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U.S. OPEN / MEN'S MATCHES : An Old-Time Matchup for Sampras, Chang


NEW YORK — Pete Sampras and Michael Chang have been playing matches against each other since they were 7, which means that when they see each other on opposite sides of the net in the U.S. Open quarterfinals, there aren't going to be a whole lot of secrets out there.

"I will see him for the next 10 years," Sampras said. "You know I am going to be playing Courier, Agassi, Chang, Wheaton and Washington for a lot of years to come."

Sampras made certain of a quarterfinal showdown between his former Southern California junior counterpart when he defeated Swedish teen-ager Thomas Enqvist, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), right after Chang rolled steadily past Wayne Ferreira, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

For Sampras, it wasn't a vintage performance, but good enough for a straight-set visa into the quarterfinals. Sampras didn't feel sharp--he made only 48% of his first serves--but he also had 19 aces, only five double faults and won nearly 70% of the points when he went to the net.

Chang's match was a lot more straightforward, mainly because of his own consistency and some erratic shotmaking by Ferreira (56 unforced errors, 42% of first serves).

"He is a really, really tough person to play," Ferreira said.

That is not news to Sampras. In their eight meetings, Chang has won six and is also 5-0 against Sampras on hard courts.

"Obviously, Chang has had a lot of good success against me in the past . . . it should be an interesting match," Sampras said.

The first Chang-Sampras match that either can remember was when they were 7 at a junior tournament in Poway. Sampras won in three sets.

The first time they played as professionals, it was the 1989 French Open, when Chang and Sampras were 17. Chang won the second-round match, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, and went on to win the title.

At that time, Sampras said he really wasn't that upset because he had the game to win Wimbledon one day. Four years later, Sampras proved correct.

Now, two months after that, Sampras finds Chang in his path if he is going to have a chance to win the U.S. Open for the second time.

"It is pretty amazing where we have come from and now where we are," Sampras said. "He is the youngest French Open winner, I am the youngest U.S. Open winner. It is kind of amazing, playing junior tournaments to winning Grand Slam titles . . . pretty interesting memories."

Chuck Adams of Pacific Palisades lost his fourth-round match to Alexander Volkov, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1. In the quarterfinals, Volkov will face Thomas Muster, a 6-2, 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2 winner over Brad Gilbert.

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