has 7)... they are very easy, putaway balls and each effectively costs him his serve and in this type of encounter, its only a slight exaggeration to say, the match

Match Progression
Little in it in first set, with both players holding easily. 2 double faults give Agassi a break point in game 5, which Sampras serve-volleys away. Sampras breaks to end the set, winning a very lively open court rally with a BH cc winner on set point. Before that, he has some luck with a net chord dribbling return and Agassi makes a horrendous OH error to bring up the set point

2 difficult games to start the 2nd set. Sampras saves a break point by lashing a FH inside-in third ball winner to hold a 10 point game. Next game, Agassi missing his heavy groundies prolongs game when another very poor error - this time missing an easy swinging FHV - gets him broken in another 10 point game

Easy holds from there til Sampras steps up to serve for set. At 30-30, he misses a FH dtl which goes uncalled and is given a winner. Game goes to deuce and Sampras saves a break point with unreturned serve before finishing with his sole 2nd serve ace of the match

Two trade breaks early in the third. Agassi double faults at 30-30 before Sampras dispatches a FH inside-out winner from a ball that sat up after hitting top to net. Next game, pair of double faults sets Pete back and a strong wide return brings up break point. Pete stays back off his first serve on break point and can't make FH1/2V coming in later in the point

Agassi breaks to take the set, with Sampras missing an easy FHV and double faulting keeping him in the game. He finishes with a great, needle threading FH inside-out passing winner

Sampras goes into full scale untouchable serving in 4th set, in which he has 10 aces (Agassi has 8 for the match), including a hold to love with 4 in a row. At one stage, he has 9 consecutive unreturned serves. Agassi holds comfortably enough after a difficult first game too

The break comes at the end. A lightly struck but very sharply angled BH cc leads to Sampras taking the first point before Agassi missing a regulation FH and double faulting makes it 0-40. He saves the first 2 with strong serves, draws a weak return after that but misses his FH inside-in winner attempt of third ball. Ball was there for the shot, just misses it. And Pete serves out to love

Summing up, very good, fast court match with a contrast of styles. Sampras' serving is extraordinary and overwhelming. Agassi's baseline play is bullyingly strong and dominates a decent Sampras from the back. Sampras' big serving holds are just a bit more sustainable than Agassi's baseline bossiness based one and odds would favour him coming up ahead as he ends up doing

Stats for Agassi's semi with Boris Becker - (3) Duel Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Becker, US Open semi-finals 90 & 95 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for pair's Canadian Open final shortly before - (3) Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Sampras, Canadian Open final, 1995 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for the '94 final between Agassi and Michael Stich - Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Stich, US Open final, 1994 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
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