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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Becker Aces Sampras to Win ATP

STUTTGART, Germany -- Pete Sampras may be the best player in the world everywhere else, but not when he faces Boris Becker indoors in front of 7,200 roaring Germans.


Becker fired 29 aces and fought back from a set down to win the ATP Tournament 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. He also snapped the world No. 1's 21-match winning streak that was the best this year in a three-hour struggle.


"He was just too good today -- great comeback,'' said Sampras. "There's only one king in Germany and his name is Boris.''


The title at the tournament, which started with all of the world's top players in the field, was the 48th of Becker's career. Twenty-nine have been earned indoors.


"Becker is the best indoor player I've ever played,'' said Sampras, who traded some brilliant shots with the German while battling a crowd that cheered his opponent's every move.


Becker finally slammed a backhand winner down the line to gain the deciding break at 2-1 in the fifth set.


Becker, who had been sidelined with a wrist injury since Wimbledon in June, was playing in only his third tournament since his comeback.


"My muscles started to hurt in the fifth set, but I gritted my teeth and hung on,'' Becker said. "Being this good this soon after the injury is the best Christmas gift I could have.


I have a lot of respect for Pete -- I really didn't expect to win today,'' added Becker, who will move up to world No. 3 in Monday's new ratings.


Sampras had been in devastating form at the tournament. In the quarterfinals he ripped Andre Agassi in straight sets in a match he called perhaps his best ever.


But Becker, who fired 76 aces during the tournament, shifted into high gear in the second set behind his powerful serve. At every key moment he called upon the weapon in a match decided by a single break in each set.


"I don't know why I'm serving so incredibly well -- I can't explain it, and I'm not even going to try,'' Becker said.


Sampras holds a 9-6 record against Becker, but he is only 4-6 indoors against the German, who many say is the world's best indoor player.


Becker, incredibly popular in Germany, also had the advantage of a 7,000-strong rooting section on his side.


"He's to Germany what Michael Jordan is to the United States,'' said Sampras.








He also snapped the world no. 1's 21-match winning streak that was the best this year in a three-hour struggle.


"He was just too good today - great comeback,'' said Sampras. "I'm disappointed. I felt I had him sometimes, he probably felt the same way. But it was a see-saw match.''


The title at the tournament, which started with all of the world's top players in the field, was the 48th of Becker's career. Twenty-nine were earned inside.