Indian Wells Flashback: Pete Sampras edges Petr Korda and wins title



by JOVICA ILIC

Indian Wells Flashback: Pete Sampras edges Petr Korda and wins title

The Americans secured their fourth consecutive Indian Wells title in 1994 when Pete Sampras prevailed over Petr Korda in five sets! Stefan Edberg conquered Indian Wells in 1990 before the young Americans took charge in the upcoming years.

Three of them claimed the following seven titles in the desert to give the home fans something to cheer about. Pete Sampras did not make a convincing start in the desert, winning only seven matches in the first five visits before changing his fortune in 1994.

That year, he went all the way, earning his 24th ATP title and the third at the Masters 1000 level. Kicking off the season with titles in Sydney and the Australian Open, Pete was among the Indian Wells favorites. Sampras delivered victories over Emilio Sanchez, MaliVai Washington, Thomas Muster and the 1990 champion Stefan Edberg to find himself in the final.

The American faced the tenth seed Petr Korda and battled for over three hours in a 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph. Both players created break chances in eight games, and Pete used them more efficiently. He fended off nine out of 12 and seized five from 15 opportunities to cross the finish line and earn his third title of the season.

Sampras blasted 48 service winners, and they had a similar number of other direct points. The Czech had the upper hand in the groundstrokes department. The American erased that deficit with his volleys and smashes, staying aggressive and finding the perfect balance from the middle of the fourth set that carried him through.

Korda had a slight advantage in the mid-range and most extended rallies. However, it was not enough to keep him safe after losing ground in the shortest points thanks to that massive number of service winners from the American.

Petr grabbed a break in the encounter's first game following Pete's forehand error, surviving five deuces and a break point in the next one to confirm an early lead. Sampras erased a break chance in the third game that could have taken him 3-0 down.

Pete Sampras prevailed over Petr Korda in the 1994 Indian Wells final.

He stayed in touch until game seven when he faced more issues behind the initial shot. The home player saved another break opportunity with a smash winner before getting into a position to pull the break back in the next game.

Petr stayed calm, repelling three break points and closing the opener with a hold in game ten for 6-4. Struggling to find the pace in his games, Sampras got broken in the second set's first game after netting a volley. He trailed until game six when he forced an error from Korda to pull the break back and lock the result at 3-3.

Losing ground in those moments, the Czech sprayed a forehand mistake to suffer another break in game eight. He allowed Pete to clinch the set with an ace down the T line a few minutes later for 6-3. Recovering his game, Korda looked better in the third set.

He stole Sampras' serve at 3-2 and saved a break chance in the next game to extend the lead. Petr brought the set home with a forehand winner in game nine to move a set away from the title, his first at the Masters 1000 level.

With his back pushed against the wall, Pete survived break chances at the beginning of the fourth set in games one and three to remain in contention. The American grabbed a break in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead and blasted an ace in the next one to wrap up the set and force a decider.

With the momentum on his side, Sampras moved in front with an early break in the fifth set following Korda's backhand error. Pete cemented the break with a service winner and took a big step toward the finish line. Serving at 1-3, the Czech sent a forehand long to give serve away and send the American further in front.

Korda wasted break points in the sixth game, and Sampras sealed the deal with three winners at 5-2 for his first Indian Wells title.

Indian Wells Pete Sampras