2000 US Open: Marat Safin defeats Pete Sampras

The day the great Pete Sampras was outplayed, outguned, outrun by a 20 years old from Russia.

Marat Safin - Pete Sampras US Open 2000

Sampras had just won his 13th Grand Slam title, his record 7th Wimbledon title 2 months earlier, and everybody expected an easy win over this young Russian who had became the first player ever fined for lack of effort at the Oz Open that year. But Marat being Marat, the match ended up completely different…

It’s the first time I watch this match in fact, and what a skills exhibition from Marat. Returns, passing shots, quick footwork, power, he had it all.
Sampras was only broken 4 times during the championships before the final, but was broken 4 times by Marat. Sampras had to wait the very last game of the match to have his first two break points on Marat’s serve (and all that despite a 49% first serve percentage). Safin kept passing and passing Sampras with his two-handed backhand. Marat defeats Sampras in straight sets 6-4 6-3 6-3.

Marat Safin - Pete Sampras US Open 2000

Marat Safin - Pete Sampras US Open 2000

Marat Safin - Pete Sampras US Open 2000

I’ve never seen such a focused Marat. Yep, no racket smashing, can you imagine that?

Marat does the show during the trophy presentation:

Marat Safin - Pete Sampras US Open 2000

Marat Safin - Pete Sampras US Open 2000

The future was bright for Marat, but what a waste of talent!

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