ThrowbackTimes Indian Wells: Pete Sampras edges Stefan Edberg to reach title match
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2543
In the fifth edition of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 event, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Petr Korda and Aaron Kriscksten stayed in the title battle after the quarter-final round. Sampras couldn't 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 for the fifth victory over the Swede in ten encounters. It was a high-quality clash with more winners than unforced errors on both sides, including 75 service winners and 15 out of 18 break points saved in total.
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 next round. As was expected in the clash of two aggressive players with booming serves and exceptional volley abilities, the longer rallies barely existed.
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 second game with a service winner and had a massive opportunity to move in front in the next one, with four chances up for grabs.
Staying focused, Pete erased them all with unreturned serves and broke in the next game when Stefan hit a costly double fault to open a 4-1 gap after a hold at 15. The sixth game saw eight deuces and three break points for Sampras, who couldn't convert any and forged an even bigger lead, although he served for the opener at 5-3.
Edberg earned a break chance that the American denied with a powerful serve, bringing the game home with another service winner for 6-3. 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 held to level 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, holding at love in game seven and completing the set at 5-3 to set up a decider. There, servers stood strong in the first six games before Pete had to play against a break point at 3-3, repelling it and producing 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.