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1-min read

Sampras vs Rafter: Past champions renew rivalry in IPTL

Patrick Rafter showed that he always brings out his best when facing old rival, the 14-time Grand Slam champion, Pete Sampras.

Vivek Mishra | IBNLive Sports@VVK29

Updated:December 7, 2014, 7:56 PM IST
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Sampras vs Rafter: Past champions renew rivalry in IPTL
Patrick Rafter showed that he always brings out his best when facing old rival, the 14-time Grand Slam champion, Pete Sampras.
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New Delhi: Patrick Rafter showed that he always brings out his best when facing old rival, the 14-time Grand Slam champion, Pete Sampras.

Rafter thrashed Sampras 6-2 comfortably in the first set of the opening match of the International Premier Tennis league's India leg at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

If we compare Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter with the number of Grand Slam titles they have won, then there is no comparison between the two. Rafter has won two Grand Slam Men's Singles titles - both at the US Open. Sampras, on the other hand, has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and is regarded as one of the all time greatest.

In the first match of the IPTL in India, Rafter made a attacking start against Sampras and broke his service in the first game and then went on to win the second game easily. Sampras made a good comeback in the third game but lost the game after taking 40-0 lead. Rafter went on to hold his serve in the fourth and took an early advantage in the match.

Sampras hit a few aces in the fifth game and got a huge cheer from the crowd as he won his first game.

Rafter also made some big serves in the next game to take the game and give Singapore Slammers 5-1 lead over the Indian Aces. Sampras showed glimpse of his old self in few backhand winners and but Rafter was too good for the legend in today's match.

Sampras and Rafter share a rivalry from the time in 1998 when the Australian rallied from a set down to beat Sampras at the Cincinnati Masters where the last point ended on a call that Sampras disputed. In the US Open same year, Rafter defeated Sampras after the latter suffered a leg injury during the match.

Sampras had then infamously said that the difference between him and the Australian was "10 Grand Slams."

Sampras had pointed to his leg injury as the reason for losing the match against Pat in the US Open. He had also said that the sight of Rafter holding those US Open trophies "pisses me off". Rafter had responded by calling Sampras a "cry baby" and saying that it would be better for tennis if someone besides the American was No. 1.

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