Sampras' closest Wimbledon finals

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    Just looking over the scores of his finals. He was 7-0 in Wimbledon finals, but in two of them he was very close to falling behind two sets to love.

    In 1998 he [lost] the first set in a tiebreak against Ivanisevic and barely won the second-set tiebreak, 11-9.

    In 2000 he [lost] the first set in a tiebreak against Rafter, 12-10, and took the second-set tiebreak, 7-5.

    I have not seen either match, so I'm wondering what your opinions are if you've seen them. What might have happened if either Ivanisevic or Rafter had won his second-set tiebreak?

    Would Sampras have come back from two sets -- something that has not been done in a Wimbledon final since 1927?

    Edit: I originally wrote "won the first set" when I meant "lost the first set." Pete lost the first set each time, hence the danger each time of going down two sets to love.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  2. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

    Apr 24, 2007
    possible but thats not exactly pete's MO
  3. laurie

    laurie Guest


    In 1998 it was one set all after 2 sets. Goran won the 2nd set.

    In 2000, Pete lost the 1st set 12/10 but won the 2nd set 7/5 on the tie break. However, in the 2nd set tiebreak Pete was actually 4-1 down with two Rafter serves to come, then Pete won 5 points in a row, he set up set point with one of his faboulous inside out forehands. then served it out at 7-5.

    What's more incredible was that in the 1st set, Pete came out on fire, he was all over Rafter with backhand passing shots and great returns, had about 7 break points but didn't convert any, then it rained for 3 hours and Pete lost his momentum when they came back out, they went off at 4 all in the 1st set. Before the rain Pat cash said Pete was dismantling Rafter's serve better than Agassi was able to in the semi. I remember David Mercer saying Pete will be wondering how he lost the set.

    The 2000 final was a match full of drama but I'm not surprised that Sampras won convincingly in the end, because his persistent on the return of serve and passing shots was just too much for Rafter to deal with over the course of a 3 hour match. Meanwhile Rafter only managed a couple of break points on the Sampras serve (didn't break him).
  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Dec 27, 2005
  5. laurie

    laurie Guest

    Sorry, I got it wrong way round on 1998.
  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  7. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

    Mar 11, 2004
    the 1998 final was pete's toughest at wimbledon. not only did goran have a chance to be up 2-0 in sets, but he had chances he lost on unforced errors in the 4th and 5th set. after the match, he said it was the worst day of his life and he wanted to die. goran really thought he should have won.

    before the 2001 tournament, rafter talked about the 2000 final and said he choked in the second set tie break when he led 4-1 but then lost the next 5 points. he said he didn't expect to beat pete and he clearly saw himself as the underdog. then all of a sudden, he had a chance to go up 2-0 in sets. that's when he said he froze.

    i think there was another relatively tough match for pete at wimbledon and this was his first wimbledon final in 1993 against jim courier. the first 2 sets went to tiebreaks and there was a point where sampras mishit a volley that landed on the baseline. it was a very close call. final score was 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. i thought it was mentally tough for pete because it was his first final there and also his first grandslam event as top seed and world number 1. remember that pete had trouble dealing with pressure early in his career, that's why he found it tough to follow up his first us open title and took 3 years before he won a 2nd grandslam title.
  8. Fred The Red

    Fred The Red Rookie

    Feb 19, 2004
    His first win against Courier in 1993 was also close:

    7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.

    Considering he needed two tie-breaks and lost a set...

Share This Page