Cincinnati: Australian Wayne Arthurs pounded Pete Sampras with 23 aces to complete a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7/4) third-round triumph at the $2.95 million Masters Series. As Sampras walked onto the courts, he was hoping to hoist the silverware, which has been eluding him since Wimbledon in 2000. He did seem to be getting there against Arthurs as he claimed the first set 6-4. However, Arthurs gradually grasped control of the match, hitting with confidence. Sampras, a three-time winner at Cincinnati, made a couple of crucial errors in the tie-break. But a brilliant forehand cross-court shot by Arthurs sealed victory for the Australian. Sampras, whose title drought now stretches to 32 tournaments, however, gave credit where it was due. "We have big servers, but he really is, I think one of the best servers I've ever played against. It's a bit like playing Goran (Ivanisevic). He's going to pop in his aces, he's going to throw in a few doubles and you have to be patient. But it's frustrating not to see the ball for a service game. He just hits a couple of big bombs," said Sampras. While Sampras' slump continued, compatriot Andre Agassi literally sailed through against Argentinian qualifier Guillermo Coria. He claimed the first set 6-0. Agassi then went onto seal the match with an ace, completely whitewashing his opponent. He will now face Thomas Enqvist of Sweden. Meanwhile, former French Open champion Michael Chang got the better of a three-set battle with Fernando Vicente of Spain on a wild card entry. Another player making the most of a wildcard entry was Taylor Dent of the USA, comfortably claiming victory over Chilean Marcelo Rios, 6-2, 6-3. Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero looked anything but relaxed as he had to endure a real tussle with upcoming American James Blake in the far court. Ferrero though eventually emerged victorious after a fierce three-set battle.
Topics : Tennis