Winning the US Open '02, with almost everyone writing him off at that time, was like a storybook ending to his career. No matter how much greatness you achieved, how many records you broke & set, how many innovations & class you brought to the game, people will most often remember the last thing that you did before you left. I guess in part, he wanted to go out with class and he knew that he could never top that US Open title in the coming years. This was what he said in an article i saved from espn.com when he won the US Open in '02 and was practicing for the Wimbledon 03 ...
"I had Wimbledon in the back of my mind and felt like once that event came around, I might get myself going, get training and practicing," Sampras said. "And once I started that process of starting to practice, after three days, I was done.
"I just didn't want to practice. I didn't want to train. I didn't want to do everything you have to do. I feel like I did it all.
"I think that's when it hit me."
"I thought about it a little bit during the two weeks, but I never realistically thought I was going to win and stop.
"It's a process, retirement. It's not something you wake up one day and say 'I'm retired.' You need to go through all the emotions, and I did that. I went through everything I had to go through to be convinced I'm 100 percent done. And that's where I am right now."
Every athlete goes through this, when you think you've finally achieved everything you aimed for and contributed all that you have in the game, the reality starts to creep in that you are done with the game. It came to Agassi this year and not three years ago like with Sampras because Agassi still has his heart in it, he felt like he could hang around a few more years, accomplish & give something back to the game & to the fans as well.
As sad a day that was when he retired, I was glad he did. Unlike Agassi who could continue successfully into his 30's, I honestly don't think Pete could. He went out with class.
I totally agree with this. As much as I enjoyed watching Pete play, for me he couldn't have picked a more perfect time to retire.