NEW YORK _ The curly dark hair is thinning considerably at the crown of his head and there are deepening character lines in his face, a signal that he has entered his fourth decade of life.
But on days like Saturday, when his serve is thundering and his confidence higher than a Piccadilly pickpocket, Pete Sampras is in a different age.
He's 22. He's 25. He's 28. He's in the prime of his fabled career and, with the major money on the table this weekend at the U.S. Open, he once again, and for the first time this season, seems unbeatable.
Sampras crushed Marat Safin, the bully-sized Russian who beat him in last year's final here, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, facing only three break points and defending them all, two with hammering aces.