2005 - PETE'S NEWS - FOR AND ABOUT HIM!!!!!! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com


01-11-2005, 11:35 PM
Agassi praises Federer

Sportal - Tennis

January 11, 2005

Four-time Australian Open winner Andre Agassi has said the only player comparable to world number one Roger Federer is 14-time Grand Slam title winner Pete Sampras.

Agassi, who will likely face Federer in the Kooyong Classic this week in the lead-up to the Australian Open, said there were undoubted similarities between the two players.

"Roger has been compared to Pete on many occasions," Agassi said. "I've played both on days when I was convinced they were the best in the world."

"They both bring a phenomenal amount of weaponry to the court, they are a pleasure to watch."

:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

"Playing against them, I have the best seat in the house – both have the ability also to make me look like a spectator. You have to be at your best. Roger has already taken a step towards accomplishing things that most of us just dream about."

01-12-2005, 03:04 AM
thanks for the article, angiel :wavey:

01-12-2005, 10:13 PM
thanks for the article, angiel :wavey:

You are most welcome Mimi............................... :drive: :drive: :sport: :sport: :dog: :dog: :umbrella: :umbrella: :boxing: :boxing: :tennis: :tennis: :rolls: :rolls: :nerner: :nerner:

01-12-2005, 11:39 PM
Weekly Reflections: How Cameras Can Be Used to Help Referees

:help: :help: :crazy: :crazy: :sport: :sport: :tennis: :tennis: :bolt: :bolt:

The Monitor (Kampala)

January 13, 2005
Posted to the web January 12, 2005

Mark Namanya

World soccer governing body FIFA may try as much to avoid advanced technology but it's only a matter of time before the use of cameras is approved in this increasingly competitive game.

Tennis and cricket have adopted technology and the people in these sports will tell you it has served tremendously.

Like football, but in a much higher intricate nature, tennis' line calls are the most controversial job for the umpires and a small error can swing a Grand Slam in another direction.

Seven years ago, Pete Sampras was incensed by critical line call that favoured his rival Pat Rafter in a US Open semi-final. Rafter beat Sampras and went on to win the Grand Slam.

Cameras immensely cut down the risk of getting such calls wrong and the umpires are the first to acknowledge the importance of these gadgets.

Cricket's most experienced umpire would certainly struggle to judge an lbw appeal from a Shoaib Akhtar delivery. The speed and change of pace of the ball may be too fast.

01-13-2005, 12:45 AM
yes, i agree, using the camera is more fair :wavey:

01-13-2005, 12:52 AM
yes, i agree, using the camera is more fair :wavey:

:wavey: Hey there Mimi, sorry my time is up at the library, can't stay and talk, see you tomorrow - I miss my night chat with you - have to get myself a computer. :sad: :eek:

Adios. :wavey:

01-13-2005, 12:56 AM
see you and wishing you to get a new computer soon :wavey:

:wavey: Hey there Mimi, sorry my time is up at the library, can't stay and talk, see you tomorrow - I miss my night chat with you - have to gey myself a computer. :sad: :eek:

Adios. :wavey:

01-13-2005, 07:10 PM
see you and wishing you to get a new computer soon :wavey:

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D you too my dear :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

01-14-2005, 08:17 PM
A grand new year

By Rohit Brunath
January 15, 2005

The players sit with faces like long-suffering morgue attendants, the cameras whirl silently, we ask the questions and they magnificently pretend they've never heard them before. Do you like Melbourne? What would it mean to win the Open? It is the new year, fortunately, and no one is rude.

Meanwhile, media guides are tossed aside and instead every player's genealogy is assiduously examined. If anyone's great-grandfather's second cousin's uncle was born on a Qantas flight, well, he's ours.

Welcome back to the Australian Open. Most everything is old, especially the names, yet so much is new. Recently acquired muscles are being put to use, freshly hired coaches tried and newly minted resolve tested.

The short winter of solitude is over and it is time to seek applause again. On Monday, it begins, and for 11 months, there will be little time to breathe. So many dreams will lie in tatters by year's end, but no one believes it will be theirs. For now, they are all invincible.

:worship: :worship: :angel: :angel: :worship: :worship:

It is sweaty work but such sculpting of body and tuning of game is still easier than the adjusting of mind. A drop shot can be found, but determination is beyond some coaching; the wrist can be bent but what about unbending will?

Men's tennis is as beautifully poised as a sport can be; one man on cloud nine, an ambitious pack trying to bring him down - at least to seventh heaven. In a way, it resembles Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker chipping away at Ivan Lendl's pedestal.

If men's tennis has exited the period of uncertainty that accompanied Pete Sampras' slow fall, the women's game is temporarily subdued. The Williams sisters does not work as a phrase any more, for Venus is no Serena and Serena has not been herself either recently.

The Belgians have been absent for too long, Jennifer Capriati is not visiting, not enough respect is perhaps awarded to the Russians, Maria Sharapova aside, and everyone will forget the wise Davenport at their own peril.

01-15-2005, 05:35 PM

Roddick haunted by second best

By Mike Steinberger
Published: January 14 2005 20:55

The former world number one has been usurped by Roger Federer, writes Mike Steinberger, but is still among the greats. You got to be joking Mr., winning one slam dont put you among the greats - Bonitto. :mad: :mad:

Andy Roddick arrived at last year's Australian Open ranked number one in the world and with every expectation that 2004 would cement his status as the brightest star in the tennis firmament.

Twelve months on, Roddick will take the court in Melbourne ranked a very distant second and faced with the sobering possibility that, right now, second best may be as much as he can realistically hope for.

While Federer sizzled in 2004, Roddick mostly fizzled, losing in the second round at the French and in the quarter-finals at the Australian and US Open, where he was the defending champion. To see Federer cart off so much silverware, and to see his own game more or less stagnate, undoubtedly left the 22-year-old Roddick feeling just a shade blue.

Carillo believes that Roddick's game is too one-dimensional. "Andy wants to win with power, to hit 150mph serves and huge monster shots," she says. "But when Plan A isn't working, his only Plan B seems to be a modified Plan A - muscle the ball even harder." - You have hit the nail on the head Miss Carillo - I have been saying that all along - Bonitto. :eek: :o

For Carillo, the question now is not whether Roddick can catch Federer - that is probably not on the cards - but whether he can make himself the kind of indispensable adversary that Andre Agassi was to Pete Sampras. Agassi pushed Sampras to heights he might otherwise not have reached, and although Agassi will forever be in Sampras's shadow, his own place in tennis history is going to be a prominent one. For all Roddick has achieved, it is far from clear that he is blessed with the stuff of legends. As Carillo puts it: "How good is Roddick? I'm not saying he's an overachiever, but what are we putting on this guy?" - At the end of the barrel, and he is not that good, I can say it if you can't - Bonitto. :devil: :mad:

When Roddick blew into Melbourne for last year's Australian, these were surely not the kind of questions he expected to hear one year hence.

01-15-2005, 05:51 PM

January 15, 2005

The Rudder

Superstars in our eyes again as the Simpsons Serves up, Tennis The Menace.

By Alyson Rudd

:drool: :bowdown: :bowdown: :dance: :haha: :crazy: :crazy: :banana: :banana: :sport: :sport:

For Pete’s sake

To get you in the mood for the Australian Open tennis, why not tune in to The Simpsons? It will remind you, of course, how to stock up on junk food for the late-night TV sessions, but tomorrow’s episode also features not only Andre Agassi, not only Venus Williams, not only Serena Williams, but also Pete Sampras. Yes, Pete Sampras. Being funny. And Bart proves a genius from the baseline. Not to be missed, as they say. (Live Tennis, British Eurosport, midnight-6am tomorrow; The Simpsons: Tennis the Menace, Channel 4, 6pm tomorrow)

01-18-2005, 03:10 AM
thanks angiel for the articles, roddick, poor him, there is no rival between him and roger, roger always won, not like pete vs agassi, i don't know if its roger too good or him not good enough :mad: :p

01-18-2005, 09:47 PM
thanks angiel for the articles, roddick, poor him, there is no rival between him and roger, roger always won, not like pete vs agassi, i don't know if its roger too good or him not good enough :mad: :p

No doubt about it mimi - Roger is too good, and Roddick not good enough at all. :o :retard: :retard:

01-18-2005, 10:17 PM
Molik a contender? Everyone's now making a racket, even Martina

Monday, 17 January 2005

Brimming with confidence, blessed with the best serve in the business and boasting four titles in a blistering five months, Alicia Molik looms as a genuine home-town contender at the Australian Open.

At the very least, Molik will arrive at Melbourne Park for the season's opening major as the X-factor in the women's draw.

Her doubters, the few that remain, point to the 23-year-old South Australian's modest record of having never ventured beyond the fourth round of a grand slam.

Her growing army of believers point to her booming serve and peerless form over the past five months as cause to consider Molik as a realistic hope of giving Australia its first local women's winner of the national title since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

:worship: :worship: :angel: :angel: :cool: :cool:

" The legendary Martina Navratilova certainly views Molik as a contender, claiming yesterday that the Australian undoubtedly possessed the premier serve in the game.

"Maybe Serena and Venus [Williams] hit a harder first serve, but Alicia has the best second serve in the game and that is the biggest key to being a great player," Navratilova said.

"Pete Sampras, people talk about his first serve but his second serve was amazing and when you're holding your serve that easily - and Alicia's backing it up now with good groundstrokes as well - your opponents get nervous. They know they have to hold service as well. Otherwise, they'll lose the set."

01-19-2005, 03:12 AM
thanks angiel but sorry i don't know who is Molik :confused:

01-19-2005, 09:16 PM
thanks angiel but sorry i don't know who is Molik :confused:

Molik is no#10 seed - she is an Austrailian, and they except big things from here this year, or better still win the Aussie open, her home slam. :worship: :worship:

01-19-2005, 09:23 PM
Australian Open Trivia

January 19, 2005

When Pete Sampras won the men's singles title In 1994 he became the sixth man to win three-consecutive Grand Slam championships.

:worship: :worship: :bowdown: :bowdown: :drive: :drive: :bigclap: :bigclap: :bolt: :bolt:

01-20-2005, 08:26 PM

January 20, 2005

You know, you have something in common, and it's a camaraderie that a lot of people don't have. So I'm lucky that I have that. You know, it's great to see the guys because now I realized when I was out for so long, I came back to Tampa, as soon as I was ready to start training, hung out with Mardy Fish, Jeff Morrison. I realized another blessing is I've been on tour for a few years. A lot of guys go 10, 12 years on tour. When they stop playing, they didn't make any friends. They don't have someone they still talk to on tour.
I think I'm going to be friends with Mardy, Jeff, Robby Ginepri, Taylor Dent, Andy Roddick for the rest of my life. Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Todd Martin I'm going to be friends with for the rest of my life. They're all unbelievable athletes. Most people in the small towns they're from would fall all over themselves to go just to meet them. I get to hang out with them casually. It's something I missed.
I think the guys I hope the guys appreciate me back in the locker room. But I don't know. Have to ask them

01-21-2005, 08:42 PM
Agassi-Sampras rivalry a family affair?

DENNIS PASSA, Associated Press Writer

Friday, January 21, 2005


(01-21) 11:59 PST MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) --

Andre Agassi had some classic battles with Pete Sampras. With no sign of retirement in the near future, he's now sizing up his rival's son.

After Agassi's three-set win over Taylor Dent on Friday at the Australian Open, courtside television commentator Jim Courier asked Agassi when Jaden Gil, Agassi's 3-year-old son, might play against Christian Sampras, who is 2 years old.

"Would it shock you if I said I was going to play Christian Sampras before Jaden does?" Agassi joked.

He then turned more serious.

"I hope my kids learn to love it," said Agassi, who also has a 15-month-old daughter, Jaz Elle, with wife Steffi Graf.

"Ultimately, my biggest hope for my child is that he's focused on something. Hopefully he'll choose tennis, because I love it so much. If he doesn't, maybe Christian Sampras will."

Agassi, 34, and Graf married in October 2001. Sampras married actress Bridgette Wilson in September 2000.

:drool: :drool: :fiery: :fiery: :bounce: :bounce:

01-22-2005, 01:37 AM
thanks angiel, James is a friend of Pete, wow, he is so lucky :D

pff this andre, when he gets to play Christian, he will at least be 50 something :devil: , christian can beat him 6:0 6:0 easily :devil: :devil:

01-22-2005, 05:59 PM
thanks angiel, James is a friend of Pete, wow, he is so lucky :D

pff this andre, when he gets to play Christian, he will at least be 50 something :devil: , christian can beat him 6:0 6:0 easily :devil: :devil:

Christian will be both Andre and son Jaden, and Steffi too - so all three Agassi will be soundly beaten for sure. :smash: :smash: :lol: :lol:

Some people has all the luck my dear, Jame Blake is one of them. :hatoff: :hatoff:

01-22-2005, 06:13 PM
The return of the king

January 23, 2005

The Sun-Herald

In the rush to proclaim King Roger, many have forgotten that until recently, Pete Sampras ruled the tennis world. Here, Rohit Brijnath conjures up the Australian Open final we'd love to see.

In the locker room, a temporary peace sits between them. Presence is acknowledged, but it is not a day of saying much, and they sit like silent knights before this conclusive joust. It is the morning of the Australian Open final, the wind blows, the sun burns, but they're not particularly attentive. The conditions don't interest them, only each other.

On court their dissimilarities will soon be evident, for one man's tennis sounds like martial music, the other's like a hymn. But as men, too, they are set apart. Says that Boston bard, Bud Collins: "Pete is self-contained, a room-service guy, [he] maintains his own mystique. Roger is more cosmopolitan, he's European and speaks three-four languages."

Sampras shrugs those doorway-sized shoulders and pushes the doorway open into his zone. "With Pete you can feel his intensity," says Patrick McEnroe. "Federer, it seems like nothing bothers him."

Physically, the American is more imposing, but he does not look to exude any particular threat, says Jim Courier, who has inhabited the locker room with him in the moments before grand slam finals. "He never really worried about intimidating except on court. For Pete, it all about between the lines."

Both men heft their bags and walk out - Sampras is in white, Federer in red. They understand the occasion, they accord each other respect, they are alive to knowledge that only their best game will do today.

Sampras is absent of fuss, even his ball bounce is restricted to just one before he unveils his serve, a stroke that carries with it more than a passing resemblance to a guillotine. The American will start quicker, most say. He is a player of early statements.

As Federer crouches at the other end, Sampras might unleash "two first serves", says Courier. McEnroe concurs. "Pete always comes out hard. Against Cedric Pioline (US Open final, 1993) his first serve was at 210kmh or so, and later he said: 'I just wanted to let him know I was coming'." Federer is more dominant when he gets his teeth in a match.

Federer takes a while to adjust to this pace. Former Davis Cup star John Alexander sees "Roger conceding early service games", and Sampras shuts him out of the first set.

Breakpoints come and go and both are good at saving them. The American saves one with a forehand on the dead run like a whiplash, the Swiss salvages another with a half-volley backhand flick with the ball behind his body. Sampras punches a volley into an unreachable corner, Federer caresses one to an acute angle.

His dextrous wrist, alive with all manner of devils, conjures up a lob but only Sampras, on springed feet, can reach it. Balls are lasered at each other's backhand, but as Courier says: "Pete's backhand is attackable and Federer's is not."

Almost nothing separates them, and at a changeover a commentator quotes former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic: "Maybe the toughest player I ever played is Pete because he is guy that gives you only one or two chances per match and if you don't take those chances, you're finished. But I still think Federer is the biggest talent from all the players I played."

Federer takes the second set by threading two passing shots off either flank. Sampras, with a rattle of volleys, takes the third. The Swiss threads a backhand down the line for the fourth, and the match is poised.

Where grass and the faster US Open court fed his game, here the more sluggish pace and elevated bounce at Rod Laver Arena is amputating a small part of the American's threat. Sampras does not want to rally here, but the Swiss is spoilt for choice. He is, as McEnroe explains, "the best offensive and defensive player I've seen".

Federer begins, for McEnroe at least, to pick Sampras apart, and the longer it gets the worse it becomes, as Lleyton Hewitt might testify after the US Open final last year.

In reality, into which we must slip only briefly, Sampras stands alone as the modern God, Zeus in long, white shorts. We are prone to genuflect now before Federer, whose completeness is dazzling, yet we stand unsure about whether his journey will take him to 14 slams and six years as No.1. Whatever the fictional end to this match, the jury, bewitched perhaps, is still out on the Swiss.

As Courier insists: "They're very similar in one respect. Both have an extra gear when they need it. They are the two best big match players I have ever seen."

Sampras, whose five-set record in slams is 29-9, fingers sweat off his brow; Federer, with a 6-3 record, reaffixes his headband. Somehow, for this athletic ballet, seven sets appears more appropriate, and then, abruptly, it is over, the result coming swiftly for some, slower for others.

For McEnroe, a commanding Federer runs away with the fifth; for Courier, the Swiss rules on this particular court, but by the slimmest of margins. Alexander goes for the American and Collins also backs Sampras, both of them by an eyelash.

Later that day, a statistician points out to whoever cares that each one won the same number of points.

01-22-2005, 06:28 PM
Court of dreams

January 23, 2005 - 12:00AM
The Age

Federer v Sampras

Roger Federer is playing the most magnificent tennis of his career, and, some say, of all time. So how would he fare against a rampaging Pete Sampras, the most successful player in the history of the men's game? Rohit Brijnath comtemplates a tantalising fantasy match, played out on Rod Laver Arena.

In the locker room, a temporary peace sits between them. Presence is acknowledged, but it is not a day of saying much, and they sit like silent knights before this conclusive joust. It is the morning of the Australian Open final, the wind gently smoothens the hair outside, the sun burns, but they're not particularly attentive. The conditions don't interest them, only each other.

On court their dissimilarities will soon be evident, for one man's tennis sounds like martial music, the other's like a hymn. But as men, too, they are set apart. Says that Boston bard, Bud Collins: "Pete is self-contained, a room-service guy ... (he) maintains his own mystique. Roger is more cosmopolitan, he's European and speaks three-four languages." Federer might be found at the ballet, Sampras could have carried his racquet in a briefcase, for he is all business.

Sampras shrugs those wardrobesized shoulders in the locker room and pushes the doorway open into his zone. "With Pete, you can feel his intensity," says Patrick McEnroe. Federer plucks at his guts, allows himself a passing smile, a seemingly more comfortable and less monastic man. "Federer, it seems like nothing bothers him," said McEnroe.

Physically, the American is more imposing, but he does not look to exude any particular threat, says Jim Courier, who has inhabited the locker room with him in the moments before grand slam finals.

"He never really worried about intimidating except on court. For Pete it's all about between the lines."

Both men heft their bags and walk out - Sampras is in white, Federer in red, Nike in raptures - carrying also with them an aura of a heavyweight contest. They understand the occasion, they accord each other respect, they are alive to the knowledge that only their best game will do today.

Sampras is absent of fuss, even his ball bounce is restricted to just one before he unveils his serve, a stroke that carries with it more than a passing resemblance to a guillotine. The American will start more quickly, most say. He is a player of early statements, a case of "I am Sampras, who are you?" explains Philippe Bouin, of L'Equipe, who has been writing tennis for 25 years.

As Federer crouches at the other end, Sampras might unleash "two first serves", says Courier. McEnroe concurs. "Pete always comes out hard. Against Cedric Pioline (US Open final, 1993) his first serve was at 210 km/h or so, and later he said: ‘I just wanted to let him know I was coming.' Federer is more dominant when he gets his teeth in a match."

Federer takes a while to adjust to this pace, unhurriedly tuning his instrument in search of the right responsive notes. Former Davis Cup star John Alexander sees "Roger conceding early service games", and Sampras shuts him out of the first set.

The match is moving quickly, the points are often abrupt, or at least that is the way Sampras would prefer them. His racquet speaks in monosyllables, Federer's holds conversations.

The crowd is riveted by this collision of greatness and conflict of styles; both men different yet pleasing. Sampras' game has an easy symmetry and clean grace, an elegantly designed executioner. As opposed to Federer, who appears to coolly interrogate opponents and torture them with an almost casual beauty, death by Sampras is usually clinical. One's game is somewhat ascetic, the other's aesthetic.

Both men's faces offer nothing, demonstration is not their style; at best Sampras' tongue will loll, while Federer will occasionally halt to brush away a wandering lock of hair. Both are graduates from an older school of behaviour, impeccable in their manners. At best in victory we might see difference: Federer collapses to the court, Sampras mostly would never deign to sink to his knees before any man at any time.

Sampras, says Courier, "is bullying with his serve", but, who knows, possibly not coming in every time, perhaps even on first serves. Some of it is a function of the slower surface, some of it regard for Federer's superb returns.

A battle within a larger war is occurring here. Sampras in major finals did not have trouble holding serve, explains Courier, but Federer is known, for instance, for handling Andy Roddick's serve more comfortably than others. McEnroe adds that Federer is "difficult to ace" and refers to the past two Wimbledon finals, which are revealing.

In 2003, Mark Phillipoussis aced the Swiss only 14 times out of 70 first serves and 28 second serves hit in play; Roddick aced him only 11 times out of 81 first serves and 47 second serves hit in play. Both times Federer, whose serves are finely placed, outaced them.

Break points come and go, says Bouin, and both are good at saving them. The American saves one with a forehand on the dead run like a whiplash, the Swiss salvages another with a half-volley backhand flick with the ball behind his body.

Sampras punches a volley into an unreachable corner, Federer caresses one to an angle that would impress Euclid. With eyes closed, it is almost impossible to hear them for so soundlessly swift do they move.

Federer's dextrous wrist, alive with all manner of devils, conjures up a lob but only Sampras, on springed feet, can reach it. Both are exchanging strengths but also picking at weakness. Balls are lasered at each other's backhand, but as Courier says: "Pete's backhand is attackable and Federer's is not."

Separating them is almost nothing, and at a changeover a commentator quotes former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic: "Maybe the toughest player I ever play is Pete, because he is guy that gives you only one or two chances per match and if you don't take those chance, you finish. But I still think Federer is the biggest talent from all the players I play."

Federer takes the second set by threading two passing shots off either flank, Sampras with a rattle of volleys takes the third, the Swiss embroiders a backhand down the line for the fourth, and the match is poised. Lines are kissed, angles explored, every corner of the court painted by feet. The match is decided by inches and neither man readily gives any.

Where grass and the faster US Open court fed his game, here the more sluggish pace and elevated bounce at Rod Laver Arena is amputating a small part of the American's threat. Sampras does not want to rally here, but the Swiss, a walking encyclopaedia on shotmaking, at baseline or net, is spoilt for choice. He is, as McEnroe explained: "The best offensive and defensive player I've seen."

He begins, for McEnroe at least, to pick Sampras apart, and the longer it goes the worse it becomes, as Lleyton Hewitt might testify after last year's US Open final. Commentator-writer John Barrett, who has seen every Wimbledon final since World War II, sees Federer thinking on his feet a bit more quickly, and surprising the American by arriving at some of his apparent winners. Still as fast as Federer creates, Sampras is attempting to destroy.

On the volley he might, but otherwise Sampras does not bend; he is like some holy warrior on a single-minded mission to history. This man has written the textbook on winning. He is chipping, charging, teeing off on returns, missing a few, and while Federer may have "more variety, more spins, more margin of error" as McEnroe said, it is hard to pick between them. "Like going to the Louvre and choosing between Venus di Milo and the Mona Lisa," offers Collins.

In reality, into which we must slip only briefly, Sampras stands alone as the modern God, Zeus in long, white shorts. We are prone to genuflect now before Federer, whose completeness is dazzling, yet we stand unsure about whether his journey will take him to 14 slam titles and six years as No. 1. Whatever the fictional end to this match, the jury, bewitched perhaps, is still out on the Swiss.

In the match, both men reach deep within their reservoirs of will, proud in their refusal to wilt. As Courier insisted: "They're very similar in one respect. Both have an extra gear when they need it. They are the two best big-match players I have ever seen."

Sampras, whose five-set record in slams is 29-9, fingers sweat off his brow; Federer, with a 6-3 record, reaffixes his headband. Somehow, for this athletic ballet, seven sets appears more appropriate, and then, abruptly, it is over, the result coming swiftly for some, slower for others.

For McEnroe, a commanding Federer runs away with the fifth; for Courier, the Swiss rules on this particular court, but by the slimmest of margins. Alexander goes for the American, Bouin for the Swiss, Collins for Sampras, Barrett for Federer, most of them by an eyelash. Later that day, a statistician points out that each one won the same number of points.

Bonitto, Mimi, Lalitha, Lee, Ultraman. Evelyn, goes for Pete to win - :bigclap: :bigclap: :yippee: :yippee: :tennis: :tennis:

01-24-2005, 02:31 PM
Henman a Major disappointment again


January 24, 2005

‘AISLE or window seat, sir?’ - it was the last but, no doubt, lingering memory Tim Henman had of another failed Australian Open campaign. For most of 2004, he had almost convinced his followers that he was a true contender for a Grand Slam title. He talked the talk and, sometimes, he walked the walk, marching all the way through to the semi-finals of the US and French Opens. As the new season began, he had great hopes.

It took a little over two hours to shatter those illusions as Tiger Tim was declawed by Nikolay Davydenko yesterday, turning in possibly his worst-ever performance at this level to lose 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the third round.

Even Henman was struggling to come up with a more pitiful effort in a major event. There was the third-round loss to Juan Ignacio Chela in the 2002 US Open but at least then he had the excuse that his shoulder was seizing up and he was contemplating surgery. Yesterday he claimed to be fully fit, 100% healthy but absolutely useless.

:o :o :devil: :devil: :mad: :mad:

Henman has been effusive in his praise for his coach Paul Annacone. The man who guided Pete Sampras to nine of his 14 Grand Slam titles has tried to instil an air of relaxed confidence in his boy, persuading him to play to his strengths and let the opponent worry about the rest. With Sampras, it was a winning formula and with Henman it has had considerable effect. But as Annacone admitted when he first started working with Henman, Sampras had the memories of all those Grand Slam titles to ease him through the rough patches - Henman’s memories are rather more limited.

Still, Annacone is determined to shape Henman in the Sampras mould. The playing schedule has been changed and now follows the Sampras template, right down to the fact of forsaking the Davis Cup to concentrate on the majors.

The former champion used to prepare himself for the Australian Open with a couple of hit and giggle sessions at the Kooyong Colonial Classic, an exhibition event held the week before the Open, and this year Henman followed suit. But Henman hates exhibitions and only once before played at Kooyong, losing all three matches in 1999 and vowing never to come back. A matter of days later, he lost to Marc Rosset in the third round of the Open.

Annacone obviously wants to repeat the success of the Sampras years with Britain’s No.1 but that will take nothing short of a miracle. Sampras knew what it took to win and could snap into Grand Slam champion mode at the drop of a hat.

Henman, on the other hand, has taken a decade of hard graft to reach a Grand Slam semi-final outside of Wimbledon. Henman clearly is no Sampras.

In fact after yesterday’s performance, he is struggling to give Arvind Parmar a run for his money.

01-25-2005, 05:55 AM
thanks for the articles which i have just finished reading, seems they all think roger is more talented than pete but that pete's serves and his mental strength are better :wavey:

as for Henman, i think pete's coach has helped him a lot but sadly he has forgotten his age, henman is over 30, its not easy to make him a pete the second :cool:

01-25-2005, 09:33 PM
thanks for the articles which i have just finished reading, seems they all think roger is more talented than pete but that pete's serves and his mental strength are better :wavey:

as for Henman, i think pete's coach has helped him a lot but sadly he has forgotten his age, henman is over 30, its not easy to make him a pete the second :cool:

No mimi, they dont all think that - it is split right down the middle and as Mr. Rohit Brijnath points out - everybody is jumping on Federer bandwagon, and forget that Pete Sampras is the KING -and as he say the jury is still out on Federer. :worship: :worship:

You know how the British are - they love to blame others for their lack of everything - so now his Henman coach - he may still win wimbledon :rolleyes: who knows. :p

01-25-2005, 09:42 PM
This Day in Sports


1997. - Top-ranked Pete Sampras needed just one hour and 27 minutes to cruise to his ninth Grand Slam title with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory over unseeded Carlos Moya in the final of the 85th Australian Open. Sampras' victory earned him his second Australian Open title.


01-26-2005, 12:33 AM
The Sunday Telegraph


The night Pete cried

January 23, 2005

JIM Courier admits to feeling indifferent about the result of one match in his career.

The firebrand American hated losing, but it was irrelevant after one of the most enthralling and emotional contests ever played at the Australian Open.

It is almost 10 years ago to the day Courier and Pete Sampras locked horns in a brutal quarter-final on the second Tuesday night in 1995.

"You're never happy to lose, but I take a lot of satisfaction away from that match," Courier said this week.

"I played just about as well as I could and the quality was of the highest level and some days you just get beat by a better player and on that day Pete was a better player.

"I can't look back on it and say, 'Gosh I should have done this and should have done that', because I thought I did everything that I needed to to win the match and just came up a fraction short."

The final scoreline read 6-7 (7-4) 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 6-3 after a marathon 3½ hours of toil between two great rivals.

Courier was the world's best and Sampras was the supreme challenger.

The pair already had shared a host of memorable matches but this one was unique. Sampras's coach Tim Gullikson had collapsed in the Melbourne Park locker rooms.

He was rushed to Epworth Hospital, spent several days undergoing tests and was told he was suffering from two brain tumours.

Sampras had been close friends with his mentor and the news was stunning.

So in the early hours of one stifling morning, the supposedly granite facade of the American prodigy crumbled under the weight of emotion.

When one of the 14,000 well-meaning fans yelled out "Do it for your coach" early in the fifth set, Sampras wept uncontrollably.

With the scores locked on 1-all in the fifth, he paused while serving to wipe away the torrent of tears. By then it had become a familiar sight.

Courier graciously offered to finish the match at a more suitable time.

Somehow Sampras found the nerve, and the composure to fight on.

"It's one of the matches that will stick with me for the rest of my life," Courier said.

"It was an emotional match. The first time that Sampras really showed us there was more to him than just a brilliant tennis player


"You could see for the first time that he had feelings and was hiding that as best he could and he could no longer do it out there in the most public of places.

"The level of tennis was exceptional in that match and just high drama all the way through. And a really great sense of camaraderie after the match which Pete and I shared in the locker room having been through that together."

Sampras lost the final that year to Andre Agassi, but won fans the world over for his rare and genuine display of emotion.

Sixteen months after that extraordinary quarter-final, Gullikson died, aged 44.

"I got an e-mail from a friend the other day and he was saying that he'd bumped into some people and the first thing that they said when they got around to talking about me was that match," Courier said.

Courier said he and Sampras remained friends throughout their careers.

It's unlikely the two will ever meet again on Rod Laver Arena but the occasion will never be forgotten.

As soon as he walked back into Rod Laver Arena in his role as Seven's specialist commentator, Courier felt the memories flooding back.

The combatants gave it their all during that epic, now renowned as the night Peerless Pete cried.

Courier was desperate to win, but ultimately he was not fussed about the result.

01-26-2005, 01:14 AM
yes pete is still the king, but roger is really threatening, he seems to have no opponents, no one is able to push him a little bit, so in terms of domination, he is a bit better than pete :angel: but only time will tell if he can win more than pete ;)

the british are too bad, when henman won, they cheered him, and when he lost, they booed him :rolleyes:

No mimi, they dont all think that - it is split right down the middle and as Mr. Rohit Brijnath points out - everybody is jumping on Federer bandwagon, and forget that Pete Sampras is the KING -and as he say the jury is still out on Federer. :worship: :worship:

You know how the British are - they love to blame others for their lack of everything - so now his Henman coach - he may still win wimbledon :rolleyes: who knows. :p

01-26-2005, 01:16 AM
thanks for that photo, i got one newspaper cutting in my book for pete :cool:

01-26-2005, 09:07 PM
yes pete is still the king, but roger is really threatening, he seems to have no opponents, no one is able to push him a little bit, so in terms of domination, he is a bit better than pete :angel: but only time will tell if he can win more than pete ;)

the british are too bad, when henman won, they cheered him, and when he lost, they booed him :rolleyes:

Who is he dominating Mimi, :o have a good look at his opponents at present, :o he is not been push, because there are not a lots of good players playing the game, men's tennis is so weak, the ladies could beat up these guys. the few guys player is nothing to write about in terms of greatness mimi, so Roger is having it easy, where by Pete have much stronger competition in his days, much stronger my friend. :mad: :eek:

Andre Agassi is soon 35 years old mimi, you except him to give Roger trouble, but who knows, maybe safin will blow him off court :devil:

That is how the British operate, they are a bunch of losers. :o :p

01-27-2005, 02:22 AM
i mean roger is dominating coz he has no opponents, he is superior to all his mates :wavey:

i don't think safin can blow him off, isn't roddick also is very fat and strong but roger punishes him like he is a little kid :mad:

01-27-2005, 03:28 PM
Pete Sampras is still the greatest on and off the court . His mental toughness was unparallel and his presence is definitely missed .

01-27-2005, 07:00 PM
i mean roger is dominating coz he has no opponents, he is superior to all his mates :wavey:

i don't think safin can blow him off, isn't roddick also is very fat and strong but roger punishes him like he is a little kid :mad:

But that is the problem Mimi - men's tennis is too weak at present, so of course Roger looks like he is dominating, but is he really, or is it that his opponents are not challenging him. :o :eek:

Safin is a better player than Roddick - so if he play his game he can give Federer trouble. :worship: :D

01-27-2005, 07:04 PM
Pete Sampras is still the greatest on and off the court . His mental toughness was unparallel and his presence is definitely missed .

:wavey: Thank you wimbledonfan, and I agree with you whole heartedly, the game today need a Pete Sampras to challenge Federer, no-one is doing it, maybe we could get Pete to come out of retirement - the game badly needs him. :worship: :worship:

01-27-2005, 07:51 PM
Safin destroys Federer's invincible air
Chip Le Grand
January 28, 2005

IN the end, it came down to the last man standing. Facing a seventh match point Roger Federer lost his feet and his Australian Open crown. Marat Safin hit the ball into the open court and held his head in disbelief.

Told you mimi - I was proven right - Safin knock him out - :dance: :dance: how do you like that my dear - thank you Marat, thank you kindly. :worship: :worship:

01-28-2005, 11:29 AM
There was one wimbledon where Sampras lost only one set and lost serve I believe only 2 times throughout the tournament. When he was on his game , he would have cause plenty of problems with Roger Federer because Pete would be holding all his serves and would need only one break of serve which he would always manage to do . In 7 Wimbledon finals that Pete won , he lost his serve only 4 times which is a phenomenal achievement from him . The game definitely nees a guy like him who can challenge the top players of today , but I also miss not seeing any serve and volley players on the tour .

Great job Marat Safin and a great game for Roger as well !!

01-28-2005, 01:47 PM
There was one wimbledon where Sampras lost only one set and lost serve I believe only 2 times throughout the tournament. When he was on his game , he would have cause plenty of problems with Roger Federer because Pete would be holding all his serves and would need only one break of serve which he would always manage to do . In 7 Wimbledon finals that Pete won , he lost his serve only 4 times which is a phenomenal achievement from him . The game definitely nees a guy like him who can challenge the top players of today , but I also miss not seeing any serve and volley players on the tour .

Great job Marat Safin and a great game for Roger as well !!

I agree, the game needs variety, everybody is playing the same style, baseline tennis, which is not too pleasing on the eyes at all - they are just bashing the balls and have no game to back up their plan, if plan A fails. :silly: :crazy:

The game has swap grace and beauty for brawn and brute force. :mad: :sad:

Yes great job Marat, we need more players like you around. :worship: :worship:

Young players need to start learning how to serve & volley, nodoby wants to play that way any more - they say it is too hard a game to learn. :mad: :eek:

01-31-2005, 02:34 PM
The Sunday Times - Sport

January 30, 2005

The top 10
Male tennis players in the Open era
By 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash

1 Pete Sampras
Technical perfection is a quality commonly believed to be beyond the realm of mere human beings, but the American who amassed more Grand Slam singles titles than anybody else in the history of men’s tennis came mighty close. There were no flaws in his game: he possessed huge power and supreme physical ability, and when his mind was right, nobody could stop him. Seven Wimbledon titles in eight years is one of the great achievements in modern sport. Nowadays, players are categorised by the weapons they possess. The Sampras serve was the ultimate — unbelievably accurate, supremely forceful and, more often than not, unplayable. Admittedly, he never won the French Open, and his dislike of clay became almost a phobia in the later years of his career. The only criticism that could be levelled against him is a lack of patience when it came to confronting the vagaries of the red stuff. However, 14 Grand Slam titles offer material proof that he was the greatest ever.

2 Rod Laver
So why is a Pistol superior to a Rocket? They are both revered by their peers, and Laver twice completed the Grand Slam, which Sampras never did. As an Australian, I was reared on the legend of the Queenslander from Rockhampton, and I soon appreciated that he had revolutionised the way tennis was played. Watch dated film of players pre-Laver, and the game seems so effete, but he brought in power and the use of topspin with a supreme combination of force and finesse. Had he not missed out on five years of Grand Slam events because of his decision to turn professional, then quite probably he would still be ahead of Sampras in terms of numbers, but that is something than can never be proved. What will remain forever irrefutable is that back in the days of Laver, three of the four big tournaments were played on grass and the depth of quality was nowhere like it was when Sampras reigned.

3 John McEnroe
McEnroe was a one-off. He was so many things on court: arrogant, obnoxious, rude, unsportsmanlike. I defy anybody, with the possible exception of Bjorn Borg, to say they enjoyed playing him, because he made the process so unpleasant. But that was down to factors far beyond his demeanour. His style was impossible to anticipate and he played with such disguise and pace. He didn’t possess a powerful physique, yet he hit the ball with tremendous force, and his hand-eye co-ordination was second to none. “Freakish” is the best way to sum up Mac’s racket-head control and his ability to come up with the unexpected. I believe that if he played today, he would not have met with the same success because the authorities would not tolerate his behaviour.

4 Bjorn Borg
The Swede was the greatest athlete to walk on to a tennis court. His speed defied belief and he allied it with a wondrous temperament. He changed the game, becoming the first to employ the double-fisted backhand. His feat of three times going victorious from the clay of Roland Garros to win Wimbledon, with the complete transformation of mindset which that entailed, will not be repeated. But he struggled on the hard courts of America and his career lacked longevity. His best days were over before his 26th birthday.

5 Jimmy Connors
Nobody before Connors ever played the game quite like him. He was a street fighter, who knew no other way but to give 110%. Today, Lleyton Hewitt probably comes closest in terms of commitment, but whether he will continue to be a force when his 40th birthday draws close is doubtful. There was never a moment of practice that was half-hearted, and he poured every ounce of effort into every performance. His game was unconventional, the serve never forceful, but annoyingly accurate, and the return and ground strokes were laced with venom. If not for tennis politics that prevented him from playing the French Open in 1974, he would probably have completed the Grand Slam.

6 Boris Becker
Probably the scariest moments of my career were watching the 17-year-old for the first time and realising the damage he could do to my own aspirations. One minute he emerged, the next he was Wimbledon champion. His wide-out backhand down the line remains one of the greatest shots of any era. But for somebody raised on European dirt, it will always remain one of the great mysteries why he never won a singles title on clay.

7 Mats Wilander
When I was emerging, and then right at the peak of my game, more often than not it seemed Wilander was standing in my way. From the French Open of 1987 to the US Open the next year, he reached the finals of Grand Slam tournaments five times out of a possible seven and won three. His powers of endurance were legendary and the repeated accuracy of his shots was akin to that of heat-seeking missiles.

8 Andre Agassi
To complete the Grand Slam of the game’s four majors in one year has been an elusive goal in the male domain for 36 years, so the only player in that time to have won all four at all is worthy of great merit. Agassi’s longevity in the game, coupled with his dedication to the cause in recent years, will probably never be repeated. Whether his story is in its final chapter has been a question people have been asking for several years. Don’t count him out just yet.

9 Ivan Lendl
Statistics do not lie: eight successive US Open finals, including a hat-trick of title wins; four French Open finals in a row, three ending in victory; more than five years ranked as the world’s No 1. If power has become the most important facet of the modern game, then Lendl took it to unprecedented levels. He was the original modern-day player: big, super-fit, athletic, brutal, utterly professional. Winning Wimbledon, however, became an obsession that somehow always evaded him.

10 Stefan Edberg
One of the saddest inevitabilities in tennis is that in a few years, coaches will look at tapes of this pure and agile serve-and-volley player and realise they’ve made such an art extinct. Even when you were on the other side of the net, it was hard not to admire the skill of Edberg, whose athletic powers were only marginally inferior to Borg’s. Add a textbook single-fisted backhand, and you have a player of considerable quality. He won twice at three of the majors, but missed out on the clay of Roland Garros.

Roger Federer
There are many who insist the Swiss is destined to be the greatest player of all time. I think such praise is premature. He is by far the most sublime player in the world today, despite his semi-final loss in the Australian Open, but topping Pete Sampras’s silver collection is a long way off. He might join the Top 10 next year if he collects another major.

02-02-2005, 12:48 AM
By Andy Schooler
January 31, 2005

Pete Sampras proved his critics wrong as he won his fifth US Open and 14th Grand Slam title in all with a four-set win over Andre Agassi.

The all-time great had looked close to retirement just two months ago when he lost to lucky loser George Bastl on his beloved Wimbledon courts.

But Sampras was a different man in New York and saved some of his best tennis for the 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-4 triumph over fellow thirtysomething Agassi.

02-02-2005, 08:22 PM
New rivalry has echoes of a golden era

By Mark Hodgkinson in Melbourne
(Filed: 01/02/2005)

Yesterday came the mildly shocking report that Lleyton Hewitt had reacted to his defeat in the final of the Australian Open by proposing to Bec Cartwright, his soapstar girlfriend of a few weeks, "with a big diamond" (how easily we all forget Kim Clijsters). Still, the most significant coupling to emerge from the tournament remains champion Marat Safin and Roger Federer. Let us hope that this one is for keeps.

What this sport needs more than anything is a proper, full-blooded rivalry, and Safin - once he has cleared what will probably be a heroic vodka-and-champagne hangover - could be the man to challenge Federer, the leading player of his generation. Several days on, tennis is still reverberating from Safin's semi-final defeat of Federer.

Safin demonstrated that Federer is not an untouchable, ending a 26-match unbeaten run with five sets of brutal shot-making. It can only be hoped that the next time that Safin and Federer meet that the Russian beats him again, and then a year which had started with talk of a Federer Grand Slam - all four majors - may develop into something even more special.

Not since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, the quiet American against the loud one, has there been a rivalry worth speaking of in men's tennis and it has been an element that has been badly missed.

02-02-2005, 08:45 PM
January 24, 2005
Ten-Year Anniversary of Emotional Sampras-Courier Tennis Match Mirrors 10 Years of the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation

In 1995, No. 1 singles player Pete Sampras came back from two sets down to defeat Jim Courier in an emotionally-charged Australian Open quarterfinal match. On Sampras' mind was his ailing coach, Tim Gullikson, who was on his way to a Chicago hospital where he was diagnosed with brain tumors.

Palm Coast, FL (PRWEB) January 24, 2005 -- On January 24, 1995, Pete Sampras played the toughest tennis match of his life and his coach, Tim Gullikson, began to fight a battle unlike any he’d ever experienced on the court.

As the Australian Open celebrates its Centennial, the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, which helps support brain tumor patients and their families, recognizes its 10th year. Both found their wings in Melbourne, one consciously, the other because of one of life’s double faults from which few recover.

Ranked No. 1 in the world ATP rankings, Sampras, along with Gullikson were in Melbourne, Australia preparing for Sampras’ tournament run when Gullikson had a seizure. Accompanied by his twin brother Tom, Tim Gullikson was admitted to a Melbourne hospital where doctors thought he had brain tumors.

“It was a very uncertain time,” Tom Gullikson recalled. “Pete came to see Tim everyday after practice and other coaches and players were taking time out of their training routines to do the same.”

Sampras, who arrived in Melbourne with a tournament title as his goal, found himself determined to play exceptional tennis for his ailing coach.

“I remember having to play knowing that Tim was not doing that well and wanting to get through some tough matches for him,” said Sampras who is retired from professional tennis.

Before Tim left Australia to travel home for further testing, close friends and associates visited to wish him well. Among them were Sampras and Jim Courier who were scheduled to play one another in a tournament quarterfinal the following day.

What happened January 24 is etched in Aussie Open archives and was the most emotional display of a coach and player bond in professional sports history. As Tim and Tom Gullikson flew home to Chicago, Courier and Sampras played a tight match. Down two sets to love, a spectator yelled to Sampras “do it for your coach,” at which point the protégé broke down on the court. He would continue the match with tears streaming throughout. Sampras played each point with heart and tenacity, and captured the next three sets and match from Courier, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

It was Tim Gullikson who helped Sampras develop the tenacity he showed on the court, even as he bowed to Andre Agassi in the Open’s title match.

“Tim’s attitude about practicing hard, his work ethic and knowledge of the game made a lasting impression on me on and off the court,” Sampras said.

Tim Gullikson used the same determination to battle brain cancer.

“This was obviously an emotional time for Tim and our family,” Tom Gullikson said, “and Tim took it at as hard as anyone would. Tim said, though, that he had two fundamental choices. He could wait to die or he could fight the brain tumors for all it was worth.”

Once Tim Gullikson knew what he was facing he developed a game plan to fight the disease that is the No. 2 cause of cancer deaths in children and young adults, and the No. 3 cause of cancer deaths in middle-aged adults. Then he turned his attention to others who fought the disease. If he, who had a loving and supportive family and the best medical attention available found it challenging to find information about how to live with this disease on a daily basis, how would other patients and caregivers cope?

“Tim said if someone had to face something as serious as brain tumors, it was good that it was him because he had so much support from family and friends,” Tom Gullikson said. “He reverted to a coach’s role. Tim believed in incorporating the principles of team-building, mental attitude development and coaching on how to best treat and live with the illness to create a source where patients and families could go for information and fill a gap in doctor’s offices.”

Tim Gullikson, with Tom, wife Rosemary and other family members founded the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation.

“Tim continued to coach Pete over the phone,” Tom Gullikson said. “Paul Annacone was brought in to coach Pete on-site on an interim basis. Tim fully expected to return to Pete’s side as his coach.

“Tim handled everything with amazing fight, hope and a positive attitude. He never had a bad day.”

Although Tim Gullikson died on May 3, 1996, his legacy lives on. Ten years and more than $3 million dollars later, the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation awards scholarships to college-bound students whose lives have been affected by brain tumors, supports research regarding quality of life issues that confront brain tumor patients, provides camp scholarships to children who are brain tumor survivors to attend Ronald McDonald Good Time Camps, funds social workers on the East and West coasts and in the Midwest who have developed social service programs for, and provide support via a toll-free telephone line and the Internet, to brain tumor patients ,caregivers and brain tumor networking groups.

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation played an instrumental role in developing the Brain Tumor Family Support Center at Duke University Medical Center, a model support program for large teaching hospitals.

In 2005, the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary. In launching a yearlong celebration, benefits will be held throughout the United States beginning in March with Desert Smash in California and Tennis for Tim in Southeastern Wisconsin.

“The Foundation has done such a wonderful job at keeping Tim’s vision firmly intact, and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so,” Sampras said.

According to Tim’s wife, Rosemary Gullikson, Tim was always a coach who cared about other people and their needs. As the Foundation that bears his and his brother’s names recognizes its 10th anniversary, she believes that the Foundation’s programs pay tribute to that legacy.

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation was founded in 1995 by former tennis professionals Tim and Tom Gullikson and their families after Tim was diagnosed with brain tumors. The mission of the Foundation is to assist brain tumor patients and their families manage the physical, emotional and social challenges presented by the illness. It funds care and support programs of organizations with similar missions, and through college and camp scholarships. The Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. It may be reached at 1-888-GULLIKSON and www.gulliksonfoundation.org.

# # #

02-04-2005, 07:39 PM
Feb 4, 2005
Calendar Is Getting Crowded

By Lisa Dillman, Times Staff Writer

Two events in Southern California, running back to back, may make for a crowded tennis calendar in March. But for the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells, congestion may not be such a bad thing.

The first week of the tournament also features a two-day fundraiser, the Desert Smash, at the La Quinta Resort & Club, March 9-10, to benefit the Tim and Tom Gullikson foundation. Among those scheduled to participate are Pete Sampras, Todd Martin, Mardy Fish, Bob and Mike Bryan, and Capriati.

02-05-2005, 04:45 PM
Be the one-handed backhand master
Feb 5, 2005

The one-handed backhand looks like one of the hardest shots in tennis.

But with a bit of practice, it can become one of the most satisfying shots in the book.

Not only is it a very useful defensive tool but the best tennis players use it as a devastating attacking weapon.

Pete Sampras spent four years turning his two-fisted backhand into a one-handed shot - and look where it got him!

02-07-2005, 06:15 PM
Feb 5, 2005


Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson

Barkley on Tim Duncan: "I call him Pete Sampras. We’re going to miss him when he's gone, because he's not flamboyant. Pete Sampras, probably the best tennis player of all time, but he's not flamboyant. I love the big 'Groundhog Day'."

02-09-2005, 11:15 PM
February 08, 2005

Burke's backdrop

Story by Justin Rodriguez

Year 2000. :wavey: :worship: :angel: :worship: :angel:

The world of sports: Yankees defeat Mets in five games to win third straight World Series ... Pete Sampras wins Wimbledon, earning his record 13th grand slam.

02-15-2005, 11:02 PM
Stars in the valley: Week in sightings

Darrell Smith
The Desert Sun
February 15, 2005

If you know their names, saw them on television or on the big screen, read about them in a magazine or online, they're the notable and the famous and odds are they were in the Coachella Valley last week.

Testing that theory as we do every Tuesday, here we go with another week of desert celebrity sightings.

Holding serve

Tennis deity Pete Sampras held court at his regular desert hang, Sullivan's Steakhouse at The Gardens at El Paseo in Palm Desert. Joining him was pal, actor Luke Wilson, he of "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Bottle Rocket" and "Legally Blonde" fame

02-19-2005, 08:27 PM
Al - Hayat


Schumacher Aiming for Yet Another Title
Reuters 2005/02/18


Brazilian Rubens Barrichello once likened Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher to a sumo wrestler.

The seven-times world champion is certainly awesome, easily the most successful racer in Formula One history with a string of records set to stand for as long as he lives.

Max Mosley, president of Formula One's governing body, also sees the 36-year-old German as a wrestler, but in his case more like the masked grapplers of 1960s Spain.

"He's one of those sporting phenomena isn't he, he's like Muhammad Ali or (Pete) Sampras or Tiger Woods at his peak...it's the 'I was there, I saw him do that' appeal," said the International Automobile Federation head.

02-28-2005, 01:53 PM

Tennis mailbag, with CNN's Candy Reid
Sunday, February 27, 2005 Posted: 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)

• Tennis Mailbag, February 9

(CNN) -- Do you have a question about tennis for World Sport Anchor Candy Reid? E-mail candy@cnn.com.

Q. Who do you think are the top 5 players of all time -- men and women? Omar El Hageen Omar.

A. great question for a dinner debate! Here we go in order:


1. Pete Sampras -- 14 Grand Slams (but of course no French Open title)
2. Rod Laver -- the Australian was the first tennis millionaire
3. Bjorn Borg -- Mr. Cool -- a brilliant tactician, will be remembered for his duels with McEnroe.
4. John McEnroe -- talent out of every pore with his half-volley being the best in the game.
5. Roger Federer -- 4 majors to his name already and plenty more to come. The complete player.


1. Martina Navratilova -- she's won all the big ones in singles, doubles and mixed, and is still going strong at 48.
2. Steffi Graf -- the best athlete the game has ever seen -- and what about that forehand!
3. Billie-Jean King - 39 Grand Slam titles -- a legend.
4. Maureen Connolly -- she may have been little but her game certainly wasn't.
5. Chris Evert -- that double-handed backhand helped her win 18 Grand Slams and if it hadn't been for Navratilova, she would have won many more.

03-07-2005, 08:51 PM

Legacy Villas Desert Smash Presented by Jaguar and Land Rover Benefiting the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation heats up effort to support brain tumor patients and their families.

La Quinta, Calif. ---- Fourteen-time Grand Slam tennis champion Pete Sampras and 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova headline a roster of present and former athletes at Legacy Villas Desert Smash Presented by Jaguar and Land Rover Benefiting the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, March 9-10, 2005 at La Quinta Resort & Club.

The event launches the 10-year anniversary of the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation which was founded by tennis professionals Tim & Tom Gullikson and their families after Tim was diagnosed with brain tumors in 1995. At the time of diagnosis, Tim Gullikson was coach to then No. 1 ranked Sampras.

A tennis pro-am and exhibition kicks off Legacy Villas Desert Smash on Wednesday, March 9, and will be followed by a cocktail party and silent auction and gala dinner and live auction hosted by sports commentator and writer, Bud Collins. Joe Pesci, an Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor for his role in GoodFellas and noted actor in such films as Raging Bull and the Lethal Weapon series, will host a golf pro-am, March 10.

“TENacious Teamwork” is the theme of The Legacy Villas Desert Smash and the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation’s 10-year fund raising efforts. It reflects the dedicated collaboration of health, sports and entertainment professionals who have helped to develop and contribute to programs that assist brain tumor patients and their families with the physical, emotional and social challenges of the disease.

“The Foundation has done such a wonderful job at keeping Tim’s vision firmly intact and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so,” Sampras said.

Other tennis professionals who are scheduled to participate in Legacy Villas Desert Smash are the top-ranked doubles team Bob & Mike Bryan, Todd Martin, Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish, Grand Slam champion Jennifer Capriati, James Blake, Xavier Malisse and British sensation, Tim Henman.

Foundation Chairman, Tom Gullikson said that it was just like Tim to think of others when he was served the biggest challenge of his life.

“Tim said if someone had to face something as serious as brain tumors, it was good that it was him because he had tremendous support from family and friends,” Tom Gullikson said.

“He reverted to a coach’s role. Tim believed in incorporating the principles of team-building, mental attitude development and coaching on how to best treat and live with the illness to create a source where patients and families could go for information and fill a gap in doctor’s offices.”

Event Director, Ryan Macaulay, a longtime supporter of the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, said that he’s pleased to be a part of a dedicated group that is recognizing the organization’s first decade.

“We're thrilled that La Quinta and so many players have committed to support the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation as it celebrates its 10th year,” Macaulay said. “With such busy schedules, we're grateful for them giving their time to help support brain tumor patients and their families by participating in Legacy Villas Desert Smash.”

Legacy Villas Desert Smash coincides with the Pacific Life Open professional tournament at nearby Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which features the top-ranked ATP and WTA tour players.

Although Tim Gullikson died on May 3, 1996, his legacy lives on. Ten years and more than $3 million dollars later, the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation awards scholarships to college-bound students whose lives have been affected by brain tumors; supports research regarding quality of life issues that confront brain tumor patients; provides camp scholarships to children who are brain tumor survivors to attend Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times; funds brain tumor networking groups and social workers on the East and West coasts and in the Midwest who have developed social service programs for, and provide support via a toll-free telephone line and the Internet, to brain tumor patients and caregivers.

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation further played an instrumental role in developing the Brain Tumor Family Support Center at Duke University Medical Center, a model support program for large teaching hospitals.

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

Those who wish to obtain more information about Legacy Villas Desert Smash may call (310) 562-7316..

03-08-2005, 09:35 PM
Posted 3/7/05

From The
Press Box
Mike Lopresti

The sports man of the moment? Call him Ivan

A candid question must now be asked of American men's tennis.
This vast nation has enough courts to asphalt Montana, and players by the millions. It has windscreens and ball machines and lessons for the kids on Saturday morning, while the mothers wait in minivans. Shoes and racquets and club memberships and private tutors and overpriced shirts form a multibillion-dollar industry.

Look what happens to the greats. John McEnroe had his own TV talk show. Pete Sampras is married to a movie star.

All those blessings, and we can't find anyone to beat a bald guy from Croatia? On a court in California?

Apparently not.

In case you were distracted over the weekend by Martha Stewart going free to pursue her casseroles, the United States was wiped out in the first round of the Davis Cup. Just like the SWAC champion will be in the NCAA Tournament next week.

It was meant to be different. The Yanks trotted out big guns old and young, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick. The match against Croatia was played in Carson, Calif., and it was supposed to be like Tampa Bay going into Yankee Stadium. The United States had never lost a first-round match on home soil since the Davis Cup began, which was 1900.

But all that changed faster than you can say Ivan Ljubicic. He's the swashbuckler who blew through Agassi, and then the American doubles team, and then Roddick. It must have been like watching one man with a hammer dismantle an apartment complex.

"I could go on forever," Ljubicic said. "I had that feeling."

His feat, for my dough, makes him the man of the moment in sports after the past frantic weekend. Never mind Tiger Woods outgunning Phil Mickelson, or North Carolina rushing past Duke as Sean May got about a thousand rebounds, or Shaq turning 33 as the Miami heat won again, or the kid from Ohio State who shot a hole in Illinois' unbeaten record, just before the buzzer proclaimed the Illini perfect.

For the marquee we present the guy who skipped out of Bosnia ahead of the bombs and mortar shells as a teenager, and is now 6-0 against the United States in two Davis Cup routs, and knocked over the top American names last weekend as if they were dominos.

I know what you're thinking. The Davis Cup? ZZZZZZ. Hardly anyone understands when it starts or when it ends or who plays whom next, or where, or why. Nobody remembers who won last year, which makes it not unlike the Pro Bowl.

Still, this was a little embarrassing, enduring a first-round eviction at home by Croatia. Or, more accurately, by one Croatian sensation.

It probably sends a message about the ambiguous state of men's tennis leadership in the United States. The Agassi era is winding down. Roddick still has a level to climb to catch up to his potential. After him, are only faces in the crowd.

Whether the Davis Cup is an accurate measure of where men's tennis is going can be questioned. But one trend is unmistakable. Ivan Ljubicic knows how to beat Americans, like the Patriots know how to beat the Colts.

So the weekend headlines provided fodder for the future.

Woods and Mickelson look to resuming their shootouts at the Players Championship and Masters. "I want to be head-to-head against him again," Mickelson said.

Illinois, now slightly mussed, prepares for the imminent thunder of the NCAA tournament.

As for the United States in Davis Cup, this mighty tennis power may have to start at the bottom of next year's qualifying, playing other low performers. India, they say, is a possible opponent.

03-09-2005, 09:31 PM
March 9 , 2005

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation continues its mission to assist brain tumor patients and families like the Rileys when it hosts a fund raiser March 9 and 10, 2005 at La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif. Legacy Villas Desert Smash expects tennis starts such as Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, defending Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and celebrities including Joe Pesci for the two-day tennis and golf pro-am, gala dinner and auction to launch the Foundation’s 10th anniversary.
Event information is available by calling (310) 562-7316. To make a donation or learn more about the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, call 1-888-GULLIKSON.
The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, assists brain tumor patients and their families deal with the physical, social and emotional challenges presented by the illness.

03-10-2005, 03:48 AM
its good that pete helps the cancer tumour patience :wavey: , he is so kind :)

03-10-2005, 06:57 PM
its good that pete helps the cancer tumour patience :wavey: , he is so kind :)

Yes he is - did you know that in 1990, when he won is first grand slam cup, he gave US$250,000 to the American Cancer Society - yes he did. :angel: :angel:

03-11-2005, 08:46 PM
Australian Open Trivia

March 11, 2005

Rod Laver played most of the 1961 Australian Open with a sprained wrist tightly bandaged and splinted with broken up matchboxes.

The 1972 Australian Open final at Kooyong was billed the 'Battle of the Vets' contested, as it was, by 37-year-old Ken Rosewall and Mal Anderson who was 37 years and 10 months old.

When Pete Sampras won the men's singles title In 1994 he became the sixth man to win three-consecutive Grand Slam championships.

Margaret Court ran the streets of Sydney at 4.30am every day with her coach Keith Rogers to improve her fitness.

03-12-2005, 07:38 PM
MCAL tennis preview: Marin's bumper crop

By Holly Woolard, IJ correspondent

March 12, 2005.

Remember not so long ago when Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Todd Martin, David Wheaton and Mal Washington dominated men's tennis?

Born within a few years of one another, the Americans fed off their compatriots' success. Even when they were juniors, they pushed each other, so it was no surprise they all raised their games as pros.

Marin County boys tennis is experiencing a similar chain reaction, and the rest of the North Coast Section should take note. Redwood High is so talented and deep it's scary, boldly pursuing Marin County Athletic League, NCS and NorCal team championships.

No Marin boys team has ever won the NCS team title in the six years it has been contested. Marin is also in a major drought when it comes to boys singles titles, the last one coming in 1987 compliments of Redwood's Matt Holt.

Redwood not only returns defending NCS doubles champs Eric and Spencer MacColl, but also features four or five other guys who could challenge for No. 1 at most schools, including freshman Andrew Kells, one of the top 14-year-olds in the country.

Tam, which defeated Redwood in the MCAL playoffs last year, returns its top singles players, including defending league doubles champions Scott and Alex Chun. That's right. The Chun twins, regarded as the best 16 doubles team in NorCal, beat the MacColl twins in the MCAL doubles final before the MacColls prevailed at NCS.

Drake freshman Sky Lovill has already knocked off Scott Chun and Redwood's Gorjan Kovacevic, league runner-up in singles last season. And don't forget about Marin Academy's Zach Gilbert, who beat Lovill in the finals of the Oakland City Junior Open last month.

Is it a coincidence that Marin County has a core group of at least 20 boys who regularly play on the USTA junior circuit? Possibly. But one local pro suggests that success is breeding success, much like the American men in the mid-90s.

"It builds upon itself," said Steve Jackson, the director of tennis at Tiburon Peninsula Club. "They push each other along. They pull up the other guys."

Jackson has had a bird's-eye view of this emerging talent. TPC offers high-performance clinics for ranked juniors on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A similar program is held at Belvedere Tennis Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

First-year Redwood coach Gene Phillips is a firm believer in high-performance clinics, allowing his players to miss regularly-scheduled team practices for sessions with local pros. Some high school players have opted to bypass high school tennis in order to train on their own, especially since USTA rankings and tournament performances carry much more clout than prep tennis when it comes to college scholarships.

"I believe if they can get a better practice day somewhere else they should," said Phillips, a former pro at Mt. Tam Racquet Club. "I know they have individual coaches. And it frees up the courts."

Just as success fuels competition within the county, which translates to impressive results on the regional and national scene, there's been a resurgence in high school tennis because everyone is playing.

Kells, who won the 14-and-under USTA Winter National doubles title at the end of last year, says he probably wouldn't have played high school tennis if it interfered with his training regimen. Redwood's potential for success didn't hurt either.

"We're going to try to go for the NCS title," Kells said. "I thought it would be fun. You can get in a lot of good matches. I get to hit with all the good players on the team."

Marin Academy coach Geoff Martinez, a teaching pro at Rafael Racquet, echoes Kells' sentiments. The current class of high school players allows for a marquee matchup nearly every afternoon, not just whenever Redwood and Tam square off, which happens at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the MLK courts in Sausalito.

Drake has Lovill, Marin Catholic has Jake Brougham and Branson has Mather Neill. Marin has always had its share of top-ranked juniors who have earned college scholarships, but the current overall talent pool is particularly impressive right now.

"It's a good situation," Martinez said. "The boys want to one-up each other. Getting match practice is what it's all about."

Another factor that has led to improved boys tennis in the county may be the tennis boom of the '70s and '80s. Marin's strong adult programs have created enthusiastic tennis-playing parents who have given their stamp of approval and financial support to today's youth.

Kells, for example, is the son of Mill Valley/Tiburon teaching pro Joe Kells. Zach Gilbert had a big head start thanks to his dad, Brad Gilbert, a former world top 10 player and renown coach.

"They're second generation players," Phillips said. "These kids have grown up around tennis. A lot of these kids played tennis with their parents."

The MacColl twins played at Mt. Tam with their dad, Rob, before they turned 6. Although Rob MacColl rarely hits with Eric and Spencer these days, he and his wife, Marsha, are still very involved in the twins' games. They travel to 20 USTA tournament a year, in addition to paying for club membership and clinics like the ones held at TPC.

Some high school-aged players even have personal trainers and coaches who travel with them to out-of-state tournaments.

But the pressures and rigors of national junior tennis can get a kid down. Martinez says that Zach Gilbert took a one-year hiatus from tournaments before tuning up his game for Marin Academy last year. Gilbert, a sophomore, had two set points against NCS singles champ Michael Starr of Monte Vista before falling 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second round. It was Starr's toughest match of the NCS tournament.

Although a few of Marin's top juniors are still sitting out high school tennis to focus on national junior events, most have jumped on the prep bandwagon. They can get in tough matches that do not count toward or against rankings and enjoy everything that sets team sports apart from individual sports.

"It's fun - our team," Tam's Scott Chun said. "We all like each other. If it's a home match we stay until even the last exhibition match is done."

03-14-2005, 02:35 PM
Entertainment News.

Sampras, wife expecting second child

By Associated Press

March 14, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- Former tennis star Pete Sampras and his wife are expecting a second child. Sampras and actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras are due to have the child this fall, their publicist, Deborah Grimes, said in a statement Friday.

The couple married in September 2000. Their son, Christian Sampras, is 2.

In 1990, Sampras beat rival Andre Agassi in the final to become, at 19, the youngest champion in tournament history.

Sampras retired from the tournament circuit after beating Agassi at the 2002 U.S. Open. Then 31, Sampras became the tournament's oldest winner since 1970.

03-14-2005, 09:03 PM
Turning 30 in the desert

Leighton Ginn
The Desert Sun
March 13, 2005

The Desert Sun looks back at memorable moments from the 30-year-old event now known as the Pacific Life Open (2 highilights will be added to the countdown each day):

No. 18

Maria Sharapova vs. Sesil Karatantcheva: The free-speaking 14-year-old Karatancheva said she was going to "kick (Sharapova's behind) off." Karatantcheva claimed she was suppose to play Sharapova in a practice match at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida, and heard Sharapova called it off because she didn't want to face her. "She can't call it off this time, that's for sure." Sharapova's response: "I've never even known her before, so I don't know," Sharapova said. "I've never even thought about her in my life." Sharapova won the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 19

Pete Sampras getting a wild card into qualifying: In 1988, Sampras played his way through qualifying and into the main draw, defeating Ramesh Krishnan in the first round and Eliot Teltscher in the second round before falling to Emilio Sanchez in the third round. Sanchez would reach the finals, losing to Boris Becker in the 1988 finals. Of the experience, Sampras said in 2000, "That was definitely a fun time. I'm not saying its not fun anymore, but when you're 16, you're getting points and a little bit of money. It's a pretty good high."

03-14-2005, 09:27 PM
March 13, 2005

Weekend Celebrity Update
By Kate Lanahan

Friday was a great day for tennis player Pete Sampras and his wife, Bridgette Wilson. They announced that they were expecting their second child that day. The baby is due in the fall.

03-15-2005, 09:09 PM
Posted 3/14/2005 10:01 PM




Monday, March 14

Doubles partner for Christian? Former tennis great Pete Sampras and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, are expecting a second child. The baby is due this fall and will be the couple's second. Their son, Christian Sampras, is 2. Sampras, then 31, retired from the tournament circuit after beating Andre Agassi at the 2002 U.S. Open. —Jess Zielinski, 1:15 a.m. ET

03-17-2005, 12:10 AM
T.J. Simers

Recent Columns:

This Is Why Tennis Isn't the American Pastime

March 16, 2005


I thought it might be a good writing exercise, as well as a personal challenge, to go to a tennis tournament that's being covered by Sports Editor Bill Dwyre, and not trash either one of them.

I arrived early to beat the crowd. OK, so I'm joking, but now you can see how difficult it's going to be to pull this off.

The first thing I did was take a look at the men's and the women's draw for the Pacific Life Open, obviously giddy with excitement until I noticed it read like a hockey roster: 192 names and only 31 representing the United States.

You've got Kuznetsova, Dementieva, Linetskaya, Zuluaga, Fujiwara and Kutuzova in the final 16 women here, and I'll betcha they can't even tell each other apart.

I've got nothing against foreigners — OK, so maybe the British because I've got two bloody cackling birds sitting behind me in the media room here — but I would think if you're going to have a big tournament on U.S. soil, you'd find a few more Americans who can play tennis.

We certainly have our share of rich people, who in some cases breed little brats who get to play tennis all day long at the local country club in between private lessons. But where are they? Seventeen of the top 100 men's tennis players in the world are from Spain; seven from the U.S.

I decided to investigate, certainly a sacrifice on my part, because I would be unable to watch the tennis being played while I made the rounds.

I began at the office of Charlie Pasarell, the tournament director, but instead I got an ice-cold secretary who told me Pasarell was going to be in meetings for the next three days. It's not a good sign when the tournament director locks himself behind closed doors and refuses to come out while the tournament is being played.

USTA President Franklin Johnson returned a call, even though I'd left a message asking about the future of U.S. tennis. The guy has guts.

"I think 31 U.S. players is quite good here," Johnson said (I didn't say he made a lot of sense). "Tennis is the most international sport there is. Look to the future for China's effort to pay off, and Eastern Europe."

That would suggest fewer than 31 Americans here in the future.

I called Billie Jean King's publicist, because she's on a committee to develop junior talent, but he said she wouldn't be here until Thursday to discuss World Team Tennis. I thought about canceling my trip to Las Vegas, but asked if King might call instead, and if she ever does, I'll let you know.

I asked ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe about the lack of U.S. talent in relation to the rest of the world, and who better to ask than the captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, who just got waxed?

"We've got to do a better job of developing young talent," McEnroe said, "or maybe coaches. Our players need to get hungrier, train harder. We are struggling. We have football, basketball, baseball, and tennis is not on that list. In the rest of the world, though, tennis is right there with soccer."

Gosh, it must be a drag to live elsewhere in the world.

"There's no system in this country to find young talent and develop it," said Robert Lansdorp, former coach of Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport and now working with Maria Sharapova. "You give me 100 youngsters age 8-9 who love tennis, and you give me seven years and you'll see changes. If you don't develop such a system, you come back here in 2012 and it will still be a sport dominated by international players."

You've got a date; I'll be back here in 2012.

03-17-2005, 08:02 PM
Seputar Tenis Dunia
Selasa, 15 Maret 2005 pukul 15:11:46 WIB

Pete Sampras saat masih jadi pemain

New York, BOLASportsLine/ES


Pete Sampras tengah berbahagia. Pemenang 14 gelar juara seri Grand Slam ini berharap dapat mengumumkan kelahiran anak keduanya dari aktris Bridgette Wilson, pada masyarakat Amerika pada hari Minggu nanti. Putra pertama Sampras, Christian Charles, baru merayakan ulang tahun ketiganya pda bulan November lalu.

Mantan petenis yang kini berusia 34 tahun ini, mengakhiri kariernya setelah memenangkan seri Grand Slam AS Terbuka tahun 2002 dengan menundukkan Andre Agassi di final. Itu merupakan gelar kelimanya di Flushing Meadows.

Sampras juga memenangkan tujuh gelar Wimbledon dan dua gelar Australia Terbuka dalam 15 tahun kariernya di tenis profesional. Dan juga uang sebanyak 4,3 juta dolar AS dari prize-money-nya.
Tyas Soemarto

03-18-2005, 08:29 PM
Anast has eyes on first trip to state

Thursday, March 17, 2005
By Lawrence Kreifels
The Argus

Sophomore Dimitri Anast grew up admiring the tennis feats of Pete Sampras, and in a way, resembles the former No. 1 player in the world.

Except for the serve, of course.

"Not even close," Anast said with a laugh.

Aloha's left-handed No. 1 singles player admits his serve is his weakness, but that's about his only weakness on the court.

"He's got a good head on his shoulders on the court and a strong forehand," Aloha coach Kurt Lindner said. "He's very consistent and doesn't let a lot of things get to him."

Anast barely missed qualifying for the state tournament as a freshman, something that didn't sit too well with him.

"I was one off last year and that kind of upset me," he said. "Getting to state is definitely one of my goals."

To attain that, and many other goals, Anast works year-round on his game and is taking a more aggressive approach this season.

"I'm going for it more this year," he said. "I'm going for more winners, less on trying ti keep it in."

Anast said his shot placement is one of his biggest strengths, but the deception of being left-handed helps a little, too.

"I like being left-handed for the serve, and you have a slight advantage," he said. "A lot of people just don't even like the game style -- they're not used to it. I'm not even used to it when I play a lefty."

Anast's sophomore season got off to a good start on Tuesday, as he defeated McMinnville junior Micah Gregory, a state qualifier last season.

Anast took an early 2-0 lead in the first set before Gregory stormed back to take a 3-2 advantage. Anast broke Gregory's serve to tie the set at three games apiece, and broke Gregory's serve twice more to win the first set, 6-4.

The win helped the Warriors to a 7-1 team win over the Grizzlies.

The Warriors finished 5-4, fifth in the Metro League last season. But Lindner is looking for improvement, and thinks he has the right combination for a step up the league ladder.

"We've got some strong senior leadership and a pretty solid singles lineup," Lindner said. "They're working hard and they're hustling. Our doubles isn't quite as deep as I'd like it to be, but we've got some JV guys knocking on the door to get up there. It's a good group of guys with real good camaraderie."

As the season gets underway, senior captain Eric Hagen is Aloha's No. 2 singles player, followed by juniors Chong Shin and Daniel Cheng.

The Warriors pair senior Theo Clark and senior German exchange student Korbinian Luderboeck at No. 1 doubles.

Anast has been the Warriors' No. 1 singles player since the day he arrived at the school, and Lindner feels the growing consistency, strength, and determination at the top of his lineup will set the tone for the rest of the team.

"Last year Dimitri wasn't as physically strong as he is this year," Lindner said. "He's put on a little wieight and he's hitting the ball harder. He's a hard worker. He has basically dedicated himself and committed himself to tennis."

Anast and the Warriors continue non-league play today (Thursday) at home against Newberg beginning at 4 p.m.

03-19-2005, 07:20 PM


March 19, 2005

After seven Wimbledon titles, the words by Simon Barnes that moved a champion to tears

By Neil Harman


IT HAS taken many events and many people to move Pete Sampras to tears. Marriage, becoming a father, seven Wimbledon triumphs and . . . Simon Barnes, our Chief Sports Writer.

Let Sampras explain. “There were times when nobody wrote about me at Wimbledon at all. I didn’t exactly court popularity and when I won the title for the first time, in 1993, I was boring, then when I beat (Goran) Ivanisevic the next year, the tennis was boring, then in 1995, when I beat Boris (Becker), I was the best thing since sliced bread.

“I kept away from the papers during the championships but I had a ritual when I won the title that, on the flight home, Paul (Annacone, his coach) and I would buy all the papers and I’d luxuriate for a while. It became part of my celebration. I thought, ‘Just enjoy it Pete’.

“One time, I’m sure it was after I had beaten Pat Rafter for my last title, I read a piece by Simon Barnes in The Times that moved me to tears. I wish I could remember the words. It wasn’t something I was used to from anyone. I felt really appreciated, I felt great.”

Under the headline "Struggle with history for champion Sampras", Simon Barnes wrote this article in The Times of July 10, 2000:

I SUPPOSE, when a man has 12 grand-slam titles to his name and he has held the world No 1 ranking for six years in succession, it is a bit strong to call him a choker. But to watch the men’s singles final at Wimbledon on television was to look into the eyes of an almost incomprehensibly successful man — and to read a million doubts.

And yet it is all there to be read from the past, for those who have any notion of tennis history. Pete Sampras won his first grand-slam title, the US Open, at the age of 19, stunningly young to win a major in the men’s game. And it came close to destroying him. He went into a deep decline, spoke almost despairingly of the weight of being a champion.

His nature and his temperament were taken scathingly to task by various luminaries of the game. How is it possible for a man to be (a) a champion and (b) a sensitive soul? A good question. No doubt it makes it far more difficult. And Sampras clearly is a sensitive soul, hard though he has sought to conceal that fact from the world.

And, in fact, it was not until Sampras lost that title the next year that he began to regroup. No one then would have predicted that he would become the most implacable champion of the modern age, perhaps of all time. Time and again we have seen him raise his game to unguessed-at heights at the hardest times. Wimbledon has been his special time and place: he had been winner there six times in seven years.

All the time he has had nothing to declare but his genius, scarcely showing us his emotions. Sampras is about the pursuit of perfection. Many tennis players wear their hearts on their sleeves. Sampras wears his in his chest.

It makes for constantly intriguing television: you see the majestic tennis and then you look into his eyes and see no triumph. You, rarely, see his opponents temporarily gain the upper hand, and yet Sampras’s eyes show neither doubt nor fear.

Until yesterday. Quite unexpectedly, we saw Sampras with self-doubt. Mind you, it was an amazing thing to have a moment of doubt about. When he was 19 he doubted he had the right to be called a champion. Now, at the age of 28, he had to ask himself if he had the right to be called the greatest champion of all time. It is the sort of idea that makes a man think, especially if he is a sensitive soul.

And Sampras thought. For he had won 12 grand-slam titles going into this match, sharing the all-time record with Roy Emerson. One more and he would be out on his own.

It is a prodigious thing to take on board and for long periods of this strange, rain- interrupted day, Sampras wondered if he was the man to do it. Sampras was fraught. As he had once felt the weight of a championship heavy on his shoulders, now he felt the weight of history.

No wonder he could not convert ten break points that he had earned for himself. In the first set, he dominated, holding easily and putting his opponent, Pat Rafter, deep into trouble on his serve. And yet he could not make the breakthrough.

And in the tie-break — well, I can hardly believe I am keying the words in here — Sampras lost by serving two successive double faults. I mean, this is Sampras, this is his serve, this is Wimbledon, this is the final. Sampras does not do that.

But he did yesterday. Rafter, an opponent with a vast all-court range and a deep-seated dislike of losing so much as a point, was going to make Sampras dig deep into himself.

That roar, that air punch: I have never seen Sampras do that and it was only a winner in the second-set tie-break. Sampras does not celebrate, he gets on with it. It meant so much. He was fighting for history and, for once, fighting his own nature.

He had to step beyond his own vision of himself, just as he had to after he had won that first championship. And so he closed out that second-set tie-break to level the match. The tide had turned.

After that, as the two men played into the gloom, it was going to be Sampras’s day. The screen filled with shots of Sampras embracing his parents and the day closed in a fog of emotion. A great athlete: to defeat all those opponents and to win those two decisive battles against himself. We will not see a better champion in anything, ever.

Thank you Simon Barnes, excellent read. :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

03-19-2005, 07:31 PM


March 19, 2005

Henman 'a talent who can yet win in SW19'
By Neil Harman

“THINK of the magnitude of Tim Henman winning Wimbledon. That would have to be the biggest individual thing in the history of British sport, wouldn’t it? That’s a lot of pressure for the kid to feel. And he does feel it.”

It is funny to hear 33-year-old Pete Sampras talking about a 30-year-old as a kid. Sampras says he was born to win Wimbledon; Henman still senses it is his destiny. “You need a strong belief, sure,” Sampras said. “Is Tim the best player in the world? No. Is he a truly great player? No. But he is an extremely talented player and if things fall into place it can happen.

“He needs the right players to lose, he needs to be scheduled at the right time, he needs to shut out the voices he doesn’t need to hear. I had the single-minded focus that he is still trying to find.”

Henman has described the British tennis press as “the worst in the world” and Sampras said that the nation’s No 1 is sensitive to criticism. “But there are things you can do,” he said. “I remember being in an elevator with him once and his mobile phone rang. It was a British journalist. I said, ‘Tim, what are you doing? Why does a journalist have your cell number? Is that a part of your profession you have to deal with?’

“When I was competing I couldn’t have handled that. I couldn’t have a really close relationship with anyone in the media, so I never gave any of them my number. Tim really is too nice, he doesn’t want to upset anybody.

“Every day you wake up and you only have so much energy for something. My energy was training to get better and to win. I didn’t want anything to get in my way and I made sure it didn’t. I would have liked not to have had to talk to anybody, especially early on.”

Sampras is passionate about Wimbledon and was saddened to hear about their change of heart about building a roof over Centre Court, planned for 2008. “I don’t like it,” he said. “I think it’s a huge advantage to British players and the top guys who will play on Centre Court, but others might have to wait four days to play. It’s unfair, like playing two different events at one time.

“I can see how it makes sense business-wise, for the fans, for television. It is difficult playing Wimbledon. I remember once starting on Monday and not playing until Friday and it made you apprehensive in a special way.

“But there’s no other place like it. It had a profound effect on me, which made it bigger than tennis in my mind. I really miss Wimbledon. I miss everything about it. As a shy, introverted person, it was the one place I could really show off.”

03-19-2005, 07:36 PM
Sampras: Henman needs luck at Wimbledon

Pete Sampras believes Tim Henman is still capable of winning Wimbledon. But the seven-times SW19 champion reckons the 30-year-old Briton needs a bit of luck. "He needs the right players to lose; his matches to be scheduled at the right time and needs to shut out the voice he doesn't need to hear."


Sampras, who won 14 major championship titles, told The Times of London on Saturday, "You need a strong belief, sure.”

“Is Tim the best player in the world? No. Is he a truly great player? No. But he is an extremely talented player and if things fall into place it can happen.

“He needs the right players to lose, he needs to be scheduled at the right time, he needs to shut out the voices he doesn't need to hear. I had the single-minded focus that he is still trying to find.”


Having retired in 2003 at a special U.S. Open ceremony, the 33-year-old is saddened to hear about Wimbledon's plans to build a roof over Centre Court for the 2008 championships.

“I don't like it,” he said.

“I can see how it makes sense business-wise, for the fans, for television. It is difficult playing Wimbledon.

"I remember once starting on Monday and not playing until Friday and it made you apprehensive in a special way. But there's no other place like it.

"It had a profound effect on me, which made it bigger than tennis in my mind. I really miss Wimbledon. I miss everything about it. As a shy, introverted person, it was the one place I could really show off.”

Eurosport - J - 19/03/2005

03-19-2005, 07:56 PM


March 19, 2005

'I'm done. I've nothing left to give, nothing to prove'
By Neil Harman

Nearly two years on, Pete Sampras breaks his silence to talk about the moment he knew he had to retire


HE SKIPS from his golf buggy in jeans and trainers — country club dress codes are not nearly so strict as they are in England, it seems — and what strikes you first is that Pete Sampras is the personification of contentment. Second is the apparent pleasure he takes from the idea of spending an hour with someone whose job is to pry. Heavens, how he has changed. Retirement suits a 33-year-old, with a second child on the way, who does not have to wrestle with the concept of a mortgage.

It is 19 months since tennis waved off arguably its greatest champion and he has barely said a word to anyone in the sport since. He had never given more of himself than was absolutely necessary when he played with such majesty and that he disappeared from view after a raw night in New York — the image of Sampras, shoulders hunched and eyes watery, as he realised it was all over is still vivid — was not a grand surprise. The Howard Hughes persona sits well with him.

That we are in the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, California, the town that rubs shoulders with Indian Wells, and that Sampras has no intention of poking his head around the door to see what is going on at the Pacific Life Open, one of the leading events on the tennis calendar, bears this out. Is he not just a bit intrigued?

“No, not really,” he said. “The first time you will see me will be Wimbledon, because that’s the way I want it. That’s the way it should be. Tim Phillips (the All England Club chairman) asked me to come the year after I’d stopped playing, but that was too soon. I would like to go when my son — maybe sons — are older. I’d love to sit with them in the royal box and just watch.

“Remember, tennis had been my whole life, it took me over completely. It was a tough sport, one that showed your true character out there, which I loved. But by the end I was holding on so tight to win that record fourteenth grand-slam (title) and only when I did it, I could breathe again. I was on my last fume against Andre (Agassi) in that fourth set in the (2002 US) Open final. If I hadn’t have served it out when I did, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Sampras did not call it quits on that spectacular night but something inside him said enough was enough. He began withdrawing from tournaments and when he called Paul Annacone, his coach, to his home in Beverly Hills on the proviso of knuckling down to practise for Wimbledon 2003, he knew deep down that he would not be making the journey.

“I thought, OK, this is Wimbledon I’m getting ready for, but on the third day I said: ‘Paul, let’s not kid ourselves, I don’t want to practise. I’m done, I’ve nothing left to give and nothing left to prove to myself.’ That was when I knew I was going to retire, but how would I do it?

“Friends said I should go to New York, to the Open, but I worried about exposing myself emotionally. The USTA said they’d love to honour me there and I thought, umm, OK, I’ll go. I didn’t spend any time before it reflecting on my career, I didn’t know what I’d feel, but on the way to the site, a trip I’d made hundreds of times, it suddenly hit me in the face and in the gut. My career was over.”

What a career: 14 grand-slam triumphs stretching from 1990 to 2002, including seven Wimbledons, and 64 titles in all, winning £25 million in prize-money. Six times in a row he ended the year as the world No 1 and it was all done with a style and self-effacement that made one want to know more.

For this was the inscrutability of Sampras, who found press conferences a chilling experience, who craved universal acknowledgement but preferred no fuss, who would have chosen to lead an anonymous life but who had it in him to be the best in the world at his chosen sport. And who, finally, married an actress and went to live in Los Angeles, one of the few who did both to escape the world rather than show off to it. He lives in a Tudor house on a hill, “tucked away”, he said. Just as he likes it.

He was there after “the surrealism” of Flushing Meadows and his farewell, thrashing around with his feelings. “I had began to resent the sport, I had let it affect me so much,” he said. “I remember playing golf with (Jimmy) Connors and he said that when you stop you don’t want anything to do with tennis. You don’t want to read about it, watch it, talk about it, you want to get as far away from it as possible. That happened to me.”

He gave a long sigh before adding: “There was no more pressure, no more stress.” But something had to fill the void. “I’ve been playing a ton of golf and my wife is pregnant, so I’ve done a little bit of that . . .” His laughter, something we had longed to hear when he played, filled the air of the Bighorn clubhouse.

“Bridgette and I are remodelling our house,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of time and money. I’ve been asked to play some (tennis) but I’m not interested. Nothing prepares you for stopping, there is no book on how to retire. Has it really been nearly three years?

“I’ve had my camp-feverish moments — what am I going to do today? I’ve started working out, spending a lot of time with my wife and kid and that’s fine, but I’ve always been a focused, competitive athlete. There will be nothing ever to replace what I had in tennis. I’m still going through the transition.

“The ironic thing is that sport exposed me more than anything else in life. I had only known one thing since I was 8 years old and once I got serious there was no hiding place, which is why I love the home I have now.

"In tennis, no one takes your shots. As defensively reserved as I am, I had to cope with layers being peeled away from me, with what happened in Moscow (when he overcame terrible cramps to lead the United States to victory in the Davis Cup final in 1995), Australia (when he cried his eyes out on the realisation that Tim Gullikson, his coach, was dying in 1995) and the US Open (when he vomited on court playing Alex Corretja in 1996 and was accused of faking).

“I had no control over these things and that is what sport did to me. But I had a desire to be the best and I was willing to sacrifice everything to make it.

“There were great high points — winning Wimbledon (in 2000) when my parents were there for the first time and sharing that with them. The 2002 US Open was for my wife, who was pregnant with Christian and yet was being blamed for what had gone wrong with my tennis over the two previous years.

“They (the press) said I got married and I was lazy, but I was just tired. The low point in life was dealing with Tim’s death, because death is something I’d never confronted before. It has been nine years and I still think of him constantly. In tennis, it was losing to (George) Bastl at Wimbledon in 2002. Do you know what was weird? I got to the press conference and I could feel I was going to cry. I got home and I did cry. I was so hurt, so sad, so very sad. It was the lowest I’d been as a tennis player.”

During that match, Sampras prised a letter from his racket bag and read it over and over. In it, Bridgette professed her love for him, whatever the result. It did not matter to her. He welled up.

That Sampras married an actress is hard to reconcile. “You have to find the right actress,” he said. “If Bridgette had been a glitzy glamour girl, I wouldn’t have gone out with her and certainly not married her. Once I got to know her family, where she came from, what she was like, I was totally comfortable. I couldn’t have lasted two dates if it involved being dragged from premiere to premiere.”

Sampras yearned acceptance, but his introvert nature had little appeal to the outside world. “I always wondered why, instead of taking me for what I am, it was always about what I’m not,” he said. “They didn’t want the reserved, quiet guy, they wanted me to do or say something to make their jobs easier. Do I feel the mainstream media didn’t appreciate me? Absolutely.

“From grand slams two ’til nine I got a reasonable response, nothing great; then from nine and ten onwards, as the record got closer, I found more people willing to appreciate. I was one of those who was happy to let my racket do the talking in a society that wanted more than just a great tennis player. I became very sensitive early on but it got to the point where, sure, I cared, but I just cared less.”

Today he will play a round of golf — he has a handicap of six — take Christian, his “extremely energetic” 2-year-old, to the range, work out for a couple of hours, then have a quiet dinner with Bridgette. No rush. No bother.

He has financial interests in Tennis magazine and the embryonic Tennis Channel, he may put some cash into NetJet, a company involved in private jets (not bad for someone who, when he won his first tournament in Philadelphia in 1990, feared the plane might crash and he would not be able to spend his $130,000 winner’s cheque).

He plays Texas Hold ’Em, the popular poker variety, a couple of times a week with his country club set. Pistol Pete to Poker Pete. Quite some transformation. Quite some man.

The legend

Sampras became the youngest person, at 19, to win the US Open, in 1990

He won seven Wimbledon titles (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000), five US Opens (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 2002) and two Australian Opens (1994 and 1997)

He holds the greatest number of Wimbledon men’s singles titles (7)

With 14 grand-slam titles to his name, he holds the record for the greatest number achieved in a lifetime

He had 64 singles titles and 762 career victories, winning $43,280,489 overall

03-19-2005, 08:07 PM

Leading articles

March 19, 2005

Peter the Silent

Speak seldom and carry a big racket: you will go far


Shooting from the lip does not always serve an ace. Today our tennis correspondent publishes the first major interview with Pete Sampras since he retired nearly two years ago. The greatest tennis champion that the world has seen is a paragon of reticence.

He is counterintuitive in our world of mass celebrity, soundbites and public gossip. Silence is no longer golden. It is counted as the modern sin. But it has had champions before Sampras. Clement Atlee and Harry Truman were taciturn compared with modern statesmen, who spout hot air as constantly as kettles. But they rate highly in the league tables. Greta Garbo became a legendary film star by refusing to give interviews. Clint Eastwood shines more brightly than his younger successors by keeping his mouth buttoned. He snarled: “Go ahead, make my day,” through pursed lips, and only because it was in the script: never to piranha interviewers. Tiger Woods and David Beckham address the press only rarely, but never say anything. Martin Johnson and our own Jonny Wilkinson focus on the next game rather than the publicity apparatus.

“Laconic” is the eponym of the Lacedaemonians. Philip of Macedon wrote to them: “If I enter Sparta, I will level Sparta to the ground.” The ephors replied with a monosyllable: “If.” For a century Sparta ruled the world and defeated the chatterbox Athenians.

Einstein was a laconic ace, not just because what he had to say was incomprehensible to most. Sampras is a champion of Einstein’s only intelligible quote: “If A is a success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.” Unfashionable, perhaps; but ace advice, Pete.

03-21-2005, 08:32 PM

COUNTERVIEW: Genes determine quality of sportsmanship

[ TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2005 12:00:26 AM ]

Is it our genes which prevent us from producing an Edwin Moses or a Marion Jones? Or for that matter a Venus Williams or Pete Sampras? Yes, say experts, it is our Indianness which keeps us from excelling on the field. Many may argue that nurture not nature is the crucial input for the making of a world-class sportsperson.

But if the nurture theory is valid, what explains why athletes from some of the poorest African nations make it to the top in the Olympics in the same bracket as athletes from the developed nations? It has to do with their genetic make-up which predisposes them to higher levels of fitness. It is our genes which determine our cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular, metabolic, hormonal and thermo-regulatory functions. Each has a crucial bearing on stamina and fitness. Simply put, irrespective of the resources we invest in certain areas of sport, we are never going to come home with the gold. When it comes to sports which do not require much physical strain, we pass muster.

So we have a Rajyavardhan Rathore who is crack shot, a Viswanathan Anand as grandmaster extraordinaire, even a Tendulkar at the pinnacle of cricket. But barring a Sania Mirza or a P T Usha, which sportsperson do we have who has excelled in any strenuous form of activity? Studies have shown that our lung capacities are, by and large, lower than that of our counterparts in more affluent countries. In addition, we have a thrift gene which served as a defence mechanism in the years where we had to brave famines. The same gene is now working against us by lowering our metabolic rate and causing obesity. It is our body fat which works against us in sports in which muscle mass is crucial. Of course, considerable course correction can be effected by proper nutrition and training. But we are already entering the arena with a built-in disadvantage. And this is what will knock us out of the race.

03-21-2005, 08:39 PM
Just how big is a big house in the Coachella Valley?

In the battle to keep up with the Joneses, mogul Hagadone ups the ante to 30,000 square feet

Bill Byron
The Desert Sun
March 21, 2005

PALM DESERT - Construction has begun on the biggest home in town - at 30,000 square feet certainly one of the biggest homes in the Coachella Valley - in the Bighorn development.

It's being built by Duane B. Hagadone, an Indian Wells man whose storied career in media and real estate in North Idaho started with a newspaper route at the age of 11 and culminated in the ownership of 17 newspapers and the famed Coeur d'Alene Resort with its floating golf green.

The home is about twice as large as any other home in Palm Desert, the city's Director of Community Development Phil Drell said.

"The only other house in the valley that might compare is Bob Hope's house in Palm Springs, which might be 40,000 square feet," Drell said. "Big ones used to be 14 or 15,000 square feet."

The Hagadone home will be just under four times the size of the 8,000-square-foot McCallum Theatre and just 6,000 square feet smaller than the new Rancho Mirage public library.

Building the biggest home in Palm Desert's Bighorn is an accomplishment in itself. With neighbors like "Ocean's 12" producer Jerry Weintraub, "Entertrainment Tonight" host Mary Hart, Pete Sampras and longtime Starbucks president and CEO Orin Smith, the top is high indeed.

Smith's 12,000-square-foot home, purchased for $11.25 million in November 2004, was one of the the highest-priced in the valley. But that's still less than half the cost and half the square footage of the new Hagadone home.

When reached by phone Friday, Hagadone, who is in his 70s, declined to comment on the palatial abode or its cost. He said only that he and his family have been winter residents in the Coachella Valley for more than 30 years.

The home will essentially be built "into" the mountain it will be built upon.

"Our code says it has to match the mountain side and blend in, and he came to us prepared," Assistant Planner Tony Bagato said. "There really wasn't much to do on this from the standpoint of making changes."

Drell estimated the cost of the project at about $30 million and said it will probably be finished by fall of 2007. Crews are currently grading the lot to prepare it for the structure.

House plans on file with the city show a home that is a collection of separate buildings, connected to each other through pathways and with servants' quarters on a lower floor.

Theresa Maggio, the director of marketing at Bighorn, said lots typically cost between $2 million and $5 million, Hagadone actually purchased two lots totaling 7.66 acres.

The house will have about 20,000 square feet of living space and the other 10,000 will be garage and storage space. It will include an elevator and several reflecting ponds throughout.

There will be several structures connected by outdoor walkways, nearby the pools of water.

The site boasts views of nearly the entire valley.

The structure itself will be built into the mountain and some of the rocks that were removed to build it will be incorporated into the walls of the structure, making it seem as though it were part of the mountain.

"They're trying to be unobtrusive, he wants to incorporate the surroundings," Maggio said.

The Bighorn properties are located across from the Bighorn Golf Club, which Maggio said costs $50,000 to join and then another $237,500 annually.

Club membership is limited to property owners at the Bighorn community, which has about 405 homes and 33 available lots.

Hagadone built his Hagadone Corp. on a foundation that began with the newspaper route, moved into the newpaper's pressroom and full entry into the family newspaper business as publisher at the Coeur d'Alene Press, which was part of the Scripps organization.

In 1976, he broke away from Scripps, building a six-newspaper chain into a company that now includes hospitality, real estate, 17 newspapers and investments, according to his biography published by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

03-22-2005, 09:49 PM
Valley stars just a hog's breath away

Darrell Smith
The Desert Sun

March 22, 2005

Oscar winners and movie stars, tennis pros and record czars - here's the latest on another week of stars in the Coachella Valley.

Made their day

Actor-director Clint Eastwood, fresh off his Oscar wins for boxing epic "Million Dollar Baby" spent the weekend in La Quinta, where he hit the links for a few rounds of golf and dined with family and friends at his own restaurant.
On Saturday, Eastwood was spotted at the Hog's Breath Inn, the desert sister of the Eastwood-owned Carmel eatery, was his first visit to the Old Town La Quinta restaurant since it opened last year. Eastwood, an accomplished pianist in addition to his other well-documented talents, also knocked out a few tunes on the restaurant's piano before calling it a night.

Sunday night, Eastwood was part of a party of 18, this time in Palm Desert at Big Fish Grille and Oyster Bar.


By a pair of intrepid Desert Sun staffers, actor Robert Downey Jr. at the The Parker Palm Springs.

Like star, like son

MTV veejay Carson Daly returned to the desert over the weekend to see his mother, local television personality Pattie Daly Caruso, receive her star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in downtown Palm Springs.

Two nights, two stars

Eyed by an e-mail tipster at the La Quinta Cliffhouse on separate nights in recent days, Academy Award-nominated actress Michelle Pfeiffer. Also dining at the Cliffhouse: seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras.

In the Spotlight

Spotted at Don Rickles' Saturday show at Spotlight 29 Casino, songstress Keely Smith and her singer-producer husband Bobby Milano, longtime Grammy Awards executive producer Pierre Cossette and singer Andy Williams, who got the longest ovation of all the guests.

Back in town

Arista Records' legendary exec and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Clive Davis was spotted Saturday at the Pacific Life Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Tennis redux

Upset victim Amelie Mauresmo blew off some steam after her loss to Russian Evgenia Linetskaya in the Pacific Life Open with a morning jog through Indian Wells. Championship runner-up Lindsay Davenport dined at Omri and Boni's in La Quinta.

03-22-2005, 09:55 PM
Longtime local tennis coach Lansdorp gets his due

He is awarded the USTA's President's Award for his "extraordinary service."

By Nick Green
Daily Breeze

Rolling Hills Estates resident Robert Lansdorp, who has coached five different Grand Slam winners during his 38-year coaching career, has received the U.S. Tennis Association's President's Award.

Given annually for "unusual and extraordinary service to tennis," the award was presented to Lansdorp Sunday in La Quinta.

"It was a special day," Lansdorp said. "Billie Jean King was there and couldn't give me enough praise. ... Coming from Billie Jean, it was like getting a compliment from John Wooden."

The five most notable players Lansdorp coached -- Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova -- won a combined 21 Grand Slam titles.

Austin, a Rolling Hills resident, became the youngest U.S. Open singles champion after Lansdorp began coaching her at age 7 at the Jack Kramer Tennis Club.

He also coached Palos Verdes Peninsula native Eliot Teltscher beginning at age 10. Teltscher rose to No. 6 in the world and now oversees the USTA High Performance Training Center in Carson.

Lansdorp coaches Sharapova, who won Wimbledon last year, at Torrance's South Bay Tennis Center.

"Over the last 30 years, Robert has coached some of tennis' greatest players and is one of our sport's most distinguished coaches," said USTA President Franklin Johnson. "I selected Robert for this honor based on his extraordinary legacy and all that he continues to do to enhance our great game and help develop players of exceptional talent."

03-24-2005, 08:17 PM
What lies ahead and here now for pro tennis?
By Cassidy Juneau
Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Long gone are the days of watching Pete Sampras slide gracefully across the courts of Wimbledon. Today's tennis world is known for its beautiful girls, international flare, and Anna Kournikova. American tennis is known for...wait, there are American tennis players?

Ever since Pete Sampras retired, the big names in American tennis have been the women. Venus and Serena Williams are almost known as much for their dress as for their play on the court. Many people have heard the miraculous comeback story of Jennifer Capriati. Lindsay Davenport has been a mainstay in the top 10 of the WTA tour for many years. It does not seem like any of these trends will end.

On the mens' side, Andy Roddick is easily one of the two most recognizable names with the other being Andre Agassi. It is a hotly contested topic as to whether Roddick will ever be the next great American male tennis player, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. He currently sports a 253-81 career record, including 15 singles titles. Two of those have been Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He definitely has a long way to go to catch Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slam titles and only lost four times in Grand Slam finals. As for other American men faring well lately, Agassi and Taylor Dent are both in the top 12 on the ATP tour after the Australian Open.

The future seems to be very bright on the women's side in American tennis. Serena Williams is making a comeback, now holding the no. 2 ranking in women's tennis on the WTA tour. She also just won the Australian Open, her seventh career Grand Slam title. Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, and Jennifer Capriati also currently stand high in the rankings on the tour, making the U.S. one of the top countries in women's tennis.

It seems as though lately, there has been a surge in the popularity of tennis. The USTA and WTA are both making efforts to introduce the sport to people of all ages, boasting about the physical, mental, and possible social benefits of playing tennis. Also, the rise of young stars such as Roddick and Dent has proven that American men can now compete internationally after always being overshadowed by the outstanding American women.

It will be interesting to see how the next few months go. Many people expect this to be a breakout year for Roddick, a year in which he will break the curse of always losing to his nemesis, Roger Federer, who finished 2004 as no. 1. Some are dubbing them as the next great rivalry, but even Roddick admits that it cannot be a rivalry until he learns how to beat Federer on a normal basis. So stay tuned to catch the best that tennis has to offer in 2005.

04-02-2005, 07:47 PM
Posted on Sat, Apr. 02, 2005

Miami Hearld

Tennis torch has been passed

Andre Agassi losing to Roger Federer was about yesterday yielding to today.

This NASDAQ-100 semifinal was about a man at the top of his game going to no great extremes to beat a man past his prime.

There's nothing wrong with that. Federer and Agassi put on a fine show for the Stadium Court crowd Friday night.

But because the game now lacks a consistent antagonist for the ATP's best player, it also offers only rare classic drama.

We don't get Sampras against Agassi or Borg vs. McEnroe.

We get the hope of an upset and the reality that one isn't about to unfold.

''Most players count on one thing that's special and makes them hard to deal with,'' a realistic Agassi said after his 6-4, 6-3 loss. ``[Federer] has a few things. The guy moves incredibly well, and his forehand is dangerous from anywhere on the court. When you think you're in good position, you're not.

''You have to execute perfectly, and that's a sign of someone playing a level above.'' How much higher is Federer soaring than his competition?

Agassi is still a fine player in this third incarnation of a career that simply does not die. But he now has lost seven consecutive times to Federer, the most consecutive losses Agassi has ever suffered against anyone.


Even on Agassi's unofficial home court, where he has won six titles and fans continually shouted, ''Andre, Andre,'' the tide of the match never threatened to drown out Federer's superiority.

Agassi made good shots. Federer made great shots.

Agassi had five break points against Federer with the second set tied at 3-3. Federer responded by forcing six deuces before winning the game and then closing out the set and match.

''On three of [the break points],'' Agassi lamented, ``he hit unreturnable serves.''

The Stadium Court crowd was clearly disappointed by that truth. But they were as helpless to change the outcome as Agassi.

''It really doesn't affect you,'' Federer said of not winning over the crowd as he was winning the match. ``You just feel like they're so much behind Agassi, behind their man. Every close call [draws] a comment from them, and they're not happy if it goes against him.

``And the tougher the situation is for you, the more they get into it. It makes it tough.''

So tough, the match took 85 minutes.

Federer now turns his championship sights on Rafael Nadal, which is something akin to a shark focusing in on a guppy.

Nadal is 18, which means he is the youngest man to reach the final on Crandon Park. It also means he was still in diapers when Agassi won his first professional title in 1987.

So what chance does this baby have vs. Federer when the veteran Agassi wilted?

Well, none.

Not now.

You see, just as Agassi has a great history, Nadal has potential for a great future.


But Federer remains the man of the hour. Now belongs to him while the other two must look to other times.

Nadal actually won a match against Federer last year, but blind squirrels occasionally find nuts, too.

''He was a different player then,'' Nadal said. ``He's playing much better now.''

And that's why Nadal speaks about his upcoming match against Federer, in part, like someone who sets low personal standards, then fails to achieve them.

''I hope he doesn't play one of his best matches, and if I play very, very well, I think I have a little bit of a chance,'' Nadal said. ``If he plays very good and I play very good, see ya.''

Nadal said he planned to hit a few balls today, relax around his hotel and get a good meal before Sunday's five-set final.

The way Roger Federer is playing, that meal tonight will be something of a last supper.

04-02-2005, 07:55 PM


March 31, 2005

Henman is kept going by search for frailties in Federer
From Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, in Key Biscayne, Florida

TO ROGER FEDERER, they are “good buddies”. Tim Henman also shares such a relationship with Pete Sampras, sushi and small talk mixing over a reunion dinner a couple of weeks ago. Now comes the toughest part, finding a way to win on the court, a trial that was always fraught for Henman against Sampras and has become increasingly vexing now that Federer is on top of the world.

It was Sampras who introduced Henman to the world of private jet travel, and Henman has done likewise to Federer. Indeed, they shared a flight from California to Florida nine days ago, the British No 1 laughingly insisting that he was working a commission. Payback time might come uncomfortably today, in the quarterfinals of the Nasdaq-100 Open. Looking for shreds of hope has become an increasingly desperate search for the finer players when meeting the finest.

The only way it will work for Henman is to play to every strength he has and hope that all the pieces fit nicely together — that he serves aggressively, keeps Federer guessing on how often he will serve and volley and makes sure that the ball is deep if he gets the opportunity to chip and charge on Federer’s second serve.

Henman thought that he had discovered an Achilles’ heel in the Swiss early in their careers, winning their first four matches and building a stranglehold that might have been further endorsed here in 2002, when Henman cricked his neck avoiding a spectator in the depths of the tennis centre and was forced to default after a set.

Federer has been a pain in everyone else’s since. Their meeting today provides Henman with the challenge to pit his continued belief in what he can still achieve in the game against Federer’s determination to build another period of dominant momentum.

Henman has not dropped a set in three matches so far; Federer has lost two, which suggests that he is struggling ever so slightly, even though his record is 65-7 in sets this year. Mariano Zabaleta, of Argentina, and Mario Ancic, the Croatian who defeated Federer in the first round of Wimbledon in 2002, engineered chances for themselves but could not quite pull out the win everyone in men’s tennis cherishes.

It is 19 matches unbeaten — and three titles — for Federer since the Australian Open semi-final, when Marat Safin displayed a sense of occasion that he has not come close to realising since. “I have to go out and enjoy the opportunity,” Henman said after his 7-5, 6-3 victory over Radek Stepanek, the Czech.

“There are plenty of guys with better strokes than me and he dominates them. It emphasises the need to try to take away the time he has to go through his full repertoire.”

Henman was not quite in the groove against Stepanek, a man whose jerky movement and flashes of hot and cold tennis can play havoc with an opponent’s game plan. In the sudden cool of the evening, the balls became leaden, Henman’s volleying — so crisp when the sun had been out in his previous two rounds — dropped off and he simply had to grind out a win.

Indeed, Stepanek broke first in the ninth game, tumbling in apparent agony having set up his break point when Henman took his eye off a backhand. Stepanek rolled over, the umpire brought over a bag of ice, the service line judge offered his chair and there were thoughts of dialling 911. Then, with one bound, he was up, frolicking like a day-old colt. “He said at the changeover it was just the shock of falling,” Henman said.

“He is not the most straightforward of people.”

Henman knows exactly what he will be facing today. It is hard to put a price on what it would mean to him to win. At the very least, the cost of hiring a private jet.

04-11-2005, 11:16 PM
Tennis mailbag, with CNN's Candy Reid
Sunday, April 10, 2005

(CNN) -- Do you have a question about tennis for World Sport Anchor Candy Reid? E-mail candy@cnn.com.

Q. Hello Candy, I so much love your way of presentation and also the way you answer people's questions. My question is, at the end of any grand slam for instance, U.S. Open, the winner will be given a substantial amount of money with the runner-up and it appears that other players who do not make it will go away without any prize. Now are the other players given anything at all from the cash prize given to the winner and the runner-up? I will be happy if the question is answered because it worries me to see some players go at the early stage of the game, it is quite frustrating. Tennis is such a good and professional game without drug scandals like sprinting.
Kennedy, Manchester, UK.

A. Kennedy, you'll be pleased to hear that everybody in the main draw leaves with some money and often players who don't qualify make some. At the U.S. Open for example, the winner banks a million dollars, but even those who lose in the first round make $14,000! If you go on to the WTA Tour Web site you'll see an amount of money listed by each tournament. That is the total amount of money awarded, for singles, doubles and when applicable mixed doubles. It's widely believed that the top 150 ranked players actually make a good living from tennis.

Q. Dear Candy.
My questions: 1- Why must male Tennis players keep their shirts buttoned almost up to their throats, while the women players can display almost their entire chests? The heat factor for the men is no joke, especially for the hairy chested guys.
2- During a rain delay & the players go off court to wait, are they kept apart? Can they speak to anyone? Some of those delays seem to last forever, so what are the rules for them?
Appreciate any light you can shed on my questions.
Sincerely, Harry Riss, Israel

A. It's strange isn't it Harry -- many of the women wear as little as possible, while the men, i.e. Rafael Nadal, seem to be almost totally covered up. What do you think of those "clam-diggers" he wears? They look awfully uncomfortable and I'm not too keen on those sleeveless shirts!

As for your other question, the players are allowed to consult with their coaches or anyone else for that matter during rain delays. If you're losing it's wonderful to take a break and discuss tactics with someone in the know. On the other hand, if you're on a roll there's nothing like a rain delay to reduce momentum. Think back to the 2001 Wimbledon championship men's semi-final. Many believe Tim Henman would have beaten eventual champion Goran Ivanisevic had it not rained -- but that's the way it goes!

Q. Hi Candy. I've been reading your mailbag recently and am quite interested in the questions and answers. I saw you on CNN playing tennis with Andy Roddick and am now aware you have a background in the game. I follow tennis closely and go to Wimbledon every year and also went to Roland Garros last year and intend to go this year. I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of people who are fed up of the comparisons between Federer and Sampras. I'm also fed up of the likes of Mr. Baddoo (sorry but true), Cliff Drysdale and Pat McEnroe telling us that Federer is more versatile. Sampras in 1990 was almost a baseliner on hardcourts. In 2000 Sampras transformed into a serve and volleyer on both grass and hardcourt but probably still not clay. That was helped by Paul Annacone in late 1990s inspiring Pete to be more aggressive and chip and charge and stuff. But he forewent some of his baseline game in the process especially on his second serve. Can you give us an analysis of their strokes and give us a good comparison of their games? I think you'll be able to do it in an unbiased way.
Thanks. Laurie Burnette, UK

A. It's easy to forget how good an all-round player Sampras was Laurie. I suppose "Pistol Pete" will always be remembered for his serve because it was his major weapon, but there's no doubt that his groundstrokes, volleys and especially that overhead were fantastic too. (He was number one for a record 6 years!) The one major trophy missing from his C.V is of course the French Open, but Federer has still to win that too.

Sampras always had problems on clay because of his "chopper" grip. Since the ball bounces higher on clay it's harder to get over the ball with a chopper grip. Players now mostly hit their groundstrokes with western grips which makes it much easier to produce top-spin, but much harder to hit the ball flat, like Sampras used to do (making him virtually unbeatable on grass!)

I would say that Federer's groundstrokes are slightly stronger overall than Sampras's were -- he can hit the ball flat, with top-spin, or with slice whenever he wants. One thing they certainly have in common though is the ability to hit the backhand up the line. Watch Federer closely next time -- he wins so many points that way.

As for the volley, well I believe that Sampras was slightly superior. Federer has great touch, but sometimes he can get in trouble at the net, whereas Sampras always looked comfortable, especially with the difficult half-volley. And his overhead was just superb, especially when he jumped up to hit it. Federer has a very different style on the 'smash' but is just as consistent.

Sampras probably served more aces, but Federer's serve is just as effective. He is very good at placing his serves and his second has so much spin on it I don't know how anyone returns it. His opponents are forced to hit high backhand returns more often than not and it's extremely hard to get any power on that shot which makes it easy for the Swiss to control the point.

So in conclusion: Federer wins at the baseline, Sampras at the net and I'd say it's equal on the serve. Mentally, Sampras was the toughest there has ever been, but I'd say Federer isn't far behind and it's that toughness that separates them from the rest.

Federer shows more personality on the court and can produce any shot at any time, but he's only won 4 grand slams compared to Sampras's 14. So he still has some way to go to be mentioned in the same sentence as Pistol Pete!

04-15-2005, 09:32 PM

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Eminent Management to revive local tennis with major events sponsoring celebrity professionals

Mats Wilander, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Jim Courier are some of the players to be featured in main events


April 14, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Washington, D.C.-based Eminent Management Group (EMG), an athletic representation and events promotion company, plans to raise tennis player participation and the sport’s profile in Puerto Rico with a series of events, fundraisers, and clinics highlighting celebrity professionals starting this month.

EMG was founded in 1999 by Guillermo Morales Rubert, Belinda de la Garza, and Greg Muñoz, three sports educators bent on bringing quality events to the island to help develop local athletes and help children’s charities in the San Juan metro area. Previous events promoted by EMG on the island include the first visit by German right-handed tennis pro with 49 title wins Boris Becker and the speaking event by former Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state and former chairman of the Military Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"We want to attract world attention to the island as a prime tennis venue and will be holding fundraisers to support the Puerto Rico Tennis Association [PRTA] in its efforts to grow its base of talented youngsters who, if adequately trained, can potentially become tennis super stars," Morales Rupert said. EMG sponsors and supporters include Carlos Manuel Quiñones from Garage Isla Verde, Alberto de La Cruz from Coca-Cola, and Gerardo Gil-Bonar from Gil-Bonar Group.

The first main tennis event organized by the EMG was held April 9, at Parque Central in Santurce and showcased the right-handed Swede Mats Wilander competing against current players from Puerto Rico’s Davis Cup team. During his career, Wilander captured eight Grand Slam titles (seven in singles) and won 33 career single titles. Among the Top 10 in the American Tennis Association Tour seven times between 1982 and 1988, the year he was ranked No. 1.

Before the matches, the event included a gala tennis fashion show, featuring creations by David Antonio, said Belinda de la Garza, EMG co-founder and fashion coordinator. The event also hosted a sports memorabilia auction of collectors items such as Michael Jordan’s championship basketballs. Tito Trinidad was present to offer some of his boxing paraphernalia to raise funds for a girl requiring a special-living environment. Proceeds went to benefit "at-risk" children in the San Juan metro area.

During his two-week stay in Puerto Rico, Wilander offered several tennis clinics in various locations in the San Juan metro area. "Mats has agreed to come to Puerto Rico twice more this year, and who knows who he will bring," said Morales Rubert, adding, "Wilander is very focused on the Grassroots Tennis initiative to support children with Down syndrome."

Deportes 13, which broadcasts sports events 24 hours on the Catholic church’s local television channel 13, telecast the Wilander event after it was held because of a nine-day moratorium after the death of Pope John Paul II. Several other EMG main tennis events will be held at José Miguel "Don Cholito" Agrelot Coliseum in Hato Rey.

"Promoter Angelo Medina is very interested in sports. He considers main events such as these an untapped resource for fostering tourism, boosting the economy, and increasing hotel occupancy," Morales Rupert said.

[B]Morales Rupert revealed other celebrity pros EMG will be approaching for its main tennis events on the island are John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Jim Courier.

04-18-2005, 10:45 PM
Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005,

Armstrong joins the stars
By Alex Trickett

Most sporting champions deserve our praise, some defy belief with their dominance, and a select few pull off feats that send our jaws tumbling towards the floor.

Whether or not he wins a seventh Tour de France before retiring in July, Lance Armstrong is in the final group.

But how does his achievement compare to those of six legendary solo sportsmen?


Armstrong is not considered the best cyclist of all time - that honour falls to Eddy Merckx, the "Cannibal" who devoured all rivals in the 1970s.

But by passing Merckx's five Tour wins, the American can lay claim to the sport's most significant record.

A Tour winner needs to combine climbing with time trial speed and endurance fitness that would put a marathon runner to shame. Armstrong has all three qualities in abundance.

The fact that the American bounced back from a cancer that almost killed him in 1996 makes his feat even more incredible.


The self-styled "greatest" had a brilliant boxing career and was the first man to become world heavyweight champion three times.

On each occasion, he showed remarkable resolve, stunning "unbeatable" champions Sonny Liston and George Foreman before winning back his title for a second time against Leon Spinks in 1978.


With respect to long distance runners Paavo Nurmi and Emil Zatopek, Lewis is responsible for athletics' ultimate achievement.

Not only did the US sprinter emulate compatriot Jesse Owens' feat by winning four Olympic golds in 1984, he also won the long jump event at four-straight Games.

Lewis also added a silver to nine golds for a 10-medal haul.


Swimmers tend to have more scope than athletes to win multiple medals at the Olympics - and Spitz took full advantage.

The American won a record-breaking seven golds at Munich in 1972 and added four further medals to that tally.

Spitz set an awe-inspiring mark - and Michael Phelps will need luck to go with his talent if he is to beat it in Athens.


Tiger Woods' ownership of all four majors in 2001 was a seminal moment in golf.

But a recent barren spell has shown just how difficult it is to keep winning the big prizes every year and has cast Nicklaus' 18 majors in impressive light.

As good as Tiger is, he may never eclipse the "Golden Bear".


Rod Laver may have won more Grand Slams had he not been banned from competing for six years after turning professional, but this should not detract from Sampras' trophy cabinet.

"Pistol Pete" went up against great players like Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Boris Becker and generally beat them.

His only black mark is the lack of a French Open win.


Opinion is divided about whether Schumacher has surpassed the great Juan Manuel Fangio, but on paper, at least, he has.

The German already has six Formula One titles to match Armstrong and is certain to add another this year.

He also has more Grand Prix wins than anyone else and is fast closing in on Ayrton Senna's 65 pole positions.

04-18-2005, 10:53 PM
Tiger Tames Augusta Again
Woods' Latest Green Jacket Was An Eye-Opener
By Alex Altman
Issue: Apr 18, 2005

On the 16th hole at Augusta National, Tiger Woods holed a chip from the fringe that may forever be referenced as his best ever. We’ll be watching that highlight decades from now, even as a new golf prodigy emerges poised to smash the records Woods will undoubtedly snatch from Jack Nicklaus & Co.
The arc of the shot suggested that reading the contours of the green was only slightly less difficult than solving an equation from Good Will Hunting. Woods was writing another impressive chapter in his contribution to sports history. And like most of America, I was rooting for his opponent, Chris DiMarco.

Until Tiger nailed his improbable chip, I didn’t even question why I was rooting against him. When Tiger’s in a final pairing, he’s the favorite, and I make a regular practice of supporting the underdog. But that’s not really why I was pulling for DiMarco.

I’ve never liked Tiger. My perception of him
was that he’s bland. Business-like. The human extension of that super-powered marketing machine named after an obscure Greek god. Terrific, yes; but being that good isn’t natural. It’s robotic.

But when I paused to question why I had that impression, I realized it was completely wrong.

An aside before I go further: In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t even really like golf. I can’t play it, I rarely watch it and I don’t understand most of its subtleties. I am that casual fan I can’t stand in most other sports.

Prefacing a column with this admission would usually lessen its weight, but not in this case, because when the media shapes the way the public perceives an individual, the casual fans are the ones that get duped. So in matters of golf and media manipulation, I know whereof I speak.

Aside from his gorgeous chip on 16, Tiger wasn’t at his best that Sunday afternoon. In sizing up his opponent, Woods probably realized he posed more of a threat to himself than DiMarco—who looked like he should’ve been hitting off women’s tees by comparison—represented. So instead of going for the jugular, Tiger was cool and calculating in fending off DiMarco. He played not to lose. And still, despite a relatively subdued performance, it was clear that the “Tiger-as-golf-robot” image is totally off the mark.

When he drained a key putt, Tiger threw a couple of fist pumps. He paced the greens with intensity. He stared his opponent down. When he shanked a drive, he loudly swore. What’s more, he always does this. He’s the most emotive golfer since Chi-Chi Rodriguez. So how did Tiger get pegged with the “boring” rep?

In part, it’s by default. When you’re a superstar, the media has to affix you with a label. Tiger isn’t an affable giant like Shaq, or bristly like Bonds, or certifiably insane like Tyson or Artest. Those are simple characterizations, and their bearers validate them from time to time. Tiger’s more complex, more difficult to pigeonhole. He doesn’t get ensnared in paternity scandals, and he doesn’t serve up quotes that make you shake your head and chuckle.

But he makes headlines every time he hits the course, so the pundits have to say something. When he’s winning seven majors in 11 tries, the media lauds him until it runs out of superlatives. Frankly, that’s probably part of the reason Tiger bores us. He’s too good. So the media has to manufacture an air of drama around him. Like, was marrying Elin a detriment to his game? (No, although it would have been worth it anyway…good Lord.) Or, did the fact that his title drought coincided with the departure of Butch Harmon from his camp mean that the swing coach was the Larry David to his Seinfeld, the true genius behind the celebrated figure?

When these are the most controversial things the media can drum up about you, it’s not surprising many people don’t find Tiger a compelling figure. But he is. He’s a competitor of unmatched intensity, a Closer in the true Gagne/Rivera sense of the word. “Hell’s Bells” might as well be playing when he hits Amen Corner.

Tiger’s different from most athletes. He’s singularly focused on success, and his lack of quotability and off-the-field color makes him personally inaccessible to some of the media. Since the media’s perceptions tend to dictate the casual fan’s, he becomes inaccessible to fans as well.

But if we must classify athletes to understand them, it’s possible to do so with Tiger. He’s one of the very few who, after a historic run of success, was willing to revamp his game—and suffer decreased results in the meantime—to improve himself in the long-run. Changing his swing while at the height of his profession evoked echoes of Pete Sampras, then a 15-year old junior champion, suffering two years of failure while trying to switch to the one-handed backhand that could take his game to the next level. Similar, except for the fact that Woods did so in full view of the skeptical public.

Like Woods, Sampras was always the prohibitive favorite, and the guy you loved to root against. His game was mechanically good, but his off-the-field persona was less than captivating. Heaps of Grand Slam titles didn’t endear fans to Sampras. He had to vomit on the court as he gutted out a victory over Alex Corretja at Flushing Meadows in 1996. He needed to publicly cry about the loss of his coach and friend Tim Gullikson to brain cancer. Apparently, he needed to demonstrate his humanity before fans would embrace him as a champion.

What does Tiger need to do for fans to appreciate that his demeanor on the course is as electric as his game?

Alex can be reached at alex@thebackpagesports.com.

04-23-2005, 07:00 PM
Florida's Sports Hall of Fame Welcomes Seven New Members

Football Coach Howard Schnellenberger one of the Seven

April 21, 2005

The Florida Sports Hall of Fame adds seven new members in 2005, who between them have won three Olympic Gold Medals, four Super Bowls, five NCAA football national championships, 14 tennis major events, three golf major events and a Heisman Trophy. Nicole Haislett Bacher, Mike Martin, Pete Sampras, Deion Sanders, Howard Schnellenberger, Payne Stewart and Danny Wuerffel will be inducted on Sunday, May 22 at a Gala to be held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

The inductees were selected by the over 185 current Hall of Fame members, the board of directors of the Hall of Fame Foundation and members of the Florida Sportswriters Assn. To qualify, a person must be a Florida native or have lived in the state while achieving and/or maintaining a career of excellence in athletics.

This year's induction is the third consecutive held in St. Petersburg where plans are well underway to build a permanent home for the shrine. In addition to the banquet, the annual Hall of Fame weekend includes a silent auction and a golf tournament.

The Class of 2005 represents a wide variety of Florida sports:

• Nicole Haislett Bacher, a St. Petersburg native, won three gold medals in swimming at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The 1997 University of Florida graduate was SEC Swimmer of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and held seven NCAA individual championships.

• Mike Martin has coached Florida State's baseball team for the past 25 years compiling a record of 1,338-452-4, a .750 winning percentage that ranks second among active coaches and the sixth best all time. His teams have appeared in 24 consecutive NCAA regional tournaments and 12 College World Series.

• Pete Sampras was born in Washington, D.C., but trained at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton and lived in Tampa during his most productive years. He holds the record for most wins in Grand Slam events with 14 (seven Wimbledon, five U.S. Open, two Australian Open), and was the world's No. 1 ranked player for six consecutive years. He retired in 2000.

• Deion Sanders is considered by many to be the greatest athlete ever to play for FSU. The Ft. Myers native lettered in three sports as a Seminole (football, baseball, track). Twice a consensus football All American (1987-88) he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back (1988). During a 12-year NFL career "Prime Time" was selected for seven Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl rings with San Francisco and Dallas. He also played center field for Atlanta and Cincinnati and is the only athlete to play in both a Super Bowl and World Series.

• Howard Schnellenberger has been part of four collegiate national championships. His 1983 Miami Hurricanes won that school's first title, defeating Nebraska in the 50th Anniversary Orange Bowl. In addition, Schnellenberger has also been part of seven NFL playoff teams and was part of two Super Bowl championship staffs. He helped the 1972 Miami Dolphins to the NFL's only undefeated (17-0) season. Today, Schnellenberger is building another winning program at Florida Atlantic, taking the Owls to the Division I-AA semifinal game in 2003.

• Payne Stewart was a major player on the PGA Tour when a tragic plane crash in 1999 took the lives of Stewart, 42, and five others. The longtime Orlando resident had 11 Tour victories and his three major championships included the 1989 PGA Championship and the1991 and 1999 U.S. Opens. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

• Danny Wuerffel quarterbacked the University of Florida to the 1996 National Championship and won the Heisman Trophy in the process. The Fort Walton Beach native also led the Gators to four straight SEC championships and earned Academic All American honors in addition to his two-year All American selection as a player. His awards included the Davey O'Brien, Johnny Unitas and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards. He retired from the NFL in 2004 and now serves as Director of Development for Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans.

For more information on tickets for the May 22 Gala, golf tournament and auction, please call (727) 894-2424.

The Florida Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving, honoring and promoting knowledge of the tradition of excellence that is manifested through the individuals inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and through the history of sports in Florida. The Hall of Fame Web site is located at www.floridasportshalloffame.com.

04-26-2005, 09:53 PM
Festival lures hip visitors

Spot a familiar face in the crowd?

Darrell Smith
The Desert Sun
April 26, 2005

Season continues to fade in the rear-view mirror, but you can't tell celebrities that. They were all over the valley in recent days: Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and, coming this weekend, to Indio for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. You've got to say this for the famous, there's no quit in them. They just keep coming as we find out in this week's celebrity sightings.

'Royal' sighting

Luke Wilson, he of "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Bottle Rocket" and "Legally Blonde" fame stopped by Sullivan's steakhouse, taking a table at the Palm Desert dinespot.

For Pete's sake

A sharp-eyed local spotted Wilson compadre and multi-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras at the Cheesecake Factory at The River in Rancho Mirage. Hey, Pete's retired, right? Let him go nuts.

Shore leave

Check out Sunday's piece by Desert Scene columnist Allene Arthur. Her coda includes an item on actor Gavin MacLeod ("Love Boat's" Capt. Stubing), spotted with wife Patti at the Palm Springs Follies. There, Arthur wrote, MacLeod and Mrs. bumped into his former wife, actress Joyce Bulifant.
and a few we missed

Guests of the recent Palm Springs Book Festival green-roomed at Copley's on Palm Canyon during the event including attorney Gloria Allred and Catherine Crier of CourtTV. Allred also was spotted at Melvyn's in Palm Springs.
Star watch

If you're one of the lucky ones holding tickets to this weekend's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, you'll not only see wall-to-wall music - more than 80 bands are slated for the two-day rock fest - but stars and celebs, too. The place is a hot spot for young Hollywood and it's ground zero for rock's hip set.

Spotted at last year's festival:

Anthony Kiedis and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, auteur rocker Beck, actor/rock star Jack Black ("School of Rock"), Jared Leto and comedian Andy Dick, who found himself in, um, legal difficulties at last year's fest.

Comedienne Alicia Silverstone ("Clueless,") actor Giovanni Ribisi, ("Cold Mountain") and actresses Rosanna Arquette and Gina Gershon also were sighted at the desert mega-fest. To guide you through your festival and stargazing experience, alt-rock mag Spin was kind enough to include a guide to surviving the Coachella's triple-digit heat in its April issue. Hey, just because we're used to it, doesn't mean Bay Area trust funders are.

Sample tips: Don't dehydrate. Remember where you parked. Prepare for, um, detailed, searches by festival security.

Enjoy the show.

05-07-2005, 08:09 PM

Sampras likely out of U.S. Open

July 20, 2003

Stateline, NV (Sports Network) - Pete Sampras will almost certainly not defend his title at the 2003 U.S. Open.

Sampras stated his intentions to NBC-TV at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe this weekend. This year's U.S. Open is scheduled to take place from August 25 - September 7 in New York. The 31-year-old Sampras, who has captured 14 major titles, last played in a competitive tournament at last year's U.S. Open. In the final, Sampras outlasted long-time rival Andre Agassi in four sets. Sampras has skipped the first three majors this season and it appears that his career might officially be complete. Sampras has won five U.S. Open titles, seven Wimbledon crowns and two Australian Opens in his illustrious career. He owns a 762-222 career singles record with 64 titles.

©Hometown Publications 2005

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05-12-2005, 08:08 PM
Posted 5/12/2005

Beach tennis set for U.S. start
By Jared S. Hopkins, USA TODAY

If Pete Sampras decides to make a comeback, he could leave his sneakers at home. Beach tennis — a sport combining tennis, badminton and beach volleyball — makes its official American debut Saturday at the Charleston Maritime Festival in Charleston, S.C., as part of the Beach Tennis USA tour.

It is played on a regulation-size beach volleyball court, and players use tennis rackets and balls and follow tennis rules. They have one chance to hit the ball back and forth without letting it hit the sand.

The tour makes four more stops along the East Coast, and each daylong exhibition features one court for professional tennis players and three for the public to learn to play.

Marc Altheim, a real estate developer, first saw beach tennis in Aruba in 2003 while on vacation. Seeing its potential in America, he went to his uncle, Fred Finklestein, who owns an advertising firm in New York City and once directed advertising for ABC Sports, and founded the company.

"It was really like one of those light bulbs went off in my head," Altheim says. "I'm a racket guy and just fell in love with playing tennis on the beach."

The two are working to line up corporate sponsors, but for now Altheim and Finklestein are the main investors and already have put in several hundred thousand dollars.

Tennis players from the Netherlands saw beach tennis in Brazil four years ago and brought it to Aruba, a vacation hot spot for the Dutch. Sjoerd de Vries, a tennis pro in Aruba and founder of the Aruba Beach Tennis Foundation, organizes tournaments there. The last had 300 people.

De Vries says the game is for both skilled and unskilled competitors.

"They say, 'Which side of the racket do I use?' " he says. "But you can also play it at the high level."

Ultimately, the plan is to establish beach tennis competition in the USA. A West Coast tour is planned for next summer, and Altheim says he wants beach tennis to eventually be aired on television. As for the long term, Finklestein says beach tennis is "absolutely" here for good.

"We're in a position to show people that this is a well-funded fun game with potential to grow," Altheim says, echoing his partner.

De Vries, however, concedes that part of beach tennis' success in Aruba comes from the year-round warm weather. He says it should be treated as a summer sport.

"We can do bowling here and it will be nice," he says.

The tour travels to Virginia Beach on June 12, Jones Beach, N.Y., on July 3, and New York on July 13. The champions from each stop will compete for a $10,000 prize in the championship in Long Beach, N.Y., on Sept. 12.

05-13-2005, 09:47 PM
Making a name for herself

Stella Sampras webster has escaped brother’s shadow to find place in tennis world

By Andrew Finley

On Stella Sampras Webster's resume is an impressive list of accolades. She was the best player in her division as a junior, a four-time All-American in college, and is currently the head coach of an elite women's tennis program at UCLA.

Yet the first thing that jumps out at people is her last name.

As the older sister of 14-time grand slam champion Pete Sampras, she has heard the questions asked and the similarities drawn.

"What's your brother up to?" reporters would ask when she was on the professional tour.

"You look so much alike," they'd comment.

At times, Sampras Webster struggled with the spotlight she lost in juniors and the shadow she stepped into as a professional. During her time in Westwood, she watched from afar as her brother rose to the top of the tennis world. Yet never before has she felt more comfortable and proud of her own accomplishments. And this pride is the result of the legacy she has established on her own.

"When I'm at UCLA, I feel like I'm my own person, just because I've gone through this. I've earned a lot from being on the team, being an assistant coach and now head coach.

"It's my own place. Pete was never here. He didn't help me get this job. This is my home. It's what I've earned, and I feel really proud of that."

Battles on the court

With her Bruins gearing up for another NCAA Tournament run and her brother in retirement, Sampras Webster now has the tennis spotlight in the family all to herself. Yet growing up in Southern California as a junior player, the competition between her and Pete was intense.

"We definitely had our battles when we played each other," Sampras Webster said. "I did not want to lose to him, and he did not want to lose to me. There were times when our parents would have to watch and make sure we weren't cheating – I mean, make sure he wasn't cheating."

Although the siblings started playing tennis at the same time, when Sampras Webster was eight and Pete was six, the matches would usually go the older sister's way. She thinks it was eight years before Pete finally beat her, though she noted that he probably thinks it happened earlier. Although the bitterness of defeat never carried over into the home, family members still sensed the sibling rivalry.

"They'd get into heated matches, where each thought they got robbed and cheated," said Gus, the oldest of four Sampras siblings. "It was very competitive."

Competing against each other in practice allowed each to excel in their junior tournaments. Yet while Sampras Webster was capturing trophies in her own age division, Pete was picking up quality wins in higher age groups. Sampras Webster may have boasted a more impressive record, but Pete was attracting more outside attention because of his raw talent and endless potential.

"Pete was a natural talent and Stella was a hard worker," Gus said. "Stella's drive and dedication was going to take her so far, but Pete had the natural talent."

The hype Pete received stirred some feelings of jealousy and resentment in Sampras Webster, largely because she saw Pete more as her little brother rather than a tennis phenom.

"When you're younger, you just want that attention from parents or people, and when you have a sibling that's getting a lot of it, you start wanting it," Sampras Webster said. "It's a natural feeling."

Along with the attention, the match results between the siblings also began to shift Pete's way. Everyone in the family, including Sampras Webster, understood it was only a matter of time before Pete began regularly winning the contests. By the time she was 17, losses were no longer blows to Sampras Webster's ego, and instead became a part of reality.

"I wanted to prove that I was just as good and a great player," Sampras Webster said. "I was. I did really well, but I couldn't compare myself to him."

Taking a separate path

For Sampras Webster, the feelings of jealousy subsided as Pete moved to the professional ranks and she enrolled at UCLA in 1987. College wasn't a disappointing alternative to the pros; it was her ultimate goal.

"When I first came, I didn't want to go on the tour," said Sampras Webster, who is expecting twins in August. "I just wanted to get my education, enjoy college and do well with my tennis. I wanted to be a teacher, get married, have kids, and all that."

While her brother was driven to become the best player in the world, Sampras Webster was motivated by what she could accomplish in school. Earning a scholarship and having a social life were always more important to her than traveling every week and becoming a top-20 player in the world. By taking a different path than her brother, Sampras Webster no longer felt the bitterness she had a few years earlier.

"When I went to college, I kind of had my own identity then," Sampras Webster said. "It wasn't so much about Pete or anyone else. I was able to be on my own, and that was my goal."

She forged her own identity on the court very quickly at UCLA. As a freshman, she captured the NCAA doubles championship. By the time Pete won his first major, the 1990 U.S. Open, Sampras Webster had already led her team to the Final Four three times and was a three-time All-American.

"Instead of sharing the spotlight, she was able to make a name for herself at UCLA and on the team," Gus said.

Having dedicated so much of her life to tennis and having enjoyed tremendous levels of success, Sampras Webster decided to follow in her brother's footsteps and give the professional ranks a try after all. But for the most part, she was following as a shadow figure.

"Once they found out I was his sister, papers would want to interview me in every town I went to," Sampras Webster said. "They'd ask questions about him, not about me."

She'd get abnormally large crowds for a player who wasn't ranked in the top 100, and she realized the reason fans came was because of who she was, not what she did.

"They all knew me as Pete's sister," Sampras Webster said. "It was a lot of attention, and I'm not one to want and seek attention. It's not the most comfortable thing for me.

"I'd rather them come out and watch me for my tennis."

During Sampras Webster's one year on the tour, her brother captured more than half a dozen singles titles. Competing in the same realm as Pete, she felt the weighty expectations and lost what she had gained during college.

"On tour, I did feel the pressure," Sampras Webster said. "I didn't have much of an identity."

Building her own legacy

Sampras Webster insists it was the demanding lifestyle, not the pressure, that drove her away from the tour. When then-UCLA head coach Bill Zaima called to offer her a position on his coaching staff in 1993, it made leaving that much more of an appealing option.

Returning to UCLA enabled Sampras Webster to move back into the comfort zone she had fallen out of while on the tour. In 1996, Zaima retired and handed the reins to his former player. For the past nine seasons, Sampras Webster has headed the program that made her feel so unique in the first place.

"I have done a lot, and the people I work with know what I've done and what I've earned," she said. "They don't know me as Pete's sister. They know me as Stella, the head coach at UCLA."

Though her brother's status wasn't involved in any hiring decisions, it has been a nice boon for Sampras Webster since taking over. In her first year at the helm, Pete endowed a scholarship and helped raise an additional $100,000 for the program.

Additionally, Sampras Webster acknowledges that her last name, no longer a source of pressure or jealousy, may instead be a recruiting tool. Players on the team have said that when they were considering schools, UCLA was a particularly intriguing option because of the Sampras affiliation.

"If people are interested, it's a nice advantage because they already know something about me," Sampras Webster said. "At other schools, they might not know the background of the coach, but they know what Pete's like on the court and hopefully what kind of person he is. It's a reflection of our family.

"They know that we're a close family and have character. It could make a difference."

The closeness has been particularly apparent since Pete retired in 2002. Over the past few years, he has been a familiar face at many of the Bruins' home matches, and last season, he attended the team's banquet.

"At first, the freshmen will be a little starstruck," Sampras Webster said. "The rest have seen him around so much that it's not such a big event. He's talked to some of my players. They see that he's just another normal guy with unbelievable talent."

Pete's talent is now a source of pride for Sampras Webster. Her heated battles with him are a childhood memory. Her stint on the professional tour is a footnote and her career at UCLA is at the forefront. Because this is where she's never been in the shadow.

05-17-2005, 10:09 PM

Sampras the best player of the present era: Cash


Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash today described Pete Sampras as the best tennis player of the era, saying his 'near-flawless' technique made him a cut above the rest.

"Sampras is fantastic. He is technically sound. He is near flawless. There are some minor hitches in his game, but that can be ignored," Cash told a press conference here.

Cash, on a four-day trip to the city to attend a tennis clinic, rated John McEnroe the most talented player he had played against.

"He was the one with the most talent. He was very gifted. He was an unusual player, who was more difficult to play against for his bad temperament," said Cash, who lifted the Wimbledon crown in 1987.

The Australian said that he found German Boris Becker the most difficult customer to handle. "I always had trouble playing against him, as he could really hit the ball hard." Cash, who coached compatriot Mark Philippousis for two and a half years, said he had it in him to go higher and become the next Sampras, but was let down by his mentality, lack of dedication and attitude problems.

"I terminated my contract with Mark when I saw he was reluctant to listen to me and was more interested in partying ... He could have gone higher had he been more disciplined." Cash, who has also coached players like Greg Rusedski, said it was difficult to deal with superstars in sports.

"They may be talented, but they are also moody. It is very difficult to coach them. They expect miracles," he said.

Refering to tennis legend Bjorn Borg, he said that the Swede was outwardly cool, but a difficult proposition for coaches. "I think there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Top players often go crazy at some point of time," he said.

Cash said he was impressed with the way the kids at the Bengal Tennis Academy were picking up modern techniques in quick time.

"I see a lot of talent. But the problem with Indian tennis is that youngsters do not get much international exposure. While they should play at least one tournament a week, I find that they have to do with as low as eight tourneys a year," Cash said.

Stressing on the need for coaches to be properly versed in modern techniques, Cash said he had spent most of his time at the ongoing clinic interacting with coaches here.

"I gave them an on court presentation. After all, coaches play a significant part in shaping the future of these youngsters," he said.

Asked about the need for sports psychologists in tennis, Cash said "They play an important role. At the top level, 60 per cent of the battle is mental." Cash said he had taken the help of a sports psychologist during the early years of the concept in the 1980s and gained immensely. "I used to get nervous in pressure situations. The sports psychologist helped me to relax.

05-17-2005, 10:12 PM
Sports News

Sampras best Philippousis had potentials: Cash

Kolkata, May 17 (UNI) Former Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash today said Pete Sampras was the best player he has seen in the modern era but Mark Philippousis could have been as good as Sampras, but for his lack of application.

Talking to reporters here today, Cash said ''Pete is the best player I have seen in the modern era. His technique was perfect and his mental fortitude excellent. With exception of some minor hitches, he was near perfect.'' He remembered his first celebrity student Mark Philippousis with a lot of fondness.

''I had been with Mark for two-and-half years, he could have gone much higher than he went. His service was tremendous and his on court movement-phenomenon. I guess everyone is aware of his talent other than him. I mean he was just next to Sampras,'' he said.

However, Cash lamented that unlike pistol pete, his ward did not have the attitude or dedication. He just didn't apply himself and that is a huge disappointment, cash said.

''Our relationship went through its highs and lows. I think he just did not like my constant nagging for fitness and then I guess it had to end,'' he said.

Cash said then he formed his academy and went on to coach the children. It was at this point of time that Greg Rusedski approached him and he coached the Englishman for some one-and-a-half years.

''But I enjoy coaching children more because you can impart a lot to them. It is very difficult to deal with the pros as they expect a lot all the time. They expect miracle and that is really tough and when I say this, I mean all, everybody. That includes me. I guess my coach was a very patient one,'' Cash, who runs an academy on the Hope Island of Gold Coast in Australia, said.

Talking about choice of top tennis stars of his era, he said John Mcenroe was the most talented, most unusual and most ill tempered but, ''I have a good record against him.'' He said he also had a good record against Stefan Edberg. It was only Boris Becker who troubled him with his powerful service.

Cash then went on to say that all former players need not be great coaches. ''It is not necessary that all ex-players will be good coaches. There is so much to learn, there is so much research on modern techniques, but most of them are good coaches,'' Cash said.

05-17-2005, 10:18 PM
History & Hayden

Did you know Pervez Musharraf was a body-building champion? Or that as a 10-year-old, Fidel Castro wrote to the US President asking for a $10 bill as he had never seen one? Most people wouldn’t.

“History in the classroom can be horrible if it comes across as just dates and names. One needs to adopt a story-telling format to make it come alive,” says Diana Hayden, beauty queen and actress, while admitting to reading story books during her history classes in school.

The History Channel has for long tried to be the place “where the past comes alive”, but this time it is making sure the experience is even more entertaining by introducing an Indian host. On Monday night, its signature show Biography premiered in a new avatar with Hayden at the helm. “She brings an Indian connection to the show besides passing on interesting trivia about the person being featured,” explains Dilshad Master, senior vice-president, content & communications.

Biography with Diana Hayden, a one-hour show on weekdays at 10 pm, will cover three themes: World Leaders, Sports Stars and Hollywood Stars . The series will feature key personalities of the 20th century from politics (George Bush, beaming on Tuesday night, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Hitler, Putin, Arafat...), sports (Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Arthur Ashe, Venus and Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan...) and cinema (Brad Pitt, Bo Derek, Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Drew Barrymore, Christopher Reeve and more).

Extensive research has gone into each episode. Says Master: “Our team centred in the US went across the world, contacting news channels as well as individuals in search of video footage. So you get to see some rare scenes. Tony Blair at 19 wanted to be a rockstar and we have him looking like a complete hippie. Indira Gandhi is smiling and laughing with her cabinet colleagues just after taking over as Prime Minister in moments never yet shown in any documentary.”

On the last Friday of every theme month there would be a chat show with Diana in the interviewer’s seat. After the leaders’ segment, she speaks to Natwar Singh and Salman Khurshid. On sports, she speaks to the likes of Mahesh Bhupathi. After the Hollywood series, her guests are Nandana Sen, Mahesh Bhatt and Gulshan Grover. “Natwar Singh had so many personal memories of and insights on Clinton, Blair, Gorbachev and Nehru, that I told him you should have been my history teacher,” Diana laughs.

05-24-2005, 09:06 PM
Sports Etc.

Florida Sports Hall of Fame
By Times Staff Writer
Published May 22, 2005

WHAT: Induction banquet.

WHEN/WHERE: Tonight at Tropicana Field. Cocktails and silent auction at 6, dinner at 7, program starts at 7:30.

TICKETS: $100 for individuals, $800 for table sponsorships. For $1,400, admission for eight to the awards banquet plus golf for four Monday in the celebrity tournament . For $800, golf for four only.

INFORMATION: (727) 898-1029.


NICOLE HAISLETT BACHER, 32, took home three gold medals in swimming at the 1992 Olympics and was a six-time NCAA champion at Florida after starring at Lakewood High in St. Petersburg. Today Bacher works as an activities director for an area assisted-living program.

MIKE MARTIN, 61, has coached Florida State's baseball team for 25 years, amassing a record of 1,338-452-4 for a .750 winning percentage. That places him second among active coaches and sixth all time. Martin's teams have appeared in 24 straight NCAA region tournaments and 12 College World Series.

PETE SAMPRAS, 33, a native of Washington, D.C., came to Florida to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton and made Tampa his home during his tennis prime. He holds the record for most singles titles in Grand Slam events with 14 (seven Wimbledon titles, five at the U.S. Open, two at the Australian Open). He ranked as the world's No. 1 male player for six straight years, retiring in 2000. (Sampras is not expected to attend the induction.)

DEION SANDERS, 37, made an indelible mark at FSU as an All-America cornerback but also lettered in baseball and track. He was a two-time consensus football All-American, winning the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back in 1988. Known for his flashy "Prime Time" style, the Fort Myers product was selected to seven Pro Bowls in the NFL and won Super Bowls with San Francisco and Dallas. In addition, Sanders played centerfield for the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds and is the only person to play in both a Super Bowl and World Series.

HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER, 71, has been part of four collegiate national championships, his most memorable the one that came in Miami in 1983 when the Hurricanes defeated Nebraska in the 50th Orange Bowl. He has also been on the staff of seven NFL playoff teams and two Super Bowl staffs, including the unbeaten 1972 Miami Dolphins. Schnellenberger is now coach at Florida Atlantic, which he took to the 2003 Division I-AA title game.

PAYNE STEWART collected 11 PGA victories, including the 1991 and 1999 U.S. Opens, before he and five others died in a plane crash in 1999. Stewart, who lived in Orlando, was 42 when he died and was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

DANNY WUERFFEL, 30, guided the University of Florida to the 1996 national championship, winning the Heisman Trophy along the way. The quarterback from Fort Walton Beach, under the tutelage of Steve Spurrier, led the Gators to four straight SEC crowns, earning All-America and Academic All-America honors. He also won the Johnny Unitas and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards. He retired from the NFL in 2004 and serves as Director of Development for Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans.

Source: The Florida Sports Hall of Fame

05-27-2005, 09:08 PM
Tennis mailbag, with CNN's Candy Reid
Thursday, May 26, 2005 Posted: 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)

(CNN) -- Do you have a question about tennis for World Sport Anchor Candy Reid? E-mail candy@cnn.com.

Q. Whatever happened to the great Pete Sampras. Did he "disappear" quiet and smoothly.... is there any sound on his whereabouts?
My best regards, Ignacio Pena

A. As far as I know Ignacio, "Pistol Pete" is enjoying playing golf, doing charity work, and spending time with his family. I don't think he will have to get a job any time soon!! The $43 million he earned from tennis alone, should keep him going for some time! If anyone knows more, e-mail me at candy@cnn.com and I'll post the answers next week!

06-01-2005, 08:19 PM

Tennis Mailbag

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

If/when Roger Federer wins at Roland Garros, would you consider placing him above Pete Sampras on the all-time best list? Federer seems at least as dominant as Sampras, and, with a win on clay, would achieve something Sampras never did.
-- Mindy, Kansas

A "Career Slam" would be yet another feather in Federer's bandana. But it's premature to start anointing Federer as the best ever. Sampras was ranked No. 1 six years in a row, set the standard for Grand Slam titles and was a force for more than a decade. Federer is a singular talent who may well one day earn the "best-ever" mantle, but he still has a ways to go.

06-04-2005, 06:21 PM
ABC News

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press

STATELINE, Nev. Jun 4, 2005 — Ray Romano, Kurt Russell and Mark Wahlberg are among those who will make their debut this summer at the annual celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.

The 16th annual American Century Championship is scheduled July 15-17 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Donald Trump, Peyton Manning, Pete Sampras and John Elway are among those who plan return appearances in the three-day event with a $500,000 purse, sponsors said Thursday.

Other first-timers include NFL first-round draft pick and former California quarterback Aaron Rodgers, 2004 NFL rookie of the year Ben Roethlisberger, running back Jerome Bettis, quarterback Rich Gannon, boxer Arturo Gatti and Danielle Aimee, winner of The Golf Channel's "Big Break III: Ladies Only."

Former NHL star Dan Quinn, who has won the tourney four times, will be back to defend his title along with six-time champion Rick Rhoden.

Entertainers who also plan to play include Carson Daly, Kevin Nealon, Don Cheadle, Maury Povich and John O'Hurley.

06-18-2005, 05:25 PM
June 17, 2005

KNOW WHEN TO HOLD 'EM: Denver do-gooders Bob and Judi Newman were treated to a weekend in Vegas by NetJets, the private jet time-share company, where Bob played in his first-ever Texas Hold 'Em tourney.

On Saturday, 200 players - including big-wigs Matt Damon, Wayne Gretzky, Pete Sampras, Warren Buffett and Steve Miller - anteed up for big prizes, including a Maserati.

Before jetting to Vegas, Bob bought video games and books to bone up on the game. In the end, he took fifth place and a $50,000 Fendi gift certificate.

Who gets to spend the designer-label windfall?

"We both do," Judi told me. "I checked, and Fendi's going to start a men's line this September."

Bob also knocked off one of five players who had "a bounty" on their heads, and won a two-night stay at the Wynn Hotel, dinner for two in one of the hotel's gourmet restaurants and show tickets.

06-25-2005, 07:31 PM
They wore trends
By: Hemal Ashar
June 25, 2005


Sampras’s long shorts

Pete Sampras, ‘the quiet American’ they called him and his style too, proved that everything about him was 1930s — sedate and non-flashy. He popularised the long shorts. In an age when others were wearing less, Sampras was the coy boy on court.

06-29-2005, 07:58 PM

The top 10 tennis players

ROGER FEDERER'S Wimbledon joy is surely confirming the Swiss ace as an all-time great - aged just 23.

But does he belong yet in our list of legends? And how do modern stars like Pete Sampras and John McEnroe compare to heroes of the past like Rod Laver and Bill Tilden?

Have a look at our rankings, see if any Brits make the top 10



THE serve-and-volley genius holds two astounding records - winning Wimbledon seven times and finishing as World No1 six years in a row.

Modern Day Legend

Sampras' methodical mastery stemmed from his blend of touch and power, artistry and athleticism.

And on the fast grass of SW19 the big-serving American even achieved that true accolade of greatness - making his sport seem boring, such was his efficiency.

Sampras spent more weeks at No1 (286) and won more Grand Slam titles (14) than anyone else claiming at least one Slam every year from 1993 to 2000.


The best tribute to the Swede is surely the fact he won Wimbledon five times in a row despite being mainly known for his baseline brilliance.

Ice-cool Borg captured 11 Grand Slams, including a record six French Opens, on his way to 62 titles.

His heavy-topspin groundshots, including the famous two-handed backhand, outgunned or wore down all types of opponent.

And, as his Wimbledon odyssey went on, he developed enough of an all-court game to reign until John McEnroe beat him in an epic 1981 final.


RARELY has a sport been dominated so long and so utterly as by Gonzales from 1951 to1962.

To many - especially those tired of the Sampras-led 'wham-bam' era - he is the classiest player of all time.

But strong-serving Gonzales, who had an immaculate all-round game and powerful return, is not contending our No1 spot because he turned pro in 1949.

That made the American ineligible to play in the Slam tournaments - as "Open tennis" only came in 19 years later - and difficult to evaluate in terms of career titles.

But he easily beat every Wimbledon champ during his golden decade and might have won perhaps 20 Grand Slams had he stayed amateur.


THE only player to win two clean sweeps of the Grand Slams - in 1966 and '69 - Laver had a superb record worthy of his complete game.

The Australian left-hander claimed 11 Slams, including Wimbledon four times.

And his career total of 47 titles, plus 21 finishes as runners-up, produced one of the most dominant eras tennis has ever seen.

Laver also introduced the type of fierce top-spin shots that later became the trademarks of 1980s legends Bjorn Borg and Guillermo Vilas.


Still only 23, the Swiss hero has the type of awesome record and sublime all-round game that could eventually make him the greatest player ever.

An amazing 2004 saw him become the first man since Matts Wilander in 1988 to win three Grand Slams in a season.

And his overall statistics for the year, including 11 titles, were last matched by Ivan Lendl in 1986.

Federer's guile and beautiful passing shots make him equally comfortable on grass or clay, against big-hitters or baseline specialists.


POSSIBLY the most exciting player in tennis history, McEnroe mastered Wimbledon with touch and technique, rather than biff and bang.

His graceful shots and graceless rows with umpires were unmissable entertainment.

Left-hander McEnroe spent four years at No1, winning 77 titles.

And his clever serves - sliced with angle and bounce - were a sublime set-up for perhaps the deftest volleys tennis has ever seen.


ONE of the greatest sportsmen of the 1920s, Tilden had a spell of such domination that it is reckoned he went seven years without losing a single important match.

The American was a triple Wimbledon winner and seven times the US Open champion, yet he only achieved greatness at the age of 27.

Tilden even remained as the world's best player after having the top of his middle finger on his racquet hand amputated due to infection.

He was a master entertainer and superb strategist - with the ability to produce all sorts of angles and change styles suddenly, while often saving his thunderous serve for big points.


THE Czech-born star brought in the modern era of power tennis - with a robotic attitude and killer forehand that earned him 94 titles, four years at No1 and 13 years in the top 10.

Lendl won eight of his 19 Grand Slam finals, but lost both times he got that far at Wimbledon.

His meticulous training and preparation enabled him to become one of the most consistent players ever.

But, as hard as he tried to adjust, he never added the serve-and-volley game that would have made the naturalised American a contender for a top-five spot in our list.


IN 1938 the American became the only player to win all four Grand Slams in the same year - until Rod Laver.

Budge had arguably the most stylish backhand in tennis history, as well as a blistering serve.

His domination of the amateur game peaked when he won Wimbledon in 1938 without losing a set.

And Budge was equally successful after turning professional the next year, regularly beating the two top pros - Ellsworth Vines and Fred Perry.


The Australian legend was the best player of the early 1960s - when Rod Laver was still an emerging talent and Pancho Gonzales was in semi-retirement.

Rosewall had a backhand, notably a sliced shot, that was rated aside Don Budge's as the greatest of all time.

He won six Grand Slams, with his agility, stamina and lethal volleying.

But his modest serve was one reason he never quite turned four appearances in a Wimbledon final into a victory.

SO - what do YOU think?

HAVE we got it right? Or should 11th-placed Jimmy Connors have squeezed into the top 10? And what about Britain's triple Wimbledon winner Fred Perry?

06-30-2005, 08:12 PM
Retiring at the Top
Our sports superstars rarely get to exit on a soaring note. But even when they do—let’s admit it—we’re sometimes disappointed.

By Mark Starr
Updated: 1:29 p.m. ET June 30, 2005

June 30 - When Ted Williams reported to spring training with the Boston Red Sox in 1960, his prospects for the season ahead seemed rather unsettled. Of course, Williams, the man many regard as the finest hitter in the history of baseball, had spent a career unsettling pretty much everyone—opposing pitchers with his prowess, fans with his oft-cantankerous temperament and the press with his unwavering hostility.

Still, nobody would have wished it to end so badly. The previous season, when he had turned 41, Williams, hobbled by injuries and with two wartime military stints behind him, was no longer “the splendid splinter” of legend. He had hit a meager .254, almost 100 points below his lifetime average, with just 10 home runs. Nobody wanted to witness any further ravages of time through a long, tortuous season.

Instead, Williams scripted one final season of magic. He batted .316 (second best in the league), his on-base percentage was .452 (for comparison, 1960 home-run champ Mickey Mantle’s was .399) and he led all Boston hitters with 29 home runs. But most memorable of all—immortalized in the classic John Updike essay “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu”—Williams blasted a towering home run in his final at bat. And as Fenway Park went wild, “Teddy Ballgame” refused even to doff his cap, disappearing into the dugout and, presumably, right onto a fishing boat for the remainder of his life.

Our sports superstars rarely get to exit on such a soaring note. Rarest of all are those who get to exit at the absolute pinnacle of their game. I can count a handful: Rocky Marciano, Jim Brown, Sandy Koufax, Bill Russell, John Elway, Pete Sampras. Michael Jordan, of course, had that chance when he hung ’em up, at age 35, in 1998. The consensus greatest player of all-time, still the league MVP that season, Jordan stole the ball and made the shot in the final seconds that won him and the Chicago Bulls their sixth and final NBA title.

Of course, he couldn’t leave perfection alone. Certainly Jordan had earned the right to define his own legacy. But it we are honest, we will admit that we do begrudge him that comeback four years later. He was the proverbial pale shadow of his former self—gimpy, seemingly selfish and, by his lofty standards, very, very ordinary. And though any tarnish will fade with time, now it still colors our collective memory. Jordan is only the most notable example of a great athlete who stayed too long at the fair. It is becoming increasingly difficult for any athlete of stature to leave the game on time. The financial lures are simply too extraordinary. And it’s difficult to market shoes, clothes, a scent, even a steakhouse from a permanent seat on the sidelines.

On Saturday, a 33-year-old Texan, the greatest American cyclist in history, will, for the last time, begin a 3,607-kilometer trek across France that—when (or if) he reaches Paris 22 days later—will determine how he exits his sport. And frankly it is a bit of a puzzlement why Lance Armstrong is still there at the starting line. Two years ago, the hype about Armstrong’s record chase—he was going for his fifth straight Tour de France triumph—enticed many Americans to turn on to and tune into cycling’s premier race. Only four other riders had ever won five and only Spain’s Miguel Indurain had won five in a row. That Tour proved to be everything a novice fan could have hoped for, a grueling duel in the sun (and the mountains, the towns and pretty much everywhere) with Armstrong struggling mightily before, finally, passing his rivals and the ultimate test.

Then last year Lance won his sixth straight and no longer shared records with anybody. I’d be dissembling if I didn’t say that the 2004 Tour felt anticlimactic. Armstrong stomped the field, essentially clinching the Tour with almost a full week to go. And while the effort was an obvious testament to his extraordinary prowess, the romp felt slightly less momentous than the record book suggests. Still, it would have been the perfect moment to pedal off into the sunset with Sheryl Crow on his handlebars. I picture her singing, “All I want to do is have some fun, I got a feeling that I’m not the only one.”

Lance may actually have felt the same way. But he ran into some unlucky timing regarding sponsorship. His old deal was expiring after the 2004 Tour and the U.S. Postal Service didn’t intend to re-up. So even before last year’s race, Armstrong’s Pro Cycling Team inked a new three-year $15 million pact with The Discovery Channel that would start in 2005. There was no way Discovery would have anteed up big bucks if Armstrong didn’t race the Tour at least one time under its banner. To Armstrong, it also served as a final payoff to his teammates who, in many incarnations, had helped pave the way for his glory. But “one last time” doesn’t necessarily translate into a compelling event for us back home in America. (Or as SportsPickle.com, the satirical online sports page, put it in a headline: AMERICANS READY TO FEIGN INTEREST IN ONE LAST TOUR DE FRANCE.)

Sometimes less actually turns out to be more. I was there in St. Louis to witness the thrill of Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 62nd home run. None of the eight more home runs he struck that season carried quite the same excitement. And in a funny way, as his home runs rained down—and I’m talking about even before the events and insinuations of subsequent years—each seemed to depreciate his overall accomplishment. It suddenly seemed way too easy.

I’m not suggesting that Armstrong would be well served by losing this, his final star turn. Nor do I expect him to lose; somewhere in the Alps or later in the Pyrenees he should dust the competition. Indeed, I’d prefer him to go out on top. All I’m suggesting is that a little challenge, a hint of mortality, might stir us all more than another summer breeze. And remind us what a monumental champion is leaving the stage.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

07-02-2005, 05:18 PM
''The Sampras-Agassi generation - and don't forget Jim Courier and Michael Chang were around at the same time - was one of the very best in any sport from one country. The new generation [a 'brat-pack' comprising Roddick, James Blake, Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish] could have great careers in our own right, but, no, I don't think we could possibly live up to all those guys."

07-02-2005, 05:25 PM
On this day


1994 – Pete Sampras defeats Goran Ivanisevic to win the Wimbledon men's championship, 7-6 7-6 6-0.

07-05-2005, 08:44 PM
Looking back: On this day in 1999, Pete Sampras defeated Andre Agassi in straight sets to win his sixth Wimbledon title, the most by any player in the Open era. Sampras also tied Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam championships.

07-06-2005, 11:51 PM
This Day in Sports

Pete Sampras blew by overmatched, unseeded Frenchman Cedric Pioline, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, to capture his fourth Wimbledon title at the All- England Club. The 25-year old Sampras moved into a tie with the legendary Bill Tilden for fourth place on the all-time list with his 10th career Grand Slam title.

07-09-2005, 06:45 PM
Today in History - July 9

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Friday, July 8, 2005; 8:00 PM

-- Today is Saturday, July 9, the 190th day of 2005. There are 175 days left in the year.

Ten years ago: French commandos boarded the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior II in the South Pacific. Pete Sampras won the men's singles title at Wimbledon by defeating Boris Becker, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

07-11-2005, 09:18 PM
Sports stars, celebs gather for Lake Tahoe golf tourney

By Scott Sonner

8:37 a.m. July 11, 2005

STATELINE, Nev. – They dream of striking the ball like Tiger Woods, but for now they'll settle for an occasional birdie, some fun in the sun and a little luck at the blackjack tables.

"I understand that if I were any good I'd be over in Scotland right now getting ready for the British Open," Charles Barkley said in preparation for this week's 16th annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.

"My No. 1 goal is to win money in the casino. My No. 2 goal is to not hit anybody," he said.

The former NBA star is among dozens of football, baseball and basketball hall of famers, actors, comedians and television personalities who started arriving here Monday for the $500,000, 54-hole tournament that runs Friday through Sunday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

"I play golf because of the great camaraderie," Barkley said.

I get to play with somebody I really admire, whether it's Dan Marino or Emmitt Smith or Michael Jordan," he told reporters during a teleconference call last week.

"One of these years I'm going to come in dead last. That's my real goal – not to be dead last."

A 500-to-1 longshot to win the tourney, Barkley finds some comfort in the fact his friend Philadelphia 76er Chris Webber is in the field again.

"Thank God C. Web is going to be there. If I can't beat C. Web I really have to give this game up," Barkley said. "That guy shot 130 (last year) and we gave him like 50 shots."

Former NHL star Dan Quinn is the 6-5 favorite to win his third celebrity championship in a row on the par 72, 7,445-yard course that winds through towering pines on the shores of Tahoe's azure waters.

Quinn has won three of the last four tourneys for a total of four victories, second only to former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, who has won it a record six times and is the second pick to win this year at odds of 7-5 at the sports book at Harveys Casino and Resort across the street.

Marino, Smith and Jordan are back for another shot at the $100,000 first-place check along with former vice president Dan Quayle, talk show host Maury Povich and Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.

"I'll say this, I will beat Charles," said Marino, the former Miami Dolphins' quarterback who is to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 7 at Canton, Ohio.

"My golf game is OK. I probably will not be one of the guys in the lead, but I'm good enough to finish somewhere in the middle," Marino said.

"I enjoy the crowds and the people. It's a way for us to compete at a different level where we are not competing any more in our sport."

Others in the field include Peyton Manning, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk, Mark McGwire, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Mike Schmidt, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and Donald Trump.

Those making their debut include actors Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Don Cheadle and Cheryl Ladd, along with ESPN's Dan Patrick and Danielle Amiee, winner of The Golf Channel's "Big Break III: Ladies Only."

Practice rounds are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday with a celebrity-amateur tournament on Thursday. NBC Sports plans to televise the second and final rounds on Saturday (3-5 p.m. EDT) and Sunday (4-6 p.m. EDT).

07-11-2005, 09:29 PM
Tee times near for celebrities

Steve Yingling
Bonanza News Service
July 10, 2005

Celebrity skiing events have come and gone, but the American Century Golf Championship, sixteen years old and showing no signs of leaving town, has become deeply rooted in this mountain community.

While the event initially struggled to attract a title sponsor and again when Isuzu dropped its financial support in 1998, the tournament from July 15-17 still boasts a location other venues can't match: the beauty of Lake Tahoe on one side of the event and legalized gambling on the other.

"My No. 1 goal is win money in the casino and my second goal is to not hit anybody," said basketball star Charles Barkley, one of the top attractions for the 54-hole tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

The first championship in 1990 spawned a celebrity tour, but none of the events has ever matched the star power that convenes on the South Shore in the middle of July.

Besides Barkley, the 78-player field includes Michael Jordan, John Elway, Dan Marino, Mario Lemieux, Johnny Bench, Pete Sampras, Donald Trump and Emmitt Smith.

"You can't really match the celebrities and entertainers that you will see next week in Lake Tahoe," Marino said. "From that standpoint, it makes coming to Lake Tahoe really enjoyable."

NBC Sports, which televises the final two rounds, decides who plays and annually freshens the field.

"NBC tries to get different people in there every year and they keep it vibrant," said Phil Weidinger, whose business, Weidinger Public Relations, has promoted the event since 1992. "They've taken advantage of inviting the hot names out there and really try to include a lot more entertainment celebrities. That's what draws spectators."

Actors Don "Hotel Rwanda" Cheadle and Mark "Italian Job" Wahlberg and actress Cheryl Ladd are part of this year's infusion of star power. They join first-time participants Oakland Raiders' quarterback Rich Gannon, San Diego Chargers' quarterback Drew Brees and all-time quarterback sack leader Bruce Smith.

Marino's summer calendar is packed with excitement. The former Miami Dolphins quarterback will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame next month, but not before making his eighth appearance in the championship.

"I love the competition and being able to compare yourself against the other guys," he said. "You are out there trying to have a good time with good people and people you respect. You want to put on a show for the fans and you don't want to embarrass yourself."

For the first time in tournament history Caesars Tahoe won't serve as host to the celebrities. Harrah's Lake Tahoe has taken over that responsibility after Colombia Sussex purchased Caesars Tahoe in June.

"We're really excited to show off a little bit," said Don Marrandino, president of Harrah's Northern Nevada operations. "The town really rallies behind this event, our staff is really excited and we're looking forward to a great week."

Tournament odds, however, are only tendered across the street at Harveys Resort Casino, which was purchased by Harrah's Entertainment Inc. in 2001.

When Barkley learned on Thursday that the casino listed former Kings forward Chris Webber as having a better chance of winning the tournament than him, he became irritated. The odds on Barkley winning the title is 500-1, while Webber, who owns the dubious records of high single-round and three-round scores, is listed at 100-1.

"That's embarrassing. That man shot 130," Barkley said.

"I thank god Chris Webber is going to be here this year. If I get beat by C. Webb, I really have to give this game up.

"I'm not going to worry about the girl (Ladd). If I can beat C. Webb and Kevin (Nealon), that's my goal for this trip."

During a teleconference with Barkley and Marino on Thursday, it was announced that Autism Speaks will be the beneficiary charity for this year's tournament. That decision was especially touching to Marino, who has a 17-year-old autistic child.

"We have a center where we see 6,000 children a month and when I have a parent tell me, 'Dan, this facility really helped,' that's everything you dream of, to raise funds and make a difference," Marino said.

In past years the tournament has raised $2 million for charities, including the Uniformed Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund and Mark Cuban's Fallen Patriot Fund.

Official practice rounds begin on Tuesday. Ticket prices are $10 for Tuesday and Wednesday's practice rounds, $10 for the American Century Celeb-Am on Thursday and $20 for each day of the 54-hole tournament. Tournament passes are also available for $50.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Raley's stores at the "Y" and Stateline.

07-12-2005, 10:29 PM
Federer at Wimbledon: No Sampras
By Baird Hull
Published on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

For the third consecutive year, Roger Federer won Wimbledon. This has brought to bear the inevitable discussions of Federer's greatness and his place in history. Announcers have claimed that Federer possesses the complete game and that he could be the greatest talent ever to have played. The Swiss sensation is only 23, and has won five majors, which puts him on par to possibly reach Pete Sampras' record of 14 slam titles. At Wimbledon this year, Federer was never seriously challenged and beat Andy Roddick with apparent ease. Federer is the only player since Sampras to enter Wimbledon each year as the overwhelming favorite.

Despite Federer's record at Wimbledon and the other slams, his accomplishments are less impressive when one looks at the lack of diversity in the men's game today. Namely, the tour lacks serve and volleyers, who are especially dangerous on the grass at Wimbledon. At this year's Wimbledon, the three semifinalists other than Roger Federer were Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Thomas Johansson. All three of these players are basically baseliners. Lleyton Hewitt is essentially a grinder -- he wins matches by running from side to side at the baseline. Andy Roddick, despite his powerful serve, also resides at the baseline, trying to mask a backhand which is shaky at its best. Thomas Johansson is pretty much the standard male baseliner of the 1990s who had a hot tournament.

None of these men possess the talent to have made it to the second week of Wimbledon during earlier generations. If one looks at the recent list of champions, one will find that John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras clearly dominated the event over the past 25 years. All three of these champions possessed great all-around games and were capable of dominating at the net. Other players with notable Wimbledon careers were Goran Ivanesevic and Patrick Rafter. Ivanesevic was an all-around player with a great serve, while Rafter was an all-around player with a great volley.

There is great evidence that these players were far greater grass court players than the players that are dominating Wimbledon these days.

To begin with, Thomas Johansson, Wimbledon semifinalist, has been playing grand slams since 1994. In all of his years, he was never able to make it past the fourth round. In his younger, fresher days he was always stopped short of truly making it deep into the tournament by better players. Also, Roger Federer, who had already been picked as the next potential great, lost to Tim Henman in 2001 in the middle of a run which put him as the favorite to win Wimbledon that year. This alone is clear evidence that Roger Federer would not have been able to dominate in years past.

The best way, however, to judge the competitiveness of today's grass court players versus the competitiveness of grass court players in years past is by a stroke by stroke analysis. Andy Roddick, who has indisputably been the second-best grass court player over the last three years, essentially possesses two strokes: the serve and the forehand. On both shots he possesses mind-numbing power. Unfortunately, he has neither a backhand nor a volley to provide a strong supporting cast. Even on his serve, his most feared weapon, he clearly lags behind players in the past. Although he can hit a 150 mph rocket, he has never put up the numbers that Sampras and Ivanesevic were able to do with 125 mph serves.

Even Federer himself is not a strong matchup against players of the past. Federer is often praised as an all-court player who is great at every shot. Federer does possess a good serve, which has gotten better over the last few years, a good volley, a good backhand, and a great forehand. However, he does not possess nearly as good a serve as Ivanesevic, who won Wimbledon only once, nor does he possess nearly as good a volley as Rafter, who never won Wimbledon. In addition, he falls behind Sampras in nearly every category. Sampras indisputably possessed a better serve, a better volley and a better half volley. Federer is probably a better overall groundstroker, being that he has a better backhand, but his forehand is not as punishing a stroke as was Sampras'.

What does all of this mean? Roger Federer is an extremely talented player, but his dominance at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club has come at a time when the competition is far less tough. Federer has emerged as the king of a new breed of baseliners who cannot take advantage of the grass as in days past.

07-13-2005, 09:41 PM
Sports and Hollywood stars gather for the granddaddy of celebrity golf
Dozens of football, baseball and basketball hall of famers, actors, comedians and TV stars have descended on Lake Tahoe.

07.13.2005 04:54 pm (EST)

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) -- They dream of striking the ball like Tiger Woods, but for now they'll settle for an occasional birdie, some fun in the sun and a little luck at the blackjack tables.

"I understand that if I were any good I'd be over in Scotland right now getting ready for the British Open," Charles Barkley said in preparation for this week's 16th annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe. "My No. 1 goal is to win money in the casino. My No. 2 goal is to not hit anybody."

The former NBA star is among dozens of football, baseball and basketball hall of famers, actors, comedians and television personalities who started arriving here Monday for the $500,000, 54-hole tournament that runs Friday through Sunday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

"I play golf because of the great camaraderie," Barkley said. "I get to play with somebody I really admire, whether it's Dan Marino or Emmitt Smith or Michael Jordan."

Former NHL star Dan Quinn is the 6-5 favorite to win his third celebrity championship in a row on the 7,445-yard, par-72 course that winds through towering pines on the shores of Tahoe's azure waters.

Quinn has won three of the last four tourneys for a total of four victories, second only to former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, who has won it a record six times and is the second pick to win this year at odds of 7-5 at the sports book at Harveys Casino and Resort across the street.

Marino, Smith and Jordan are back for another shot at the $100,000 first-place check along with former vice president Dan Quayle, talk show host Maury Povich and Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.

"I'll say this, I will beat Charles," said Marino, the former Miami Dolphins quarterback who is to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 7 at Canton, Ohio. "My golf game is OK. I probably will not be one of the guys in the lead, but I'm good enough to finish somewhere in the middle.

"I enjoy the crowds and the people," he added. "It's a way for us to compete at a different level where we are not competing anymore in our sport."

Others in the field include Peyton Manning, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk, Mark McGwire, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Mike Schmidt, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and Donald Trump.

Those making their debut include actors Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Don Cheadle and Cheryl Ladd, along with ESPN's Dan Patrick and Danielle Amiee, winner of The Golf Channel's "Big Break III: Ladies Only."

Practice rounds were held Tuesday and Wednesday with a celebrity-amateur tournament on Thursday. NBC Sports plans to televise the second and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

07-13-2005, 10:06 PM
Tennis SET
A Look at Tennis Science, Engineering and Technology
by Jani Macari Pallis; Ph.D

Biomechanics In Tennis
Thanks To Pete Sampras

My family and I were seated in the stands at Arthur Ashe stadium opening day at the US Open. Along with watching the women's and men's evening matches (both Clijsters and Hewitt played) it was a thrill and moving experience to be there for the Pete Sampras' retirement ceremony.

What can I add to all the accolades paid to Sampras and his contribution to the game of tennis? I would be repeating everyone else's words: classic, textbook, perfection in motion. However, perhaps I can provide a different perspective from a sport science and technology point of view. John McEnroe may have expressed it best at the ceremony. He commented that Sampras was the hero of half of the players in the locker room while the other half imitated his strokes.

Sampras was the one to watch, to learn from AND to analyze.

During his professional career significant advances in computer and network technology were made: enhancements in high speed video cameras, digitizing boards, availability of high resolution digital cameras, the Internet, significant increases in computer processor and memory power on your desk and laptops, great strides in the capability and performance of animation and software tools used in biomechanical analysis.

Even in 1999 Dr. Duane Knudson, a biomechanist and member of the United States Tennis Association's sport science committee, noted that as the computer technology, software and other tools used to study biomechanics improved, greater contributions could be made. It would simply be easier to conduct studies in the future.

Today, there are many more motion capture and analysis tools (both hardware and software) available and not just for elite or professional player studies. There are many inexpensive alternatives to record and analyze your own performance.

During an educational project on sport science we conducted which began in 1997, high speed cameras were very expensive. I was quoted over $100,000 for the purchase of one high speed camera (we rented the camera) and about $30,000 for a top of the line analysis system. Now, your digital video camera and a few hundred dollars of software can provide an extremely viable analysis system.

Back to Pete Sampras. During these past few years as software and hardware technology changed, Pete Sampras was often the inspiration in our own group to push the limits of analysis. He certainly inspired our skeletal and 3-dimensional computer models of tennis players. (Notice the infamous "toe-tap" on the serve of the 3-D model.) The first racquet-head speed analysis we conducted was based on Sampras' serves - both first and second serves.

Skeleton Movie Size (.mov): 354K
Skeleton Movie Size (.mpg): 219K

Full Body Model Movie Size (.mov): 283K
Full Body Model Movie Size (.mpg): 437K

Next month we'll return to the discussion of specific hardware and software alternatives available to study tennis biomechanics. As a preview to the next column on biomechanics in tennis, here are the racquet-head and ball patterns from six Pete Sampras serves. There are distinct patterns for the different types of serves. (For a nice review on serves you might want to look at Tennis Server writer Ron Waite's columns on the first serve and second serve.) The blue path is the tip of the racquet-head; the yellow path is the ball. The camera was set up from the sideline near the baseline. These serves were videotaped facing Sampras' left side.


Sampras' Serves Were Captured From The Sideline Near The Baseline Facing Sampras From The Left Side Of His Body

http://www.tennisserver.com/set/images/set_03_09/Set_1260.jpg http://www.tennisserver.com/set/images/set_03_09/Set_2060.jpg http://www.tennisserver.com/set/images/set_03_09/Set_1360.jpg http://www.tennisserver.com/set/images/set_03_09/Set_1860.jpg http://www.tennisserver.com/set/images/set_03_09/Set_1760.jpg http://www.tennisserver.com/set/images/set_03_09/Set_1460.jpg

When the analysis was first done, it was easy to note a) the distinct patterns for different types of serves (a flat first serve, a slice or kick second serve) and b) the patterns and racquet-head speed for the same serve type were extremely consistent. You could overlay two flat serve or kick serve patterns and they were almost identical - both the speed of the racquet-head and the pattern the racquet-head made through the air. As we moved onto analyzing other players, armed with Sampras' consistent machine-like results, I initially was surprised that other players (like Venus Williams) did not necessarily have these distinct, consistent, machine-like patterns.

Can you pick out the patterns? What type of serve do you think each graphic represents? (Why are there two gaps in some of the graphics? This represents where Sampras' legs were. His legs blocked the camera's view of the racquet-head tip.)

Next month, we'll note the type of serve and also place the ball and racquet-head velocities on the diagrams. (The velocity will "give away" the type of serve in some instances, since first serves are typically faster than second serves.) These are typical graphical results from motion analysis software. If you haven't worked in this area before, studying these results can serve as an orientation.

Some might think of motion analysis as a cold dehumanizing statistical tool. However, for myself, the harmonious patterns of Sampras' serves brought a sense of beauty to the game and awe of the human body's ability to achieve such repeatable high levels of performance. It was like looking at dance choreography.

Several of you who have written me in the past are educators: coaches or classroom teachers. You've told me how this column provides teaching ideas for your players/students. I've had students look at the patterns and asked them to demonstrate to me how a racquet could create this motion. This can be an interesting exercise and gets the students to think and visualize in 3 dimensions.

At the US Open a group of fans held a sign up that said, "Thanks For The Memories Pete". Sampras was an inspiration to players, to fans and to sport scientists. He challenged everyone to push their performance limits and for those in sport science this often meant pushing the limits of the motion analysis technology.

Enjoy the rest of the US Open (or as Prof. Howard Brody is referring to it the "US Closed Due To Rain".) Let's hope for sunny skies in Flushing Meadows!

07-16-2005, 07:26 PM
titans spark Smash bash
By Rich Eldred/ reldred@cnc.com
Friday, July 15, 2005

That subtle tennis touch never deserts the true racket artiste.

That was one lesson of the adidas Tennis Smash, held for the fifth time at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster Monday and Tuesday. The event raises money for the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, a nonprofit which funds care and support programs for brain tumor patients and their families.

Tim Gullikson, ranked as high as 18th in the world in 1978, won 16 doubles titles, usually playing with his identical twin brother Tom. He went on to become a coach, helping Martina Navratilova and most famously Pete Sampras.

It was while Tim was Sampras' coach that he was diagnosed with brain cancer, from which he passed away in 1996. The brothers and their families started the foundation in 1995, and the first Smash was five years later.

"I started the event with Scott Stettner," explained Ryan Macauley. "I used to work for adidas America in tennis marketing. We had great athletes, and we never used all their appearances. I said, 'Let's put something together for the Gully Foundation. Tim spent a lot of summers here. I was from the area.' He'd been a great mentor for me. Joe Corcoran, who owns Ocean Edge, used to go to the camp."

Macauley said it was fitting to have a fund-raiser at Ocean Edge.

"Tim Gullikson played at Ocean Edge when the club hosted a Grand Champions tour stop 15 or so years ago and he returned to run an annual tennis camp here," he said.

Macauley was half of a standout doubles team at Nauset Regional High School, playing with Todd Gore for the state title 15 years ago.

"Tim and Tom are one of the two nicest guys you'd ever meet. Joe was fond of them and he said, 'Let's put an event together,'" Macauley said. "It's become like a family. We get the same people back every year. It's gotten very intimate. It's pretty cool. Martina (Hingis) has been here three years in a row. She loves it here."

"adidas brings me here," Hingis said. "And I like to play here any time I can help support the foundation. I like Cape Cod very much. I run on the beach. It's really a beautiful place. I wish I could stay longer."

At the ripe old age of 25, Hingis has been retired from tournament tennis for three years. She is playing World Team Tennis, on a team with John McEnroe, so she couldn't stay in Brewster. She won't be trying a Wimbledon comeback.

"My body wouldn't allow me to play 100 percent, and 70 or 80 percent isn't good enough anymore," she said. "I miss my teammates already. I told them, 'Keep going until I come back and join you.'"

Although she won nine Grand Slam doubles titles to go with five singles crowns, Hingis won't return as a doubles specialist like Navratilova.

"I'd rather do the whole thing than just play doubles," she said. "Doubles is not good enough, I guess."

Hingis added some glamour to the court in her sky blue outfit and deft drop shots. Her exhibition opponent Tuesday, Tom Gullikson, was more than twice her age, and as it turned out, experience was no match for youthful vim and verve.

"I've had two Advils, so I'm ready," he said beforehand.

Overall, Hingis won 40 singles titles and 36 doubles championships in her eight-year pro career. Diminutive compared to the 6-foot sluggers like Maria Sharapova, both Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport who rule the pros today, she plays a forgotten style, that of the crafty finesse player, spinning shots here and there, mixing it up.

Gullikson displayed some sparkle of his own, declaring, "I got you girl," as he raced to the net to put away one Hingis drop shot. But on other occasions, he "didn't want to give her the satisfaction" of chasing a nicely placed ball.

His running commentary broke up Hingis, who doubled over with chuckles.

"She's not taking me seriously," he lamented. "Can we play again when you're 53?"

"Do you know how old you'll be then?" someone asked.

"I'll be ... I'll be happy to wake up on the right side of the divot," Gullikson answered.

Stefan Edberg of Sweden, looking as trim at age 39 as he did while winning 41 singles titles, including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and Australian Open twice apiece, wowed the crowd with impossibly low and ferocious shots that just skimmed over the net.

"He covered the net better than anyone, including John McEnroe," Gullikson said before the match.

Edberg's opponent, Brian Baker, shook off a leg injury to showcase some pretty nifty tennis of his own in the exhibition. Their match went to a tiebreak that Edberg won. Edberg had a little fun, hitting shots behind his back and impersonating McEnroe's serve.

Edberg is an old-fashioned serve-and-volley man, and despite today's plethora of baseline bashers, he charged the net behind his serve, waving the flag of classic tennis.

In addition to adidas, Jaguar and Land Rover, two brands now owned by Ford, were visible sponsors. Two Land Rovers, one silver, one pumpkin, were parked above white folding seats, and an Austin Powers style "Shaguar" reclined in the grass.

The gray clay courts were groomed between sets by volunteers, such as former Nauset High girls tennis coach Paul White, now tennis director for the Orleans recreation program.

"Barbara and I are part-time shuttle drivers, so we're employees of Ocean Edge," White said of him and his wife. "We come here and play all the time. They asked us to volunteer and we said we'd be glad to."

White was on hand for the Monday tennis clinics with Ivan Lendl, a star of the 1980s who spent 157 consecutive weeks as the world's No. 1 player and topped the rankings for 270 weeks overall. You can't beat instruction like that.

"I brought my kids from the Orleans program to the clinic," said White.

"Yesterday, we had three (hundred) to 400 kids for the clinic with Ivan Lendl," Macauley said Tuesday. "We had the celebrity golf tournament, a silent auction and a nice gala diner hosted by (tennis scribe) Bud Collins. Today we had the pro-am in the morning."

It was a busy two days, and it should be back again in 2006

07-16-2005, 07:35 PM
http://www.bharatiyahockey.org/2000/images/sampras.jpg http://www.studiomark.com/july-2002-images/sampras-hs.jpg http://www.pointedmagazine.com/espy%20sampras.jpg http://www.tennis-x.com/images/players/sampras.jpg

07-18-2005, 08:31 PM
10 best plays, 10 great memories


By GARY SHELTON, Times Sports Columnist
Published July 17, 2005

The ball is still in the air. The batter is still circling the bases. The crowd is still on its feet.

In that cache file in your mind, in that portion of the brain that clings to all memories cool and collectable, it is still 1999.

It is there, in your memory, that Wade Boggs still boils over. He is pointing to the sky. He is talking to heaven. He is kissing the plate. He is spinning amid the cheers. It is still Aug. 7, still 9:08 p.m., still the sixth inning.

You remember, don't you? For a few giddy, glorious seconds, the Devil Rays mattered. For one fun frolic around the bases, Tropicana Field was electric.

With two weeks to go before Boggs enters the Hall of Fame, it seems like a good moment to relive a good moment. The opponent was Cleveland. It was Boggs' third hit of the night. Oh, yeah. In those days, he was bald.

Without question, it is the best of all Devil Ray moments.

Ah, but where does it rank on the list of Tampa Bay's finest plays? No, not moments. We are not talking about big victories or key acquisitions or notable awards. We are not talking about returning from injury or illness or team sales or new stadiums.

We're talking about plays. We're talking about a greatest hits, highlight tape of Tampa Bay sports.

10. WRIGHT ARRIVES: In boxing, you do not keep score by belts. Heck, Winky Wright had had those and had given them up to chase better (and better paying) opponents.

Wright arrived, however, by dominating Felix Trinidad so thoroughly it is hard to remember that he was a big underdog going into the fight. When it was over, you couldn't pay Trinidad to accept a rematch. He retired with a broken nose and a battered will.

You can pare this fight down to a first-round flurry that showed the difference in the fighters. Wright's jab hit home when he wanted. Trinidad, on the other hand, couldn't seem to find Wright. He landed only 15 jabs, barely more than one per round.

One judge scored every round for Wright. The other two judges, showing more mercy than Wright, gave Trinidad one of the 12 rounds.

The fight also marked the return of Tampa Bay to big-time boxing. Wright, along with Jeff Lacy and Antonio Tarver, figure to have a lot more moments over the next few years.

9. THE BULIN WALL: Find a key Tampa Bay sports moment, and odds are, a Philadelphia team is on the other side of it.

So it was two years ago, when the Lightning won a nasty, noisy series with the Flyers in which the head coaches, in essence, took turns calling each other goobers.

If you remember nothing else from the series, however, remember the way Nikolai Khabibulin stood up to Keith Primeau on a breakaway in Game 7 on May 22, 2004.

The Lightning led 2-1 at the time, but Primeau had been a force the entire season. He had led his team from behind in Game 6, and with the puck on his stick and clear ice in front of him, it appeared he might do it again. Khabibulin faced him down, however, and stopped the point-blank shot even as Primeau sprawled headlong into the post.

The Lightning was on its way to the final, and no one would question Khabibulin's playoff mettle again.

8. HAISLETT WINS GOLD: There was much to worry about in the waters of the Piscina de Montjuic on July 27, 1992. There was disappointment. There was fear. There was a feisty German opponent named Franziska Van Almsick.

Nicole Haislett outswam them all.

Haislett made her move in the final 25 meters, pulling even and then passing Van Almsick to win the 200-meter freestyle. For most of the race, she had drafted off of Van Almsick, who tended to hug the ropes, before overpowering her opponent late. It was a combination of strategy and stamina that paid off in gold.

For Haislett, there had been concerns going into the race. She admitted disappointment over a fourth-place finish in the 100 meters, and she admitted fear after seeing Van Almsick's time in the heats, which was faster than she had ever swum.

No problem. Haislett set a personal best with a 1:57.90 in the final, then went on to win two more gold medals.

7. SAMPRAS OUTLASTS COURIER: For a day, Wimbledon might as well have been played in Tampa Bay. Jim Courier grew up in Dade City, and at the time, Pete Sampras lived a few miles away from him.

It was in England, however, where the two met and their careers went separate ways.

The key play came in the second set. Sampras had won the first set on a tiebreaker, and sure enough, the two went into a tiebreaker in the second. Courier had a set point, but Sampras saved it when he mis-hit a volley. Sampras went on to win the tiebreaker, leaving Courier in the odd position of trailing two sets to none even though he had not lost on his serve.

Going into the match, there had been controversy that Sampras had taken over the No. 1 ranking from Courier. There were also doubts as to Sampras' physical and mental stability. With the victory over Courier, that started to change. Sampras would win Wimbledon seven times.

Courier? He never reached the final of another Grand Slam.

6. JUREVICIUS TO THE RESCUE: For the Bucs, the night started off with a familiar misery. They were back in Philadelphia, where so many seasons, and so many jobs, had ended badly. The weather was cold, and the Eagles were hot and 52 seconds into the game, the Bucs were behind.

Then Joe Jurevicius was loping down the sideline, and for the first time in years, things felt different between the Bucs and the Eagles.

Odd, but the play didn't change the scoreboard. It did, however, change the Bucs' mind-set. Tampa Bay had lost three straight games at the Vet without an offensive touchdown. When Jurevicius ran 71 yards to set up the Bucs' first touchdown, it signaled to the Tampa Bay players this would not be more of the same.

Jurevicius had lined up with Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell in a triangle on the right side of the line, and when he broke across the middle, he found himself isolated on linebacker Barry Gardner. Quarterback Brad Johnson hit him in stride and a lane opened in front of him.

For Jurevicius, it was a painful time. He had practiced only once all week with the team because of the illness of his son (who died two months later), and he flew to Philadelphia the day before the game.

Just in time, as it turns out.

5. FEDOTENKO TIMES TWO: First belittled, then battered, then beautiful. Ruslan Fedotenko took a different route to becoming a cult figure, didn't he?

These days, the image everyone has of Fedotenko is of the second goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, the one that allowed Lightning fans to think: We really are going to win the Cup.

Before the playoffs, however, the popular image of Fedotenko was as the product of a bad trade. The Lightning had given the fourth overall draft pick for Fedotenko, and the popular theory was that the team could have gotten more.

Fedotenko changed much of that with his playoffs, but even that almost ended prematurely when, in Game 3, Fedotenko was driven into the boards facefirst. He came away with a gruesome bruise, and he wasn't the same player for the next three games.

In Game 7, however, he was special. He scored the team's first goal. But it was at 9:42 p.m., when he took a perfect pass from Vinny Lecavalier and drove it home, that will serve as his memory.

4. BROOKS SLAMS THE DOOR: When things look chaotic, he is the one who brings the calm. When the seas get rough, he is the one who steadies the ship.

Why would you be surprised, then, that the Bucs' Super Bowl victory was sealed when linebacker Derrick Brooks intercepted a pass and ran it back 44 yards into the end zone to make sure the Bucs won their title?

The defense had dominated the Raiders most of the night, intercepting five passes and sacking Rich Gannon five times. It was as if the Bucs knew the Raiders' plays; it turns out they did. Bucs coach Jon Gruden had drawn most of them himself.

Late in the game, however, things had gotten a little worrisome. A 34-3 lead had dwindled to 34-21, and the Raiders had the ball.

Then Brooks had the ball in his hands, and he was rambling toward the end zone - again - to make sure the lead stood up. The Bucs ended up winning 48-21.

For Brooks, there was nothing unusual about the play. He had returned three other interceptions for touchdowns during season, and he ended up as the NFL's defensive player of the year.

3. BOGGS GOES YARD: For a guy who supposedly couldn't hit for power, Boggs ended his quest for 3,000 hits with an exclamation point.

Of the 26 players who have reached 3,000 hits, only Boggs has done so with a home run. Which, of course, is perfect Boggs. He is an obsessive man, one who was driven by his critics. So what better way to get 3,000 hits than by flashing a little muscle?

It has been almost six years since Boggs' hit, and really, can you think of another Devil Rays' moment since? Since Boggs kissed the plate, the team has stumbled through the dark, waiting for another such moment that would cause a bit of electricity.

You wonder: Does Boggs have anything left?

After all, there is plenty of chicken to go around.

2. ST. LOUIS DOUSES FLAMES: The NHL never saw Marty St. Louis coming. Turns out, neither did the Calgary Flames.

St. Louis, unheralded and unhyped as he entered the league, was the NHL's best player in 2004. But on the night of June 5, he hadn't done a lot to notice.

Then, 33 seconds into double overtime, St. Louis swooped in to spank a rebound into the net. The goal gave the Lightning a 3-2 victory that evened the Stanley Cup series and forced Game 7.

How big was St. Louis' goal? Big enough to overcome the stubborn Flames and big enough to stop the return of the Stanley Cup to Canada. It was a career-defining goal, a moment that will be with St. Louis long after he stops playing.

It also enabled the Lightning to come back and claim the Stanley Cup. In other words, the most important moment of Game 7 actually happened in Game 6.

1. "DON'T EVER STOP RUNNING": One minute, there was doubt. The next, there was delirium. One minute, it was slipping away. The next, Ronde Barber was running away.

Is there any doubt, really? Has there ever been another play that so completely changed, well, everything? One minute, the Eagles were trying to stage a comeback, and the next, Barber was running downfield, away from the Eagles, away from trouble and toward the Super Bowl.

The Eagles, beaten convincingly for most of the day, had mustered a final shot at the Bucs. Donovan McNabb drove his team to the Bucs 10 with 31/2 minutes to go. If the Eagles had scored then, the Bucs' lead would have been cut to 20-17, and the Eagles had all three timeouts left.

On first down, however, the cornerback stepped in front of Antonio Freeman and sailed toward the end zone. With every step he ran, the frenzied Veterans Stadium crowd drew quieter, until at the end, Barber was running in silence. Well, almost.

In the press box, then-general manager Rich McKay was pounding his fist and screaming. "Run! Don't ever stop running."

A week later, the Bucs won the Super Bowl. For all of the big plays in that game, however, none can measure up the drama of Ronde's return.

07-18-2005, 10:24 PM
July 15, 2005

Woods cannot afford to compromise if he is to join the slender ranks of sporting immortals
By Simon Barnes

WE START with dreams of our greatness, we end by watching the greatness of others. At least, most of us do. I was the cricketer who hit every single ball of his life for four. Never missed one, never left one, never pushed a single. For every ball, I had the shot.
I was also the goalkeeper who was never beaten. Not once. No matter how many mistakes my defence made, I was sure; no matter how brilliant the opposition, I was always that little bit better. I was the best. The best ever. I was great.

But I was not unique. We were all great, in a thousand different ways. We have all scored Lord’s centuries before jogging to Wembley to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final. Sport exists because of its ability to feed such fancies. But alas, there comes a moment in most people’s lives when we must modify our take on sporting reality.

Then I found myself reading about Tiger Woods. Woods has not modified his views.

Nor is he taking each match as it comes. He is out there in full, open, public quest for greatness.

Jack Nicklaus was the greatest golfer there has ever been, because he won 18 major championships. Woods intends to be greater. He has compromised, I suppose, in so far as he doesn’t expect to go round every golf course in 18 shots. But that’s as far as his compromising has gone.

“I look on it as a career,” he said. “For him it was only 13 majors he was chasing.” Translation: Nicklaus overtook Bobby Jones, who won 12 major championships. “For me to get to 18 and hopefully beyond that is going to take a little longer. Just to win nine in my twenties, I am ahead of where I thought I would be.” There is a colossal impertinence in those words.

No one talks like that, not even great athletes. They all talk about it being a long road and how they will take each match as it comes. Roger Federer won Wimbledon and then deftly and elegantly deflected all questions about overtaking Pete Sampras, who has 14 grand-slam titles to Federer’s five.

Sampras had the same attitude. He was always just going out there to do his best and he was going to give it everything, etc, etc. And he certainly achieved greatness, never once compromising his vision of himself as a serial champion. Even at the last, humiliated at Wimbledon and written off as a force in tennis, he went out and took one more slam. As great as they come.

What is it about these serial champions? How is it that they never compromise? Woods wants ten more major championships; Colin Montgomerie only needs one more to fulfil himself. One more than nothing, and it will never come. It is the same with Tim Henman. One more than nothing is all he craves, and he now knows it will never come. He’s been a wonderful player but has never been able to take the next step, the one that leads towards greatness. He was once a set up against Sampras in the semi- finals at Wimbledon, but he was unable to transform his fantasy into reality.

For most of us, greatness is a thing to watch rather than be. The Tour de France is meandering its brutal way across our screens at the moment, a race dominated by a man who has already achieved greatness. At five Tour wins, Lance Armstrong joined the greats. At six, he went beyond them. So now he seeks his seventh, to create clear daylight between the merely great and himself.

Armstrong is as close as you can get to the fantasy of the man who never concedes a goal: the man who wins every Tour de France. He actually has brought fantasy into reality. And here’s the nub: perhaps the truly great can do this because they do not acknowledge the difference.

We can look for greatness in many places in this splendid summer of sport. We can see it in Shane Warne, who in 2000 was the only working cricketer to become one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century.

That famous first ball to Mike Gatting in 1993 was not only propelled by remarkable skill, it was also propelled by a mind of quite extraordinary confidence. That moment really was pure fantasy. His first ball in Test cricket in England drifted outside leg and spun back sharply to hit the top of off. There may well have been other bowlers who bring this off in the nets, but it takes what is quite literally a fantastic mind to do it for real.

“Who writes your scripts?” That was Graham Gooch’s famous question to Ian Botham when he took a wicket with his first ball back in Test cricket after being banned for smoking dope. It was a pertinent question. Greatness requires a talent for bringing fantasy into reality. Botham saw himself a Boy’s Own hero and somehow forced everyone around him to humour his whim.

Greatness is a thing that — certainly in sport — goes far beyond mere talent. Greatness isn’t about being miles and miles better at golf shots, cricket shots, tennis shots, riding bicycles. These things help, they are an aspect of greatness. But there are many, many highly-talented athletes who don’t have greatness in them.

They are good enough at sport, but they are not good enough at greatness. Greatness is almost a separate thing. Greatness is overwhelming and requires a medium through which it can be expressed. Greatness is a kind of spiritual incontinence, something that bursts from a person almost beyond his control.

And greatness is about the inability to compromise the fantasies of childhood. It is not that great athletes never grow up; rather, as they grow up, they turn the stuff of childhood into the stuff of greatness, the stuff of fantasy into the stuff of reality.

In youth, we admire the great performers in sport because we want to be them. In grown-up years, the great ones represent a more elusive and more precious thing: a sense of who we might have been, had we only been someone else.

People talk about great athletes as role models, which is nonsense. No one literally models himself on an athlete. They are not people we want to be in real life, they are people we want to be in fantasies — the juvenile part of ourselves.

At what stage does compromise come in? At what stage do we recognise our limitations? At what stage do we rein in our ambitions? When did I first realise that life was not going to proceed at 24 runs an over for ever? When did I realise that my team were not always going to win something-nil? Perhaps even in the fantasising.

But those who find sporting greatness do not compromise with themselves, they do not compromise with colleagues, they do not compromise with opponents, and above all, they do not compromise with reality. Armstrong, Warne, Sampras, Nicklaus; and, perhaps in time, Woods and Federer. Reality looks on such people and trembles.

07-19-2005, 10:11 PM

07-23-2005, 04:42 PM

07-27-2005, 11:41 PM

A triumph of mind over matter

In a way, the real sports rivalries have taken place across eras. Whether Pete Sampras was better than Rod Laver is a question often debated by tennis experts. Similarly, is Tiger Woods a more complete golfer than Jack Nicklaus? Should Michael Phelps be ranked a whisker ahead of Mark Spitz? Such comparisons are, in most cases, inherently unsound. But it is in the nature of those passionate about sports, whether experts or mere enthusiasts, to keep making them. So when Lance Armstrong rode majestically into the sunset at the Champs Elysees, the obvious question arose. Should he be placed at the top of the list of all-time cycling greats? Or should that honour be reserved for the legendary Eddy Merckx, the man who was known as the Einstein of two-wheelers and who decimated the competition during the 1970s? While this debate is likely to rage inconclusively, one thing is clear as day. Rarely has sport witnessed a champion as determined and unyielding as Armstrong. He came back from the brink, after a great battle with cancer nine years ago, to record an unprecedented seventh successive victory in the Tour de France. It may be just one tournament, but the event — which was founded in 1903, is held over 3,600 kilometres, and takes about three weeks to complete — is by far the most gruelling and prestigious race in the world's cycling calendar. It is the kind of contest that is tailor-made to bring out the best in Armstrong, a man who has shown the world that miracles are possible.

"The last thing I'll say for the people who don't believe in cycling, the cynics, the sceptics, I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry you can't dream big and I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles," he said in his farewell speech. From anyone else, these words would have seemed a tad immodest. But how could anyone have taken offence when they came from someone who had just registered a record string of victories in cycling's equivalent of the marathon? And that too after surviving testicular cancer (it had spread to the lungs and brain), overcoming two surgeries, and going through extensive chemotherapy sessions. Before the start of this year's Tour de France, the question was not so much whether the Texan could win, but who could stop him. The answer came in the comfortable lead he established from the fourth stage, after which he never looked back, barring the brief surrender of the maillot jaune (the yellow jersey that signifies the overall race leader) at the end of stage nine. In the end, Armstrong had a better than four-minute lead over the second-placed Ivan Basso of Italy and six minutes over his archrival, Jan Ulrich of Germany. Armstrong's special physical attributes include a pair of lungs that draw in more oxygen, and muscles that produce less lactic acid (a cause of fatigue) than most of his challengers. But his phenomenal success cannot be reduced to such mundane terms. His career is a story of implacable will and uncommon guts, of mind prevailing over matter.

07-30-2005, 06:42 PM
Guide - History

Wimbledon Legends: Pete Sampras


©Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

With seven Wimbledon Championships - 14 Grand Slam titles in all – Pete Sampras has the most outstanding record of any of the men's Champions. Although the records and statistics are the dry proof that Sampras was king in his time at the All England Club but sport is not just about numbers. What grips us, the lucky few who get to sit at the court side, is the passion, the fear, the blood, sweat and tears that separates the players from the champions and the champions from the truly great.

Passion? Sampras? Oh, my, yes. Sampras was never the most expressive or effusive of characters on court, but there was a fire in him that burned brightly and scorched all who came near it. His whole life was devoted to achieving greatness and then hanging on to it. For six years between 1993 and 1998 his every waking moment was consumed with the thought of winning and maintaining his position as world No. 1. He did it, too.

During that spell, he won five of his Wimbledon titles together with three US Open and two Australian Open trophies. But it was here at Wimbledon that he felt most at home. Here he was in his comfort zone, here he had a head start on any opposition. The mere fact of playing the great Sampras reduced all but the best to tatters and gave him a few points in the bag before the match had even begun.

Every year he would come to London from the French Open looking grim. He could never win in Paris and the fact hurt. But as soon as walked through the gates of the All England Club his spirits lifted and he became a different man. He won here when he was injured, he won when his form was at its lowest and he won when his critics had written him off. Put Pete on Centre Court and he was unstoppable. On one leg and in a blindfold and he was still unstoppable.

Then there were the occasions when Pete was in his pomp. The 1999 final against Andre Agassi was possibly the greatest display of grass court tennis that Wimbledon has ever seen. He had stumbled around the circuit for the first half of the year, winning nothing and looking miserable but then he went through that Lazarus moment as he returned to the grass. He won at Queen's and then began his campaign for The Championships.

Round by round he gathered momentum until he was ready for Agassi. His fellow American had just won the French Open, he was the story of the moment having hauled himself back from a ranking of 141 and reinvented himself as a champion. He was at his peak. And in the first set he had the temerity to manufacture three break points on the Sampras serve.

That was it. That was the moment Sampras moved from champion to genius. He snatched back the break points and then took off. For a couple of minutes Agassi shook his head and tried to work out what happened but by then the first set was gone and he was a break down in the second. It was not that Agassi was playing badly, it was just that Sampras was sublime.

"Today he walked on water," Agassi said later. Sampras said simply: "Sometimes I surprise myself." He ended on a second service ace - naturally.

He was back the next year for his last Championship victory at Wimbledon, beating Pat Rafter in an emotional rollercoaster of a Final. He came to London on the back of a serious back injury and not having won anything since March and again his chances were not great. He had even been beaten at Queen's two weeks before but still Wimbledon worked its magic on the man. And him on it. Even the tendinitis that had almost felled him in the early rounds was shaken off as Sampras wrote his own chapter in the history books.

It carried his tally of Grand Slams to 13, breaking Roy Emerson's record and establishing Sampras as one of the truly great figures of the game. That was one of the rare times he allowed the world to witness the pent up emotion that he had hidden for more than a decade. As the last point was played, he burst into tears and then raced off to embrace his parents seated high up in the stands.

In his last game before retiring, Sampras defeated Andre Agassi in the 2002 US Open final to total 14 Grand Slam titles in all.

Written by Alix Ramsay

Singles Champion: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

08-03-2005, 09:48 PM
Names in the Game

The Associated Press

August 03, 2005


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former tennis star Pete Sampras and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, have another son.

Ryan Nikolaos Sampras, who weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces, was born here Friday, People magazine said Tuesday.

Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slam titles during his storied career, turns 34 on Aug. 12. Wilson-Sampras, who has appeared in movies such as ``The Wedding Planner'' and ``Billy Madison,'' turns 32 in September.

The couple married in 2000. They have another son, Christian, 2.

``Mother and son are doing great,'' the couple's spokesperson said in a statement reported by the magazine.


08-05-2005, 09:28 PM
People and Places
Aug 4, 2005

Another little Sampras

Pete Sampras and his wife, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, have another son.

Ryan Nikolaos Sampras was born Friday in Los Angeles, People magazine said Tuesday. The baby weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces.

The couple have another son, Christian, 2.

08-05-2005, 09:33 PM
Family growing

Former tennis star Pete Sampras and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, have another son.

Ryan Nikolaos Sampras, who weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces, was born in Los Angeles on Friday, People magazine reported Tuesday. Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slam titles during his storied career, turns 34 on Aug. 12.

Wilson-Sampras, who has appeared in movies such as The Wedding Planner and Billy Madison, turns 32 in September.

The couple married in 2000. They have another son, Christian, 2.

''Mother and son are doing great,'' the couple's spokesman said in a statement reported by the magazine.

08-06-2005, 07:53 PM
Living in the golden age
published: Saturday | August 6, 2005

Tym Glaser

ALL THINGS being even, or a least relatively fair (steroids aside), we are currently living the golden age of sports.

With gross commercialism creeping all over the games we love and hold dear, it's easy to lose sight of just how blessed we have been over the past quarter century or so to witness some of the greatest athletes of all time.

The roaring 1920s and '30s boasted a plethora of stars like baseball's Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, cricket's Don Bradman, all-round sport star Jim Thorpe, boxer Jack Dempsey, golfer Bobby Jones, swimmer Johnny 'Tarzan' Weismuller and many others whom we can only appreciate on grainy black-and-white film.

However, not even that era's sporting pantheon can come near to our 'living colour' stars.

In no particular order we have been graced by a glut of greatness: boxers Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, cricketers Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath; golfers Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus; tennis players Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer; swimmers Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps; baseballer Barry Bonds (remember * steroids aside, I said), hoopsters Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and perhaps the greatest cyclist to ever live * Lance Armstrong.

The problem for us 'turn-of-the-milleniumites' is that they have just come so thick and fast that we haven't been able to properly digest their brilliance.

Really, sit back and think now, was there ever a greater boxer than Ali, basketballer than Jordan, golfer than either Nicklaus or Woods, tennis player than Borg/Sampras/Federer or swimmer than the 'Thorpedo'?

I doubt it, but then I'm simply era- biased. In our fast-paced, media access society we can now call up greatness by simply logging on or changing channels.

Our grandparents didn't have that luxury and either saw Bradman only if he played at their town's ground or heard relayed coverage through the radio. That made the 'Dons' and 'Babes' larger than life and added a certain mythology to their sporting prowess.

We don't get to marvel like that and let our imaginations take us away because we see today's stars in all their glory and all their shame. Just remember OJ and Kobe, eh?

In a generation or two from now, piles of archival footage will be around to back up our grey-haired arguments about how good the athletes were "in my day".

But let's make sure, when we look our grandkids in the face, that we can also say we truly appreciated them way back at the turn of the millennium.

Greg-Pete fan
08-08-2005, 02:00 PM

There are probably fragments of programme "Pete Sampras Beyond The Glory" :)

08-08-2005, 11:50 PM
Sampras' Welcome Second Son

By Tennis Week

Christian Charles Sampras has a new hitting partner. Former world No. 1 Pete Sampras, and his wife Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, welcomed their second son to the world on Friday. Ryan Nikolaos Sampras weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces when he was born on Friday at a Los Angeles-area hospital.

"Mother and son are doing great," Sampras' spokesperson told People Magazine.

The couple's first-born son, Christian Charles Sampras, celebrates his third birthday in November.

Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras, who spends some of his spare time playing golf and poker, will celebrate his 34th birthday on August 12th.

Sampras announced his official retirement from tennis in a ceremony staged on the opening Monday night of the 2003 U.S. Open. Thanking his wife for her support during his two-year slump, Sampras concluded his farewell speech by thanking the fans and then, holding his son close to his heart, the noted Pearl Jam fan took one final walk around the court while his favorite band’s anthem "Alive" blared from the sound system.

Though Sampras closed the book on his distinguished career on that August evening, odds makers have already accepted bets on Sampras' son adding to his Grand Slam legacy. Six days after Christian Sampras' birth, British bookmaker William Hill set the odds of the baby adding to his father's extensive Wimbledon championship collection at 150-1.

"Nobody gets a better genetic chance at Wimbledon than Pete Sampras' kids," William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said.

08-12-2005, 12:13 AM
This Day in Sports

Top ranked Pete Sampras won his fifth title of the year, defeating Thomas Muster, 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the ATP Championship in Cincinnati. It is his 49th career title, tying him with Boris Becker for most titles of any active player.

08-13-2005, 07:17 PM
Georgia Nicols' horoscopes for Aug. 12

August 12, 2005


IF AUG. 12 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: Tennis player Pete Sampras (born in 1971) shares your birthday. You have a busy life because you constantly attempt to do many things. And you succeed. You're highly creative and you're serious about whatever you do. You're extremely hardworking. You do your homework so that you're prepared. You have a strong respect for tradition. A major cycle finished for you this year.

08-13-2005, 07:21 PM
Designer Lines

By Amber Michelle Posted: 8/12/2005

Pearl purveyors Tara & Sons, Inc. donated a Tahitian pearl necklace as a prize for the NetJets private poker tournament held at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. The tournament was organized by NetJets Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Inc., jet-ownership company. Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, hosted the event along with NetJets CEO Richard Santulli and Steve Wynn, CEO of the Wynn Hotel in Vegas. NetJets invited 200 of its best customers to the tournament. Other guests included tennis pro Pete Sampras, hockey great Wayne Gretzky, actor Matt Damon and poker champion Daniel Negreanu.

Greg-Pete fan
08-13-2005, 07:23 PM
Yeah, he had his birthday yesterday. He`s 34 now. He could still play tennis (like Agassi). All the best for Pete :wavey: :worship:

08-18-2005, 08:45 PM
Posted on Wed, Aug. 17, 2005

Badminton legend makes no racket over his retirement


The Orange County Register

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Tony Gunawan will soon retire from badminton the way he played it - with grace, humility, and as an Olympic medalist and international champion.

He will depart as 14-time Grand Slam singles champion Pete Sampras did in tennis, leaving a sport the way the truest of legends do.


But Americans, who lovingly embraced the shy Sampras when he shelved his racket to stay home with his wife and new baby, probably won't have equal strokes for the Indonesian-born Gunawan in what is likely his farewell, elite-level event, the International Badminton Federation World Championships, taking place this week at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

Most residents would probably not recognize Gunawan if he carried a Yonex racket and a shuttlecock, slung the 2000 Olympic gold medal around his neck and walked down the streets of his adopted hometown of Fullerton, Calif.

Had he prized the celebrity and the prolonged goodbyes, Gunawan could have stayed in Indonesia, where he is mobbed at malls and grocery stores, all because he won his country a 2000 Olympic men's doubles gold medal with Candra Wijaya in a sport they value as much as Americans do the NFL.

"He is a god," said U.S. singles player and Villa Park assistant coach Raju Rai, 22. "When I heard he was coming here, I was shocked. Everyone in badminton knows Tony, but once you get outside (of the Orange County Badminton Club), he's just another badminton player in America."

Badminton, the second-most popular sport in the world behind soccer, has only niche following in the United States. It's a club sport by NCAA standards and garners just 4.7 million U.S. participants, according to a 2003 survey by the National Sporting Goods Association. (The same survey showed 4.9 million did pilates.)

A badminton star in United States has less popularity than Lance Armstrong in outer space, and Gunawan knew that in 2001, when he and fiancee Eti Tantra - his Indonesian national teammate since age 10 - decided to move.

"I came here because I wanted more from the rest of my life than badminton," said Gunawan.

"I was looking at turning 30 and I had spent 25 years playing the sport. Eti had a brother here and wanted to come to America. I wanted to get married, have a family, grow the sport and improve the rest of my life."

Tony and Eti Gunawan married at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino wedding chapel in Las Vegas in 2002. "No Elvises," he said.

They moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Fullerton and joined the Orange County Badminton Club, where Tony trains and both coach.

Club founder Don Chew introduced the Gunawans to members who happily prepared meals and offered them advice. Fellow coach Ignatius Rusli gave them a refrigerator.

Eti Gunawan began working as a financial services professional at a local office of New York Life. Tony Gunawan, who had trained full-time from 1993 to 2001, went back to school, first to learn English at Santa Ana College, then to study computer engineering at DeVry University and Westwood College.

"That was scary for me," he said. "I hadn't gone to school in more than 10 years, and here I was struggling to open a book and focus on something as complicated as computers. I needed challenges like badminton gave me."

His wife would come home at night to find he had disassembled a broken printer, taken apart their computer, rebuilt the entire system or devoted three hours and several chafed fingertips to playing the adventure game "God of War" on the Sony PlayStation 2.

"He's so cute, and he's my best friend, so it's a little strange watching him make the adjustment to a different life," said Eti Gunawan, 29.

Their first date was in a mall restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1999. She had never seen Tony so nervous - eyes darting, forehead beading with sweat.

"Are you all right?" she asked. He had forgotten his wallet and didn't know how to excuse himself to sprint back to the car to retrieve it.

"Away from badminton, Tony is like a little boy," she said. "Everything is new."

Growing up in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, his father, Budyanto, began teaching 5-year-old Tony and his older brother, Ferry, badminton fundamentals.

Tony Gunawan toiled through hours of footwork drills, stepping between right and left circles his father had drawn in chalk on the court. He worked on form, hitting a goosefeather shuttlecock suspended from the ceiling by a string.

For conditioning, he ran three times a week through the small East Java town of Tretes, on roads climbing the slopes of Mount Welirang. For strength, he put another badminton player on his back and climbed stairs.

Once a week, he joined a half-dozen friends to push his father's van for 100-meter stretches along the level pavement.

When Gunawan was 12, the Indonesia national team asked him to leave his family to train full-time in Jakarta. He reluctantly left and sparred daily with national champions. He went on to win gold with Wijaya at the prestigious Taiwan Open, Japan Open, Indonesia Open and the Sydney Olympics.

While Wijaya remains in Indonesia training for the 2008 Olympics, Gunawan pairs with Howard Bach, who lost in the second round with now-retired men's doubles partner Kevin Han in Athens last summer.

"It's such an honor to meet you and get a chance to play with you," Bach told Gunawan in 2002 at the Orange County Badminton Club.

Gunawan bashfully smiled and said, "I'm also honored to play with you."

They trained five days a week on these courts, with Bach, 26, playing backcourt and learning from the forecourt master's touches, taps, drives, drops and finesse shots.

"Tony has no bones; he's all cartilage, the way he can twist and get everything around him," Bach said. "He's so consistent in his play, much like his emotions. He's the most humble guy I've ever met."

In practice, the world's No.13 doubles team played 2-on-3 for the challenge.

Just after Bach unloaded yet another ferocious smash, Gunawan bobbed and bent into position near the net. Holding the racket as delicately as a wand in conductor's hand, Gunawan swiftly stepped to the net, extended his arm and let the birdie brush off his racket's head and dive to the floor to end the rally.


Just the way he will retire.

08-23-2005, 10:56 PM
Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation to Benefit From Borders Books Program, August 27 & 28, 2005

Customers throughout the state of Florida and in the city of Chicago and its suburbs with coupons to Borders Benefit Days Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, 2005 will save 10 percent on their purchases and see 10 percent donated to the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation which funds care and support programs for brain tumor patients and their families.

Chicago, IL, August 22, 2005 --(PR.COM)-- Customers throughout the state of Florida and in the city of Chicago and its suburbs with coupons to Borders Benefit Days Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, 2005 will save 10 percent on their purchases and see 10 percent donated to the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation which funds care and support programs for brain tumor patients and their families.

Borders Benefit Days for the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation celebrates the organization's 10 years of providing physical, emotional and social support for brain tumor patients and their families nationwide. The event also occurs on the eve of the 2005 U.S. Open, the final Grand Slam of the season and favorite of tennis fans worldwide.

"We know about the tennis fans out there. Now we want to meet the fans of books, music and movies," said former tennis tour professional and coach, Tom Gullikson who resides in Palm Coast, Fla. "We challenge everyone who cares to help someone who cannot help themselves to do their Labor Day vacation, back-to-school and other books, music and cafe shopping, August 27 and 28."

Coupons may be downloaded and printed from www.bordersbenefit4gullikson.com or picked up at participating tennis clubs and retailers.

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation was founded by tennis professionals Tom Gullikson and his late twin brother, Tim and their families after Tim was diagnosed with brain tumors in 1995. At the time of diagnosis, Tim Gullikson was coach to then No. 1 ranked Pete Sampras.

"What a great way to shop for a gift or buy something for yourself while simultaneously helping brain tumor patients and their families with day-to-day challenges," Tom Gullikson, Foundation chairman, said.


08-23-2005, 11:09 PM
Promoter Seeks To Stage Senior Event In South Florida

By Tennis Week

Some of the world’s top former professional tennis players, including Southwest Florida favorites John McEnroe and Mansour Bahrami, will be invited to compete in a new event organizers are planning for March of 2006.

Dubbed the "Challenge of Champions," the tournament will be modeled after the popular Nuveen Masters series of the late 90’s, which played to sellout crowds in Naples with stars like McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bahrami and John Lloyd among the attractions.

McEnroe, Lloyd and Bahrami plus other champions Boris Becker, Todd Martin, Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Pete Sampras are among the players who will be invited to make up the field though it's uncertain who will participate.

Henry Brehm, who operated the successful Naples events as executive producer of the Champions Tour/Nuveen Tour from 1993-2001, is researching several sites in the region and planning an announcement in the fall.

The event will be structured as a not-for-profit charity fundraiser under Brehm, whose company, Vizion Group, produces programs for non-profit organizations and specializes in using events to generate revenues for them.

"We are progressing on the key element of sponsorship," offered Brehm, who organized the 2002 event at Naples Bath & Tennis. "Southwest Florida has all of the other ingredients needed for a successful return of professional tennis."

The Nuveen Masters was an annual, weeklong event drawing over 30,000 fans beginning in 1995, when the tour for players no longer active on the ATP Tour was growing into a worldwide series that peaked at 21 tournaments around the world in 1999.

"The time is right to bring pro tennis back," continued Brehm. "And Southwest Florida has always been one of the strongest markets for it."

08-29-2005, 11:34 PM
Time for the B-Team to add a gear

Where have all the Americans gone?

American tennis players taking its time arriving! Imagine who would lead the USA if Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi were to pull out of Flushing Meadows. Americans are curious to see if there is a budding superstar among the next generation of men’s players.

Sampras and Agassi had their first Grand Slam titles at 19 and 22, respectively.

Mardy Fish candidly admits to doubts about whether any American player is capable of matching the accomplishments of Sampras and Agassi.

"They completely dominated or at least competed for the title in every Grand Slam they entered and we're a long way from that" Fish said.

James Blake had the bruden of Andy Roddick allways beating him in all eight encounters they've played but refused to admit it:

"I don't feel the pressure too much," said Blake , I think Andy took that burden off all of us by carrying that burden on his own.

We were all hearing, `where's the next generation of American tennis,what's going to happen?"' As we get better there will be more pressure to kind of replace those (older) guys,. That kind of pressure is an opportunity to do something great."

Recently Robby Ginepri emerged from the peloton winning his first title in two years in Indianapolis and most recently failing to beat World number one Roger Federer at the Cincinnati Masters but refused to put himself forward:

"It's good to see that the work has paid off. I never put any expectations on myself. I just try to play my best - what happens, happens".


The solution is to turn up to Juniors as Americans will have to wait a little to see anyone compete at the level of Agassi or Roddick.

15-year-old Donald Young has had remarkable success lately. In just a few short years, he could be the next American man to make headlines in the ATP Tour.

Rodney Harmon the Director of Men's Tennis for USA Tennis explains why Young would be a good bet:

"Donald Young is obviously a phenom. He has been one of the most watched players in the world in the last year to year-and-a-half. And he's proved that he's worth the hype because he's gone out and won matches. He won the 16s Orange Bowl at 14 and got to the final of the 18s Orange Bowl at 15. He's No. 2 in the world now. He just won an ITF event in Mexico, so he's obviously playing great tennis. A lot of people have him slotted to be a top-10 player in the future, and if things keep going the way they're going, then he's got a shot to be one of the best players in the world in the next few years."

Eurosport - 29/08/2005 Gregory Lanzenberg

08-30-2005, 09:58 PM

The Almanac: Today is Monday, Sept. 5
By United Press International Aug 30, 2005,

In 2002 sports, Pete Sampras won his fifth men`s U.S. Open tennis championship with a four-set victory over Andre Agassi. Sampras retired the following year as the 2003 Open was about to begin.

08-31-2005, 08:59 PM
Posted on Wed, Aug. 31, 2005


Quote of the day: "We're not going to be compared to Sampras and Agassi any more or Todd Martin or Michael Chang or MaliVai Washington or Jim Courier. That generation, I think people are now realizing was kind of a freak phenomenon, just an unbelievable time in American tennis." - James Blake, on the current generation of American men's tennis players.

09-07-2005, 09:57 PM
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2005

AP Sportlight

AP National Writer
Compiled By PAUL MONTELLA By The Associated Press Sept. 8

2002 - Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to win his 14th Grand Slam title and the U.S. Open for the fifth time. At 31, Sampras is the Open's oldest champion since 1970.

09-07-2005, 11:11 PM
Sunday, September 4, 2005

It's not that easy for athletes to switch to marathon mode

Special to the Bulletin

Tennis:Retired tennis star Pete Sampras recently told the New York Times he is planning on competing in this fall's ING New York City Marathon. Elite tennis players are in shape, and Sampras has always been one of the better conditioned tennis players on the court. How well that translates to marathon success remains to be seen.

09-08-2005, 08:47 PM
This Day in Sports

Pete Sampras captured the U.S. Open for a fifth time a with his four- set victory over Andre Agassi. Sampras won his 14th Grand Slam title. 2003 - The Philadelphia Eagles opened up their new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 17-0.

09-09-2005, 09:08 PM
This Day in Sports


1990 - At the age of 19 years and 28 days, Pete Sampras became the youngest U.S. Open men's singles champion with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Andre Agassi.

Greg-Pete fan
09-09-2005, 09:13 PM
This Day in Sports


1990 - At the age of 19 years and 28 days, Pete Sampras became the youngest U.S. Open men's singles champion with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Andre Agassi.

It was great day for Pete :worship:

09-09-2005, 09:37 PM
It was great day for Pete :worship:

And an even greater day for SPORTS. :worship: :wavey: :D

09-10-2005, 07:32 PM
This Day in Sports


1995 - Pete Sampras won his third U.S. Open men's singles title, defeating No. 1 seed and defending champion Andre Agassi, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

09-10-2005, 07:36 PM
Working towards a more professional sporting ethos

Sharad Kohli

September 10, 2005

Cricket and hockey apart, India does not have much of a sporting culture. Which is why you would struggle to come across a Michael Schumacher, a Pete Sampras or a Tiger Woods in this neck of the woods, massive sports stars who earn big and have endorsements to boot. Basketball legend Michael Jordan has retired but he's still one of the five richest sportsmen on the planet.

Unless they're supremely talented, capable of supping at the same table as the world's best - or unless they happen to be larger-than-life cricketers - Indian sportsmen and sportswomen will struggle to match the monetary muscle of these fellows.

Only cricket has something of a professional structure, though only international cricketers would have felt the benefits. Lately, however, Indians have started to excel at individual sports and this has brought about the need for sports management companies, who can look after every aspect of the athlete's career off the field.

From experience, Mahesh Bhupathi would know that it is hard enough being a successful sportsman, harder still to juggle your career with off-court distractions. Globosport, founded by Bhupathi, looks after the professional obligations of sportspersons so that they can concentrate on their careers.

Sania Mirza and Zaheer Khan are represented by Globosport, while upcoming tennis siblings Shikha and Neha Uberoi, and Prakash Amritraj have also been taken under the wing.

A fair way away from the likes of IMG - who represent the world's biggest names in sport -- but a good start nonetheless. This is a time when the likes of Sania and Jyoti Randhawa are showing that there really is more to Indian sport than just cricket -- and that Indian sport can indeed be big business. After all, if a player from American football -- a sport with limited appeal -- can become the third richest sportsman, nothing seems impossible.

09-10-2005, 07:40 PM
One more final for Agassi?
Bruce Jenkins, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, September 10, 2005

New York -- Andre Agassi spent a good part of his life chasing Pete Sampras at the U.S. Open, and in a way, the chase continues. Agassi will never catch his rival in the record books, but it's conceivable that he could match Sampras' storybook farewell to the game.

09-15-2005, 08:04 PM
By BOB MOLINARO, The Virginian-Pilot
© September 15, 2005

Sentimental journey: Not allowing facts to get in the way of a good U.S. Open story, CBS’ Dick Enberg said to Andre Agassi that many people consider him “the greatest player to play the sport.” Actually, not that many do. Not many outside the Agassi household, in any case. Or anybody who remembers Pete Sampras.

09-19-2005, 09:19 PM
No celebrities needed when the hotties are homegrown
Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, September 18, 2005

When it comes to celebrity, the Bay Area just isn't all that starstruck, which may be a good thing for the 23rd annual Macy's Passport fashion show and AIDS fundraiser, "Live '05," at Fort Mason this week.

At Macy's Passport show in Los Angeles, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone and Pete Sampras will share the limelight. But the San Francisco show doesn't have any celebrities lined up. Turns out that's icing on the cake that isn't always needed where purists for the cause are found.

"We can hold our own, we don't need big stars to come up from L.A. to give us strength and cachet -- we carry it on our own,'' said Robert Fountain, a co-chairman of the fashion show's gala night.

"We wanted it to be back to the roots, back to the home, back to what it's taking care of.''

He was right: The $1,000-a-ticket gala night sold out weeks ago.

The show is one of the longest-running fundraisers for HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment and care programs in the nation. Macy's has raised early $20 million for the cause since 1988. Proceeds from the local three-day show running Sept. 20-22 will go to more than 60 local organizations that help men, women and children with or at risk for HIV, such as AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Continuum, Project Open Hand and others.

No matter what the annual theme, or who promises to come (founding superstar Elizabeth Taylor's big no-show a few years back served as grand drama on an already theatrical night), the Macy's Passport show is one of the most important events on the San Francisco social calendar, and one of the most consistently attended fundraisers year after year.

Let's face it: There are fashion shows, and then there is Macy's Passport.

"It's the only show that's really over the top,'' said Dolly Chammas of Hillsborough, the other gala night co-chairwoman. "It's not just a fashion show, it's an event.''

In New York City, Paris or Milan, guests wait hours to watch high-fashion runway shows that last less than 15 minutes. At Passport, guests are entertained for an hour with vignette after vignette featuring various clothing by various designers, and sometimes musical performances by entertainers such as Liza Minnelli. The famous lingerie segment brings down the house -- with a bit of beefcake, thanks to hunky male models in tight whites, thrown in for good measure. (You don't think straight women are the predominant population at this fundraiser, do you?)

The three-night show includes a teen night Sept. 20 with sex education (kids rolled condoms onto cucumbers last year); an opening night on Sept. 21 (tickets run $75 and $150) with cocktail reception and food by Bay Area restaurants, as well as live a onstage auction; and the VIP gala night Sept. 22 in a themed setting where wealthy contributors to rub elbows before watching the models hit the runway.

This year's show features men's and women's sportswear and underwear by Calvin Klein; Dulce de Leche, a Latin-inspired collection by young designers Carlos Mejia, Luis Toro and Rafael Paris, with Mejia and Toro flying in from Miami; bohemian and furry fall styles by Jennifer Lopez's JLO line presented in a takeoff on "West Side Story" with some of Lopez's dancers coming up from L.A.; and form-fitting gowns by Wayne Clark in jewel tones with feathers in the Bollywood-inspired makeup segment by M.A.C. cosmetics, based on Broadway's "Bombay Dreams.''

On the local front, the clothing of eight rising fashion stars will be featured as well -- student designers from the Academy of Art University.

They are: Amy Fink, Christine Welcher, Hazel Vera, Darcey Barber, Emily Ginn, Jeeyn Shim, Sara Kalata, Staci Snider and Steven Avendis Moomjian.

The gala night has shifted in recent years from a sit-down black-tie dinner to grazing and cocktails. This year, a cavernous hall at Fort Mason will be transformed into a "mansion,'' said Chammas, with separate "rooms" for guests to wander -- a foyer, a library, a terrace, a garden -- and nosh on appetizers served on plates by waiters, as well as sip signature drinks.

Those who don't go in for fashion shows can help raise money by shopping for the cause -- both online and in person.

EBay for the third year is assisting Macy's in fundraising by allowing shoppers to bid on clothes, accessories, services and more at www.ebay.com/macyspassport, with proceeds going to beneficiaries.

Items vary from a limited edition Triumph Bonneville motorcycle by British clothing and home accessories designer Paul Smith to five hours of pampering at 77 Maiden Lane salon to a month of birthday cakes for Project Open Hand.

In person, shoppers can help raise money for the cause from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Macy's at Union Square, in Corte Madera and at Valley Fair in Santa Clara on Sept. 23 and 24. The in-store event includes makeovers, cooking demonstrations and special discounts.

For more information on tickets, in-store events and beneficiaries, go to www.macys.com.

E-mail Carolyne Zinko at czinko@sfchronicle.com.

09-23-2005, 09:45 PM
Between the lines: Winners focus on execution

James Collieson, Sun columnist
(Sports from 2005-09-23 Edition)
Most competitive people enjoy winning. For many this is the ultimate objective in sport.
Everyone wants to win, but it is the rare athlete that has figured out how to be successful at the highest of levels.
Examples of such people are Michael Jordan, Arnold Palmer, Pete Sampras, Magic Johnson and John Elway.
These former athletes were not only winners on the field of play, but have translated their sports success to business success and even life success.
The reason that these guys are successful is that it seems they carry over their mentally tough attitude from one discipline to another.
Why are these guys so special?
What secret have they figured out which enables them to win both on and off the field of play?
It is the job of most sports psychologists to improve ones mental game / state in pressure situations.
This helps in maximizing your potential.
Winning on and off the field is actually no secret at all.
If one can apply the same principles that most successful people have lived by, whether they are athletes or not, then better personal performance can be achieved.
Here are a few quotes from some great people:
Sir Winston Churchill: “It is a mistake to try and look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”
Michael Jordan: “ I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot ... when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.”
Vince Lombardi: “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
Focus and the effort put into one’s task seem to be some of the principles that the great athletes have mastered. Focus on what is important now translates into tennis by approaching each match you play point by point.
An even further example would be to focus on one shot at a time. Players such as Nadal, Hewitt, Federer and Sharapova are very good at doing this.
They reset after each point and give it their all.
All one can do is give their best effort and let the cards fall where they may. One shouldn’t be so concerned or even think about the outcome during competition, but rather about the task at hand.
Winning and losing can’t really be controlled, but effort, attitude and concentration can.
The most successful people do not worry about the outcome, but rather they choose to focus on the execution of their game plan.

09-24-2005, 08:21 PM

09-28-2005, 10:59 PM
Sampras nechce o tenise ani počuť


LOS ANGELES - Napriek tomu, že patrí medzi tenisové legendy, nechce mať Pete Sampras s bielym športom nič spoločné! Majiteľ rekordných štrnástich grandslamových titulov si od skončenia kariéry užíva pokoj.

Tridsaťštyriročný Sampras vraj v minulých týždňoch nesledoval ani US Open. ,,Keby ste mali za sebou život, aký som viedol ja, keby ste sa roky tak vášnivo venovali tomuto športu, tiež by ste s ním potom dlho nechceli mať nič spoločné," povedal sedemnásobný víťaz Wimbledonu, ktorému sa v auguste narodil druhý syn.

Doma, v kalifornskom Palm Desert, vraj dáva prednosť golfu alebo partičkám pokeru so svojimi priateľmi. Najradšej však trávi čas so svojimi synmi a s manželkou Bridgette. „Vychutnávam si ten pokoj, ústranie a jednoduchý život," povedal.

Na tenis však úplne nezanevrel. Za pár rokov sa vraj určite bude chcieť na nejaký zápas pozrieť so reklama
svojimi deťmi. "Rozhodne ich chcem zobrať do Wimbledonu, do svojho osobného raja. Snívam o tom okamihu, keď si sadnem so svojou rodinou do kráľovskej lóže a dole na zelenej pažiti budem sledovať zápas, pri ktorom už mi nepôjde o víťazstvo alebo prehru," priznal.

Na svoj posledný zápas, ktorým bolo pamätné finále US Open práve s Agassim, si dobre pamätá. ,,Na toto víťazstvo som sa nadrel ako blázon. Vtedy som myslel len na titul - ráno, na obed, večer. Chcel som perfektnú rozlúčku," priznal. Žiadny plán B pre prípad, že by nevyhral, však pripravený nemal. ,,Neviem, či by som pokračoval, alebo nie. No v každom prípade by som teraz asi nebol taký spokojný so svojou kariérou," dodal.

09-30-2005, 09:30 PM
Northwestern tennis event to support Gullikson Foundation

Northwestern University will serve as host for the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation Great Lakes Smash Friday and Saturday at the Combe Tennis Center.

Hosted by former ATP standout Todd Martin, a Northwestern graduate, and former Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson, the weekend combines tennis activities and social events to benefit the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation.


The Gullikson Foundation was established in 1995 after Tim Gullikson, a former men's pro tennis tour player and coach of tennis elites such as Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova, was diagnosed with brain tumors. Tim, his identical twin brother Tom, and their families started the foundation to provide support and assistance for brain-tumor patients and their families by funding care and support programs.

Other events include a junior clinic, conducted by Martin, Gullikson and the Wildcat team at 5 p.m. Friday and a Pro-Am throughout Saturday. Donors will have an opportunity to play with and against Martin, Gullikson, current and former Wildcats and area pros. Silent auction items will also be on display, including autographed memorabilia.

The highlight will be a team tennis exhibition featuring Martin and Gullikson, starting at 3 p.m. Saturday.

For information, contact Paul Torricelli at (847) 491-4644.

10-01-2005, 05:09 PM
Oct 1st, 2005.

In a rare public appearance by former tennis great, 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras of the US is seen with actress Sharon Stone as she auctions off a tennis lesson by Sampras and lunch at Sampras’ home for charity at the Macy’s Passport 05 fashion show in Santa Monica, California, yesterday. Sampras retired in 2003.

The evening opened with a live auction, and Sharon Stone made the most of her job as auctioneer. The first time Stone’s dress came undone, her assistant stepped in to button her up. It happened again, and she took advantage of the situation, auctioning off the fastening duties for $500.

Pete Sampras got caught up in the auction excitement, and impulsively threw in a private tennis lesson followed by lunch at his house. When pushy auctioneer Stone got the bidding up to $17,500, she brought the champ up onstage, took him aside and asked if he’d throw in a second identical package. Sampras turned to us and muttered, “She’s going to ask for my first-born next”. Stone sold lesson number two for another $17,500.

The evening included several other fashion shows, and Wilmer Valderrama and Venus Williams were on hand. Elizabeth Taylor was unable to attend.

10-08-2005, 07:23 PM
Basic auctioneering instinct
By Elizabeth Snead

If Sharon Stone ever tires of acting, she'd be a great auctioneer.
At the Macy's Passport '05 Gala AIDS benefit, Sharon turned one auction item, a half-hour lesson with tennis champ Pete Sampras, into a bidding war. First she brought Pete on stage at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, and then she upped the ante, stretching his court time to an hour, tossing in lunch and a tour of his trophy room. The result: two packages for a total of $35,000. "I'd pay that much to see his trophies," she quipped.

When the clasp on her backless Elsie Katz denim gown opened, Sharon joked, "You know how it is. You take your clothes off for a movie, and they just keep coming off!" But she turned her

wardrobe malfunction into an auction bonus item. And a man actually paid $500 to come on stage and fasten Sharon's dress. Stone's auction tally? $166,000 for the evening, which raised over $1.4 million total.

Watching the fund-raising fun: Venus Williams, Wilmer Valderrama, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, whose Sweetface line was modeled during the fashion segment.

10-10-2005, 10:42 PM
Posted on October 09, 2005


On the insistence of Hollywood actress Sharon Stone, Pete Sampras added luncheons and tours of his trophy room to his two tennis lessons which were up for auction Wednesday night at the Macy's Passport '05 Gala AIDS in Santa Monica, California. The two lessons, etc, sold for $35,000 each. "I'd pay that much to see his trophies," Stone said. Venus Williams was reportedly also at the event, but then left halfway thru citing a bad knee. Okay, we are kidding about the leaving part. Don’t email us!

10-13-2005, 08:15 PM
Charter service, pilots reach agreement on new contract

By Matt Leingang

October 13, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – NetJets Inc., a private air charter service that caters to companies and business executives, reached a tentative agreement with its pilots to end a four-year-old labor dispute.

A union representing 2,200 pilots endorsed the agreement Sunday and was still negotiating details Thursday. A formal proposal could be ready for pilots to vote on by Thanksgiving.

"I think it generally falls below the pilots' expectations, but it raises the bar for the pilot group to build off of in the future," said Bill Olsen, president of Teamsters Local 1108 in Columbus.

NetJets, with flight operations in Columbus and executive offices in Woodbridge, N.J., provides private air service for companies and individuals. Customers buy an ownership stake in an aircraft in exchange for access to flight service.

Customers include General Electric Co. and Dow Chemical Co., tennis stars Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi and golfer Tiger Woods.

NetJets is owned by Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., led by investor Warren Buffett.

Olsen said NetJets pilots were making from $50,000 to $72,000 a year, while those flying similar planes for competing companies made up to $105,000 a year.

Olsen said the proposed contract would "bridge the gap" by immediately raising pay 40 percent to 60 percent based on years of service and equipment operated – the first raise for pilots in seven years.

The deal calls for a five-year contract, Olsen said. No other terms were released.

"This is a fair agreement and we are confident that the pilots will endorse it as enthusiastically as the union leadership," NetJets President Bill Boisture said in a statement.

Negotiations between the union and company began in October 2001. The union voted last June to strike and started protesting outside Berkshire Hathaway and at NetJets offices in Columbus and other locations.

11-01-2005, 06:04 PM
Mincing Words
Metro Weekly's blog for Washington, DC's gay and lesbian community

Why tennis is the best sport ever
Posted by Sean Bugg at 01:49 PM

Tennis magazine has named the final four of its "40 Greatest Players" of the Open Era. Topping the list, unsurprisingly, is Pete Sampras. Following him, in order, are Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. (Alas, the magazine keeps its content in a pay-only section.)

In what other professional, world-class sport would you find three of the top four spots on such a list filled by women? And these women are all pretty much household names even in the U.S., where tennis has been in supposed decline. Even better is the presence of the indomitable Navratilova, who has shown that being open and honest about one's sexual orientation can go hand-in-hand with a brilliant professional sports career. Hell, she's as popular today in some ways as she ever was, still drawing crowds to watch her play and win pro doubles tournaments even as she rapidly approaches 50. She's nothing short of inspirational.

Partly because of trailblazing lesbians like Navratilova and Billie Jean King and Amelie Mauresmo, I'd be willing to bet that the first high-level, openly-gay, male pro athlete will be a tennis player. At least I hope it's tennis and not golf, because that would just be a snooze in bad pants (all you gay golfers out there, please forgive me). I've heard rumors of who it could be -- I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that it happens sooner rather than later.

11-16-2005, 10:23 PM

1997: The ATP, which celebrated its 25th anniversary, named Pete Sampras the top tennis player over the last 25 years. Sampras, the top ranked player in the world the past five years, received 26 first place votes for a total of 779 points, while second place went to Bjorn Borg, who had 17 first place votes for a total of 754 points.

11-22-2005, 07:50 PM
some "news"; why Pete will not play?
it is chance to see him again playing


Courier starts senior series

Andre Agassi is still making Grand Slam finals and competing in the year-end championship at age 35, but for the mere mortals in the 30-something generation, Jim Courier has another plan -- senior tennis.

Courier announced Tuesday the introduction of the Champions Cup Series, a four-event series that will make a stop in Naples, March 9-12, 2006. The other venues are Boston, Memphis and Houston.

Courier, 35, stressed that these matches will not be exhibitions, but high-level tennis. Entry is restricted to players over 30 who have reached a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a winning Davis Cup team.

Players expected to participate include John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Pat Cash, Boris Becker, Michael Chang, Todd Martin, Goran Ivanisevic, Aaron Krickstein and Thomas Muster.

''Most of us, if not all of us, have been playing worldwide for the past few years, and the opportunities have not been great here in the U.S., so to finally have a cohesive series is something that we are all excited about,'' said Courier, the former world No. 1 who retired at age 29. ``Andre is still doing what he does, and I have great admiration for him, but this is an option for the rest of us.''

One former player Courier has not heard from is Pete Sampras, 34.

''My feeling is Pete will really only play when he's good and ready,'' Courier said. ``Pete's a friend. I don't push him. He's got my phone number.''

11-25-2005, 04:58 PM

Tourney tickets for sale today at discount
By Betsy Clayton
Originally posted on November 23, 2005

The holiday shopping season starts early for Southwest Florida tennis

Tickets go on sale today for a March event in Naples that will
feature legendary players Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Mats Wilander
and Pat Cash. Also competing: Aaron Krickstein and Mikael Pernfors.

Two more stars — possibly including Pete Sampras — will be added by
New Year's Day to the lineup of the Champions Cup Series, set for
March 10-13 at The Players Club and Spa at Lely Resort.

Buy series tickets before the end of the holiday season and get 10
percent off, or buy single tickets and receive a 5 percent discount,
a grinning Courier told media at a Tuesday news conference at the

Prices range from $15 to $100 for a seat.

• Call (239) 649-7171. Tickets on sale today.
• Tickets available via Ticketmaster on Friday.
• Singles and series tickets available, ranging from $15-$100 per
• Discounts available on ticket bought during the holidays.
• Afternoon and evening sessions with two matches each Friday, March
10,-Sunday, March 12. Finals in the evening Monday, March 13.
• Online: www.championscuptennis.com

11-26-2005, 07:10 PM
He's Trying New Racket

Tennis player Jim Courier plans to launch a senior men's tennis tournament series.


By ALAN SNEL asnel@tampatrib.com

Published: Nov 26, 2005

Jim Courier, the Dade City kid who went from Little League pitcher to world's No. 1 tennis player, is trying his hand at a new business endeavor: reviving the senior men's tennis circuit in this country with a four-tournament series.

Courier's Champions Cup Series recently launched its inaugural tennis event in Houston, with former high-profile players such as John McEnroe and Todd Martin dueling in the series' eight-man, round-robin match format.

Courier has recruited former well-known players who are 30 and older for the circuit, which includes stops next year in Naples in March, Boston in April and Memphis in October. Tennis great Jimmy Connors founded a senior men's circuit called the Champions Tour in 1993, but it fizzled in 2002. Europe has a senior men's circuit.

"This is a long-term business strategy. It's not a trial. We believe in the series, and it will continue to go forward," said Courier, 35, a four-time Grand Slam winner who visited the St. Petersburg Tennis Center and his hometown, Dade City, this week. Courier, who lives in New York and Orlando, was a dominant player in the early 1990s.

Courier, who earned some $14 million over his tennis career, declined to comment on how much he invested to launch the senior tour. A player needs to have reached a Grand Slam singles final, attained a Top 5 ranking or played singles on a Davis Cup championship team to play on the Courier circuit.

The Champions Cup was launched by Courier's InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, a seven-employee company founded last year by Courier and partner Jon Venison, a former corporate development and strategic planner for other entertainment companies. InsideOut, based in New York, has staged tennis exhibitions, such as the Mercedes-Benz Tennis Classic at the St. Pete Times Forum in March.

Martin, a 1999 U.S. Open finalist who lost to Courier in the finals of the Houston event, said Courier's hustling work ethic that paid off on the tennis court will serve him well in the business world.

One of Courier's challenges will be persuading companies to be title sponsors for tennis events in Naples and Boston.

"Jim … should be able to get through the doorways of businesses that are tennis fans," Martin said.

But getting through the door doesn't mean companies are signing checks to sponsor the tour and its events, said Courier, who has a likable personality and a network of contacts to match. Some companies have a wait-and-see attitude, he said, while others are willing to consider getting in on the ground floor.

"I'm not looking for handouts," Courier said.

Courier signed up Stanford Financial Group, title sponsor for the Houston and Memphis events. The financial services firm also sponsors the men's senior tour in Europe.

"Jim is such a multifaceted guy. He's one of the players who is capable and seeing the big picture and could form a tour like this," said Johan Kjellsten, a financial adviser at Stanford Financial. "We like the sport, and it's a good way for our clients to have a good tennis experience."

In Houston, attendance for the Stanford Financial Champions Cup hit about 11,000 for the Nov. 9-13 tournament at a 5,300-seat tennis venue. Courier said daily attendance expectations in Houston were for 2,500 to 3,000 fans, and empty seats were a result of a facility that was too large.

"Outsiders might think [attendance] was disappointing, but we were satisfied," said Courier, who not only promoted the event but also won it.

One way to boost attendance is to persuade former superstar Pete Sampras, who holds a record 14 Grand Slam wins, to join the senior circuit.

"Pete is arguably the greatest player ever, and it would be crazy not to want him to play," Courier said about Sampras.

Courier expects fewer unfilled seats at the Players Club in Lely Resort in Naples because the March 9-12 event will have a 3,000-seat temporary venue built around one of its tennis courts.

Courier anticipates former Grand Slam winners Pat Cash and Mats Wilander to join Americans McEnroe and Martin in Naples.

"There's a lot of brand equity built into those names," Courier said.

11-26-2005, 07:13 PM
This Day in Sports


1998 -:
Pete Sampras officially became the first player to hold the NO.1 ranking for a record sixth consecutive year. Sampras had shared the previous record with Jimmy Connors, who was NO. 1 for five straight years between '74 and '78.

11-26-2005, 07:22 PM
Be thankful for everything sports gives us

Scripps Howard News Service

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go _ but only if she has cable.

A Thanksgiving weekend without sports, either the participatory variety or the couch potato kind, would be less appetizing than a turkey stuffed with Spam. For many families, their Thanksgiving traditions include a Turkey Trot race, a Turkey Bowl touch football game or, for the more gluttonous, a marathon round of channel flipping between football, golf, basketball, et al.

While there are plenty of reasons these days to complain about the sports world, this weekend is neither the time nor the place for such cynicism. In the spirit of the season, let's reflect on all that sports fans have to be thankful for:

America's teams: Army, Navy and Air Force.

Teams we love to root against: The Yankees, Duke basketball, Oakland Raiders, Notre Dame football, Dallas Cowboys.

Villains that continue to astound us: Mike Tyson, Terrell Owens, Bobby Knight, Barry Bonds, George Steinbrenner, Donald Fehr, Rafael Palmeiro.

Athletes we admire: Lance Armstrong, Rulon Gardner, Tom Brady, Mia Hamm, Derek Jeter, Tim Duncan.

Athletes whose talent makes us drop the remote: Michael Vick, Reggie Bush, Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Federer, Annika Sorenstam, LeBron James.

Youngsters who need their birth certificate checked: Freddy Adu, Michelle Wie, Dwight Howard.

Cult favorites that we can't help but like: Kevin Pittsnogle, David Eckstein, Earl Boykins, Adam Viniateri, Bobby Jenks.

Athletes who turn our heads for many reasons: Jennie Finch, Danica Patrick, Serena Williams, Natalie Gulbis.

Athletes we want to see every second they play before they retire: Brett Favre, Roger Clemens, Lindsay Davenport, Maurice Greene, Priest Holmes.

Athletes we want to watch even if they make us cringe: Allen Iverson, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Marion Jones, Ron Artest.

Athletes we were fortunate to have seen play: Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, John Stockton.

Television with all its bells and whistles: Remote control, especially the previous channel button, HDTV, ESPN Classic, Tivo and DVR.

TV production innovations that make us smile: The first-down line, The Masters without commercial interruption, the on-screen scoreboard, including fantasy stats on the ticker, Super Bowl commercials, Super Bowl commercials with the twins.

TV personalities that keep us tuning in _ whether we love them or hate them: Jon Miller on Sunday Night baseball, Bob Costas and Bryant Gumbel's HBO shows, Keith Jackson on college football, Tim McGraw's Monday Night Football halftime highlights, Lee Corso wearing the mascot head every Saturday, Dick Vitale's unflagging enthusiasm for college hoops.

Broadcasters who we were lucky to have heard: Lindsey Nelson at the Cotton Bowl, Al McGuire at the Final Four, Curt Gowdy at the World Series, Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football, Jim McKay at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Al Michaels at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

Unsung heroes who help us become better fans: babysitters, bosses handing out the company box seats, pizza deliverymen, understanding wives.

Finally, as 2005 nears the two-minute warning, we're particularly thankful this year for:

_ Every Division I-A football team losing a game except for USC and Texas

_ The Chicago White Sox for giving every fan of long-suffering losers some hope

_ The Indianapolis Colts for making the 1972 Dolphins sweat

_ Commissioner Bud Selig and the baseball owners for finally showing some fortitude on the steroids issue, even if it is 10 years too late.

Thank you.

(E-mail David Nielsen at nielsend(at)shns.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com)

11-27-2005, 07:07 PM
pete is someone who thinks very carefully in his decisions & doesnt want to put himself in anything until he is 100% sure
beside he has pride & will not play if he isnt fit & willingly unready
in the future he may as his wife Bridg might want the boyz to see him play

11-28-2005, 10:53 PM
pete is someone who thinks very carefully in his decisions & doesnt want to put himself in anything until he is 100% sure
beside he has pride & will not play if he isnt fit & willingly unready
in the future he may as his wife Bridg might want the boyz to see him play

You are right again my friend, that's pete for you and I think having his boyz see him play will be a great idea :worship: :angel: lots of us would love to see him play also. :wavey: :D

12-12-2005, 10:21 PM
Dec 11, 2005

Tom Gullikson's Swingtime charity event last month in Naples raised $175,000 toward cancer research. Gullikson's twin brother, Tim, one of Pete Sampras' earliest coaches, died of a brain tumor in 1996. ...

12-13-2005, 09:14 PM
Star Gazing

Star pack burns up Matchbox

Darrell Smith
The Desert Sun
December 13, 2005

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas. How do we know?

Because a celebrity or star is in our midst everywhere we go. Last week, they were on the golf course, enjoying a night on the town or somewhere in the Coachella Valley just hanging around. Whether the stars are dining or at a tree lighting, we're there once again with this week's celebrity sightings.


You couldn't walk through Palm Springs' The Falls and its upstairs companion Matchbox Thursday night without bumping into a celebrity. Could be a typical Thursday in Palm Springs, but the celeb-packed room came courtesy of Tony Aguilar who for 12 years has brought the Coachella Valley the Greater Palm Springs Celebrity Golf Classic. The tourney, which ended Sunday at Desert Princess Country Club and Resort in Cathedral City, kicked off in style at the Palm Springs nightspots with a host of locally-based and other stars.

Songbird and Concord recording artist Keely Smith hosted the Thursday night launch and was joined by scratch golfer Elke Sommer; "Barney Miller"'s Hal Linden; James MacArthur ("Hawaii Five-0"); entertainer Jerry Vale; crooner Jack Jones; former San Diego Chargers running back and now-color commentator Hank Bauer among others.

Buddy's back

And just down the street, legendary jazz pianist and singer Buddy Greco was judging the singing talent at the PS Idol finals. Greco, over his long, celebrated career, has performed with icons Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole.

Good news for fans of good music: Greco has recently relocated from Las Vegas to the Coachella Valley with plans to open the eponymous Cathedral City dinner club "Buddy Greco's" in the old Beto's Bistro building on East Palm Canyon Drive.

For Pete's sake

One of our sharp-eyed spotters strolled onto Palm Desert's El Paseo Sunday night and saw none other than tennis star Pete Sampras and wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras ("The Wedding Planner," "Billy Madison") enjoying a meal at California Pizza Kitchen. The pair are said to have a home at Bighorn Country Club.

Get up, stand up

Hung out for a bit at Howard's Hollywood Hangout in downtown Palm Springs Thursday and had a nice chat with stand-up comic Bobby Kelton. The funnyman, in town last week, reached stand-up's holy grail, "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" 21 times during his long career and continues to perform in Las Vegas and at corporate events.

12-21-2005, 10:38 PM
Do you know how to win the big one?

By Doug Browne 12/20/2005

"An overtime football game: what a perfect moment for the legendary quarterback Brett Favre. Let's face it, Favre has built his name by winning games at the end. Look at him, he loves this drama," explained announcer and former star quarterback Joe Theisman.

Indeed, true greatness is often measured by what we did in pressure moments. How many times has Pete Sampras beaten Andre Agassi in Grand Slam finals? It is no accident that Sampras has more Grand Slam singles titles than any other man in history as he continually won the big match during his illustrious career.
"We were up 5-2 and on our way to a comfortable win and we just couldn't stop their momentum. If I could put a finger on it, I sure would be willing to listen," commented one of our CTA league players last week.
The message in the frustrated tennis player's words was that he needed some kind of lift as their opponents were reversing the tide. In other words, he or his partner required a weapon or weapons to slow down the other team. So, as the match was slipping away, a few big serves or a lethal forehand would have done the trick.
"You know, that's a good point. My game doesn't have any weapons. Basically, I'm just a steady player and that one guy (his opponent) was beginning to rise above us and we couldn't do a darn thing about it," the player explained.
How many times have we watched Sampras or Andy Roddick hit an ace on a big break point? Do you remember former champion Martina Navratilova rearing back and hitting aces against American favorite Chris Evert? Or past champion Jimmy Connors ripping a service return winner during a tense moment in numerous big matches?
Great players often produce something extra when the chips are down. But what about recreational league players? Can they rise just like the current champions? Absolutely. The only thing that we measure during a pressure packed situation is how we have to compete against a certain level. In other words, if you are playing in a 3.0 men's league match, you must play like a 3.5 player to show supremacy. So, it is clearly relative to whom we play against and how we respond.
One thing that we have to remember is that we may not need to sport a big serve or forehand drive to win big points during tough stretches. For instance, a great lob can be a weapon. Just last week during the Naples Pro League, the younger team clearly was winning the net and the match when all of a sudden * boom, a big change occurred. As the younger doubles players were closing in on a 7-4 lead, the cagey opponents began to toss up some timely lobs and they stormed back to win 9-8.
Another great weapon that players possess is speed. Just when it looked as if the play was over, one of the players dashed to the ball and hit a timely stroke and won the point. Or, one could demonstrate a deadly drop volley when the right opportunity struck.
Weapons come in all shapes and sizes and we must learn to use them when we are in tight conditions. The last thing a team should do is just try to power itself out of trouble as most of us just don't have the skills to hit huge shots time and time again.
One of the common threads of a professional is that we view many matches during the course of a season. And, after a while, we see many of the same patterns by all kinds of ability levels.
The worst and most damaging pattern is to see a player try to overpower his opponent during stressful situations. In particular, when a player is in the deuce court, he should not force a forehand drive down the alley unless it is completely open. Ironically, the deuce court player may strike it rich occasionally but the odds are clearly against him. If a player could easily knock the cover off the ball down the line as he faced major pressure, he could be a professional. And if a professional, rated 5.0 or 5.5, he would miss this shot unless he practiced all week. In other words, hitting down the line in doubles is usually the kiss of death unless it is used sparingly.
In summary, if you want to win the big one, you must delicately use your strengths at the right time. When you played earlier in the week, whether in practice or an earlier match and did not make the down the line return, stay away from it. Stick with a winning formula and use it when the pressure is staring down at you. Believe me, intelligently using a weapon will carry you to victory.

Doug Browne is the Hideaway Beach Director of Tennis and the Community Tennis Association President. Doug and his wife Leslie have enjoyed teaching players of all abilities at Hideaway Beach for over a decade. He can be reached by e-mailat DBrowne912@aol.com.

12-27-2005, 10:03 PM

December 27, 2005

Great ones at 30

The San Francisco Chronicle compares the greats at 30 years old:

Michael Jordan: two NBA championships, three MVP awards, All-NBA first team six times, averaged 30-plus points six times.

Wayne Gretzky: four Stanley Cup championships, nine MVP awards, 200-plus points four times, led league in goals four times and assists 11 times.

Willie Mays: one World Series championship, one MVP award, one National League batting title, 285 home runs, 40-plus homers twice, 100-plus RBI four times, .300-plus average six times.

Jerry Rice: two Super Bowl championships, five Pro Bowl selections, 549 catches, 80-plus catches four times, 95 receiving touchdowns.

Pete Sampras: 13 Grand Slam titles (seven Wimbledons, four U.S. Opens, two Australian Opens), youngest player to win U.S. Open (age 19 in 1990), two Davis Cup championships, 18-8 record in Davis Cup.

12-29-2005, 02:28 PM
Tennis Week magazine article about Jim Courier's Champion Cup Series and here is what Pete is saying about his current thought on the tour:

Pete Sampras is not ready to make a commitment. More than three years removed from his last official match, when he stopped Andre Agassi at the 2002 U.S. Open for his 14th Grand Slam tournment championship, Sampras has given the Courier tour some serious thought, but is not planning to play.

"The thing with the senior stuff," Sampras says, "is either I am going to go out there and be a hundred percent competitive and take your heart out and on it for two hours, or I am not. And with the senior events, you are in the middle, kind of competitive but kind of not wanting to take it too seriously. And I don't work well in the middle. That is part of it. The other part is the traveling. I want to stay close to home and not travel a ton. So that is where I'm at. I am not quite there yet, and maybe I never will be. There is no rush for me to get into it. I have told Jim, who seems really happy iad is playing a ton, that I am passing on it for now."

Sampras pauses briefly and continues, "As tennis players, you don't have much to fall back on when you are done playing. I may get to a stage where I am ready to try this [Champions Cup Series] tour out, but I am not there now. I might want to do my own event, where I would invite some friends like Becker and Jim and do it on my own terms maybe in Manhattan Beach [Calif.]. I have talked to some people about maybe doing the Pete Sampras Invitational in a year's time, maybe being a part owner of it and getting into the business side of it. So I am not totally closing the door, but I am closing it for now on the events that are available."

12-29-2005, 08:39 PM
Tennis Week magazine article about Jim Courier's Champion Cup Series and here is what Pete is saying about his current thought on the tour:

Pete Sampras is not ready to make a commitment. More than three years removed from his last official match, when he stopped Andre Agassi at the 2002 U.S. Open for his 14th Grand Slam tournment championship, Sampras has given the Courier tour some serious thought, but is not planning to play.

"The thing with the senior stuff," Sampras says, "is either I am going to go out there and be a hundred percent competitive and take your heart out and on it for two hours, or I am not. And with the senior events, you are in the middle, kind of competitive but kind of not wanting to take it too seriously. And I don't work well in the middle. That is part of it. The other part is the traveling. I want to stay close to home and not travel a ton. So that is where I'm at. I am not quite there yet, and maybe I never will be. There is no rush for me to get into it. I have told Jim, who seems really happy iad is playing a ton, that I am passing on it for now."

Sampras pauses briefly and continues, "As tennis players, you don't have much to fall back on when you are done playing. I may get to a stage where I am ready to try this [Champions Cup Series] tour out, but I am not there now. I might want to do my own event, where I would invite some friends like Becker and Jim and do it on my own terms maybe in Manhattan Beach [Calif.]. I have talked to some people about maybe doing the Pete Sampras Invitational in a year's time, maybe being a part owner of it and getting into the business side of it. So I am not totally closing the door, but I am closing it for now on the events that are available."

Thank you peteslamz, great article, how was your christmas? :worship: :worship: :angel: :wavey:

12-30-2005, 09:33 PM
Former tennis star Pete Sampras, on how he's kept busy in retirement: "I've been playing a ton of golf. And my wife is pregnant, so I've done a little bit of that."

01-01-2006, 12:26 PM
Thank you peteslamz, great article, how was your christmas? :worship: :worship: :angel: :wavey:

Quite good. Hope you had a happy Christmas as well as a very happy new year :) :wavey:

01-03-2006, 09:23 PM
Quite good. Hope you had a happy Christmas as well as a very happy new year :) :wavey:

It was good my dear :angel: :D and nice seeing you in the new year - cheers. :worship: :wavey: