Match Stats/Report - Sampras vs Washington, Miami final, 1993


Hall of Fame
Pete Sampras beat MaliVai Washington 6-3, 6-2 in the Miami final, 1993 on hard court

It was Sampras' second Masters series title. He was ranked number 2 at the time and would shortly afterwards reach number 1 for the first time. Washington was seeded 14th

Sampras won 66 points, Washington 46

Sampras serve-volleyed off vast majority of first serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (35/64) 55%
- 1st serve points won (29/35) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (15/29) 52%
- Aces 6, Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/64) 33%

- 1st serve percentage (26/48) 54%
- 1st serve points won (17/26) 65%
- 2nd serve points won (9/22) 41%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/48) 23%

Serve Patterns
Sampras served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 60%
- to Body 3%

Washington served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 72%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 36 (11 FH, 25 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 7 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH/return-approach attempt
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (36/47) 77%

Washington made...
- 42 (14 FH, 28 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 9 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (42/63) 67%

Break Points
Sampras 3/3
Washington 0/7 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Sampras 22 (8 FH, 3 BH, 3 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH)
Washington 5 (3 FH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Sampras had 8 from serve-volley points -
- 3 first volleys (2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 5 second volleys (1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 4 cc (2 passes - 1 not clean), 2 dtl passes (1 lob... which would likely have been a successful pass even had it not been lobbed), 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc passes and 1 dtl

Washington's FHs (all passes) - 1 cc and 2 dtl

- the OH was first volley of a serve-volley point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Sampras 29
- 17 Unforced (13 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)… the OH was from the baseline
- 12 Forced (6 FH, 2 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.9

Washington 22
- 13 Unforced (6 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)… 1 FH was a pass attempt
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

(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...
- 24/34 (71%) at net, including...
- 17/23 (74%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 17/22 (77%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 1/2 forced back

Washington was...
- 8/19 (42%) at net, including...
- 3/6 (50%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 1/4 (25%) off 1st serve and...
- 2/2 off 2nd serve
- 0/1 return-approaching

Match Report
Strange match on a slow hard court. 3 & 2 looks routine enough, but have a look at the break points: Sampras 3/3 in 3 games, Washington 0/7 in 4. Washington has plenty of chances, but Sampras keeps squashing them with strong play, as often as not, with the serve itself

To start, Sampras can barely get a first serve in play. He misses his first 5 and makes 4/10 in opening game (both break points erased by unreturned, serve-volleying first serves). In his next service game, he makes 3/14 - this time saving 2 break points with strong FHs

On top of not getting first serve in, he can't keep FHs in court. He's made 11 FH UEs after 6 games (Washington's made 5 total UEs in same period). Nonetheless, after his first two serve games, Sampras pulls up his socks and plays well. Serve percentage goes up, he serve-volleys off virtually all first serves, passes excellently, volleys well and is the stronger player from the back

Washington's serve is ineffective and Sampras can return it comfortably. The court is slow enough that even Pete's serve is readily manageable. Mal returns quite consistently but his groundstrokes lack power to trouble Sampras. Compensation for that might have come through being uber consistent and making very few UEs, but he can't manage this either

After his early FH troubles, Sampras' FH takes the lead in dictating baseline play. The BH remains steady (note just 2 UEs), while the FH fires away. Courts too slow for even a firing FH to do undue damage, but it keeps Washington on the back foot in rallies. 11 FH UEs after 6 games means Pete only made 2 more for rest of match... very steady

Sampras gains the sole break of the first set in an error strewn game and holds serve easily after his troubles in first two games

Second set, Washington switches to attacking net, but Sampras is on point with his passes. He breaks to open the set in a game featuring a winning pass and forcing a volleying error out of Mal, as well as 2 other winners. He breaks again next game, finishing up with a FH cc pass followed by a BH cc pass - both winners. Then gets out of a 0-40 situation to hold - though this time, its more down to Mal playing badly on the break points

Up 4-0 and 0-30, a bagel looks on the cards, but Mal gets on the board with strong play - an ace, an OH winner serve-volleying, a pass winner and another unreturned serve. He even manages to conjure his 7th and last break point following game, but that's service winner'd away. Sampras tanks the game after and serves out the match to 15

Sampras has the much stronger serve. Mal's is relatively harmless. This disparity allows Sampras to also return with far greater authority, but Mal's unconvincing even returning second serves Sampras stays back on (though some of these are quite strong too)

From baseline, Sampras' FH stands out for power. He looks to hit FHs whenever possible and can do so without needing to runaround BHs. Mal just keeps the ball in play without targeting BH or trying to avoid FH. Nothing about his game stands out

When Mal comes forward, he's met with precise and powerful passes. Note just 8/19 net points won by him. Sampras by contrast is precise in volleying. The serve doesn't do too much of the work - Mal returns steadily enough on slow court - its more the volleys that allow Sampras to be effective at net

Sampras has some trouble with his ankles. Commentators mention shin splints problems. He also has trouble with his cap. On one side of court, the sun is in the eyes of the server and Sampras dons an oversized cap, which he occasionally adjusts or holds steady on his head during play. He'd done the same thing in Australian Open semi-final against Stefan Edberg. You'd think he'd have taken the trouble to find a cap that fits properly and avoided the hassle

Summing up, match feels one sided due to scoreline, the seeming certainty of Sampras swatting away break chances and Mal's unflashy game, but Mal did have many chances to break. Sampras has a strong advantage in attacking ability - with the serve, off the ground with the FH and via net play - and deals decisively with Mal's net attacks with precise passing. Leaving Mal with seemingly nothing but hopes of Sampras faltering - which he doesn't do


Thank you - interesting and a great match...
One real question remains besides Agassi's trip to the AC comfort, what was he thinking wearing almost all black in those excruciatingly hot conditions?