American tennis great Pete Sampras defeated Todd Martin in three sets last night to win the Athens Champions Cup, an over-30s tennis star tournament at the Olympic Tennis Center. The game was delayed by rainfall. «For me, it’s truly unique to capture first place at a tournament being held in Greece,» said Sampras, a 14-time Grand Slam champion whose appearance at the Athens Champions Cup also marked the player’s first ever visit to his ancestral homeland. «It was a difficult game. I had problems with my return of service during the second set and, generally, didn’t perform that well,» Sampras said of yesterday’s win in the final. Martin, the tournament’s runner-up, limited the satisfaction of his own play to the second set. «Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the tiebreak. Every game you begin opposite Sampras is like the beginning of a new day’s work. You start off feeling fresh and end up feeling exhausted. It’s not enough to play just one good game against Pete. You’ve got to give even more in the next game,» noted Martin. «It’s very pleasant that, thanks to this series, we can continue playing tennis, even if it’s at a slightly lower level.» The seniors’ tour was started by Jim Courier, a four-time Grand Slam champion, who took part in the Athens tournament. Earlier in the day, Magnus Larsson, who was part of Sweden’s winning 1997 Davis Cup squad, defeated South African Wayne Ferreira in straight sets to capture third place at the tournament. Part of the Outback Champions Series, the four-day event made its first stop outside the United States here in Athens. Sampras is undefeated so far in his seniors’ tour debut. He retired from the regular ATP tour after winning his 14th major, the 2002 US Open.