WORLD No 1 Pete Sampras is the new Hongkong Salem Open champion. The 21-year-old American beat his compatriot, Jim Courier, 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-2) in a thrilling final lasting two hours and 51 minutes in front of a capacity 3,000 crowd at Victoria Park yesterday. After getting a cheque for US$39,600 to take his career earnings to over US$5.1 million, Sampras said he was going to take a week off before starting his clay-court season in Atlanta. ''The money is not why I'm playing,'' he said. ''I have worked a lot of years to get this far and it's nice that all the time and money my parents spent on me is paying off.'' Courier lost his No 1 ranking to Sampras last week.