Sampras, Rios Advance in Paris
PARIS (AP) _ Pete Sampras, trying to maintain his No. 1 ranking, regrouped after a tough first set to beat Sweden’s Thomas Johansson 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 on Wednesday in the second round of the $2.55 million Paris Open.
No. 2 seed Marcelo Rios, one of several players vying for the year-end top ranking, had an easier time in downing Todd Woodbridge 6-0, 6-4.
Spain’s Albert Costa, a clay-court specialist who has never won a match indoors, kept his record intact. He was defeated by unseeded Frenchman Jerome Golmard 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Costa, the No. 16 seed, had a first-round bye. Golmard plays Sampras in the next round.
``There will be very few rallies because Sampras is going to serve many aces,″ Golmard said. ``I’ll have to be very alert on my returns,″ he said.
Sampras, serving at 3-5 in the first set, saved two set points before winning the game and immediately breaking Johansson to force a first-set tiebreaker.
With the tiebreaker 5-5, Sampras went ahead when he stretched and scored with an outstanding cross-court backhand. Sampras was in complete command in the second set.
Mark Philippoussis, this year’s U.S. Open finalist, ousted No. 10 seed Petr Korda of the Czech Republic 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Korda started the year by winning the Australian Open but has been playing poorly of late.
``I am not doing what I should be doing,″ he said. ``I really need to win one match to change things. But I am not going to give up.″
No. 7 seed Karol Kucera was pushed to three sets by France’s Fabrice Santoro, producing a sparkling third set to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. No. 8 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia had a tough second-round match, beating Magnus Norman of Sweden 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.