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Sampras visits ancestral home of Greece for first time

Greg-Pete fan
05-16-2007, 02:22 PM
Sampras visits ancestral home of Greece for first time

The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ATHENS, Greece: All the travel, all the tournaments and all the titles, and not one trip for Pete Sampras to his ancestral homeland � until now.

The retired 14-time Grand Slam champion has come to Greece for the first time � both to play tennis and for personal reasons.

"This is about sharing some time with my folks in my mom's homeland," Sampras told The Associated Press on Tuesday in an interview. "I'm going to go out and enjoy it. It's a personal trip and obviously a professional trip, and I didn't want to lose sight of either one.

"I'm here to explore my heritage more," the 35-year-old Sampras added. "I'm proud to be here for the first time."

Sampras' mother, Georgia, left Greece with her six siblings when she was 25 and moved to Canada and then to the United States.

"Very much a big Greek family," said Sampras, whose father, Sam, was born in the United States to a Greek immigrant father. This trip is coinciding with Sam Sampras' 70th birthday.

Sampras, who will be playing in a senior's tournament in Athens this week, played his last professional tennis match in 2002, when he beat Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open final.

"I kind of regret stopping," said Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 14.

Sampras will play in three Champions Cup events this year � he won in Boston earlier this month and will head to Charlotte, North Carolina, in September.

"It is flattering knowing ... that I can still be competitive," said Sampras, who ruled out a return to the All England Club for a chance to win an eighth Wimbledon title.

"I don't want to tempt it."

Since retiring, the American has divided his time between a growing family � he and actress wife Bridgette Wilson have two young children � and non-tennis pursuits, such as working his golf game down to a four handicap.

When he was still playing, Sampras' stoicism was legendary. He once beat Alex Corretja at the U.S. Open after vomiting on court during the fifth-set tiebreaker.

"I'm a bit like my mom as a competitor," he said. "That toughness, dedication, competitiveness, to leave your homeland and not speak a word (of English). That's where I get a lot of my toughness, deep down in my belly."

But his dour demeanor kept Sampras from becoming a media darling throughout most of his career.

"They wanted me to be someone I wasn't, on and off the court. That's not who I am. I've never been abrasive or brash," Sampras said. "I just kept it pretty simple, pretty quiet ... I wasn't going to sell out how I was raised, for more media coverage or more money."

Despite lacking showbiz appeal, Sampras made up for it on the court � finishing as the top-ranked player for six straight years.

"It's one thing to reach No. 1, but another to stay there, to dominate your generation, to stand the test of time," Sampras said. "It was stressful. There were sleepless nights."

One of his most memorable moments came at Wimbledon in 2000 when Sampras, battling injury, broke Roy Emerson's record of 12 major victories.

"It was pretty painful, I almost had to withdraw from the tournament," Sampras said. "I got injected (with cortisone), but it was raining and it wore off. I remember just the pain, just getting through it, toughing it out.

"I was pretty amazed myself when I got through those two weeks."

Source:
www.samprasfanz.com

And one photo of Pete:D

angiel
05-16-2007, 04:19 PM
Sampras visits ancestral home of Greece for first time

The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ATHENS, Greece: All the travel, all the tournaments and all the titles, and not one trip for Pete Sampras to his ancestral homeland � until now.

The retired 14-time Grand Slam champion has come to Greece for the first time � both to play tennis and for personal reasons.

"This is about sharing some time with my folks in my mom's homeland," Sampras told The Associated Press on Tuesday in an interview. "I'm going to go out and enjoy it. It's a personal trip and obviously a professional trip, and I didn't want to lose sight of either one.

"I'm here to explore my heritage more," the 35-year-old Sampras added. "I'm proud to be here for the first time."

Sampras' mother, Georgia, left Greece with her six siblings when she was 25 and moved to Canada and then to the United States.

"Very much a big Greek family," said Sampras, whose father, Sam, was born in the United States to a Greek immigrant father. This trip is coinciding with Sam Sampras' 70th birthday.

Sampras, who will be playing in a senior's tournament in Athens this week, played his last professional tennis match in 2002, when he beat Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open final.

"I kind of regret stopping," said Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 14.

Sampras will play in three Champions Cup events this year � he won in Boston earlier this month and will head to Charlotte, North Carolina, in September.

"It is flattering knowing ... that I can still be competitive," said Sampras, who ruled out a return to the All England Club for a chance to win an eighth Wimbledon title.

"I don't want to tempt it."

Since retiring, the American has divided his time between a growing family � he and actress wife Bridgette Wilson have two young children � and non-tennis pursuits, such as working his golf game down to a four handicap.

When he was still playing, Sampras' stoicism was legendary. He once beat Alex Corretja at the U.S. Open after vomiting on court during the fifth-set tiebreaker.

"I'm a bit like my mom as a competitor," he said. "That toughness, dedication, competitiveness, to leave your homeland and not speak a word (of English). That's where I get a lot of my toughness, deep down in my belly."

But his dour demeanor kept Sampras from becoming a media darling throughout most of his career.

"They wanted me to be someone I wasn't, on and off the court. That's not who I am. I've never been abrasive or brash," Sampras said. "I just kept it pretty simple, pretty quiet ... I wasn't going to sell out how I was raised, for more media coverage or more money."

Despite lacking showbiz appeal, Sampras made up for it on the court � finishing as the top-ranked player for six straight years.

"It's one thing to reach No. 1, but another to stay there, to dominate your generation, to stand the test of time," Sampras said. "It was stressful. There were sleepless nights."

One of his most memorable moments came at Wimbledon in 2000 when Sampras, battling injury, broke Roy Emerson's record of 12 major victories.

"It was pretty painful, I almost had to withdraw from the tournament," Sampras said. "I got injected (with cortisone), but it was raining and it wore off. I remember just the pain, just getting through it, toughing it out.

"I was pretty amazed myself when I got through those two weeks."

Source:
www.samprasfanz.com

And one photo of Pete:D




:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :D Finally, finally Mr. Sampras, you should have brought your family with you.:D :) :angel:

RagingLamb
05-16-2007, 04:25 PM
took him long enough, I guess with the busy life he never had time for anything.

Actually, I knew a guy who apparently grew up with Pete up to age 14. He said even as a kid he never had any free time, his parents would pick him up right after school and take him to practice, he never hung out with anyone other than during school. And that never changed.

So I guess he's never had much time. Other than in his retirement.

angiel
05-16-2007, 04:25 PM
Sampras, Courier get set for Athens Cup with exhibition below Acropolis



By JOHN F.L. ROSS
Associated Press Sports
Updated: 9:13 a.m. ET May 16, 2007


ATHENS, Greece (AP) -Pete Sampras will play former Davis Cup teammate Jim Courier on Thursday in an exhibition match on a temporary tennis court below the Acropolis.

Sampras, a 14-time Grand Slam champion who is making his first visit to his ancestral homeland, is in Greece to play in the four-day Athens Cup at the Olympic tennis venue in northern Athens.

The event is part of the Outback Champions Series, which is making its first stop outside the United States. The seniors' tour was started by Courier, a four-time Grand Slam champion.


"We're thrilled to be here,'' Courier said Wednesday. "It's a beautiful facility and a beautiful city.''

The Athens Cup will also feature players such as Pat Cash, Richard Krajicek, Wayne Ferreira and Anders Jarryd. Mark Philippoussis and Mats Wilander have pulled out, however.

"The players are big names. They're in shape,'' Courier said. "These are not exhibitions. We're playing for real.''

The players will be divided into two groups of four for the round-robin competition. The group winners will play in Sunday's final, while the second-place finishers face each other for third place.

In order to play, competitors must be more than 30 years old and be either a Grand Slam finalist, a former top-5 player or have played singles for a winning Davis Cup team. Organizers are also allowed a wild card assignment.

"People don't appreciate the array of talent it takes,'' Courier said. "I don't think the general public can truly understand what it takes for (champion) tennis players to do what they do.''

The Athens Cup tournament will be played at the 7,800-seat Olympic tennis facility, and there will also be a temporary exhibit from the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, which will formally induct Sampras in July.

Sampras, who last played a professional match at the 2002 U.S. Open when he beat Andre Agassi in the final, said he had a chance to play in Greece once before.

"I was actually approached to play for Greece when I was 17,'' Sampras said. "I was in Germany, just turned pro, someone approached my Dad, but nothing came of it.''

Ticket sales for the event have not met expectations, however.

"Not too great, mostly because we started late,'' tournament president Konstantinos Makrykostas said. "But the Greek people always do things at the last minute.''

Athens also recently held basketball's Euroleague Final Four, and next Wednesday hosts the Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan.


© 2007 The Associated Press.

angiel
05-16-2007, 04:28 PM
took him long enough, I guess with the busy life he never had time for anything.

Actually, I knew a guy who apparently grew up with Pete up to age 14. He said even as a kid he never had any free time, his parents would pick him up right after school and take him to practice, he never hung out with anyone other than during school. And that never changed.

So I guess he's never had much time. Other than in his retirement.



:worship: :angel: :wavey: :D He is there now, better late than never, and hope he will go back there more often, what Pete should do is partner with the ATP and have a yearly event there.:angel: :wavey:

RagingLamb
05-16-2007, 04:32 PM
:worship: :angel: :wavey: :D He is there now, better late than never, and hope he will go back there more often, what Pete should do is partner with the ATP and have a yearly event there.:angel: :wavey:

I don't know how smart that would be from a business perspective.
And I'm not sure how involved Pete wants to be with that sort of thing.

I remember right after his retirement there were talks of a Pete Sampras Tennis center that didn't go through at the last moment. Even though, I don't really know why he didn't go through with it.

angiel
05-16-2007, 04:33 PM
Posted on Tue, May. 15, 2007

Heritage | Sampras returns to roots
Pete Sampras on Greek odyssey

All the travel. All the tournaments. All the titles.

And not one trip for Pete Sampras to his ancestral homeland — until now.

“This is about sharing some time with my folks in my mom’s homeland,” said Sampras, who will be playing in a seniors tennis tournament this week in Athens. His mother, Georgia, left Greece with her six siblings when she was 25 and moved to Canada and then the United States

“It’s very much a big Greek family,” said Sampras, whose father, Sam, was born in the U.S. to a Greek immigrant father. The tournament coincides with Sam Sampras’ 70th birthday.

“I’m going to go out and enjoy it. It’s a personal trip and obviously a professional trip, and I didn’t want to lose sight of either one.”

“I’m here to explore my heritage more. I’m proud to be here for the first time.”

Since retiring in 2002, Sampras has divided his time between a growing family — he and actress wife Bridgette Wilson have two young children — and nontennis pursuits, such as working his golf game down to a 4 handicap.

| The Associated Press

angiel
05-16-2007, 05:03 PM
Courier - Journal.com
Wednesday, May 16, 2007



Sports Buzz



It's all Greek to Pete, if not to his folks

Pete Sampras, who traveled the world while winning 64 professional tennis titles, finally is making his first visit to Greece, his ancestral homeland.

"This is about sharing some time with my folks in my mom's homeland," said Sampras, who will play in a senior tournament in Athens this week. "I'm going to go out and enjoy it. It's a personal trip and obviously a professional trip, and I didn't want to lose sight of either one.

"I'm here to explore my heritage more. I'm proud to be here for the first time."

His mother, Georgia, left Greece with her six siblings when she was 25 and moved to Canada, then to the United States.

"I'm a bit like my mom as a competitor," Sampras said. "That toughness, dedication, competitiveness, to leave your homeland and not speak a word (of English)."

His father, Sam, was born in the United States to a Greek immigrant father. This trip coincides with Sam's 70th birthday.

"Very much a big Greek family," said Pete, 35.

angiel
05-16-2007, 05:04 PM
I don't know how smart that would be from a business perspective.
And I'm not sure how involved Pete wants to be with that sort of thing.

I remember right after his retirement there were talks of a Pete Sampras Tennis center that didn't go through at the last moment. Even though, I don't really know why he didn't go through with it.


You dont think it could work???:rolleyes: :wavey: :( maybe he will have that tennis center in the future.:angel: :)

Greg-Pete fan
05-16-2007, 05:52 PM
Two more photos:)

RagingLamb
05-16-2007, 05:52 PM
You dont think it could work???:rolleyes: :wavey: :( maybe he will have that tennis center in the future.:angel: :)

Starting some sort of tournament in Greece? I don't think it could work.

angiel
05-16-2007, 06:06 PM
Starting some sort of tournament in Greece? I don't think it could work.


Why????:( :( :rolleyes: :wavey:

RagingLamb
05-16-2007, 06:09 PM
Why????:( :( :rolleyes: :wavey:

Greece doesn't seem like a center for tennis. Plus Sampras is not the promoter type. But other than those reasons, there is not other theoretical reasons why it shouldn't work.

angiel
05-16-2007, 07:06 PM
http://es.sports.yahoo.com/15052007/1/foto/tennis-legend-pete-sampras-speaks-during-an-interview-for-the.html

fralexom
05-18-2007, 09:07 AM
Pete and Jim Courier in Athens !

http://www.sports.fr/fr/images/slideshow/dujour/2007/2/4143.jpg

baghdatis
05-18-2007, 10:53 AM
Of course a tournament in greece could work!

bravo Sampras pou piges na deis tin oikogenia sou

I still cant get over the fact Sampras can't speak a word of Greek
He forgot it all as he got older.

Sampras You are the greatest!!!

angiel
05-18-2007, 05:07 PM
Pete and Jim Courier in Athens !

http://www.sports.fr/fr/images/slideshow/dujour/2007/2/4143.jpg


Thank you for these photos, you have made my day.:worship: :worship: :D :) :cool:

angiel
05-18-2007, 05:09 PM
Of course a tournament in greece could work!

bravo Sampras pou piges na deis tin oikogenia sou

I still cant get over the fact Sampras can't speak a word of Greek
He forgot it all as he got older.

Sampras You are the greatest!!!


I think it would work too:worship: :angel: :angel: maybe he should have his two boys learn Greek.:wavey: :D

angiel
05-18-2007, 05:55 PM
After all the globe-trotting, Sampras visits his ancestral home

By John F.L. Ross ASSOCIATED PRESS
12:22 p.m. May 15, 2007

ATHENS, Greece -- All the travel, all the tournaments and all the titles, and not one trip for Pete Sampras to his ancestral homeland -- until now.

The retired 14-time Grand Slam champion finally has come to Greece -- for tennis and for personal reasons.

“This is about sharing some time with my folks in my mom's homeland,” Sampras told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I'm going to go out and enjoy it. It's a personal trip and obviously a professional trip, and I didn't want to lose sight of either one.”

“I'm here to explore my heritage more,” he added. “I'm proud to be here for the first time.”

Sampras' mother, Georgia, left Greece with her six siblings when she was 25 and moved to Canada and then to the United States.

“Very much a big Greek family,” said the 35-year-old Sampras, whose father, Sam, was born in the United States to a Greek immigrant father. This trip is coinciding with Sam Sampras' 70th birthday.

Sampras will be playing in a seniors tournament in Athens this week. He played for the last time on the tour in 2002 when he beat Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open final.

“I kind of regret stopping,” said Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 14.

Sampras will play in three Champions Cup events this year -- he won in Boston this month and will head to Charlotte, N.C., in September.

“It is flattering knowing ... that I can still be competitive,” said Sampras, who ruled out a return to the All England Club for a chance to win an eighth Wimbledon title. “I don't want to tempt it.”

Since retiring, he has divided his time between a growing family -- he and actress wife Bridgette Wilson have two young children -- and nontennis pursuits, such as working his golf game down to a 4 handicap.

When he was still playing, Sampras' stoicism and grit was legendary. He once beat Alex Corretja at the U.S. Open after vomiting on court during the fifth-set tiebreaker.

“I'm a bit like my mom as a competitor,” he said. “That toughness, dedication, competitiveness, to leave your homeland and not speak a word (of English). That's where I get a lot of my toughness, deep down in my belly.”

But his restraint kept him at a distance in the media.

“They wanted me to be someone I wasn't, on and off the court. That's not who I am. I've never been abrasive or brash,” Sampras said. “I just kept it pretty simple, pretty quiet. ... I wasn't going to sell out how I was raised, for more media coverage or more money.”

His game more than compensated for his lack of showbiz appeal. He finished as the top-ranked player for six straight years.

“It's one thing to reach No. 1, but another to stay there, to dominate your generation, to stand the test of time,” Sampras said. “It was stressful. There were sleepless nights.”

One of his most memorable moments came at Wimbledon in 2000 when Sampras, battling injury, broke Roy Emerson's record of 12 major victories.

“It was pretty painful. I almost had to withdraw from the tournament,” Sampras said. “I got injected (with cortisone), but it was raining and it wore off. I remember just the pain, just getting through it, toughing it out. I was pretty amazed myself when I got through those two weeks.”

Sponsored Links (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

angiel
05-21-2007, 05:17 PM
http://www.spokesmanreview.com/ap/media/GREECE_TENNIS_PETE_SAMPRAS.sff.jpg