ThrowbackTimes Miami: Andre Agassi down Pete Sampras for second Miami crown


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ThrowbackTimes Miami: Andre Agassi down Pete Sampras for second Miami crown

Entering the season as the best players in the world, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi stood above all the others in 1995, proving their status in the first three months of the season after competing against each other in three big finals!

Andre won the title at the Australian Open on debut, beating Pete in four sets before losing in the Indian Wells final, with Sampras prevailing 7-5 in the third set to lift the crown. Two weeks later, they met in another final, this time in Miami where Agassi grabbed a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 victory over the two-time defending champion in two hours and 13 minutes for his fifth Masters 1000 crown and the first in Florida since 1990.

Andre served at 70% and lost 26 points in 14 service games, suffering one break from four chances offered to Pete. On the other hand, Sampras had to work hard behind the initial shot to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard, landing only 49% of the first serve in and dealing with eight break opportunities.

He saved six of those to stay in contention, although it wasn't enough for the second straight Masters 1000 title, falling short in the deciding set tie break and missing a chance for a "Sunshine double." Surprisingly, Agassi had the upper hand in the quickest points after limiting Pete to only nine aces, claiming 19 out of 31 most extended exchanges as well to emerge as a deserved winner.

Something extraordinary happened from the fifth game of the second set, probably unseen in any other Masters 1000 final, with everything starting from 0-40 on Agassi's serve. Facing three break chances, Andre won no less than 19 points in a row, storming over Sampras to win the set in style and gain momentum ahead of the decider, ending the streak only in the third point of the first game in set number three!

Pete drew first blood in the second game of the encounter, earning a break with a backhand crosscourt winner in what would be his only break chance for a set and a half, repelling three break points in game five to stay in front.

Agassi had a huge opportunity to pull the break back at 3-5 when Sampras served for the opener, squandering them all to bring Pete back into the game. Sampras closed it after four deuces to take the opener 6-3 after 43 minutes, looking good to impose the lead in set number two as well after creating three break points at 2-2.

With his back pushed against the wall, Andre started to dominate on the court and fended off all break chances for a significant hold after a forced error from Pete. That turned the tables and Agassi was on a roll now, breaking at love in game six to secure the first lead of the match and cementing the break with a hold at love to move 5-2 up.

Flying over the court in those moments, Andre clinched a break at love in game eight to take the set 6-2, entering the final set with a massive boost on his side of the court! Both players served well in the early stages of the third set, with Andre moving 4-3 in front after three deuces in game seven, keeping Sampras away from break chances.

Returners won just four points in the last five games and the deciding tie break became inevitable, starting with four service winners for a 2-2. A volley winner at the net pushed Agassi 3-2 up, earning a mini-break after a weak volley from Sampras to get closer to the finish line.

Andre won a fantastic rally in the eighth point to stay 5-3 ahead, earning three match points after a solid backhand attack a minute later. Another good return delivered the tenth point and the title for Agassi who would become the world no. 1 for the first time 15 days later.