/ 22 November 2007

Federer bests Sampras again

World number one Roger Federer defeated retired United States legend Pete Sampras on Thursday for the second straight time in three days at an exhibition match in Kuala Lumpur.

Both men held serve to take the first set to a tie-break, with the Swiss maestro inching ahead when Sampras hit a forehand into the net.

The American hit back to bring the tie-break back on serve but Federer showed why he is currently number one when he hit a scorching forehand winner down the line for his second break to bring the score to 7-6.

Serving for the set, Federer hit a winning backhand volley to wrap up the first in 41 minutes.

It was a similar affair in the second set, which also went to a tie-break before Federer dug deep to run out eventual winner 7-5.

The two met only once on the ATP Tour, in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2001 when Federer defeated the American in five sets.

The defeat ended Sampras’s remarkable reign at the All England Club.

Sampras, now 36, retired from professional tennis in 2002.

The pair were playing a one-off match here as part of Malaysia’s 50th anniversary celebrations of independence from Britain.

The 26-year-old Federer won the first match played in Seoul on Tuesday, beating the former world number one 6-4, 6-3 in 61 minutes.

Their final Asian stop is Macau on Saturday. — Sapa-AFP