‘Live’ from New York City

Dan Mastous, a huge tennis fan and good friend who lives near Boston, U.S.A., e-mailed to say that last Monday, he was in New York City to watch with 19,000 other spectators a tennis spectacle that’s excited The Big Apple since the event was announced last year. It’s Roger Federer vs. Pete Sampras. Live. At the Madison Square Garden. Here’s Dan’s detailed account of what he saw…

(Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters)

“Hey John. Hope everything is going great. Just wanted to say I saw the Federer/Sampras exhibition Monday night. It was an outstanding match from my perspective. Though many who saw it found it boring. Not too many long rallys, mostly Sampras serving and volleying, or chipping and charging.

“For Federer’s part, he just did what he could to keep things close and ended up fighting for his life at the end. He won the first set easily, 6-3. Then let the second get to a tiebreak, which Sampras won.”

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

“In the third, Federer broke Sampras right away, and looked to cruise, but then Sampras broke him, twice, to go up 5-3 and serve for the match. Federer broke him (something that never would have happened in Sampras’ prime), then fired 4 straight aces to secure his own game and make it 5-5. They went to another tiebreak, and Sampras got up a mini-break, but then Federer got it back even, and ended up winning it 10-8.

“It was interesting to see the line between Federer playing to keep the match close and Federer playing to win. The most notable being passing shots. In the middle games Sampras rarely had to move off the center service line. He was comfortable. But when Federer wanted a point, Sampras had no shot. About all he could hope for a was Federer misfire, which occasionally happened.

“I took some pictures, but not with my own camera. My camera was confiscated because it was a “professional” quality camera, and I had to have a press pass to bring it in. They said something about flash being a problem, but there were flash bulbs going off constantly during the match… I was thinking I should have called you, and had you get me a press pass since I’ve done so much reporting for you this past year.”

Ha-ha-ha! Thanks, Dan. Last month in Manila, I couldn’t make the trip to watch our very own, Philippines, play Japan in the Davis Cup. (We lost 0-5.) Who was there? To watch, take photos and e-mail me a detailed account?

Dan Mastous.

Dan Mastous (center) towering tall at 6’6″ with Macky Michael (left) and John Pages last month at the Casino Español de Cebu

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!


  1. Hi John—
    Roger lost again (3rd this year)! This time, to US nth seed- Mardy Fish. What’s happening to our guy? Hmmm……. Novak will meet Mardy on the finals —-he’s on his way in becoming the world’s no. 1. Could he get it this year? hehehe

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