World No 1 Roger Federer gave out no early Christmas gifts in Seoul Tuesday in a 6-4, 6-3 win over Pete Sampras in the first of the three-series exhibition meeting tour in Asia.
Sampras broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set before Federer won the next four games to close out the first set. The second set was never in doubt as the Swiss ran out to a 4-1 lead before closing it out.
“When I found my range, Pete missed a few too many shots,” Federer said. “I was maybe lucky to win the first set. Then I got on a roll and started to relax. I enjoyed the match very much.”
Sampras hit 10 aces to Federer’s six.
“I feel a little disappointed,” Sampras said. “But I made Roger sweat a little bit tonight. I can still serve quite well but the hardest thing for me is movement. I was a little careless up on the net and missed a few easy balls. But I think I will play well in the next match.”
The pair will play again on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, then in Macau on Saturday.
“I made it competitive, which was my goal,” Sampras said. “Obviously Roger is the best player in the world and I retired five years ago. I am grateful that he invited me…I have no plans to come back from retirement. You have to come back for a reason. I just stay home and watch Roger win on television.”
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