Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Sampras, French Open quarter-final, 1992


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Pete Sampras 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-1 in the French Open quarter-final, 1992 on clay

Agassi would go onto lose in the next round to eventual champion Jim Courier. He would go onto win his first Slam at Wimbledon shortly after. The two had recently played the final of Atlanta on green clay, with Agassi winning

Agassi won 102 points, Sampras 77

Sampras serve-volleyed about a third of the time off first serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (54/84) 64%
- 1st serve points won (41/54) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (17/30) 57%
- Aces 3
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (17/84) 20%

- 1st serve percentage (39/95) 41%
- 1st serve points won (27/39) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (24/56) 43%
- Aces 8 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (32/95) 34%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 17%
- to BH 81%
- to Body 2%

Sampras served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 44%
- to Body 16%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 56 (25 FH, 31 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 6 Winners (6 FH)
- 24 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (6 FH, 2 BH)
- 16 Forced (11 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (56/88) 64%

Sampras made...
- 66 (15 FH, 51 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (4 FH, 4 BH)
- 6 Forced (6 BH)
- Return Rate (66/83) 80%

Break Points
Agassi 6/10 (7 games)
Sampras 1/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 23 (15 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Sampras 16 (7 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV)

Agassi's FHs - 1 cc/inside-in, 3 dtl passes (1 return), 5 inside-out (1 return), 5 inside-in (4 returns) and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 1 cc pass and 3 dtl (1 pass)

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a first volley, BHV
- the OH hit net chord on way over

Sampras' FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 2 dtl (1 at net), 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc passes (1 return), 4 dtl (1 pass), 1 drop shot and 1 net chord dribbler return

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a 2nd volley, FHV

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 28
- 19 Unforced (7 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV)
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.8

Sampras 55
- 34 Unforced (16 FH, 17 BH, 1 BHV)
- 21 Forced (13 FH, 8 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.3

(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...
- 23/30 (77%) at net, including...
- 5/7 (71%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 5/6 (83%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 1/1 retreated

Sampras was...
- 10/16 (63%) at net, including...
- 7/9 (78%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Neck and neck first set and a thrashing after that. Agassi is much the stronger hitter from the back and augments it by coming to net to mow Sampras down. Sampras' ability to live off strong serving is limited by a poor in count and without it to fall back on, gets mashed from the baseline and plays somewhat cluelessly

Strike-you-in-the-face stat of the match. At net, Agassi's 23/30, Sampras 10/16. The Agassi figure includes 7 serve-volleys (just shy of Sampras' 9, though Sampras serve-volleys significantly higher percentage of time), including once off a second serve (Sampras 0) and a return-approach (Sampras 0). Rallying to net, Agassi wins 17/22, Pete 3/7

All that's in the context of Agassi sizably the better of baseline player. Baseline-to-baseline -
- Winners - both 9
- UEs - Agassi 18 (7 FH, 11 BH), Sampras 33 (16 FH, 17 BH)

Overall groundstroke FEs read Agassi 7, Sampras 21. Most of Agassi's small number are with Sampras at net (i.e. Pete isn't able to hurt Agassi with his groundstrokes), while a third to a half of Sampras' large figure would with Agassi on baseline (i.e. Agassi can and does hurt Pete with groundstrokes)

Agassi's superiority in play is mitigated by Sampras' large 34% unreturned serves - a good 14% higher than Agassi's

The other determinant of result is Sampras with low 41% first serves in, while winning low 43% second serve points. Essentially and not unusually for him, he's living off his big serve. Even then, Agassi with significant 76% to 69% first serves won lead... and Agassi's first serve is like a good second serve (Sampras' second serve is stronger)

Sampras starts the match serve-volleying regularly off first serves, but cuts back to staying back about as often as not soon after. By last set, he's staying back most of the time. Off his first serve, he's -
- 7/9 when serve volleying (mostly drawing return errors)
- 13/23 when staying back (excluding aces)

When Sampras' serve is returned, he wins just 19/56 or 34% of points - and that's excluding high 7 double faults

Not sure what Sampras is trying to do. He's outhit sizably from the back, but stays put there. Rallying from back, Agassi is harder hitter and more consistent in about equal degree - and the degree is high. Sampras is pushed well behind baseline to lop balls in play, even on FH side. From that position, he's beaten down without showing any great defensive mettle or Agassi comes in finish at net. Not much resistance on the pass from Pete either, though he's up against a handful in Agassi walloping short and/or soft balls on the approach shot

Good move from Agassi to utilize net play. Around this period, he has few fixed patterns on play and gives the impression of making it up as he goes along. It wouldn't be surprising to see him just pound away from the back to draw errors. Coming in is much more efficient and quick way of winning points, and not one that one would necessarily expect from him. There are plenty of matches where he has similar hitting advantage but looks to beat down from the back and eventually, yields errors going for too much

Good volleying too. Couple of beautiful, deft touch volleys from Agassi and he misses next to nothing (just 3 errors - and only 1 unforced)
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Hall of Fame
Some typically very strong serving from Sampras and he's forced return errors with second serves (and has 1 ace). His second serve is more powerful than Agassi's first by considerably amount. Its met by Agassi swatting returns on the up. 5/6 Agassi return winners are with Pete on the baseline. Agassi returns heftily and usually deep to push Pete back to start baseline rallies. Good little mini-match on Sampras serve vs Agassi return... what gets returned, gets returned initiative grabbingly (or point endingly). In that context, 34% unreturned rate from Pete probably isn't good enough, but serving at just 41%, its about as well as he could hope for

Agassi serves about averagely off force for first set. Afterwards, he takes to kicking or spinning serves in. His in count in first set is modest 53% and after that, high 76%. Taking something off the serve is a good move because Pete returns feebly. He takes to falling back on the return and ball is shoulder and near head height as he makes contact regularly, with 81% of it directed to his BH. Returns come back softly (thought regularly at 80% return rate), and Agassi at least hits the third ball hard to start rally strongly. Or really hammers it and takes net to look to finish early

Sampras' returning is feeble enough that Agassi even serve-volleys fairly often by his standard. He wins 5/6 behind first serve - most with unreturned serves. Pete makes the return-pass on the only 2nd serve-volley point

Gist of serve-return complex is Agassi in at least stronger position to start rallies, both in return and serve games, while Sampras gets a good lot of freebies

The usual pattern of baseline play in the match up is BH cc based play, with Agassi hitting harder and Pete looking to keep ball in play. On FH, Pete takes his chances with hit-or-miss point endingly powerful FHs, while Agassi plays a more conventional, percentage game

There are elements of that here, but not much. Its more Sampras pushed back behind baseline and Agassi hitting hard to keep him there or coming to net to finish. Sampras' shots lack punch, especially the BH. He has his moments with strong FHs, but Agassi is stronger off that side too here. Sampras' defence is lax, especially in third set, by which time he seems to have more or less given up

Match Progression
Early on, rallies are mostly BH based and Agassi is as prone to error as Sampras to keep things about even. Some excellent, powerful second serving from Sampras keep Agassi in check also. Sampras stays back off odd first serves, but mostly serve-volleys. His returning is soft and even Agassi takes to serve-volleying to exploit it

Sampras breaks to move ahead 2-1 through 3 Agassi UEs. The break back comes in game 8 - a poor one from Pete (3 baseline UEs and a double fault)

Despite 8-6 scoreline, Agassi's in control of tiebreak after moving ahead 4-0, including swatting a FH return pass winner. Sampras begins to find his way back into it by making a rare passing winner. On his first set point, Agassi comes in behind second serve for only time in match and Pete's up to passing him BH cc with the return to make it 6-6

The 6-6 point turns out to be crucial. Sampras is on the attack in the rally, thrashing FH inside-outs to Agassi's BH, but Agassi's able to turn it around and wins it at net. On second set point, Agassi overpowers Pete, comes in and has easy OH to finish. His shot hits the top of the net on its way over for a winner. Agassi wins 41 points in the set to Pete's 40

Play changes in 2nd set. Agassi takes to spinning in first serves and Pete goes into his shell, returning and playing from further behind baseline. Agassi gains a clearer advantage in hitting, especially on the BH, both for his strength going up and Pete's falling. Agassi continues coming to net to finish and now has more chances to while Pete starts staying back more often behind his first serve. And he starts missing first serves, making just 9/26 for the set

Strong game by Agassi to break at start and Pete endures another tough hold from 0-40 down in middle of set. He is able to extend Agassi in 10 point game (no break points) right after, but is broken again after that in another strong game by Agassi

There's a 30 minute rain delay as 3rd set starts. Sampras holds from 15-15 all on resumption, but doesn't win another game. Pete changes his game on resumption. He looks to return earlier and more firmly. He stays back off virtually all serves. And looks for attacking first groundstroke. Agassi returns to BH and Pete looks for firm, longline third ball BHs, often missing. Agassi on resumption serves a bit harder and hits considerably more so. He doesn't come to net to finish. He doesn't need to... Pete looking to hit firmly is an error machine, and Agassi runs through 6 games in a row to end the match

Summing up, convincing showing from Agassi, with hard hit groundies and smart coming to net behind them to finish points efficiently and very effective, thumping returns against a strong serve. Still more than that, a poor showing from Sampras, whose groundstrokes are feeble, shows a weakness in returning against high ball to BH and often, shows lack of fight and defensive capability. Good from Agassi, a bit clueless and flat from Sampras

Stats for pair's Atlanta final - Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Sampras, Atlanta final, 1992 | Talk Tennis (
Stats for '91 semi between Agassi and Boris Becker - Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Becker, French Open semi-final, 1991 | Talk Tennis (