Three tiebreaks, 71 games, 40 aces, two matches in one day. Winning the Queens Club tennis tournament was a catalogue of statistics for Pete Sampras.
He also admited he needed something more to reach the final. Luck.On the way to beating French left-hander Guy Forget in the final of the $625,000 tournament, Sampras struggled to overcome Germany's Marc Goellner in the semifinal, played on the same day after Saturday's play was washed out.
The top-seeded American survived three match points and had to overturn a 2-5 third-set deficit before he eliminating Goellner 6-7 (7-4), 6-2, 13-11.
"It was a very busy day," said Sampras, who also played another two hours to reach today's doubles final with Todd Martin.
"It was as if I had nine lives in the semifinal against Goellner, that's for sure. But against Forget, I felt a lot better and played a lot better."
Sampras defeated Forget, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (8-6).
The 1995 Queens Club final, with Sampras defeating Forget 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (8-6), had similarities with 1994. Last year's final also was settled by two tiebreaks, but Sampras was the loser then, to Martin.
After his 2-hour, 12-minute semifinal struggle over Goellner, Sampras was back in his best form against Forget. He served 19 aces in three sets in the semifinal and 21 in two sets in the final.
"This is the best I have served in a long time. I was picking my spots and hitting it very hard," Sampras said. "It sort of reminds me of last year's final with no breaks of serve either. But it's a different result."
With both players serving well, the final didn't have a single deuce and only 10 points were scored against the serve in the second set.
Forget, who upset second-seeded Boris Becker 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal Sunday, also fired 15 aces in the final, but rarely had Sampras in trouble.
"He was serving rockets," the 11th-seeded Frenchman said. "He's probably the best server in the world right now."
In Birmingham, England, Zina Garrison Jackson and close friend Lori McNeil met in the final of the DFS Classic women's grass-court tournament for the third straight year. This time, Garrison Jackson won the $161,250 event 6-3, 6-3.
"I decided this morning to go for my shots and not be upset if I didn't get them," said Garrison Jackson, who was seeded third in the tournament. "Lori was a little bit nervous, too, so that helped."
The defending champion and top-seeded player started better, holding serve and immediately gaining three breaks points in Garrison Jackson's first service game. But McNeil's usual touch on the volley left her and she fell victim to a series of uncharacteristic errors.
In Rosmalen, Netherlands, sixth-seeded Karol Kucera won two tiebreakers to beat Anders Jarryd of Sweden and collect the $43,000 winner's share with a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) victory in the Ordina Open.
Jarryd, ranked 93rd in the world, had gained a spot in the final after Brett Steven of New Zealand pulled out of a semifinal earlier in the day with a back injury. The final two rounds had to be played on the same day after rain washed out Saturday's competition.
In the other semifinal, Kucera ousted Sweden's Henrik Holm 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
In Oporto, Portugal, top-seeded Alberto Berasategui used his stamina and power to defeat fellow Spaniard Carlos Costa 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and win the $328,000 Maia Open.
The 21-year-old Berasategui, ranked 14th in the world, cashed in on his driving forehand and superior endurance to outdo the technical finesse of the 27-year-old Costa, who was seeded eighth in the tournament and ranked 64th in the world.