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Pete Sampras Advances to the US Open Semifinals - 2001-09-06

Each grand slam tennis tournament seems to produce one defining match. On a cool and breezy evening in New York Wednesday, that match was played by two veteran players, both former U.S. Open champions. Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi resumed their storied rivalry at this year's U.S. Open.

The quarterfinal meeting Wednesday night was highly anticipated. Through the past two decades, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi have written vivid chapters in tennis history. Their latest match may have fallen just short of becoming one of the all-time best. But their level of play and determination was worthy of a classic battle.

Sampras and Agassi exchanged points throughout the night, deciding each of their sets by tiebreakers. In the end, Sampras prevailed, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6. He says the first set loss was tough to overcome. "One minute I felt like I had him. The next minute I lost the first set. I had to kind of regain my composure quickly. He did not miss much. He was really hitting the ball well, keeping me on my heels a lot of times," Sampras said.

An emotionally drained Agassi felt he played his best. "Every loss is hard and disappointing, in its own right. I guess at the end of the day you want to make someone really earn it (victory). And that I can feel like I did. I made him earn it," Agassi said.

Sampras moves to the semifinal round, as he continues his quest for another U.S. Open title.