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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Sampras shows he still has game.






Sampras shows he still has game
By Brian Murphy
Idaho Statesman | Edition Date: 12/09/06


Pete Sampras has lost some of his hair since his days as the world's best tennis player. He doesn't appear, however, to have lost much of his game.

The 35-year-old Sampras headlined the St. Luke's-Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Services (SLIERS) Tennis Shootout on Friday night at Qwest Arena and defeated American pro Robby Ginepri 7-5, 6-3.

He looked like the Sampras of old — or at least the Sampras of four years ago when he retired from competitive tennis.

"When he does some of those overhead shots, I remember those shots," said Boise's Donna Bari, one of the estimated 2,500 fans in attendance.

Sampras, who began playing more this year after going three years without picking up a racket, also displayed his picturesque serve and pinpoint forehand.

"I still want to play good tennis and be competitive for the crowd," said Sampras, the all-time leader in Grand Slam titles with 14. "I'm hitting three, four days a week as opposed to once a week. I'm starting to hone it in a little bit and starting to hit the ball real good."

Sampras lost to Ginepri in Houston earlier this year. They play again tonight near Atlanta.

"He looks more fluid and smoother with his stroke," said Ginepri, a 24-year-old who has two wins on the ATP Tour. "The serve is always going to be there. With the motion that he has, it's never going to break down."

Ginepri said that with a few more months of practice Sampras could crack the top 30 on tour. But Sampras said he is content to play friendly matches.

"I'm just glad I'm starting to play tennis again," he said. "I still have a lot of passion for the sport, still working hard at the sport, but not like I used to. I'm having fun with it. This is what it's all about, giving back to the sport that's been so good to me."

Sampras and Ginepri staged a clinic for several hundred local kids Friday afternoon and stayed for almost a half-hour to sign autographs after the exhibition.

"It was a good match," said Elaine Wolfe of Boise. "It's good for Boise to have that kind oft talent come here."

Last edited by angiel; 12-28-2006 at 11:35 PM.
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 09:16 PM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Any new pictures of Pete?
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Q&A / PETE SAMPRAS

Sampras misses 'rush of standing on Centre Court'

By STEVE HUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/09/06


In 2002, Pete Sampras, one of tennis' greatest champions, slipped quietly into retirement. He and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, concentrated on raising two sons in California, out of the glare of celebrity.

Now 35, he is returning part time to the court. Sampras just finished one short season of World Team Tennis and has embarked on a series of exhibitions.

He is scheduled to play Kennesaw's Robby Ginepri tonight at the Kennesaw State University Convocation Center in a best-of-three-set exhibition. The FedEx Tennis Shootout also features local players competing in a tiebreak shootout format.

Sampras says he has dropped the 10 pounds he gained in retirement, and that his serve has remained in the 130-mph range. His modern-era records — 14 Grand Slam titles, seven Wimbledon championships, a six-year span of being ranked No. 1 in the world — are all being challenged by Roger Federer.

Sampras talked briefly with the AJC's Steve Hummer about his life and his legacy:


Q: What is the best and the worst part of retiring at 31?

A: Throughout my life, I always had the job and sport in the back of my mind. When you'd go out and have a few beers or go out for a nice dinner, there was always the thought of how it would affect my tennis. [After retiring] I could have some fun and not worry about people trying to knock me out of No. 1.

I do miss the work and the structure and the focus. I miss the high of playing Wimbledon and the other majors. I miss the rush of standing on Centre Court of Wimbledon.

Q: Now that you've begun hitting a tennis ball again, how active do you plan to be?

A: I'm looking to get myself busy again. I'm looking to get a little more structure and focus in my life. I love being with my kids, but a man has to go to work.

I'm playing a little bit now, but nothing like it used to be. I hit some balls three or four times a week. I get to the gym almost every day. We'll just see how it goes next year and take it from there.

Q: Then comes the question: Ever think of making a full-blown comeback?

A: The only time I really think about it – and it's not going to happen, believe me – is around Wimbledon. Especially when I see everybody staying back on the grass. That was something I loved to see.

Q: When you see a guy like Jimmy Connors succeeding as a coach [with Andy Roddick], do you have any interest in that?

A: It has crossed my mind, and people do ask about that. To be a coach takes quite a bit of traveling, and I don't know if I'd like that part. Realistically, I don't see that happening. But I don't know, if someone asks me to do it. ... I do know what to do out there.

Q: Do you get asked more about Roger Federer than yourself anymore?

A: Yeah. How do you think he'll do? How good is he? It will be a comparison for the next number of years.

I really think Roger is going to go on and break most of my records. That's OK. I've reached out and offered him congratulations. I've told him how much I admire and respect what he's been doing.

Q: What are your thoughts on the general state of American tennis?

A: It's good. There used to be myself, Andre [Agassi], Jim [Courier] and Michael [Chang]. That was a pretty dominating era. It's unfair to compare us to Andy [Roddick], James [Blake] and Robby [Ginepri].

Andy has been making some strides with Connors as his coach. James has had a real strong year. It's just that Federer and [Rafael] Nadal are in a class above the rest.

Q: Do you allow yourself in your mind to imagine what it would be like to play [Federer] in both of your primes?

A: I think it would be an interesting matchup. Roger is more of a baseliner; he doesn't like to come in [to the net] as much. I'm all about pace. I think we both would have our fair share of wins. Neither would dominate the other.

Q: Do you watch a lot of tennis anymore?

A: Not a lot. Just the majors.

If something is on television, I may watch it here or there. To watch a match, you might have to sit there for three hours, and that's a long time.




FEDEX TENNIS SHOOTOUT

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Kennesaw State University Convocation Center

• Tickets: $26.50, $45.50, $75.50 (www.etix.com or 1-888-202-3849)
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 10:15 PM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Pete is showing that he still has game .

Now he has two wins against quality opponents in Ginepri and Roddick and the man is retired . It's scary to think what he would have done to the tour with everyone playing baseline these days . I'd reckon that he'd win 8 or 9 wimbledons .
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 10:22 PM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Uhhhh, does George Bastl ring a bell?
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 10:57 PM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

He wouldn't be at the very top of the game today though...although he'd still be top 50
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 11:23 PM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wimbledonfan View Post
Pete is showing that he still has game .

Now he has two wins against quality opponents in Ginepri and Roddick and the man is retired . It's scary to think what he would have done to the tour with everyone playing baseline these days . I'd reckon that he'd win 8 or 9 wimbledons .
OMG, you're calling hit-n-giggle charity exhibitions "quality wins"????? Half the time the results in these things are fixed anyway I mean I love Pete but come on, what's with the epidemic of taking charity exhibitions seriously this year

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 12:06 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

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Originally Posted by Jez View Post
He wouldn't be at the very top of the game today though...although he'd still be top 50

HAHA, He WOULD be at the top of the game. Pete Sampras' game would pick apart the players so quickly now, they wouldn't know what to do. The players on tour today dont get a chance to see the serve and volley aspect of the game. Plus the weight of the ball that Sampras hit is nothing like what the players today are producing. Pete had a Racquet that was 14 ounces, that ball came off like a bowling ball. Returning his shots are like hitting a baseball.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 12:08 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

If Pete could compete with todays players he would have never retired. He left at the right time, he cant compete with the players these days, no matter how hard he trains.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 12:36 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Well he's 35 now so it would be tough for any human being to replicate the success they had when they were in their prime .

A younger Pete would have performed better against baseline players of today .

In fact , I think the Pete of today would beat any current american player on tour . If he trained hard right now , there is no reason why he wouldn't be a top 10 player .
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 12:49 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Im sorry i misunderstood... Now, i think that sampras would have been up there, but not quite at the top, hes to old. In his prime, i think that he would have beaten anyone on tour.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 01:47 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

He beat Roddick in the Elton John exhibition...his game looked good. Roddick seemed flustered by Pete's game. I'm not a Pete fan, but he could still beat a lot of guys on the tour.

'I'd like to be in his shoes for one day,' says Mats Wilander, 'to know what it feels like to play that way.'
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 01:54 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobhiggins View Post
If Pete could compete with todays players he would have never retired. He left at the right time, he cant compete with the players these days, no matter how hard he trains.
He could have competed, but he would have a much harder time sticking around in the Top 20. A lot more work for a much more physically weary body. Yes he certainly left at a good time, it doesn't get much better than winning the last match of your career in a slam final.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 01:56 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

You guys are making it sounds like its not that good to be sticking around the top20 for Pete, Hes 36 YEARS OLD , of course he would have a hard time sticking around. In his prime, he would have been the best.
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 01:56 AM
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Re: Sampras shows he still has game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb!. View Post
OMG, you're calling hit-n-giggle charity exhibitions "quality wins"????? Half the time the results in these things are fixed anyway I mean I love Pete but come on, what's with the epidemic of taking charity exhibitions seriously this year
It is probably fixed for some people but I don't think any amount of money could have bought Pete's loss to Ginepri in his first big match post retirement. That said, exhibitions are no measure of h2h for a variety of other reasons including lack of motivation, levity of the moment and so on.
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