Pete Sampras: 1999 Wimbledon final against Andre Agassi my best-ever match



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Pete Sampras: 1999 Wimbledon final against Andre Agassi my best-ever match

Former world No. 1 Pete Sampras has said that his best-ever performance came against former eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi in the 1999 Wimbledon final. Sampras, who entered the 1999 Wimbledon final as a five-time champion at The Championships, defeated former world No.

1 Agassi 6-3 6-4 7-5 in just less than two hours of play to claim his sixth title at The All England Club. Sampras, who won a total of 14 Grand Slam titles during his extremely successful career, defended his Wimbledon title in 2000 but in the latter years never again made it all the way at The Championships.

Agassi, who collected his maiden Wimbledon title in 1992, was biding to win it all at The All England Club for the second time but Sampras had other plans. "People ask me what’s the best match I ever played? It would be that one,” Sampras exclusively told the ATP Tour website.

“I played perfect grass-court tennis — moving well, returning and serving well against the best returner in the world. I was playing as well as I could and I got into the zone a bit”.

Sampras knew what was at stake when he played Wimbledon

"There is always pressure at Wimbledon, I felt like it was the Super Bowl of our sport,” Sampras said.

“But quite honestly, my form didn’t really matter coming in. I had years at Wimbledon where I came in not doing well at the French and maybe not even winning at Queen’s or a sub-par year coming into Wimbledon.

Everything turned around for me at Wimbledon, I felt good, Centre Court inspired me and the tournament would always turn around my year. “Physically, mentally, it was the perfect match. Sure, you’d love to be winning and lifting trophies coming in, have confidence and let people know you’re playing well, but I didn’t feel like it was that important that I won Queen’s.

I knew that once I got going to Wimbledon and through the first couple of matches, I’d be off to the races. The surface, what the place meant to me, I’d had, I always knew I’d do well”. After a big win over Agassi in the 1999 final -- Sampras won only two more Grand Slams titles as he defended his Wimbledon title the following year and made it all the way at the US Open in 2002.