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Federer to Take On Sampras at Hyundai Card Super Match

Posted November. 23, 2007 09:32,   


Lee Hyung-taik (31, Samsung Securities), the Korean tennis star, has special memories about Roger Federer (26, Switzerland) and Pete Sampras (36, United States), the old and new champions of tennis who will play at Hyundai Card Super Match in Seoul on November 20.

Lee played the two on the ATP tour twice each, and lost in all of them, but was able to learn something about of the top players in the world.

Lee will broadcast the match with Samsung Securities coach Joo Won-hong. He will be able to share his experiences on the court against both players.

Lee Hyung-taik played Federer in Wimbledon’s first round in 2003, and met him again in the Monte Carlo Masters Series. Both games were close contests.

Lee’s first encounter with Sampras was the fourth round of the 2000 U.S. Open, which Lee will never forget in his tennis life. Lee qualified for a major tournament for the first time in his life and defeated players one after another to face Sampras in the fourth round to contest for a ticket to the quarter-finals at Center Court with 20,000 spectators. Lee says, “That was the first time I played in front of such a crowd. I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere.”

Lee lost the first set in a close tie breaker, and the game by 0-3. He faced Sampras again two years later in Toronto and won the first set, but unfortunately lost again.

Lee Hyung-taik analyzed the two players, saying, “They are similar in that they both execute short returns, but Sampras is a powerful serve and volley player, while Federer hits accurate and unexpected shots.”

He added “Sampras is rather blunt, whereas Federer has many friends despite his reserved manner.”

Who will be the winner of the first Korean friendly between Federer and Sampras?

Lee says, “I am not sure how much Sampras has retained his original skills. I expect Federer to have the advantage since he demonstrated he was at his best in the recent Masters Cup tourney. Nevertheless, it will be an interesting game.”