Wednesday, August 11, 1999
Sampras leads hot Americans
Star-spangled day produces 7 U.S. winners
BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MASON On a day for flag-waving, Pete Sampras led a U.S. charge Tuesday through the Great American Insurance ATP Championship draw.
Pete Sampras got off to a slow start before beating Jan Siemerink.
(Steven M. Herppich photo)
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The world's No. 1 player extended his winning streak this summer to 18 matches by beating Jan Siemerink 7-6 (11-9), 6-4 in a second-round match. Six other Americans won first-round matches as U.S. players went 7-1 on the day.
It's been a good run for me the past couple months, Sampras said. It's not going to last forever, but I hope it lasts another three or four weeks (through the U.S. Open).
Siemerink, ranked 48th in the world, held triple set point at 6-3 in the first-set tiebreak. After a Siemerink double-fault, Sampras came up with a big save, lofting a backhand lob for a winner. When Sampras hit a service winner, it was 6-6.
After wasting three set points of his own, Sampras served at 10-9 and closed out the set by forcing a Siemerink error.
I was lucky to have won that set, Sampras said. That backhand lob winner was one of the few I've ever hit.
Sampras fell behind 2-0 in the second set but then won four straight games. He won 14 of his last 15 service points to close out the match.
Defending champion Pat Rafter, seeded second, meets Daniel Vacek at 7 p.m. on Center Court. Rafter leads the series 2-1 but Vacek won the last meeting.
Andre Agassi, the third seed, plays Arnaud Di Pasquale at 1 p.m. on Center Court.