The Ultimate ATP Tournament: Second Round (Second Quarter)

Sergey ZikovSenior Analyst IMarch 8, 2009

The epic first round of the Ultimate ATP Tournament has finished, and the 32 remaining combatants now prepare to face the second round gauntlet.

The top eight seeds will see their first action of the tournament and some of the lucky first round winners are rewarded with playing a great.

Sound the horns and fasten your seat belts because the stakes have been raised yet again.

Second Round: First Quarter

Here are the results of the second round, second quarter, which includes Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.


Match No. 37: No. 5 Andre Agassi (USA) vs. Stan Smith (USA)

Result: Agassi in three. 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Stan Smith nudged past an uninspired Johan Kriek in the first round while Agassi sat in his beanbag chair munching pistachios.

Smith must have felt like he was staring across the court and seeing a legion of visigoths coming toward him. He was a good hard court player, but not great. Agassi was born to play on hard courts.

The Wonderboy proceeded to beat Smith to a pulp with unreal ground strokes, making Smith work for ever point even on his own serve. Smith would scrape out three games, but it didn't matter. Agassi was in total control.

The big American never had much success on clay either. Agassi came up monstrous yet again, forcing countryman Smith into many bad mistakes. Agassi again rolled, and through two sets, Smith had only won a mere 30 points in total.

The grass courts were no more homely for Smith. Agassi was money there too, dictating the points with his unbelievable return game. Another punishing 6-3 victory for Agassi.

He will move on to take on the winner of Solomon/Becker.


Match No. 38: Harold Solomon (USA) vs. No. 12 Boris Becker (GER)

Result: Becker in four. 6-0, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

A very interesting and possibly unlikely second round match between Baron von Slam and a Bagel Twin. Solomon pulled the big upset over Michael Chang in the first round, and will look to continue his momentum against Becker. Becker also disposed of his foe, Brad Gilbert, in four sets.

The first set was a major mismatch. Becker had three Slam titles on hard courts, Solomon barely won minor tournaments on hard. Becker was also a fantastic player indoors.

Solomon was in deep trouble as Becker dominated play with his flat serve and aggressive returns, giving the American next to no opportunities to get any rhythm. Easy win for Becker, 6-0.

Solomon found the clay to be particularly inviting, especially since Becker never won a single tournament on clay.

The Bagel Twin was suddenly controlling points and getting to the net. He earned two quick breaks, but Becker steamed right but with a few of his own. Solomon would hang on to take the clay and even the match.

Like clockwork, the momentum shifted right back to Becker as they headed to the grass. Baron von Slam began absolutely on fire, missing nothing. Solomon was powerless to stop it and he quickly gave up the set in 28 minutes.

Solomon now faced the daunting task of trying to dethrone one of the greatest indoor players to ever play. Carpet was his game and Becker knew it. Solomon threw the barn at him and it didn't matter, Becker was next to untouchable again. Solomon managed to hang around but never have much chance.

Becker will face Andre Agassi in round three.


Match No. 39: No. 13 Guillermo Vilas (ARG) vs. Thomas Muster (AUT)

Result: Vilas in three. 7-5, 7-5, 6-2.

Two Kings of Clay. Only one winner will emerge. Vilas appears to have the better all around game, but don't tell the Austrian.

Beginning on hard courts, a surface the Musterminator never won much at. Vilas didn't win too much more, so a very balanced first set.

Both players began serving well until Muster started missing routine shots at 4-4. It cost him a break and eventually the set, because Vilas never had any such letdown.

Crack that bass drum. Clay courts were up next for these two titans of the dirt. Vilas managed to dictate points with his wicked lefty backhander.

But the Iron Man wasn't about to give up his best surface, so he began to fire back at Vilas, taking the net and controlling his serve. Once again, Vilas managed to get an opportune break and cash in for the two-love lead.

Muster was a very poor grass court player. Vilas was not. Two breaks in rapid order lead Vilas to a quick 4-0 lead in the set and put it in the books quickly afterwards. Muster had rode off into the night much quicker than he would have liked.

Vilas will take on the winner of Sampras/Noah.


Match No. 40: Yannick Noah (FRA) vs. No. 4 Pete Sampras (USA)

Result: Sampras in five. 6-1, 4-6, 6-0, 6-7, 6-3.

Petros comes in sitting pretty after a bye and had the pleasure of watching Noah duel with Sergi Bruguera for close to four hours. Noah appears to be a major underdog, but he will not back down, going for his second upset of the tournament. Sampras has goals to win the entire tournament.

By most logic, the hard courts won't even be competitive. Sampras started out playing extremely well even by his standards and Noah had no answers.

Don't worry Yannick, you aren't the only one in that predicament. Noah was ecstatic just to hold serve, but the King of Swing ran off with a 6-1 win.

Noah already looked like he was care-free. He was too shell-shocked to feel like he could even win. But he took his careless attitude to the clay and it began paying dividends.

He was taking outrageous shots and even making some of them. Sampras was out of his groove and his comfort zone. All of a sudden, Noah had tied the match at one.

Pistol Pete refocused and gained his swagger back immediately as they took the grass. He was utterly dominant on every point and came three points from a golden set. Noah didn't have a prayer no matter what he tried, Sampras was just too good.

Sampras could feel the finish line, but he had to take Noah out on carpet. Noah went back to his free-swinging tactics and Pistol Pete again looked out of place. Holding serve became a struggle for both sides, but Noah forced a tiebreak. Noah gained the breaker to tie the match again.

Miraculously, the match was pushed to a fifth set. However, Sampras was right at home and did not panic. The King was back, as he scorched Noah yet again on the hard courts, this time 6-3.

Sampras will take on Guillermo Vilas in the third round.

Now let's examine the top half of the third round, yet again.

  1. No. 1 Rod Laver (AUS) vs. Jim Courier (USA)
  2. Andy Roddick (USA) vs. No. 8 Ivan Lendl (CZE)
  3. No. 5 Andre Agassi (USA) vs. No. 12 Boris Becker (GER)
  4. No. 13 Guillermo Vilas (ARG) vs. No. 4 Pete Sampras (USA)

Stay tuned for the results of the bottom half!


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