Friday, February 01, 2008

Sampras Has Exhibition Fever

2000 Tennis Masters Cup - Lisbon, Portugal

The Great One has agreed to take on the Mercurial One in an exhibition match at the SAP Open on February 18 in San Jose, California.

Apparently Pete Sampras misses competitive tennis more than he's letting on. And while all the talk has been of the recent and upcoming exos between him and the man chasing his history, it was the Marat Safin-Sampras rivalry that threatened to become one of the greatest rivalries in men's tennis at the dawn of the 21st century.

They played seven times between 1998 and 2002. Pete won the first meeting; Marat the last. If you throw out their "meaningless" World Team Cup match on clay which Marat won, their head-to-head stood at 3 wins apiece when Pete retired. And all those matches were at Slams or Masters events.

Big Tennis.

Speaking of which, former top 10 player Joachim Johansson has decided to call it quits at the ripe old age of 25. It seems his blown-out shoulder hasn't healed after several surgeries and every specialist he's consulted told him there was no hope. His huge serve turned against him.Tough stuff for the young Swede. Tough stuff indeed.


Savannah said...

Maybe Marat saw Tsonga play and remembered when he used to play like that?

Nina said...

Fever.. definitely. An Argentine website also reports that he is planning to play an exhibition match against David Nalbandian in Buenos Aires as part of his tour in Latin America.