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SAMPRAS DROPS BJORKMAN IN CUP PREVIEW

With the Davis Cup final on his mind, Pete Sampras beat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman on Friday to reach the semifinals of the $6 million Grand Slam Cup in Munich.

Sampras and his United States teammates will face Sweden, whose top player is Bjorkman, at the end of November for tennis' most prestigious team trophy.

Sampras used his booming serve to win, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, but the match was decided when Bjorkman double-faulted at key points in both sets.

"I'm going to play him again in six weeks in a big match, so I was definitely motivated," Sampras said. "It's been on my mind since the day I saw the draw for the tournament."

He next faces Britain's Greg Rusedski, who rallied to beat Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-1, while tying his own record for the fastest serve ever.

Rusedski fired a 143 mph serve in the second set that matched his record-breaking shot at the U.S. Open two weeks ago.

U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter of Australia will meet Czech Petr Korda in the other semifinal. First prize in the tournament is $1.5 million.

Elsewhere, Vince Spadea of the United States gained his first semifinal of the season, beating fellow American Justin Gimelstob, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), in the $400,000 Toulouse (France) Open.

Spadea will meet third-seeded Mark Philippoussis, the defending champion, in the semifinals. The Australian needed nearly two hours before beating Frenchman Arnaud Clement, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5).

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