Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, the world’s top two players, met in the final of 1995's first Grand Slam.

The Setting

A desire to be one of the game’s best brought Agassi to the 1995 Australian Open for the first time in his career. With his long locks left behind, the freshly shorn Agassi found the Rebound Ace surface in Melbourne played to his advantage as he blazed through the field to reach the final in his first attempt.

While he was doing that, Pete Sampras, the top seed and defending champion, fought through emotional turmoil surrounding his coach’s health to reach the title match. 

The Final

It was only a few months’ prior that the two met in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals—a three-set thriller won by Sampras. In Melbourne, it was Sampras who struck first in the match by breaking serve late in the match and taking the opening frame, 6-4.

In the second set, Agassi—with new coach and semi-retired player Brad Gilbert cheering on from the stands—rolled, breaking Sampras’ serve three times to take it 6-1. The third set was like night and day compared with the second, and both players held steady until the tiebreak. There, the rocket-serving Sampras earned two set points at 6-4, but failed to clinch due to an untimely error and getting caught off guard by an attacking Agassi. Sampras ended up dropping the tiebreak, giving Agassi a 2-1 set advantage.

Agassi and Sampras were on even ground for the majority of the fourth set. At 4-4, Agassi snatched a break to set himself up to serve for the match. Agassi closed the contest out with an ace, giving him the title in his debut appearance and bridging the rankings gap between him and Sampras.

Notable Numbers
 

2

Agassi became the second male player during the 1990s to win the previous year’s US Open and the following Australian Open. Sampras did it in 1993-’94.
 

16

From the 1990 Australian Open to this one, at least one American played in 16 of 21 the Grand Slam finals.
 

18

This was the first time Agassi won all six matches to the final in straight sets.
 

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