Sampras and Safin Ignite China Open

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Sampras and Safin Ignite China Open
Pete Sampras (R) and Marat Safin talk with each other during the China Open exhibition match at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing on Sept. 30, 2011. (People's Daily Online Photo/Zhenyu Li)

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.)

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