Tennis: Rusedski routs weary Sampras

GREG RUSEDSKI recorded the finest victory of his career yesterday when he beat the world No 1, Pete Sampras, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 in the final of the Paris Indoor Open at the Bercy Stadium.

Apart from a short period at the start of the second set, Rusedski dominated the match, and long before the end the reigning Wimbledon champion was looking weary.

Rusedski has not looked back since his recovery from the severe ankle injury he sustained just before Wimbledon, invariably looking more energetic than most of his opponents.

Though Rusedski began as the underdog yesterday, having lost every one of his six previous meetings with Sampras, he hit 18 aces, but also volleyed well, hit accurate passing shots and returned beautifully.

There was another breakthrough result at a women's event in Germany, where Steffi Graf crowned a triumphant comeback from injury by beating Nathalie Tauziat in straight sets in Sunday's final to win the Leipzig Open for the fifth time.

Graf, playing her first event since an operation on her right wrist put her out of action for nearly two months, needed 83 minutes to win 6-3, 6-4 and record her 20th successive victory over the Frenchwoman.

The German former world No 1, who has fallen to 22nd in the world, has now won all 25 matches she has played in Leipzig, where she won from 1990 to 1993.

Another former world No 1, Boris Becker, will not, after all, be playing this week. Now semi-retired, the 30-year-old has decided not to take up a wild card for the Stockholm Open.

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