Tennis: Becker beats Sampras

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The Independent Online
Boris Becker kept his impeccable record against the world No 1 Pete Sampras in Scandinavia as he defeated the American 6-4 6-4 yesterday for a place in the finals of the Stockholm Open. It was Becker's fourth victory over the American. Becker played a near-faultless match, serving 14 aces and breaking the top seed four times. 'I don't often play as well as I did today,' the German said afterwards. 'When I broke him in the first set, it was with four perfect passing shots. They were so good, I just had to smile.' Becker finished the contest with his second match point after Sampras had saved the first with a service winner. In today's final, Becker plays the world No 2 Goran Ivanisevic, who yesterday defeated Yevegny Kafelnikov, of Russia. In Essen, Croatia's Iva Majoli faces Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic in the final of the Nokia Grand Prix. Yesterday the unseeded Majoli defeated the defending champion Natalia Medvedeva of Ukraine. Novotna knocked out Slovakia's Karina Habsudova.

(Photograph omitted)

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