Sampras Sweeps Past Muster Into Final

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Pete Sampras exposed all the glitches Friday in Thomas Muster's computer program, baffling him from the baseline and confounding him all over the court to reach the final of the Australian Open.


Not content simply to serve 16 aces and rule at the net with his usual flair, Sampras came up with the most unexpected shots in a 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 triumph that moved him into Sunday's final against Spain's Carlos Moya.


Muster, who had programmed Sampras' style and tendencies into a computer in hopes of upsetting the top seed, couldn't have entered such shots as the lob that Sampras ran down or the running backhand that flew ankle-high around the post for a winner in the corner.


Muster acknowledged Sampras' brilliance by raising both hands and bowing in homage.


In beating Muster for the seventh time in eight meetings, Sampras breezed through the first set but found himself trailing 5-2 in the second when the grunting, groaning Austrian muscled several passing shots by him.


But when Muster served for the set at 5-4, he wasted a set point with a forehand into the net, then saw Sampras snatch the game in a thrilling rally that featured two overheads by Sampras that Muster caught and a drop volley that Muster finally couldn't reach.


On the opening point of the tiebreaker, Sampras showed just how relentless he can be, drilling a forehand crosscourt into the corner to end a 30-shot baseline rally.


Muster is supposed to be the master of the baseline, the most durable player in the game, and there was no way he could have programmed that rally into his computer.


Sampras followed up that mini-break against Muster with an ace and two points later he chased down a lob by Muster and took a 3-1 lead with a forehand pass that Muster dived for but netted.


Again, Muster shook his head, unable to fathom how to beat Sampras if he was going to play like that from all over the court.


On the final point, Sampras produced one last memorable shot, hitting the net cord with an overhead. The ball popped over, and Muster chased it down, but couldn't handle Sampras' next volley.


?Swiss teenager Martina Hingis won her second grand slam doubles title at the Australian Open on Friday as she and Natasha Zvereva, from Belarus, buried the tournament's third seeds, Americans Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond, 6-2, 6-2.