Indian Wells Flashback: 'Pete Sampras edges Stefan Edberg and reaches final'

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Indian Wells Flashback: 'Pete Sampras edges Stefan Edberg and reaches final'

The fifth edition of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 event took place in 1994. After the quarter-final round, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Petr Korda and Aaron Kriscksten remained in the title battle. Sampras could not find the winning formula in the first five trips to the desert, winning only seven matches and changing that in 1994 when he went all the way to claim the third Masters 1000 crown.

In the semis, the Australian Open champion took down the first Indian Wells Masters 1000 winner Stefan Edberg 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in just under two hours. The American scored his fifth victory from ten encounters against the Swede in a high-quality meeting that saw more winners than unforced errors, 75 service winners and 15 out of 18 break chances saved.

Edberg created damage on the return in five different games, seizing only one out of eight opportunities and getting broken twice to propel Pete into the title clash. The longer rallies barely existed in the conflict of two aggressive players with booming serves and exceptional volley abilities.

Thus, the winner had to come from the shortest exchanges up to four strokes and those mid-range ones where Sampras had a slight advantage that carried him home.

Pete Sampras prevailed over Stefan Edberg in Indian Wells 1994.

The Swede fended off a break point in the opener's second game with a service winner and had a massive opportunity to move in front in the next one.

Staying focused, Pete erased four break points with unreturned serves and broke in the next game when Stefan hit a costly double fault. In those moments, the American had the edge and opened a 4-1 gap after a hold at 15 in game five.

The sixth game saw eight deuces and three break points for Sampras, who could not convert any and forge an even bigger lead. Still, he served for the opener at 5-3 and fended off a break chance with a powerful serve to bring the opener home and gain a boost.

In the second set's fourth game, the Swede landed a backhand down the line winner for a break opportunity, halted by a perfect volley from Sampras, who leveled the score at 2-2. What he failed to do in that one, Stefan fixed in the next return game to open a 4-2 gap, securing his first break and holding at love a few minutes later.

Playing well, the Swede completed the set at 5-3 and introduced a decider. There, servers stood strong in the first six games before Pete faced a break point at 3-3. He repelled it and produced one of the crucial holds of the entire clash.

The American held at 15 in game nine and grabbed a break at 15 a couple of minutes later with a return winner to seal the deal and advance into the title match.