Pete Sampras - WIMBLEDON [Archive] -

Pete Sampras - WIMBLEDON

03-23-2005, 11:13 PM
Wimbledon - 1993

03-23-2005, 11:46 PM

03-23-2005, 11:48 PM

03-23-2005, 11:50 PM

03-23-2005, 11:51 PM

03-23-2005, 11:56 PM

03-23-2005, 11:58 PM
Wimbledon 1993:

Confronting Jim Courier in his first Centre Court final was no simple matter. Courier, breathing down Sampras' neck at No. 2 in the world, had secured four Grand Slam titles while Sampras was still searching for his second. Furthermore, Sampras had lost the US Open final to Stefan Edberg 10 months earlier, and was absolutely determined not to suffer another setback in a major final. With a sense of urgency, Sampras- hunched over apprehensively and fatigued as he served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set - gamely won 7-6 (3) 7-6, (6) 3-6, 6-3, sealing his first major in nearly three years. He explained later, "I was more nervous for that match with Courier than for any that I had ever played."

03-24-2005, 12:05 AM
Courier wilts as his American arch-rival turns up heat and proves why he deserves to be on top of the world

By John Parsons
(Filed: 05/07/1993)

Pete Sampras perfectly rebuffed those who have questioned his quality as world No 1 when he overpowered Jim Courier in an often absorbing, rather than consistently spectacular Wimbledon final.

In the climax to the hottest Championships since 1976 and the first not affected by rain since 1977, Sampras, who lost his grip only once and struck 22 aces, beat Jim Courier, the world No 2, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.

Serving for the match after two hours 58 minutes of intense competition in temperatures soaring to over a hundred, Sampras, who lost the first point to a flashing service return from Courier, looked even more exhausted than he tends to do anyway.

Jim Courier congratulates Pete Sampras after their engaging four-set men's final
Twice he went down on his haunches, flexing muscles as if cramp might be a threat, in between producing his final match-winning cluster of huge serve-and-volley points which are the hallmark of his game.

As he celebrated a victory which he said meant "just a little bit more than the US Open", which he won when he was 19 and too young fully to appreciate it, Sampras said: "There's been a lot of controversy over how I can be No 1 when Jim has won the Australian and reached the final of the French, but I don't think that'll be the case now."

Maybe Courier, who owes more to the Ivan Lendl school of tennis than that of John McEnroe, and Sampras lack the charisma of Andre Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic in last year's final, but no-one could fault either of them for 100 per cent commitment in a match which was laced with entertaining points, at least from the latter stages of the second set.

This first all-American final since McEnroe overwhelmed Jimmy Connors was inevitably going to be decided on a missed volley here or a momentary lapse of service power there, which is not everyone's idea of compelling tennis.

Yet this 10th clash between the top two players in the world, who stay in the same places thanks to Sampras edging ahead 8-2 in their rivalry, also had superb moments of light and shade between the naked power.

Sampras, who looked at one stage as if he would win in straight sets, certainly deserved the triumph about which he has been dreaming since he was a nine-year-old watching the classic Bjorn Borg-McEnroe finals in 1981.

The often ruthless effectiveness of the Sampras serve stems not solely from the ferocity of his deliveries but his variation of pace, placement and spin. Indeed his second deliveries were often more telling than the first, just like Michael Stich's against Boris Becker in the final two years ago.

Although neither player took more than two points off his opponent's serve in a first set of 49 minutes - and the first break point did not emerge until the 10th game of the second set - the exchanges were certainly not dull.

Sampras often produced delightful touch volleys, though he had to be careful not to take too many risks as he knew Courier would be waiting to drum a forehand winner past him.

The rallies may have been rationed, compared with those the day before in the women's singles final but, when they did develop, they gripped the crowd's attention and were often spectacular, especially in the fourth set when both men in turn successfully, and courageously, chased into the corners drop shots or penetrating drives which looked like winners.

Sampras, whose serves often hovered close to the 120mph mark, with one reaching 123mph, took the opening set tie-break thanks mainly to an over-tentative first-point volley from Courier, which invited Sampras to beat him with the backhand pass.

The second set, which had followed a similar modern pattern to the first, with Courier occasionally wrong-footing Sampras with his returns and Sampras keeping Courier guessing on pace, suddenly came alight when umpire Sultan Gangji intervened on a linecall. His decision that a Sampras forehand which had been called out on Courier's game point should have been called in, not only shocked Courier, who made his objections clear, but most of the crowd.

Yet Courier survived a set point which soon followed and had one of his own in the second tie-break from which Sampras luckily escaped with what he later admitted was a nervous forehand volley, which, had he missed, would, in his own words, have made it "a whole new ball game".

The pace dropped in the third set when Sampras continued to hit aces but paid a heavy price for attempting extravagant, rather than straightforward rallies in the eighth game.

Yet Courier's hopes of avoiding his second Grand Slam defeat in a month (he was surprisingly beaten by Sergi Bruguera in the final of the French Open) died once the astute changes of pace in the Sampras groundstrokes achieved the first and crucial service break in the fourth which produced some of the most memorable points in this American Independence Day clash.

"Over the last two years I've come to appreciate more what winning the US Open meant, but this is the biggest one of all," said Sampras. "I'm so happy."

It was a remarkable triumph for Sampras bearing in mind that two days before he played his first-round match he was still wondering if he would be fit enough to compete at all.

Fortunately for him, the shoulder injury which had been threatening his prospects proved to be more in the mind and once the Agassi quarter-final hurdle had been overcome there was no stopping him.

Courier's reaction at the end was a sober mixture of pleasure and disappointment.

He knew that he had achieved far more over the fortnight than either he or anyone else had expected, and yet at the same time that brought disappointment because perhaps if he was ever to add Wimbledon to the Grand Slam titles he has won in Australia and France it had to be this year.

"I'm not sure if there'll be another Wimbledon final for me" he said.

03-24-2005, 12:13 AM

03-24-2005, 12:15 AM

03-24-2005, 12:17 AM

03-24-2005, 12:19 AM

03-24-2005, 12:28 AM
Rockets on the 4th
By Sally Jenkins

July 12, 1993 - With his booming serve, Pete Sampras launched 22 aces to beat Jim Courier in an all-American Wimbledon final on Independence Day

There was perfection and order at Wimbledon this year. For the first time since 1977 not a drop of rain fell during the fortnight, and the crowds enjoyed a seemingly endless reverie of sunbathing and stargazing. A numerical symmetry began to take shape when the top four men's seeds -- Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier and Boris Becker -- reached the semifinals, something that hadn't happened since 1927. On the Fourth of July, in the first all-American men's final since 1984, the No. 1 player in the world, Sampras, defeated the No. 2 player, Courier.


Sampras has only one Wimbledon title, and it is a significant step forward for him. It proved to him and the world that he deserves the No. 1 ranking he took from Courier in April. In fact, Sampras may be the most complete player in the game, though an emotionally fragile one.

He quietly cut through the tournament like scissors through silk, moving so softly that he was labeled uninteresting by the British tabloids. PETE'S A BORE read one headline. In a whimsical radio survey in which 1,000 Brits responded to the question: Whom would you most like to share strawberries and cream with at Wimbledon? Sampras received only one vote. (Chris Bailey won, followed by Agassi, Henri Leconte and Fred Perry.) Told of the outcome of the poll, he shrugged and said, "I let my racket do the talking. That's what I'm all about, really. I just go out and win tennis matches."

Sampras was also called a hypochondriac. He moped and winced through several matches, moaning over the tendinitis in his right shoulder that, he said, was so painful he nearly withdrew from the tournament. He said that on the Wednesday before Wimbledon began, "the pain was so bad I couldn't brush my teeth." When he got a nosebleed during his third-round match against Byron Black of Zimbabwe, the gimpy label stuck.

Whether Sampras really suffers from constant ailments, or whether most of his aches are in his mind, no one knows for sure, not even Sampras. He admitted that his aching shoulder was "50 percent mental and 50 percent physical." At last year's U.S. Open, in which he lost in the final to Edberg, he complained of shin splints, cramps and the aftereffects of a stomach virus. This much was sure: If Sampras wanted to win Wimbledon, and thus fulfill the potential he displayed in winning the 1990 U.S. Open and the destiny predicted for him by no less than Perry, he was going to have to suck it up.

For all of the pained expressions he made, Sampras did just that. In the fourth round he dispatched Britain's last hope, Andrew Foster, and gave the hostile crowd a clenched fist and a snarled epithet as he left the court. When asked later what he had mouthed to the British fans, Sampras facetiously replied, "I said, 'Have a nice day. God bless you.' "

Next he defeated the most popular man in town, Agassi. For 10 days Agassi had captivated the public with his showboating, his relationship with Streisand and his valiant efforts to repeat as champion. Streisand has been an admirer of Agassi's ever since he called to tell her how much he admired The Prince of Tides. Streisand had promised to come to Wimbledon if Agassi reached the quarterfinals. When he did, she flew to London from Greece, where she had been vacationing. Her arrival electrified Fleet Street. She appeared for his quarterfinal in a sailor suit and nautical cap. She bobbed and cheered for Agassi and annoyed Sampras's supporters in the friends' box by clapping whenever Sampras made errors.

Agassi appeared to be on the verge of victory when Sampras called for a trainer midway through the fifth set to massage his aching shoulder. But it was Agassi whose serving arm had flagged. He dropped his serve twice in a row and fell behind 4-2. Sampras then easily held serve twice to close out a 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 win that would turn out to be his most difficult test of the tournament. He also had the private satisfaction of knowing that he, too, had a celebrity friend. Sampras had played tennis with Elton John at John's palatial Windsor home the week before the tournament began. So there, Andre.

Sampras never lost his serve in his 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Becker in their semifinal. Said Becker, "Sometimes I think he forgot the difference between his first serve and his second serve." Becker himself had won all 27 of his service games in a five-set quarterfinal victory over fellow German and 1991 Wimbledon winner Michael Stich, but he couldn't maintain that constancy against Sampras, who hit his best shot of the tournament to create match point. Becker unfurled a down-the-line backhand that seemed bound to be a winner. Sampras, however, twisted and caught the ball with a diving forehand volley that curled across the net so sharply that Becker couldn't reach it. Sampras yanked his fists toward his body in triumph and yelled to his coach, Tim Gullikson. It was perhaps the most emotion Sampras had ever displayed on a tennis court.

As for Courier, his performance was a total surprise, especially to him. "I thought I'd be playing golf tomorrow," he said last Friday, after defeating Edberg in the other semi.

Courier's strength is his thorough preparation. As a result, he has reached the final of all four Grand Slam tournaments and has won both the French and Australian Opens twice. Once Courier gained the measure of the greensward, he became a pulverizing force from the baseline. Witness his 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Edberg, a two-time Wimbledon champion who supposedly possessed a far superior grass-court game. After a tight first set, Courier commanded all the authority in the match. "I had it, then I lost it and never got it back," Edberg said.

Courier was an ugly American during the fortnight, grim and quarrelsome, but that attitude served him well. He was nearly defaulted for allegedly swearing at the umpire during his third-round victory over Australia's Jason Stoltenberg. He appeared to swear again during his semifinal with the gentlemanly Edberg. Although that epithet went unpenalized, the British press jumped on him for it. "Nobody's perfect in this world," said Courier at a press conference after the match. "If we were, it'd be pretty boring." He then invited writer David Miller of The Times of London to step outside.

No amount of feistiness, however, could overcome Sampras's howitzer serve in the final. En route to his 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory, Sampras delivered 22 aces, many with his second serve, which averaged 97 mph and burned the lines. Sampras lost only eight points on his serve in the first set and four in the second.

Thus, even though he had not lost his own serve, Courier found himself trailing by two sets. His fate was decided when he could not convert a set point in the second-set tiebreaker. Sampras hit a forehand volley that barely caught the baseline.

In the third set Sampras suffered an adrenaline lag. His shoulders drooped, and so did his game. He became careless, and Courier won the set with something approaching ease. In the fourth, though, Sampras came back with a vengeance. He broke Courier for a 4-2 lead by winning a lengthy baseline rally. When Sampras held for 5-2, the match was all but over.

Sampras knew it when he took his chair for the changeover. He put his head in his hands and placed some ice on his neck, and he breathed slowly and deeply. For a moment, nearly everyone at Centre Court had the impression that Sampras was sick or injured -- and that he might not make it through a fifth set should Courier force one. Sampras returned to the court looking pale. "I told myself to stay calm," he said later.

Courier easily held serve, and suddenly Sampras was serving for the title. "I knew he was tired," Courier said, "but when you serve at 125 miles per hour, you don't have to move much. I still had to break serve."

Courier won a spectacular first point, and Sampras sagged. But three huge serves later, he held double match point. "The biggest point in the world for me," he would say.

Courier saved one with a searing forehand return that Sampras half- volleyed into the net. Sampras crouched at the baseline for a moment and then rose to his feet. He drilled one more serve. Courier popped it up, and Sampras knocked off an easy backhand volley. Then he raised his arms in exultation.

It was the second time within a month that Courier had lost in a Grand Slam final: Sergi Bruguera of Spain had upset him at the French Open. "It stinks," said Courier. "It stinks twice."

Afterward, Sampras was so relaxed that he fed a line to the tabloids. When asked if he had noticed that the princess of Wales was rooting for him from the royal box, Sampras smiled and said, "Maybe she has a crush on me."

Courier, too, couldn't help mocking the tabs' preoccupation with the players' love lives. When he was asked about his relationship with Sampras, he smiled coyly and murmured Agassi's standard reply to the Streisand question: "We're friends, just friends."

Sampras has often remarked that his U.S. Open victory had an element of luck to it, and that back then he was just an unconscious 19-year-old kid riding a hot streak. This time he was so conscious of the occasion that he almost fainted on court. "You can't take this title away from me," he said. "I don't think there will be any more controversy [about my No. 1 ranking]."

As Sampras raised the championship chalice above his head on Centre Court, he heard a new, rewarding sound. The British were applauding him. "I think they've grown to like me," he said later and smiled.

03-24-2005, 12:30 AM
10 Things we've served up on the new King of Wimbledon
By Dick Barton - Wimbledon 93 - SunSport

Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras has reached the top by NOT eating his greens. He hates vegetables, particularly Brussel Sprouts.

He was coached for nine years from the age of nine by children's doctor Pete Fischer, who works at a hospital near Los Angeles.

Fischer told SunSport exactly how they first met. "I was just hitting balls at the Jack Kramer Tennis Club when Pete's father asked me if I would coach his son."

"I pointed out that I not a professional coach, but a paediatrician. He asked what I charge. I said "Nothing" and he replied, "The price is right."

Pete is now the seventh all-time biggest earner in men's tennis and he's still only 21. He has won GBP5 m in five years.

Last year he won more than GBP20,000 a WEEK and winning Wimbledon has brought him a further GBP305,000.

He has made more in the past fortnight than Prime Minister John Major will earn in FOUR YEARS for running Britain.

Pete (and yes it's Pete, not Peter) Sampras was born in Washington DC on August 12, 1971.

His dad, Sam, son of Greek immigrants, is an engineer at a NASA Space Centre in California. His sister, Stella, is a tennis coach at UCLA University.

Fischer transformed Sampras from a school-boy with a lot of promise into a world-beater, but he admits he is not a particularly good player himself.

In 1990, Pete became the youngest player to win the US Open at just 19 years 28 days.

The match that had the biggest influence on Sampras was a classic between Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, which coach Fischer insisted he watched several times on old black and white film.

Fischer recalls: "He only watched it a few times. Pete's attention span isn't that long."

Fischer reckons Sampras's failure to display emotion is one of his great strengths. "I always told him that you don't want opponents to know what you're thinking."

Pete unwinds by playing golf and supports the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.

Supplied by Georgia Christoforou


03-25-2005, 09:04 PM

03-26-2005, 08:23 PM

04-02-2005, 07:12 PM

Sampras in a zone of his own
by Diane Pucin

WIMBLEDON, England - Pete Sampras threw two rackets into the crowd and two shirts, too. He said he would have stripped to nothing and thrown all his clothes to the crowd if that would have won him a second straight Wimbledon title.

Sampras didn't need to strip on Centre Court. He just needed to serve. His serve is hurtful. It twists, it turns, it digs a little hole in the ground sometimes.

Sampras needed to volley, too. His volleys are cruel. The wrist twists, and the racket hits the ball at angles so low that no human can get it.

Sampras also needed to return serve well. His backhand service return curves down the line like some boomerang, except that it doesn't come back. It just lands softly and out of reach.

Pete Sampras won his second straight Wimbledon title yesterday with the serve, the volley, the return. The No. 1 seed beat No. 4 seed Goran Ivanisevic, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-5), 6-0, in the final. The match lasted 1 hour 33 minutes, four minutes less than the best-of-three women's final had taken.

"I feel great," Sampras said. "I'm pumped, man."

He's just too good. That's what Ivanisevic said about Sampras nine times yesterday. Sampras played unbelievable. Ivanisevic said that twice.

Ivanisevic, the tall, skinny Croatian with the serve of death, had been boisterous and boastful before his second Wimbledon final. He had noted that Sampras had trouble with his lefty serve and that he, Ivanisevic, held a 5-3 career edge over the American. Ivanisevic had added that he was playing very good tennis, and that he had big plans for this Wimbledon, and good luck, Pete.

So Ivanisevic blasted 16 aces in the first set but lost it. Sampras accepted the aces gracefully. He would just walk to the half of the baseline and wait for another serve.

Ivanisevic was hitting all those aces, but Sampras was getting all the break points. He got five in the first set. And he didn't seize one. Trouble, you'd think -- wasting precious break points. But what it showed was that Sampras had the more creative game.

Ivanisevic could draw the breath from the crowd when his serve practically knocked Sampras off his feet. But Sampras drew the soft sighs from the crowd when he floated dainty service returns past the flummered Ivanisevic. Or when he almost kneeled to pick the ball off the tips of the grass, then directed it cross-court while Ivanisevic bit his lip or slid like a novice skater, clumsy and desperate, as he tried to retrieve the shot.

Sampras won the last six points of the first set tie-break with a first serve that Ivanisevic returned into the net, with a backhand winner, with a vicious forehand return that Ivanisevic lunged at and swatted long; with a fabulous backhand pass that Ivanisevic tipped wide; with a cruel backhand volley; and with another big first serve that Ivanisevic flailed at.

There was no hope for Ivanisevic, who lost the second set tie-break because Sampras plucked a ball that was almost dead in the grass and turned it into a cross-court backhand volley.

After that, Ivanisevic was a mess, talking to himself and hitting double faults and wild, no hope shots.

Sampras had shrieked and pumped his fist on that last point of the second tie-break. Ivanisevic mumbled for the 20 minutes it took to finish the third set.

Sampras is far and away the best tennis player in the world right now. There is no vulnerable part of his game.

Ivanisevic found that out. His game plan turned into this: try to serve well and hope Sampras misses some serves and gives him chances to return.

"Then the guy doesn't miss so many serves," Ivanisevic said. "I don't have so many chances for the second serve. That's tough. I mean, then, it's not too much game plan. It's just hoping."

Just hoping. That's what it's like playing Sampras now. He is 22 years old, and he has won four of the last five Grand Slam tournaments and reached the quarters of the French Open. He is the first player since Boris Becker in 1985 and 1986 to win consecutive Wimbledons.

Sampras leads the computer rankings by more points than anyone has since the rankings came into existence in 1973. For two weeks, other players have said that, for the time being, they've given up the thought of being ranked first.

"One year and a half, Pete's been playing this level of tennis -- very high, " Ivanisevic said.

So all there is is hope. Hope that Sampras gets bored, gets hurt, gets worse by magic.

Sampras isn't interested in getting bored or hurt or worse. He is quiet and he is criticized for not being flamboyant or able to offer up great and funny quotes. He doesn't cause a ruckus on the court or swear or dye his hair or design psychedelic clothes. He is interested in history and being part of history.

"The Grand Slam wins that I've had are something that's proven to people that I can go down in the history books," he said. "Winning the Grand Slams - that's the answer. That's the best thing I can give."

Only 22 and Sampras owns two Wimbledons, two US Opens, and an Australian Open title. He keeps giving the right answer.

04-05-2005, 10:29 PM
Sampras able to show emotion, too
by: Al Picker

WIMBLEDON - Critics of Pete Sampras say he's a great player but he doesn't show enough emotion on the court.

That cool-as-cucumber, all-business veneer was pulled away yesterday when Sampras let out some piercing screams as he got closer and closer to victory over Goran Ivanisevic in the men's singles final.

When the final point was won, the 22-year-old American star flung his racket skyward and it landed some six rows back, where a female fan wrestled the prize from other grappling hands. She certainly knew what to do with it. She immediately sent it to the dressing room for the champion's autograph.

When Sampras reached the sideline after his moment of triumph, beaming broadly, he whipped off his shirt and threw it into the stands. Then, he grabbed another out of his bag and tossed it to the fans. The, he flipped his Wimbledon towel.

"I would have taken all of my clothes off...two (titles) in a row," said Sampras, still feeling the euphoria that envelopes a champion who has just made a successful defense.

But not quite; he needed his third shirt to wear for the award ceremony that followed on Centre Court. Pete was so close to perfection, it's hard to fault him. He made his only mistake in the historic arena when he forgot the customary bow to royalty during a greetings exchange with the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

Sampras's efforts during his straight set success were a command performance worthy of royal respect.

The racket, shirts and towel left his hands rather quickly. What stayed firmly in his grasp, though, was the silver trophy he held high over his head during the traditional champion's walk around the outer reaches of the court where the "commoners" greeted him warmly.

It wasn't the roaring ovation that Martina Navratilova received after failing a day earlier to win a 10th women's title against Conchita Martinez. And it certainly would have paled to what might have been the response generated had Andre Agassi been king for a day.

"I think I'm winning their hearts," observed Sampras. "My main concern is to focus on winning and I just hope people can appreciate how I go about my tennis and how I play."

Superbly, Pete just goes about playing the old fashioned way. He earns his points with brilliant play. No time for emotional displays during a match that will sidetrack his intense concentration on the business at hand.

"You're not going to see a lot of communicating with the crowd because I feel like I really can't do both and stay focused on winning.

"People can say what they want, but the fact is that I have two in a row and that's going to stay with me forever."

Sampras hopes to have the same love affair with Wimbledon as Navratilova has had.

"I'd like to be around here dominating for as many years as I can," Sampras noted, "as long as I'm healthy and I'm enjoying the game. Hopefully, I can stay on top for as long as my body can handle it."

Sampras admitted being swept up with the tide of emotions generated by Martina's try for a 10th title in her final year.

"I felt for her," he said. "She wanted badly to end on a positive note. I don't know if I'll play until I'm 37, but I hope tha tone day, the last time I walk off the court, I can get the same response."

Comparing his emotions and thoughts of a year ago to this triumphant moment, Sampras had to collect his thoughts.

"Right now, I'm feeling pretty stoked, " he said. "The first one is something you never forget. The second is just a little bit sweeter."

Sampras always talks about his admiration for Aussie greats, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall. He feels they were class acts.

Class is a word he uses frequently, wanting to be a "class" player, winning in a "class" way.

"I want to win in a class way, receiving a great response from the crowd," the 22-year-old Tampa, Fla. resident said. "I don't throw my racket or yell at umpires, maybe now and then, but not very often, like the Australians.

"They won with a bit of grace and that's something I've always tried to emulate."

Because of his resolute avoidance of controversy, because of his wary, unaggressive demeanor both on and off the court, it has been easy to underestimate the enormity of Sampras's achievements.

Pete became the youngest U.S. Open champ in 1990 and was runnerup to Stefan Edberg in 1992 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Great champions win great tournaments and that is what Pete Sampras is all about these days. He has won four of the last five Grand Slams.

He watched films of Laver when he was a youngster. He considers "The Rocket" the greatest player of all time and would like someday to be favorably compared to him.

Sampras is going about his business in a manner that certainly will place him in consideration as one of the game's great champions.

"I'm getting closer," said Sampras, responding to how he feels to be part of tennis lore. "I'm getting there.

"The Grand Slam victories I've had in the last couple of years is something that proves to people and to myself that, hopefully, I can go down in those history books."

Sampras is not the sharpest conversationalist. But like his game, he has come a long way from his less communicative teen days. He has learned to articulate his thoughts in a measured and thoughtful manner.

When asked what is takes to be a champion, he gave a clear response that youngsters with similar ambitions should heed:

"You need some talent, you need hard work, you need discipline and you need the determination to keep trying to get better. You have to have that burning desire to improve.

"All these ingredients are needed to be a champion."

And what does Sampras think are his chances whenever he enters a tournament?

"I feel that every tournament I enter will not be satisfying unless I win," he said. "To get knocked off, I need to be playing someone that's really on while I have to be having an off day."

Champions talk that way.

04-05-2005, 10:34 PM

04-09-2005, 07:52 PM
Sampras: Star of undramatic final

... Sure people who had the TV turned on, turned off their sets. It was such a nice day. I'm sure they went outside and sunbathe."

It was one of the hottest days in Wimbledon history, 116 degrees on Centre Court. With no rain the past week, the grass was dry and fast, virtually guaranteeing there would be no long rallies. But that didn't bother Sampras. He loved the conditions and the winner's prize - $ 517,500. Ivanisevic earned half that amount. The victory was the eighth of the year for the topranked Sampras, who had won four of the last five Grand slams, losing only in the French Open to Jim Courier.

"I thought the tennis was very high class today," said Sampras, whose serve was never broken and who faced only two break points all match. "Maybe you're not seeing a lot of long rallies, but it's tough to hit a serve that hard in a matter of three or four inches. When you have two guys who play very similar like us, you're not going to see a lot of rallies."

The absence of drama had less to do with the aces and two or three shot rallies than it did with the score. It was as if everyone wanted to press fast forward in the first two sets to get to the tiebreakers, knowing that neither player would yield serve. Yet when the tiebreakers came, they concluded in straightforward fashion, Ivanisevic never threathening Sampras.

When Ivanisevic had two break points against him, trailing 4-3 in the first set, he uncranked an ace and two service winners, then closed out the game with another ace. When he faced three more breakpoints at love-40 in his next service game, he slammed four more aces. His 15th ace sent the set into the tiebreaker, his 16th gave him a 2-1 lead, but then Sampras won six straight points to win the set.

If there was any thrill in watching the match it was seeing the sheer power and accuracy of the two players, serves with top speed approaching 130 mph and skipping off the lines. It was a little like seeing two pitchers throwing a shootout against each other with 15 strikeout apiece. It may not produce much action, but it can be exciting.

The difference here was that all of Sampras's and Ivanisevic's matches have been this way for two weeks and their power nullified each other until Ivanisevic simply wore down mentally.

"It's tough," said Ivanisevic, whose performance here will lift him from No. 4 to No. 2 in the new ATP rankings today. "You lose two sets 7-6, it puts pressure on me, and I have to keep that level because he was all over me. I didn't have much chance because he was playing better and better. I think he was just too good. Then you crack a little."

There is nothing that could be done about the non-rallies with these players under these conditions, and nothing is likely to be done to prevent a repeat of this kind of match in the future. It is in the nature of grasscourt tennis.

"You can put a clay court down, but that's not going to happen," Sampras said. "I remember watching (John) Newcombe play a big German fellow. They didn't have a lot of long rallies. You saw (Bjorn) Borg win here so many years and you saw long rallies.

"Now you have two big serve and volley players like Goran and myself. You're not going to see long rallies. That's the bottom line."

04-09-2005, 07:57 PM

04-13-2005, 09:48 PM
Sampras overpowers Ivanisevic to repeat as men's champion
By: ROBIN FINN (New York Times)
Originally Published on: 7/04/94

WIMBLEDON, England - Another superhuman effort, another Grand Slam title for Pete Sampras, the player who has lately made invincibility look easy. On a steamy afternoon when the brevity of point-making made plenty of survival sense, Sampras blasted by Goran Ivanisevic in straight sets, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-0, to become the first man since Boris Becker in 1986 to successfully defend his Wimbledon title.

His immediate reaction to the victory was to douse himself with ice water, hurl his racquet into the stands, rip off his shirt and send it skyward as a souvenir. Then, with a fresh shirt in place atop his baggy shorts, he ambled over to shake the pair of royal hands that hand over the trophy he covets most.

No pyrotechnics for Sampras, 22, just a steady progress that has rendered his the most complete game in the Open era and, quite possibly, ever. ``The Grand Slam wins I've had in the last couple years is something that's proven to people and to myself that hopefully I can go down in the history books,'' said Sampras, for whom winning his second Wimbledon championship and fifth Slam over all is all part of a master plan to join immortals like his role model, Rod Laver, in the record books. ``Winning the Grand Slams, that's the answer,'' said Sampras, whose next task is the defense of his 1993 U.S. Open title but whose hope for a 1994 Grand Slam was spoiled last month with a quarterfinal loss at the French Open.

After dissecting Ivanisevic's game with increasing efficiency this afternoon, Sampras explained the ingredients that have gone into his own game in the course of an 18-month span in which virtually every opponent has routinely hailed him for playing at a level above the fray.

"You need some talent, you need some hard work, you need discipline and determination to keep on trying to get better,'' said Sampras, who admitted he was happy with ``all categories'' of his game Sunday.

"I'm No.1, I won last year, and I want to win it again, so I've got that burning desire to keep on getting better,'' he said. Sampras has compiled a 14-match unbeaten streak at Wimbledon, and his victory over Ivanisevic gave him a 12-0 record against left-handers, who used to bother him back when his game was played on a less ethereal plain. Although the second-ranked Ivanisevic out-aced him by 25 to 17, Sampras was twice as effective at net, nearly three times as accurate from the baseline and allowed the baffled Croat only two break points and squelched them both with big serves.

"I never had a chance,'' said Ivanisevic, 22. ``He was always serving unbelievable, he played unbelievable, and today he hit some great returns, so I have to hit a great volley or I'm in big trouble.''

Ivanisevic's only other appearance in a Grand Slam final came at Wimbledon in a five-set loss against Andre Agassi in 1992. ``When you lose to a guy like Pete it hurts less than it did two years ago,'' he said, ``because two years ago I knew I had a good chance. But today, he was just too good.''

Sampras has now collected four of the last five Grand Slam crowns, has already won eight tournaments in 1994, which matches his total from last year, and has taken his No.1 ranking to a height unlikely to be scaled by any challenger for the duration of the year. He said he couldn't worry about the staccato pace of the match, in which just three rallies contained more than five shots.

``It's a grass court, and you have two big serve-and-volley players like Goran and myself, so you're not going to see long rallies; that's the bottom line,'' he said. ``But when it comes down to a tie breaker like it did today, that's exciting. I knew the match was going to come down to a couple of points, and I got them.''

Sampras so nearly approached flawlessness in this 1-hour-55-minute final, which began as a serving race but concluded in a rout, he felt compelled to apologize to Ivanisevic after it was all over. ``He just said `Sorry'wasn't that nice from himand he said, `I couldn't play any better,''' Ivanisevic said.

Through the first 12 games, neither player seemed able to adjust to the speed of the incoming serves, which in both cases averaged nearly 120 mph. But Ivansevic, previously 6-3 in tie breakers against Sampras, faltered badly at those stages Sunday, serving only one ace. In the 10th game of the first set, Ivanisevic saved three set points, two of them with aces, before closing out the game with another ace.

``That's where I told myself not to get down on myself,'' said Sampras, who did precisely that in his semifinal loss to Ivanisevic at Wimbledon in 1992. ``When I played him here two years ago, he was acing me left and right and I did get down on myself. Today I told myself to stay positive.''

As soon as Sampras earned a fourth set point and went up by 6-2 in the tie breaker with a backhand crosscourt volley, Ivanisevic surrendered the set by pumping a backhand return out of bounds. The pattern of the second tie breaker was similar, with Ivanisevic playing an unproductive game of catch-up that took him only as far as 5-5. Sampras cracked a serve and backhand volley winner to reach set point, then rifled a backhand pass down the line that Ivanisevic couldn't handle

04-13-2005, 09:52 PM

04-16-2005, 06:51 PM

Sampras puts wood in frame
By: Barry Flatman

Pete Sampras surveyed the bombardment tennis had taken after his second Wimbledon triumph and said: "If they want to bring back wooden rackets, that's fine by me."

The world no. 1 is only too aware of the criticism his sport suffered following the ace-splattered men's final shoot-out with Goran Ivanisevic.

But he maintained the players had become just too good for Wimbledon's speedy grass rather than dig up the hallowed turf, he was willing to listen to other alternatives.

He agreed the most simple way to bring about a reduction of power would be a return to wooden rackets.

Another would be to use heavier, less pressurised tennis balls, although Wimbledon's are the weightiest used on the world circuit. "I really would not have a problem with going back to a wooden racket, so long as all the other guys did the same." said 22-year-old Sampras. "I grew up playing with a wooden racket, the older Jack Kramer autograph number.


"I used it until I was 14 and I think that's the reason my strokes are the way they are. Nowadays, kids are growing up with these graphite, wide-bodied models and they are not learning to hit the ball properly." None of the world's top players use wide-bodied, which do give added power, but all use graphite, knowing anything less would leave them exposed.

Sampras is looking to add three more Wimbledon titles to his collection and equal Bjorn Borg's unique feat of the game's modern era.

"Five in a row is tough and it's more dangerous out there now but if I play the way I did this year, then it's possible," said Sampras.

04-16-2005, 06:55 PM

04-25-2005, 10:37 PM

04-30-2005, 08:23 PM

Wimbledon 1995: After Sampras subdued Ivanisevic in a tension-packed, five set semifinal, Chris Evert said, "Pete has not played that one great match we all know he can. He will in the final." He met Boris Becker, who had defeated Agassi for the first time in six years to move into his seventh Wimbledon final. With a cheering crowd, Becker won the first set. Early in the second, Sampras produced a perfect passing shot, but the audience barely responded. He turned to the courtside observers and raised his palms encouraging them to raise the volume of their appreciation. Thereafter, the fans applauded vigorously for Sampras, as he gave an immaculate display of grass court tennis, bouncing back to win 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Becker conceded sportingly, "The Centre Court used to belong to me. But now it belongs to Pete Sampras."

04-30-2005, 08:27 PM

Sampras Three peat at Wimbledon

Pete Sampras blazed his way into the record books at Wimbledon yesterday as he became the first American to win three consecutive men's singles titles at the All England Club.

It was scarcely the most compelling spectacle of a hot, dry fortnight, but Sampras 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 final victory over a muted Boris Becker is likely to rank high on the 23-year-old champion's personal roll of achievements.

Apart from becoming only the second man in the modern era after Bjorn Borg to register a bat-trick of Wimbledon successes, it allowed Sampras to draw a line under a painful 12 months.

"To make this a three peat is something I'm pretty proud of," Sampras said. "Right now it's kind of a blur to be honest. I'll just go back home tomorrow, put the racket up for a bit and reflect on what I just did."

His coach Tim Gullikson is still battling a brain tumour, his world number one ranking has been hijacked by Andre Agassi and, since last year's Wimbledon, he had failed to win any of the three other major titles.

Sampras revealed afterwards he had dedicated his win to Gullikson and spoke to him by phone soon after coming off court.

"We were all pretty pumped. I really dedicated this win to Tim. He's a true champion. The way he has handled his treatment has been an inspiration. He's in great spirits and is hoping to do some travelling by the end of the year."

But Sampras, whose main priority once he gets home will be to go in search of "a good greasy burger, some fries and a Coke", remained untroubled by the comparative lack of acclaim he received from the Centre Court crowd.

"Boris is a great champion, he has played here a number of times, I knew the crowd were going to be on his side a little bit." he said. "I just go out with the attitude that I let my racket do the talking. I just hope they can appreciate my tennis. I'm not going to act like a jerk out there and that's the way I'll continue to be."

Smiling despite the comprehensive nature of his defeat, Becker said: "That was probably the best feeling in all the four finals I have lost. It's the first time I've ever been asked to do a lap of honour after losing!"

Becker, the oldest Wimbledon finalist since the 31-year-old Jimmy Connors in 1984, described Sampras' hat-trick as " an amazing feat" and said: "I think he has a very good chance of breaking Bjorn Borg's record of five [successive] wins here."

"When he's on the court he doesn't let anything disturb him. That's probably what you have to do to serve about 45 times on the lines."

"Unfortunately, he owns the Centre Court now. It belonged to me a few years ago, but now he owns it."

"Especially when he is leading he is an unbelievably good front-runner. Once he is up a break early in the set he hits those bombs and you just hope for rain."

"The [Cedric] Pioline and Agassi matches were very tough. I lost my power after the first set and I think Pete sensed that. He's the most difficult opponent I've faced in a Wimbledon final."

"I can't blame myself - I didn't have any chances at all."

"After the first set he just bombed me. My coach told me that I only won 20 points on his serve and sever of those were double faults."

The match barely flickered as a contest, except when Becker won the first set tie-break 7-5 to encourage visions of a fourth Wimbledon title 10 years after his first as a 17-year-old in 1985.

Sadly for Becker, the accuracy of his serve never matched his desire to win and 15 double faults badly undermined his cause.

Sampras, in contrast, unleashed 23 aces in a display notable for its power and precision if not its passion, and never allowed his opponent a single break point in the contest which lasted two hours 28 minutes.

With few rallies of more than seven strokes it made certain that, for the third successive year, the women's singles final turned out to be an infinitely more thrilling showpiece than the male version.

But with Sampras, who has now won six of his eight Grand Slam finals, the end result is far more important than showboating for the crowd and he has now gone 21 matches at Wimbledon without being defeated.

Becker was clearly the popular favourite, winning the biggest ovation even in defeat as he did an impromptu lap of honour with his consolation salver, but cold, hard statistics showed he won just 17 points on Sampras' serve in open play.

Double faults cost him crucial breaks early in the second, third and fourth sets and while Sampras regularly raised puffs of chalk, Becker's efforts invariably fell the wrong side of the lines..

At one stage in the final set he wandered along the baseline mimicking a blind man with no idea where the ball was going, an accurate summary of his ability to pick the Sampras serve.

The tiebreak was only the second he had ever won against his opponent in eight attempts spread over years, but the final outcome meant he has yet to beat Sampras anywhere outdoors.

Sampras received a record cheque of 365,000pound, while Becker collected 182,500pound.

Black Adam
04-30-2005, 08:30 PM
Wonderful thread with only one poster ;) :lol: :yeah: Like it

05-02-2005, 11:15 PM
Wonderful thread with only one poster ;) :lol: :yeah: Like it

:bigwave: Hello there TGS, how are you doing, nice seeing you here, you are welcome, I am Pete sampras biggest fan in the world - there is one thing I disagree with, Andy Roddick is not a showman at all, and not of the 2000's at all, you will have to find someone else for that title, sorry.

Hope to hear from you again ---- taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. :wavey: :wavey:

05-12-2005, 08:12 PM

05-12-2005, 08:14 PM

05-27-2005, 09:02 PM

Sampras romps to Wimbledon hat-trick
By Paul Hayward (The Electronic Telegraph)

July 10, 1995 - PETE SAMPRAS became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1978 to complete a hat-trick of Wimbledon men's singles titles by beating Boris Becker on a roasting Centre Court yesterday.

He wore his broadest smile as he lifted up the gold Challenge Cup trophy and waved to his girlfriend Delaina.

As Becker held aloft his salver for runner-up during a lap of honour made at the insistence of the crowd his wife Barbara and mother Heidi were in tears.

Sampras, 23, from Tampa in Florida, collected £365,000 for beating Becker 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, but did not plan a champagne and caviar celebration.

"I've been eating so well that I'm going to have a greasy burger, some French fries and Coke," he said.

The final, watched by the Princess of Wales, failed to achieve the same heights of excitement as Steffi Graf's victory over Arantxa Sanchez Vicario on Saturday, but was the climax of an emotional last day.

It lasted 2hr 28min and confirmed the defending champion as one of the elite of tennis.

Becker, who won the first of his three Wimbledon singles titles a decade ago, was relaxed as he chatted to the Duke and Duchess of Kent after the presentations.

He made a playful grab for Sampras's trophy, to applause and laughter from the crowd. Becker said he thought that Sampras could go on to surpass Borg's record of five consecutive wins. "He's young, he's fresh. Very few people have played against me the way he did today.

"I used to own the Centre Court a couple of years ago. Now he owns it."

Referring to press reports, he said: "I see that some of you guys call me the old lion. I may have a beard like one, but at 27 I don't feel that old yet."

06-02-2005, 08:08 PM
Becker hands 'back garden' over to new era's champion

By Paul Hayward (uk telegraph)

THERE was no escape from the rifle-crack of Pete Sampras's serve, no hiding place for Boris Becker as he sought to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his first Wimbledon win with a fourth. He was taken apart by an opponent who was too young, too sharp, too good. Becker said: "He owns the Centre Court now."

Perhaps the only spectator who got real value for money from this one-sided encounter was the woman who grabbed not one but two of the shirts Sampras threw into the crowd. It was a match which juddered on the point of take-off for nearly 21/2 hours but confirmed Sampras as one of the very finest players to have performed on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

It takes granite in the heart as well as graphite in the racket to reach such peaks of excellence. As the usual hum of anticipation spread through the courts yesterday morning, Sampras knew that he was within sight of becoming the first since Bjorn Borg in 1978 to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles. Even after losing the first set in a tie-break he closed on that target with withering force and made Becker seem a humbled and leaden-legged veteran whose time had long-since passed.

For many the absence of Andre Agassi was a fatal flaw in this final line-up

IN the post-match interviews Becker was extravagant with his praise for the man who has deposed him as the foremost Wimbledon specialist. Becker thinks Sampras "has a chance" of surpassing Borg's record of five Wimbledon victories and said: "If there's a role model in tennis it's Pete Sampras. Of all the players he's one of my best friends. Off the court he's a real nice fellah."

It took Becker 47 minutes to grind out a win in the first set and Sampras just 69 to win the next two. By the fourth game of the fourth set, with a Sampras victory seemingly assured, Becker slipped into a desperate pantomime routine, covering his face and flicking his racket to trace the direction of Sampras's aces. His growing facial resemblance to that tortured genius, Van Gogh, seemed apt.

A decade ago Becker was a precocious and gangly 17-year-old who cut the ribbon on the age of power tennis by thundering to an astonishing victory. In establishing his own Wimbledon hegemony at the end of the 1980s he also planted the seeds for his downfall. Becker is two inches taller than Sampras and 17lbs heavier but now cannot match the muscle and zest of the younger brigade. He has not won a Grand Slam event since the 1991 Australian Open.

For many the absence of Andre Agassi was a fatal flaw in this final line-up. But the plot-lines were still strong. With Sampras skirting the fringes of greatness and Becker endeavouring to recapture past glories it was a confrontation to savour. This was a clash of two eras, as Becker acknowledged later, and his ginger bristle and pale skin provided a striking physical contrast with Sampras's burnished Floridian countenance.

The lap of honour which Becker allowed himself was entirely deserved

Two sets of statistics tell the story of Sampras's hat-trick. He accumulated 23 aces to Becker's 16 and double-faulted seven times against 15. By the start of the second set Becker was still moving sweetly and hanging on to his chunk of history. But then Sampras pulled away, breaking Becker's serve twice in the second set to win it 6-2 and then steaming through the next two to win 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

The lap of honour which Becker allowed himself was entirely deserved. He once referred to Wimbledon as "his back garden" but is besieged by squatters now that a younger generation has found his patch. "I used to own it [Centre Court] a couple of years ago," Becker said. "Now he owns it. Very few people have played against me the way he did today."

The sense that a new hierarchy is in place has been growing for a couple of seasons. "There was a big change when Sampras and Agassi came through, and McEnroe and Connors went out," Becker said. "I started with Lendl and now I'm playing with Agassi and Sampras. It's a completely different game now. I'm glad I managed to play in both."

Sampras's progression into the Wimbledon elite has not been smooth. He has a habit of trouncing British players (like Greg Rusedski) and usually declines to indulge in the traditional Wimbledon banter between players and crowd. As he said last night: "I just let my racket do the talking. I'm not going to throw any tantrums and I'm not going to behave like a jerk. That's just the way I was brought up."

Yesterday Becker might as well have tried to charge down a gale

THE more discerning observers will recognise that here is a truly gifted player. The subtlety and daring of his finer strokes are often concealed by the overall pace and power of his game. Watching him is only dull when there is nobody to match him. Yesterday Becker might as well have tried to charge down a gale.

In fairness to Becker, he had endured two of the most gruelling matches of his career - against Cedric Pioline in the quarter-final and in beating Agassi a round later. This was a Wimbledon which rose to a stirring climax with the Becker- Pioline epic, two cracking men's semis and one of the classic women's finals on Saturday. "After the first set I lost power in my whole game," Becker said. "I think he sensed that."

Sampras-Becker may have failed to match those earlier heights of passion but it did sweep away any lingering prejudice surrounding Sampras. The £365,000 first prize was the least of his acquistions here. As Becker said: "I watched him last year and it seemed to be a really easy win. This year he had to struggle."

The emotion may not show on court, but it is there, crackling through the fibres of Sampras's superbly athletic frame. He said that his sleep would be disrupted for a good few days as he digested the magnitude of his victory, and he would be "pretty wired" as he lay by his pool in Tampa, trying to relax.

The Centre Court is his, and he deserves it.

06-06-2005, 08:46 PM

06-06-2005, 08:48 PM

06-11-2005, 07:57 PM
Sampras Wins 3rd Title in a Row
He joins historic Wimbledon champs


Wimbledon, England (July 10, 1995)-- THEY WERE meant for each other, Pete Sampras and the Wimbledon champion's cup, but they are uneasy companions. Sampras never looks quite comfortable with it. He struck the appearance yesterday of a man who was merely borrowing it for a while.

Boris Becker had a silver plate in his hands, signifying defeat, but he played the role of affable host. He did a little victory lap, chatted amiably with the dukes and lords, maybe even received a larger ovation from the Centre Court crowd.

There was nothing particularly special about the tennis, at least from a competitive standpoint. If there was a defining moment from Sampras' 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory, it came in the aftermath. Sampras moved self-consciously through the pomp and circumstance while Becker, the fallen victim, acted as if he owned the place.

He does, too. They both own Wimbledon. Seldom has the postmatch ceremony been such a heartfelt tribute to both competitors.

``In all my years in tennis,'' said Becker, ``I can't remember feeling quite so good after a loss.''

Above all, there is history to be addressed. In winning his third consecutive Wimbledon title, Sampras joins Fred Perry (1934-36) and Bjorn Borg (1976-80) as the only men to win at least three straight since World War I. Jimmy Connors couldn't manage three Wimbledons in his entire career. Nor could Lew Hoad, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall or Don Budge. For Sampras, it's three and counting -- and he's only 23 years old.

Andre Agassi is still the world's No. 1-ranked player, with Sampras No. 2. Even yesterday's outcome couldn't change that. It's safe to say who feels No. 1 right now, though. Agassi left Wimbledon with his confidence in ruins, but Sampras has made everyone forget his emotional crisis, his terrible European season, or any other hint of vulnerability.

``There is something supernatural,'' said Bud Collins, ``about Pete Sampras on the Centre Court.''

One can argue endlessly about the greatest player of all time. Some of the crustier observers believe Sampras hasn't even cracked the top 10. But the feeling is nearly unanimous that Sampras owns the most devastating right-handed serve in history; only the late Pancho Gonzalez, a genius with the wooden racket, is mentioned in Pete's company.

And like all the great ones, such as Montana and Koufax and Magic Johnson, Sampras picked the highest stage for his signature performance. Sampras never faced a break point against his serve in the Wimbledon final. Even the formidable Becker couldn't find a single chance to break through. Nobody could recall that happening in a men's match of this significance.

At one point in the final set, Becker put his hands over his eyes and staggered around, mockingly using his racket as a cane. ``It wasn't going to make any difference if my eyes were open or not,'' Becker said later. ``He would have put that serve right on the line anyway. My coach (Nick Bollettieri) told me I won 20 points off Sampras' serve, and seven of those were double- faults. So you can imagine how often I had a chance to actually hit a few tennis balls.''

That's what Sampras did yesterday. He took away the tennis. There can be no rallies if the ball is unhittable. Sampras delivered 23 aces and countless service winners, and as Becker said, ``he even aced me five or six times with his second serve. He just keeps hitting those bombs and you just . . . hope for rain.''

There were many interesting faces in the crowd: Lady Di, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Pancho Segura, Tony Roche, Jack Kramer. The one who counted most for Sampras was Tom Gullikson, whose twin brother Tim -- Sampras' longtime coach -- is hospitalized with brain cancer.

Sampras wasn't sure where Tom was sitting yesterday, but at one point, he heard someone yell ``Pistol!''

``That could only be Tom,'' said Sampras. ``Tim calls me that a lot, and they sound exactly like each other. Tom is a great friend, and obviously we've both dealt with Tim's situation in a very public way. Just to have him here felt really good.''

From the moment Sampras seized a service break in the second set -- taking a 2-1 lead with a brilliant forehand reaction shot off Becker's overhead -- he was unbeatable. Becker, admitting some fatigue in the wake of his long matches against Cedric Pioline and Agassi, wound up with an embarrassing 15 double-faults and a marked shortage of answers.

This was the 10-year anniversary of Becker's first Wimbledon title, achieved at the tender age of 17. What would the old Becker have done?

``I probably would have jumped the net and tried to beat him up (laughter),'' said Becker. ``No, I don't think it would have mattered if I was 17 or 21 or feeling totally rested today. Pete was on another planet.''

Finally, after two long weeks, the tennis came to a merciful close. Brown and tattered, with chunks of loose grass lying all around, the storied Centre Court looked like some long-forgotten lawn during a Texas heat wave. It would be time now for the Duchess of Kent, the lineup of ballboys and girls, and the trophy presentations.

In the swirl of earnest nodding and hearty smiles, Sampras looked as he always does: endearingly shy. He moved uneasily with the cup, not quite certain where he was supposed to go. Becker had a tremendously hands-on chat with the Duchess, applauded at all the right times, and at one point was seen waving giddily to certain members of the Royal Box (they waved right back, flushed with the joy of recognition).

Eventually a bunch of spectators began clamoring for Becker. He couldn't believe it at first, then made a gesture that said, ``Me?'' When they roared their approval, Becker began trotting around the court as if he'd won the Olympic 400 meters.

``I would not have done that except for my friendship with Pete,'' said Becker. ``We are very close. I admire him probably than any other player. Those fans made me feel like a part of Wimbledon today. It's one of the nicest feelings I've ever had,
and I'll never forget it.''

So, Pete, would you trade that cup for the ovation Becker received?

``No,'' he said, smiling. That was perfect Sampras, on his perfect day.

06-18-2005, 05:58 PM

06-18-2005, 06:00 PM

06-18-2005, 06:01 PM

06-21-2005, 09:59 PM
The shy champions

Have there ever been two Grand Slam singles champions so inherently shy? Graf wanted badly to join her coach and parents after Saturday's match, but she didn't leapfrog into the stands like Martina or Pat Cash. She ran under the stands, then up a flight of stairs, and when she finally appeared in the Friends Box, only a few dozen people even realized she was there.

On the court she was the ultimate survivor, simply refusing to miss as the epic 32-point, 20-minute game progressed. Later came her eternally mysterious side. She was smiling, yes, and looked positively radiant. But nobody really knew about her feelings, her fears, her back, her future . . . anything. These are things she would rather not share.

Similarly, Sampras was at a loss to explain his arrival in history, becoming only the third man to win three straight Wimbledons in the modern era. What did it mean to him? Couldn't say. How about Borg's record of five straight? Hasn't thought about it. Were his emotions burning inside? Not really. How will he celebrate? Maybe a burger and some fries. ``I'm craving for some grease,'' he said.

One hopes that Sampras realizes how he is viewed by others. As Boris Becker said after Sunday's final, ``What he's done here is something really special. This is a guy who doesn't say anything, never shows his emotions on the court, and maybe that's why he's so good. Over time, perhaps, people will truly appreciate him. Right now everyone talks about Andre Agassi and all the attention he gets. But if there's one role model in tennis, it's Pete Sampras.''

If the '95 Wimbledon will be remembered for anything, it will be pure greatness. In these times, with these players, we should ask no more.

06-21-2005, 10:02 PM

06-21-2005, 10:04 PM
Sampras too much for Becker
By: ROBIN FINN (New York Times)
Originally Published on: 7/10/95

WIMBLEDON, England - He was unusually animated: soon after losing the first set of this final to the initially marauding Boris Becker, Pete Sampras incited the Center Court crowd to riot right along with him as he attempted to break Becker's serve in the third game of the second set.

He was unusually motivated: Sampras dearly wanted to use this championship as a get-well gift for his ailing coach, Tim Gullikson, who is back home in Chicago undergoing chemotherapy in an attempt to battle brain cancer.

And he was unusually accurate from the service line: Sampras was, in fact, so deadly perfect with his delivery that Becker never managed to sneak in a break point against the defending champion's serve, much less convert one.

All of this led to an unusual accomplishment Sunday for the 23-year-old Californian with the classic strokes and classy temperament. He not only won Wimbledon again, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, he thoroughly outclassed Becker, the 27-year-old German who made history here exactly 10 years ago when he rose from the unsung ranks of the unseeded and captured the first of his three Wimbledon titles.

``Unfortunately, he owns the Center Court now,'' Becker said after being rendered a runner-up for the fourth time in seven Wimbledon finals. ``I used to own it a few years back.''

Already Wimbledon's two-time defending champion, Sampras transformed himself into this Grand Slam tournament's first three-time defending champion in 15 years.

``To make this a three-peat is something I'm pretty proud of,'' said Sampras, who raced off to a telephone to celebrate long distance with Gullikson after receiving the silver chalice from the Duke and Duchess of Kent and sending a brief bow in the direction of Princess Diana.

``People don't really care who comes in second, and to be able to be the first American to win three in a row, I mean, this was a big, big moment for me,'' Sampras said.

Not since Bjorn Borg reigned on these lawns from 1976-80 has any player so dominated at Wimbledon, the crown jewel of the four Grand Slams and the event for which this unassuming high school dropout was groomed since he was 9 years old.

``If there's one role model in tennis, it's Pete Sampras; he's behaving perfectly on the court, he's a real nice fellow off the court, and he doesn't have a bad shot in his game,'' said Becker, who discovered that firsthand. ``You have to somehow scramble to get into a tie breaker, or basically convert your first break point you have in the set because you don't get any more.''

Or, in this case, any at all.

As Sampras tossed his shirt, a glass of water, and then, to help dry the fans he had drenched, a towel into the stands, Becker was urged to take a non-victory lap by his fans and, since the princess was prominent among them, acquiesced.

``Of all the four finals I lost, this was probably the best feeling I ever had here after a loss,'' said Becker, who insisted that he will be around, and remain a threat, at least until he's 30.

During the match, Becker stopped feeling good as soon as Sampras tightened up his swing on his return games and beefed up his serves, which reached 129 mph.

``Once I broke him in the second set, my game kind of elevated to a new level,'' Sampras said of the inspired performance that earned him a sixth career Grand Slam title.

The second-seeded Sampras smoked 23 aces past Becker, who later repeated the disparaging statistics he heard from his coach, Nick Bollettieri, regarding his inability to put a dent in the winner's serve.

"I think I won just 20 points against his serve, and seven of them came from double faults, so you can imagine how many chances I had to actually hit a few tennis balls out there,'' said the bearded Becker, who called Sampras a fearsome front-runner. ``Once he's up in the second set, he hits those bombs and you hope for rain.''

Becker added, ``After the first set I kind of lost power in my whole game.'' Becker wound up with 15 double faults, most of them because he was overhitting his second serve in an attempt to undermine Sampras' ever-improving returns.

Flushed from the heat, which reached 110 degrees on the court, Becker plopped a white cap on his head after falling behind by 4- in the second set. But the extra touch of shade failed to rejuvenate his playmaking. A bulldog when the match began, he was clearly the underdog the longer it wore on. Meanwhile, a shade of a Mona Lisa grin began to brighten the normally impassive features of Sampras.

``I just started to connect on my returns,'' Sampras said, ``and my serve didn't let me down, and I could tell he was more tired, and put it all together and I felt pretty great about my game out there.''

The American's three previous Grand Slams events had been a disappointment to him. A foot injury had prevented him from making an adequate defense of his 1993 U.S. Open title, he fell to Andre Agassi in the Australian Open final, and last month at the French Open, he folded in the first round.

``This was a year that already had enough disappointment in it, and I really didn't want to be flying home on that plane tomorrow thinking about another lost opportunity,'' Sampras said.

He ended the second set with an ace, and in the third set embarked on a four-game service tear in which he didn't yield a single point against his serve. The third set ended just as the second had, with an ace; the only difference was that this time he used a second-serve ace to reach set point. Once Becker double-faulted at break point in the fourth set's opening game, Sampras had his opening; ahead, 5-2, after breaking Becker again in the seventh game, Sampras used an ace to set the stage for his match point, which Becker converted for him with a floppy return that veered wide. In keeping with his image, there were no additional theatrics from the champion: he raised his arms, sprinted across the frazzled lawn to console Becker, and then slumped into his chair.

``It just felt good to get the job done,'' said Sampras, who has beaten Jim Courier, Goran Ivanisevic, and now, in Becker, the three-time champion who ruled this regal roost before he arrived.

``Winning here is what it's all about,'' Sampras said. ``It's the biggest thing we've got in our sport. It's all a blur right now, but I know I'm feeling pretty relieved about everything.''

06-21-2005, 10:07 PM

06-21-2005, 10:08 PM
Sampras the Centre Court Heartbreaker
By: Shekhar Bhatia

The women in the lives of Pete Sampras and Boris Becker suffered two and a half hours of agony and ecstasy at Wimbledon yesterday.

Boris's wife Barbara, sister Sabine and mother Heidi were in tears as Pete trounced the German star 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

But there was also disappointment for Pete's girlfriend Delaina Mulcahay, who hoped he would propose marriage on the Centre Court to celebrate his third successive victory.

Even so, she was all smiles as she linked arms with Barbara Becker afterwards.

In the Royal Box the players got a standing ovation from the Princess of Wales, who was enjoying a very different sort of afternoon from Prince Charles.

While she was being thrilled by the tennis, he was being spilled from the saddle in a crashing polo fall at Cirencester, Glos. The Prince landed heavily on his hip and in obvious pain, took two minutes to compose himself before remounting.

Back at Wimbledon, Dealaina cheered up visibly as Pete collected his trophy.

Asked why her 23-year-old lover had not proposed, she smiled and said, "You'll still have to ask Pete."

When challenged, he joked, "I ask her the question every day - 'What's for dinner?'"

Becker, the people's favorite, did a lap of honor around the court - at the insistence of the crowd. He said it was "one of the nicer feelings I have ever had".

He added, "it made me feel like a part of Wimbledon, part of the whole tournament. I am veyr proud of that."

Relaxed and gracious in defeat, he even made a playful grab for Sampras's trophy.

But Boris, who won the first of his three titles 10 years ago, aged 17 said, "Unfortunately, Pete owns the Centre Court. I used to own it, but it is his now."

Referring to his family's tears, he said, "They get very nervous, they get very emotional and they don't come to all my matches because they would have heart attacks. They get more emotional than me."

Barbara said, "I just can't hear this. The loss is going to hurt very bad later."

Sampras ended the occasion on a meaty note. He said he was planning to "get some grease" in the form of a burger and fries - forbidden food during the tournament.

Princess Diana, looking elegant in a lemon suit, was joined by her American friend Marguerite Littman, who has written a book about David Hockney's paintings in benefit of an AIDS charity.

Princess Michael of Kent saw Hollywood husband and wife Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman sitting near the Royal Box. She excitedly pointed them out to her neighbors, including Diana.

06-21-2005, 10:10 PM

06-21-2005, 10:11 PM

06-25-2005, 07:40 PM

06-25-2005, 07:52 PM

06-29-2005, 08:48 PM

Wimbledon 1997: The previous year, eventual champion Richard Krajicek defeated three-time reigning champion Sampras in the quarterfinals. Despite a five set, two-day skirmish with Petr Korda in the round of 16, Sampras never looked like he could lose. In seven matches, he held his delivery 116 of 118 times, broken only by Mikael Tillstrom in the first round and Todd Woodbridge in the semifinals. He swept past Cedric Pioline in a straight set final. "That was the best I've ever served," he said after reclaiming his crown. Sampras' triumph began a streak of four consecutive titles. Between 1993-2000 he won seven of eight Wimbledons and returned a staggering 53-1 match record.

06-29-2005, 08:51 PM
Just Call him St. Pete: Sampras wins fourth Wimbledon Championship

WIMBLEDON, England (July 7, 1997)-- As Pete Sampras grows more fearless, his peers can't help but grow more fearful that, for the near future at least, Sampras means to keep the Grand Slam tournament titles to himself. They are the prizes he most cherishes and fights most fervently to claim.

Sampras won his fourth Wimbledon title Sunday, dispatching Cedric Pioline of France, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, in 95 minutes.

Sampras, 25, now has 10 Grand Slam tournament titles,two behind Roy Emerson's record. With his focus narrowed almost solely to the four major events, the resolute Sampras may claim that record by this time next year. Sampras won the Australian Open in January and is the defending U.S. Open champion.

Asked after the match to survey the tennis scene and assess what in the game he fears, Sampras frankly saw nothing. "I really have no fear in the game," Sampras said. "I feel if I'm playing well, I'm tough to beat. I've got some options out there. I can stay back or come in, and to serve as well as I have these past couple of weeks, I'm going to be tough to beat because when I'm confident and playing well, that's it for me."

That's it for everyone else. Sampras' serving fuels his confidence, drives his game and sets in motion a relentless chain of events opponents find overwhelming. As his serving improves, Sampras volleys better, and when that happens he grows more relaxed. A loose and confident Sampras is highly dangerous, as he has shown here.

From the first round to the semifinals, Sampras went 97 consecutive service games without being broken. He held 116 of 118 service games during the tournament.

Sampras' serve Sunday was no less lethal. He lost only 17 points against his serve and faced only one break point. It's not just about velocity. Sampras was able to place his serve where he wanted to, and his 17 aces would surely have been multiplied against a player with less ability to return serve.

Pioline gets the ball back over the net, and in earlier rounds he had defeated two of the game's best servers: Greg Rusedski and Michael Stich. But even above-average ability isn't good enough when Sampras fires as he did during Sunday's match on cool and partly sunny Centre Court. "I don't know what happened with my serve, to tell the truth," Sampras said. "They just clicked in every match I had. It was the shot that won me the tournament. This is the best I've ever served in my career."

Sampras' serves made the match seem more brutally one-sided than it was, though really there was about all of the competitive suspense that a Wimbledon final between the No. 1 and No. 44 players in the world might have suggested. Unseeded Pioline had no chance.

"When you play Pete, he doesn't give you air -- you know, you cannot breathe against him because he's serving so big and returning so good," Pioline said. "When he gets the break, he's serving even better because he doesn't want to give you a chance to come back."

Pioline hurt his cause by losing his serve in the third game of the first set. Sampras fired an ace to gain set point and, when Pioline sent a backhand return long, Sampras had the first set in 36 minutes.

Pioline held serve to open the second set, then Sampras responded with second-serve ace, ace, service winner, ace. Sampras broke in the fifth game when Pioline dumped a forehand volley into the net. Pioline's volley was not at the level he maintained against Stich in the semifinals, but Sampras was passing well. Sampras was accurate from the baseline, committing only eight unforced errors. Sampras broke again in the seventh game and held to serve out the set.

Pioline played Sampras to his first two deuces in the second game of the third set, but each time Sampras fired an ace to get out of trouble. He broke in the third game and held to take a 3-1 lead. Pioline got his first break point in the eighth game, aided by a rare double fault by Sampras. Sampras held, as did Pioline in the next game. Fittingly, Sampras served out the match, punctuating his victory with a service winner on championship point.

Sampras allowed himself a mild celebratory moment on court, and afterward gave voice to his pride in his accomplishment.

"To have won 10 by the age of 25, I never really thought that would happen," Sampras said, allowing himself to sound impressed. "This is what's going to keep me in the game for a lot of years: the major tournaments. I put so much pressure on myself to do well here and at the other majors. It makes it all worth it, all the hard work I put into the game."

A coda to Sampras' comments: Emerson won his 12th Grand Slam tournament title at 30 and during an era when three of the four majors were contested on grass.

How many would Sampras -- the best grasscourt player of is generation -- have won if he had three times the opportunity?

The Detroit News

07-06-2005, 09:33 PM

Sampras Is Grand Again
American's fourth title at Wimbledon
by: Scott Ostler, SF Chronicle

Wimbledon, England (July 7, 1997) -- It was a day for French impressionists, not French tennis players.

Fluffy mashed-potato clouds floated over Centre Court yesterday afternoon, playing hide-and- seek with the sun, providing beautiful and constantly changing background scenery, begging for a Monet or Renoir.

But on the court, the art was American gothic, the work executed in flashing, bold, realistic strokes, not little dibs and dabs.

Pete Sampras had his mojo working, his killer serve, and France's Cedric Pioline might as well have been waving at Pistol Pete's pitches with a sourdough baguette.

Sampras won his fourth Wimbledon title in five years, and his 10th Grand Slam tournament, with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 cruise over the gallant (he stayed for the entire match) but grossly outclassed Pioline.

``There's something that just clicks on,'' Sampras said after his brisk 94-minute workout. ``You're relaxed and my tennis just took over.''

Sounds easy, and it looked easier.

``I served and volleyed about as well as I've ever served and volleyed in my career,'' he said. ``I don't know what happened with the serves, to tell you the truth. They just clicked for every match. It was the shot that won me the tournament.''

Pioline, ranked No. 44 in the world, career winner of two minor tournaments, and 0-7 lifetime against Sampras, figured to be a tomato can.

And he was, and you had to wonder how Sampras got so pumped up for this one. Maybe he fantasized that the guy on the other side of the net was the old Andre Agassi.

But Sampras now isn't mowing down opponents; he's clawing his way up the stepladder of tennis history.

His fourth Wimbledon title moves him into a seven-man neighborhood, topped by William Renshaw (1881-89) with nine Wimby wins. Sampras' 10th Grand Slammer puts him in a five-man club, tied with Bill Tilden and two back of Roy Emerson.

The way Sampras blazed through Wimbledon, it's hard to imagine this is the same guy who has been beaten in his past six tournaments, dating to March.

He has lost to people named Jonas Bjorkman, Magnus Larsson and Bohdan Ulihrach.

But this is Grand Slam Sampras, who sets his alarm clock for the ones that really count, and for these two weeks has been all but untouchable.

While some experts were trying to give Pioline a ghost of a chance, the tea-sipping hipsters on Centre Court knew better than to expect a tennis match to break out. The faintest glimmer came in the second game of the third set, when Sampras double-faulted.

It was the first sign that he might be playing the same sport as Pioline. Alas, moments later Sampras slashed the outside line of Pioline's service box with an ace, slashed the inside line with another ace, and surgically closed out the game with a service winner.

``Yes, he's playing very good,'' Pioline said, ``but I mean, it's not God.''

God doesn't double-fault. But if Pioline was unwilling to wax poetic about Sampras, to place him among the all-time greats, at least Cedric was not in complete denial.

``It's normal to be tight when you play that kind of match,'' Pioline said, ``and especially when you play Pete, because he doesn't give you air, you know, you cannot breathe against him because he's serving big and he's returning good.''

There's more to Sampras' game than the serve, and for sheer horsepower, he doesn't have nearly the biggest boomer in tennis. In this tournament, his first serve was usually around 127 mph, and that makes him no higher than fifth in the octane ratings.

But his command of serve was way too much for the field. In his seven Wimbledon matches Pistol Pete served 121 games and was broken twice. His ace-to-double- fault ratio was phenomenal: 119 to 15.

Yesterday Sampras faced one break point, in the eighth game, after his second double-fault.

But three big serves and a couple slice volleys restored order, and the only remaining suspense was whether the Duke and Duchess of Kent, said to be splitsville, would appear together for the trophy presentation. (They did, but weren't holding hands.)

Sampras smiled pleasantly for the royalty and the cameras when it was over, but during the match he was as serious and relentless as a bricklayer getting paid by the row.

No quirks or stalls or tricks from Pete. Before every first serve he takes two balls, makes a millisecond comparison and dribbles the reject back to the ballkid. Other players keep a spare for the second serve, but Sampras packs light.

When his game is in tune, the sheer methodical, emotion-free relentlessness must be daunting to his opponents.

``Once the first point starts,'' Sampras said, ``you just kind of get into the mind-set and the routine that you've done this for so many years, that it's all just muscle memory, and it just goes, and it's something that just clicks on at a certain time.''

Sampras was blazing out of the starting blocks in just about every match this tournament. Yesterday he won his first 11 service points and broke Pioline in the third game of the first set, and a BBC announcer described Pioline's countenance, with only a bit of exaggeration, as a ``horrified gaze.''

It wasn't just the Sampras serve.

``His touch shots are in good nick,'' the BBC announcer noted, and he saluted Sampras' ``brutal reply'' -- his return of serve.

In short, the whole package. A hunger to win the big ones, the nerve to withstand the pressure, the killer instinct to hammer a lesser foe, and the strokes.

Greg-Pete fan
08-10-2005, 11:53 AM
Pete Sampras during Wimbledon 1991 and 1992 :)

Greg-Pete fan
08-15-2005, 05:26 PM

Greg-Pete fan
08-16-2005, 05:50 PM
WIMBLEDON 1993 AND WIMBLEDON 1994 - big photos ;)

08-23-2005, 08:59 PM

Greg-Pete fan
08-26-2005, 08:30 PM

08-27-2005, 01:15 AM
:worship: the King!!!

08-27-2005, 08:11 PM
:worship: the King!!!

Yep, that what he is, a king. :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

Greg-Pete fan
08-27-2005, 09:06 PM
Yep, that what he is, a king. :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:


09-24-2005, 08:02 PM

Kissing his beloved trophy.

09-24-2005, 08:28 PM
Wimbledon 1995 article.

Greg-Pete fan
09-28-2005, 06:24 PM

Greg-Pete fan
09-28-2005, 06:26 PM

Greg-Pete fan
09-29-2005, 05:25 PM

Greg-Pete fan
09-29-2005, 05:27 PM

01-21-2006, 07:53 PM
Wimbledon 2001.

06-12-2006, 11:51 PM
The Big W is coming up, this is the slam I truly love.

here are some photos of Pete.

06-12-2006, 11:51 PM

06-12-2006, 11:52 PM

06-14-2006, 07:14 AM
the first match that i ever watched of pete was wimby 95 final (wimby was the only tennis tourney that our local tv showed), i didn't know a bit about the scores etc, but after that day, i began to learn :wavey: , pete's sublime serving power is legendary :worship: :worship:

06-14-2006, 11:18 PM
the first match that i ever watched of pete was wimby 95 final (wimby was the only tennis tourney that our local tv showed), i didn't know a bit about the scores etc, but after that day, i began to learn :wavey: , pete's sublime serving power is legendary :worship: :worship:

That was pete second home, and the best tennis slam in the world, cant wait to see what is going to happen this year and I think Pete could still compete there today. :worship: :worship: :wavey:

06-15-2006, 08:34 AM
Yehh He very well could, but the problem is the the grass and the tennis balls have changed, the stupid organisers keep trying to slow the game on grass, and they have been since the late 90s, but its gotten progressively worse each year, its becoming more and more like a fast hard court :rolleyes: btw Henman complained about them opening the cans with the balls, 1 week early so that they would lose pressure and be slower.

Henman also said "Only Pete sampras (As a serve volleyer) could win here, no serve volleyer can win with the balls being so heavy".

Which is true since pete is just so physically gifted that he can overcome the heavy balls and the slow court, plus the big serve means that he wont always have to rely on his great volleys. And look at how green the inside of the court is at Wimbledon, thats because they all love the baseline, Petey pointed that out and said "Id have a pretty good chance on grass i think because everyone, including federer, likes to stay back". I think he would win more Wimbledon titles now than he did back in the 90s when he faced some of the best servers in history as well as some of the best volleyers, and back when everyone could play at the net and the big servers actually followed up the weak reply on their serves by coming to the net, whereas someone like Roddick just lets the return float back to him at the baseline which is a complete waste.

Anyways im done talkin :), but the competition these days doesnt understand grass, which is why i respect rafa cos he actually tries to SV on grass. Only Hewitt, Federer, Henman, Rafa and Safin really understand grass... no one left really.

06-16-2006, 09:40 PM
Natural, I dont care how slow wimbledon has become, grant Pete a wild card and see if he dont play well, he would. :worship: :worship: :worship:

06-18-2006, 05:34 AM
Natural, I dont care how slow wimbledon has become, grant Pete a wild card and see if he dont play well, he would. :worship: :worship: :worship:

Yeh thats what I said, Henman said that only Sampras could win on Grass as a Serve Volleyer, No other serve volleyer could :) :) :)

06-19-2006, 02:57 AM
no thank you, i don't want pete to come back to professional matches again, i wish to remember his last match as a grand slam win, something not many players could do :wavey:

06-19-2006, 10:32 PM
no thank you, i don't want pete to come back to professional matches again, i wish to remember his last match as a grand slam win, something not many players could do :wavey:

Bravo Mimi :worship: :worship: :worship: :angel: :wavey:I misses Mr. Sampras real badly and I love to see him play again ;) :D :)

06-21-2006, 09:48 AM
Yeh Like Beckers last match was meant to be Wimbledon 97, when he officially announced retirement after his (Quarter final?) Loss to Petey, but then he came back and had another run at Wimbledon 99 (I dont know whether he played more matches in 1997 however... but i do know about the 99 comeback). And Bjorn Borg too, he had his last match as a loss in the USO final in 5 sets to his greatest rival and one of the most talented in history, then ruined it with the unsuccessful come back at Rolland garros (1990 Something) with a Wooden racket that was just overpowered by the new graphite rackets, if ur gonna try a comeback aim to win, especially when you leave on a high.

06-21-2006, 10:49 PM
:wavey: Hi natural, how doing my dear - you know I have a feeling about Pete and it goes like this, if he wants to come back and play he could do so - for one reason, he is mentally tougher than any players past or present and that included Roger federer, I just miss him you know, the style of play with Pete is gone out of the game. :rolleyes: :sad:

06-22-2006, 04:01 AM
Yeh He is so mentally tough, like last night I was thinking of different ways to beat different players, and I realised that in an important match (that is, a match that Pete WANTS TO WIN) hes the closest thing to being someone who is impossible to beat. Hewitt is the best fighter of this generation, i believe hes more of a fighter than rafa, Like he has NO weapons and he fought through so many long tough matches at last years AO, so many 5 setters and its the closest thing to his worst surface (clay) that there is, he even beat federer in 03 in that Davis cup match in 5 because it was crucial. But not even he could beat Pete in a similar match. Not even Jimmy Connors, not Borg, not Laver, none of them, nobody in history has displayed his mental strength WHEN IT COUNTS. Hes just so amazing :) And if he truly focusses on something hes unstoppable. He coulda won in 00 and 01 at the USO, but the problem is that he didnt want it as badly anymore, he even stopped training intensely after Wimbledon 00.

06-22-2006, 11:06 PM
Yeh He is so mentally tough, like last night I was thinking of different ways to beat different players, and I realised that in an important match (that is, a match that Pete WANTS TO WIN) hes the closest thing to being someone who is impossible to beat. Hewitt is the best fighter of this generation, i believe hes more of a fighter than rafa, Like he has NO weapons and he fought through so many long tough matches at last years AO, so many 5 setters and its the closest thing to his worst surface (clay) that there is, he even beat federer in 03 in that Davis cup match in 5 because it was crucial. But not even he could beat Pete in a similar match. Not even Jimmy Connors, not Borg, not Laver, none of them, nobody in history has displayed his mental strength WHEN IT COUNTS. Hes just so amazing :) And if he truly focusses on something hes unstoppable. He coulda won in 00 and 01 at the USO, but the problem is that he didnt want it as badly anymore, he even stopped training intensely after Wimbledon 00.

You hit the nail on it's head - Pete won his first slam at 19 and the last one at 32, but get this nobody gave him a chance to win the 2002 US Open, nobody but Pete himself, and that is what I call truly special and mean more to him than any of his other slams, let wimbledon or the US open give him a wildcard and he will give it his best shot and win, remember how is finish at wimbledon? :D :wavey: :worship: Not the way he should have finish there, this was his home away from home - that is what i would like to see happen, win there again, that is how is should have happen. :worship: :worship:

Greg-Pete fan
06-23-2006, 03:38 PM
The best Pete Sampras matches during Wimbledon tournament (in my opinion):

1999 final Sampras - Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 7-5
1994 quarterfinal Sampras - Chang 6-4, 6-1, 6-3
1993 final Sampras - Courier 7-6(3), 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3
1997 4-th round Sampras - Korda 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-7(1), 6-4
1992 quarterfinal Sampras - Stich 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
2000 final Sampras - Rafter 6-7(10), 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2
1993 quarterfinal Sampras - Agassi 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4
1995 final Sampras - Becker 6-7(5) 6-2 6-4 6-2
1997 final Sampras - Pioline 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
2001 4-th round Sampras - Federer 6-7(7) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(2), 5-7 loss
1994 final Sampras - Ivanisevic 7-6(2) 7-6(5) 6-0
1995 semifinal Sampras - Ivanisevic 7-6(7) 4-6 6-3 4-6 6-3
1997 quartefinal Sampras - Becker 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4
1998 final Sampras - Ivanisevic 6-7(2), 7-6(9), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
1993 semifinal Sampras - Becker 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4
1998 semifinal Sampras - Henman 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
1999 semifinal Sampras - Henman 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

What do you think about it? ;)

06-24-2006, 12:39 PM
I dont know about most of them cos I havent seen them but Definatley Wimbledon 99 and the 92 QF match against Stich, Wow that was a massacre of the defending champ. It is proof against anyone who doubts his ability to return serve, they said his return was weak along with his backhand but he completley annihilated him, Actually that scoreline was quite forgiving to Stich, Pete shoulda won a set or two 6-0 6-1.

06-26-2006, 09:12 PM
7. Pete Sampras owns the most number of Men’s Singles titles (tied with Willie Renshaw) at seven crowns.

06-27-2006, 09:52 PM
Posted on Mon, Jun. 26, 2006

Sports Sidelines

This date in sports

2002: In one of the most extraordinary days at the All England Club, seven-time champion Pete Sampras, 1992 winner Andre Agassi and No. 2-seeded Marat Safin all lost -- throwing the Wimbledon tournament wide open. For the first time in the Open era, five of the top eight seeded men's players were eliminated before the third round.

07-21-2006, 12:33 AM
Alone At the Top

Wimbledon, which he won with majestic ease, showed that Pete Sampras may be the best tennis player ever—and that there's no American remotely like him on the horizon

by S.L. Price

Issue date: July 14, 1997

The record will show that every seat was filled, that hundreds of journalists scribbled intently, that linesmen and ball kids and the chair umpire surrounded Wimbledon's Centre Court on Sunday. It can be stated with reasonable certainty that an opponent stood on the other side of the net, racket in hand, believing for a split second that he might win. But it didn't seem that way. No, Pete Sampras made all that disappear. For one hour and 35 minutes, as Sampras drilled serve after merciless serve, as his face betrayed no trace of effort, his metronomic devastation of Cedric Pioline in the men's final rendered everything else superfluous. No one could get into the match—not the fans, not the officials and definitely not Pioline. It was all Sampras, erasing the world and the suddenly beaming sun with excellence, lifting tennis to such a rarefied level that one year or six months or two days from now people will try in vain to recall whom Sampras beat. "He doesn't give you air," Pioline said after losing 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. "You cannot breathe against him."

What American boy could ask for more? Eight years ago Sampras went to Wimbledon for the first time and was bounced in the first round. Now, at 25, he has the tennis world by the throat. By winning his 10th Grand Slam singles title, he moved into a tie with Bill Tilden on the men's alltime list and positioned himself two short of Roy Emerson's record of 12. The discussion around Sampras now has less to do with opponents such as Pioline than with those legends who gathered about Sampras when the All England Club began this year's soggy fortnight on June 23 with the ceremonial opening of the new Court No. 1.

That day, for the first time in his career, Sampras found himself surrounded by the history he has been chasing all these years. One by one, champions who had won at least three Wimbledons lined up before an adoring throng: Boris Becker, Louise Brough, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, John Newcombe and, last, Sampras. He fidgeted in the morning damp, digging his right toe into the new grass, casing the joint and chatting with Becker, and after everyone else was called up to receive a commemorative plate, Sampras found himself standing alone, waiting to be summoned.

"I was the last one ... and it hit me," Sampras said later. "For a second I felt like, What am I doing here? Then I knew: I'm in a great class of players. I felt good about myself. I realized I'm making some sort of impact on the game."

Some sort? With all of Sampras's serious rivals suddenly gone, his stature in the game is colossal. His somber focus in London made him seem like the only adult playing. "I really have no fear," he said after his victory Sunday, and no one could argue. Sampras made good on a stunning 66% of his first serves during the tournament and was broken only twice in 118 service games. His semifinal victim, Todd Woodbridge, a savage competitor who defeated Sampras in Sampras's first match here, felt vaguely honored by the beating. "It's something I'll talk about when I'm finished, how good he was," Woodbridge said.

When Becker made up his mind six months ago to retire, he had one vision of his final Wimbledon match: playing on Centre Court against Sampras. When that wish came true last Thursday in the quarterfinals and Sampras had triumphed 6-1, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4, Becker leaned over the net and told his startled opponent that this was his last Wimbledon. Never once, in three meetings there, had Becker broken Sampras's serve. He told Sampras it had been a pleasure to play him. "I was glad it was him, because I respect him so much," Becker said later. "For me, he was always the most complete player. He has the power, he has the speed, he has the touch. He is the best player ever."

Yet when Sampras trotted around Centre Court on Sunday, holding his gold trophy aloft like a burning torch, what should have been one of America's finest tennis moments was instead one of its most troubling. After a disastrous French Open in which, for the first time since 1969, no American man reached the quarterfinals, things got worse for the U.S. at Wimbledon. While all of Great Britain banged the patriotic drum for the quarterfinal runs of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski (WE'VE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD! screamed one headline), Yanks Andre Agassi, Todd Martin and 1996 Wimbledon finalist MaliVai Washington sat out the tournament with injuries; No. 2 Michael Chang and former No. 1 Jim Courier lost in the opening round; an Open-era low of six Americans advanced to the second round; and Sampras alone made it to the quarters. The U.S. was even weaker on the women's side. Only No. 13 Mary Joe Fernandez scratched her way to the fourth round, making this the worst American performance at Wimbledon since—Model T, anyone?—1913.

One lost summer doesn't make for a crisis. With the hard-court season looming and Agassi making noise about yet another comeback, the U.S. Open could prove to be a showcase for homegrown tennis. But the current class of players isn't what concerns U.S. tennis officials. "After we're done, there's not really another young American coming up," Sampras said last week. "Americans are going to have to really enjoy what they have."

For the moment, the best U.S. female prospect is 17-year-old hairdo Venus Williams, who competed numbly at Wimbledon on a surface perfectly suited to her skills and lost in the first round. "I don't know with Venus," said the women's eventual champion, Martina Hingis. "She doesn't take it too seriously. It's like she doesn't want to win. I don't know if she feels pressure or not, and I don't know what she thinks on the court. She's always trying to do a show, not playing real tennis."

On the men's side, 117th-ranked Justin Gimelstob, 20, had a nice first-round win over French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten but is damned by faint praise. "Justin's got some talent, and he can be a good player," said U.S. Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson. "I don't think he can be a great player."

In the junior ranks, only 14 of the top 100 girls are American—although one, 17-year-old Aubrie Rippner, made it to the Wimbledon juniors final. Just six of the top 100 boys are American. The hottest buzz surrounds 16-year-old Taylor Dent, son of former touring pro Phil Dent, a transplanted Australian. Taylor is ranked No. 310 in the world among juniors. He lost in the first round of the Wimbledon boys' singles.

Blame Tiger Woods, the rise of basketball and/or the complacency of the U.S. Tennis Association—which has been notoriously slow to develop the game at the grass roots and in the inner city—but the irony is unavoidable: When the USTA unveils its $254 million Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open next month, it will celebrate a sport that is in decline in America. "It's pretty sad," said No. 8 Lindsay Davenport, the top U.S.-born woman and a second-round loser at Wimbledon. "People in our country aren't playing right now, and they're not watching tennis too much either. I don't know what to do to change that."

New USTA president Harry Marmion said on Sunday that later this month he will receive the results of a six-month study on the dearth of U.S. tennis talent, and he expects its recommendations to include the hiring of more coaches, a revamping of the USTA area training centers and an increase in the $3.6 million budget for the association's player-development program. "I wouldn't be surprised to see that number double or quadruple," Marmion said. "This is a serious problem, and I'm determined that we're going to solve it."

Of course, neither Sampras nor any other U.S. tennis great emerged from any national program. Sampras is the final harvest of the U.S. tennis boom of the 1970s, a kid who grew up watching Jimmy Connors and McEnroe on TV and thinking tennis was cool, a boy who believed what the commentators said about Wimbledon's being a cathedral. "There's a certain aura about the place that you don't feel anywhere else," Sampras said last week. "The echo of the balls on Centre Court—it just feels significant."

By the time Sampras was coming of age as a player, however, the boom had shifted to Europe, where girls aped Czech stars Hana Mandlikova, Jana Novotna and, of course, nine-time Wimbledon champ Navratilova. It's not surprising that Hingis, named for Navratilova and reared on a diet of tennis, considers her Wimbledon trophy far more precious than that of her first Grand Slam championship, the '97 Australian. "I'm maybe too young to win this title," the 16-year-old Hingis said after beating the 28-year-old Novotna 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Saturday's final and becoming the youngest All England women's champion this century. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anyone in tennis matches Sampras for talent, savvy and match toughness, it's Hingis.

Before the tournament many observers, noting Steffi Graf's absence following surgery on her left knee and Hingis's stunning loss to Iva Majoli in the French Open final, picked Novotna to shed her choke collar at last and win Wimbledon. Not only had Hingis played no preparatory grass-court tournament, but she also spent much of the fortnight loathing the surface. "I hate grass," she said after beating Anna Kournikova, also 16, in the semifinals 6-3, 6-2, "because you have to think differently."

Yet Hingis kept winning her matches in straight sets and kept grinning and expressing her disregard for Graf ("If she's going to come back, for sure it's not going to be the same Steffi as she was. Her career is almost over"), Kournikova ("I don't think it's such a big rivalry. I've always been better, and I always beat her") and Novotna ("Jana can play very good tennis, but sometimes she just can't win").

When Novotna played flawless grass-court tennis to race to a 6-2 lead in the final, you could see Hingis's wheels start to turn. She began to mix her shots, lobbing, going to the net, opening up the court. She won the second set, and in the third she made one astonishing backhand pass after another. Novotna, nursing a pulled stomach muscle, didn't gag this time. She got beaten, and she shed no tears as she had on the duchess of Kent's shoulder after her notorious loss to Graf in 1993. Instead, Novotna played mock tug-of-war with Hingis over the winner's plate.

Meanwhile Hingis—who but for one Sunday in Paris would be undefeated in 45 matches this year and on her way to a possible Grand Slam—cemented her place at the top of the game. "I was there, the Wimbledon champion, standing on Centre Court," she said on Sunday. "No one can take that from me. I will remember that all my life."

The 29-year-old Becker knows exactly how she feels. For him, there is simply no tournament like Wimbledon. As his coach, Mike DePalmer, said, "This is where Boris became a man." In 1984, at his first Wimbledon, Becker tore ligaments in his ankle in a match against Bill Scanlon and, before being carted off on a stretcher, insisted on stopping and standing up to shake Scanlon's hand. The next year, at 17, Becker became the youngest man to win Wimbledon. He went on to play in six other All England finals, winning twice more, and to experience at Wimbledon some of his sweetest and worst moments. Last year he pulled up lame with a torn tendon in his right wrist, and the injury began a spiral of nagging ailments that convinced Becker his time had come. After he lost his first-round match at the Australian Open in January, he made the decision to retire from Grand Slam competition after this year. "On the court, I had the feeling I didn't belong there anymore," Becker said last week. "Afterward I said to [my wife] Barbara, 'I can't go on like this anymore, but we somehow have to fill the six months to get to Wimbledon.'"

He told no one else—not DePalmer, not any official at the All England Club and not former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich, who, in a sad coincidence for Germany, would himself retire after losing in the semifinals to Pioline. Becker won four matches at Wimbledon, all in straight sets, but had no chance against Sampras's serve and felt oddly at peace about it. During a three-hour rain delay in their match, he sat up in the royal box, alone, reading Norman Mailer's account of the 1974 Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire and stealing glances at Centre Court. Later, when his final backhand flew long and he shook Sampras's hand and began walking off the court, only Sampras had any idea what had just happened. "I was floored," Sampras said later.

Twice, Becker turned to the unsuspecting crowd and bowed deeply. An hour later he was walking fast through the grounds toward Gate 13 with that familiar rolling gait, bag over his shoulder, the milling crowds not recognizing him until he had passed. His face was blank, but with each step closer to the black iron doors he thought, This is it. The last time. The last time.

"I'm glad I made it out alive, to tell you the truth," Becker said that night. "There were difficult times. I played 14 years in a row. The first ones were very hectic, and all of a sudden I became a star, and I didn't know how to handle everything. I was always praying that I somehow would have a long career, and I managed to do that without any major scars in my soul. I'm not drug-addicted, I'm not alcoholic, I'm not three times divorced. I'm quite normal. I manage to have a quite normal life. For me that was always my biggest achievement."

A lone woman saw Becker just as he left Wimbledon, and she applauded. He didn't slow down.