Why Did Sampras Quit So Young? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

31 when he played his last slam and won at the us open in 2002. agassi was 36 retiring this year. but with sampras's game much less stressful than a agassi-type baseliner game, i wonder why he retired five years earlier than andre.

was the game starting to pass him by where hed start losing to guys he hadn't lost to before? while he won no titles in 01, he was a finalist in 01 at Indian Wells TMS, Long Island, Los Angeles, US Open and in 2002--Houston. if so, how could he possibly lose to these guys? loss of motivation? or just guys were better? so many questions...
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:21 AM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

He himself said he stopped training as hard after he got #13, plus he got married and probably lost interest.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:28 AM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

I remember watching the USO final in 2000, and to me he had clearly lost a step. That, and having to deal with his thalassemia minor played a part for sure, when he could no longer blow people off the court. He couldn't physically keep up with the younger guys and he knew it.

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.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:50 AM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

Pete had put so much of his life into maintaining the number one position for years and years and going after those slams, that it took a toll on him a few years sooner than his fans had wanted it to. He said many times it was emotionally and physically draining to live tennis 24 hours a day like he did. He had accomplished just about everything he wanted in tennis, and everything he thought he could, and he was able to walk away on his terms, content with the career he had. Not many can say that.

Also, Agassi has said that the time he was away from the tour during the course of his career may have helped him stay out there longer. Pete never had a break like that, did he? Except for the back injury, I don't remember him ever being out of the game for more than a few weeks at a time.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:26 AM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

In tennis years 31 is not so young. Sampras had been playing full time on tour since he was 16. The body can only take so much pounding regardless of chronological age. Agassi after all is the exception, not the rule, for players succeeding past the age of 30.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 06:56 AM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

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.

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Originally Posted by Katastrophe View Post

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.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 06:59 AM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

IMO he had nothing left to give (doesn't he have some sort of blood disorder?) and he only stayed around til USO 02 to prove to the doubters that he still had another slam in him. He had nothing left to prove after that and the records speak for themselves. Of course not everyone's an Agassi.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:53 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

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Originally Posted by J. Corwin View Post
IMO he had nothing left to give (doesn't he have some sort of blood disorder?) and he only stayed around til USO 02 to prove to the doubters that he still had another slam in him. He had nothing left to prove after that and the records speak for themselves. Of course not everyone's an Agassi.
Yes he does. It's called thalassemia minor, an inherited disease that causes anemia. It really limits a person's physical endurance. Lucky for Pete, most of the time his matches didn't go the distance.

He was interviewed recently about that epic match with Corretja at the USO in '96. You could definitely see how fatigue was pushing him to the wall. He said he thought he was still okay, starting drinking some Coke and then...

(Pete's quote): "Yeah, it (the coke) didn't really sit well with me."

For those of us who saw what happened in that match, what he said was an understatement.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

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Originally Posted by screaminhead View Post
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.



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.
i think sampras wouldve stayed longer if federer had started his run a little earlier. i think he quit thinking his grand slam record was pretty secure, after all the closest anyone had come to emerson's (padded) record was borg with 11 slams. now hearing him talk, he wants to take on federer in an exhibition and with that sort of motivation, if goaded on would probably play at least wimbledon with a wc...
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:37 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

Maybe because he didn't want to embarass himself and lose to some Becker in his last match.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:52 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

With a beautiful actress wife like Bridgette I would wanna stay home too.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:54 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katastrophe View Post
Yes he does. It's called thalassemia minor, an inherited disease that causes anemia. It really limits a person's physical endurance. Lucky for Pete, most of the time his matches didn't go the distance.
Sampras is 33-15 in 5-setters, that's one of the best values for any player.
He had no problems with his condition.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:55 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

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Originally Posted by lordmanji View Post
i think sampras wouldve stayed longer if federer had started his run a little earlier. i think he quit thinking his grand slam record was pretty secure, after all the closest anyone had come to emerson's (padded) record was borg with 11 slams. now hearing him talk, he wants to take on federer in an exhibition and with that sort of motivation, if goaded on would probably play at least wimbledon with a wc...
Good point! Pete's an ultra competitive guy and I agree he would love nothing better than to teach Fed a few lessons if their generations overlapped more. Sadly you almost hear a hint of resignation in his voice now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katastrophe View Post
Yes he does. It's called thalassemia minor, an inherited disease that causes anemia. It really limits a person's physical endurance. Lucky for Pete, most of the time his matches didn't go the distance.

He was interviewed recently about that epic match with Corretja at the USO in '96. You could definitely see how fatigue was pushing him to the wall. He said he thought he was still okay, starting drinking some Coke and then...

(Pete's quote): "Yeah, it (the coke) didn't really sit well with me."

For those of us who saw what happened in that match, what he said was an understatement.
Thanks! I really should have read the rest of this thread before posting lol.

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George W. Bush, 2000

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 04:04 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

[QUOTE=Thanks! I really should have read the rest of this thread before posting lol.[/QUOTE]

Not a lot of people knew about it because he was able to control it so well. I didn't see him struggle much either. Occasionally you'd see him feel it in the heat, but he rarely lost.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 07:03 PM
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Re: Why Did Sampras Quit So Young?

agassi being from las vegas was a showman and kinda wanted to go out with everyone watching. sampras was always a quieter, more reserved character and the more he had gone on, the more people would have asked him when he was gonna retire and people would have known it was coming. the way he did it suited his personality and kept him happy
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