SAMPRAS ENJOYS LIFE AWAY FROM TENNIS
Pete Sampras has played down reports that he could be poised to make a return to competitive tennis.
The 33-year-old announced his retirement from the professional circuit last year, and has not played a competitive match since beating fellow American Andre Agassi in the 2002 US Open final.
He has recently been rumoured to be considering a return to tennis on the seniors tour, but he told French newspaper l'Equipe on Wednesday that he has no regrets about stepping out of the limelight.
"I'm not at all disappointed about what the sport did for my finances and my name. But I was tired of tennis and it consumed me," said Sampras.
"I spent so many years getting to the top and then keeping my place as number one, and it was very stressful.
"Throughout my career, I never had one perfectly good night's sleep. When it was all over, I started to sleep fine without any concerns in my head, as I didn't have to think about catching a plane or playing a really hard match the following day.
"I am still calming things down, and that is why I'm not playing any professional tennis."
Although Sampras' outstanding career is now confined to the history books, he does think current world number one Roger Federer could go on to dominate tennis for years - just like 'Pistol Pete' did in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The seven-times Wimbledon champion, who won 14 Grand Slam titles in total, sees Swiss star Federer - winner of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open this year - as a kindred spirit.
"Roger Federer, he is head and shoulders above everyone else," Sampras added.
"He is the best athlete around and it's impressive to see him consistently play at a high level without consuming too much energy.
"There are a lot of similarities with me. We have the same temperament. He seems to play as easily as I did.
"He can do almost anything with his racket...I think he can dominate tennis for a long time just like I did."