Tennis: Sampras barely breaks sweat

What was by his own admission the toughest major tournament of his career ended in little more than a gentle work-out for Pete Sampras when he won the Australian Open final here - his ninth Grand Slam title - with a crushing straight-sets victory against Spain's Carlos Moya.

The 25-year-old world No 1 outclassed the unseeded Moya in every department, taking the match 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 before punching the air in triumph and beaming his first smile to the crowd after two tense weeks. "This is the toughest major I think I've won," Sampras said after lifting his second Australian Open trophy. "I played really, really well."

Sampras, who played five sets in the most severe heat of the tournament to survive the fourth round, wasted no time against Moya on another hot day on Centre Court. Both men started strongly, serving aces in their opening service games, but the top seed Sampras broke the nervous Spaniard's serve in the fourth game of the match and never looked back.

Moya could not produce the kind of all-round court game which earned him wins over the defending champion, Boris Becker, and the world No 2, Michael Chang, on his way to the final.

Sampras, dominant at the net and baseline, ran Moya around the court like a ball boy before ending the match in 87 minutes. Even Moya's usual lethal serve deserted him. "He is No 1 and he showed it today," said Moya, who leapt to nine in the world rankings from 25 with his first Grand Slam final. "In a final he's almost unbeatable."

Sampras played in searing heat topping 50 degrees on court. Medical experts warned players' lives were being put in danger, and officials later closed the Centre Court stadium's roof to shut out the sun.

Sampras's victory takes him a step higher on the podium of tennis greats. In the post-1968 Open era of tennis, only Sweden's Bjorn Borg has won more Grand Slam men's singles titles, with 11 wins from 16 finals. Sampras has won nine out of 11.

He said he was not consumed by "the numbers" of tennis and that his mind turned at important moments to his coach and mentor, Tim Gullikson, rather than history books. Gullikson died of a brain tumour last year.

"I thought about it when I woke up today before the match, and I'm sure he's looking down very happy that I fought through some tough matches," he said. "He will always be in my mind."

Sampras now takes aim at the French Open, the next Grand Slam event and the only title missing from the self-effacing American's trophy cabinet.

Britain won the boys doubles, with the second-seeded David Sherwood and James Trotman defeating the unseeded South African pair, Jaco van der Westhuizen and Wesley Whitehouse, 7-6, 6-3 in the final.

Hingis in perspective, page 20

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture