Sampras and Safin Ignite China Open

Zhenyu LiContributor IIIOctober 1, 2011

Sampras and Safin Ignite China Open

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    BEIJING, Oct. 1, 2011 -- Former men's tennis world number one Pete Sampras and Russian superstar Marat Safin engaged in an exhibition match Friday night to mark the opening of the China Open tennis tournament at the newly-built National Tennis Stadium.

    The two well-preserved legends put on an entertaining show, igniting waves of flame from the joyous crowds.

    Safin prevailed over the former tennis king Sampras in straight sets by a score of 6-3, 6-4.

    The freshly-built stadium of China Open, dubbed "Diamond Stadium" or National Tennis Stadium, boasts a diamond-like structure with a retractable roof.

    The China Open, a WTA premier event and ATP World Tour 500 series, formally starts Saturday.

    (This is a reprint from People's Daily Online of the Oct 1, 2011 edition.)

Pete Sampras's Amusing Facial Expression

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    Former tennis king Pete Sampras poses at the China Open exhibition match. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

Marat Safin at China Open

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    Former Russian tennis superstar Marat Safin poses at the China Open exhibition match. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

Pete Sampras Plays at China Open

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    Pete Sampras plays at the China Open exhibition match. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

Marat Safin Plays at China Open

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    Marat Safin plays at the China Open exhibition match. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

Pete Sampras Plays at China Open

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    Pete Sampras plays at the China Open exhibition match. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

A Handshake Between Sampras and Safin

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    Marat Safin (R) and Pete Sampras shake hands at the China Open. Safin prevailed over Sampras in straight sets by a score of 6-3, 6-4. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

Sampras and Safin Poses at China Open

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    Pete Sampras and Marat Safin pose at the China Open exhibition match. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)