Sampras upstages Federer in exhibition

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LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) Pete Sampras proved his serve and volley tactics were still razor sharp when he stunned world number one Roger Federer 7-6 6-4 in an exhibition match in Macau.

The American might have turned his back on professional tennis more than five years ago but that did not stop him from upstaging Federer, who failed to win even a break point during the contest on a fast carpet surface.

The win allowed Sampras to finally taste victory against Federer.

The American lost their only competitive match, at Wimbledon in 2001, and was also beaten twice last week during their Asian exhibition series.

Sampras, the holder of a record 14 grand slam titles, kept the victory in perspective.

''Let's not get carried away,'' the 36-year-old said yesterday as he dismissed talk of a comeback.

Two days ago, Federer said Sampras would still be ranked in the top five if he had continued playing and the Swiss did not seem too bothered by the defeat.

''It's been tough beating my idol the last two times,'' said Federer, who is two grand slam titles from equalling Samrpas's record.

''I'm happy that he got me at least once. I hope we can do it again in the future. I'd like to get him back.'' Reuters TB VP0456

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