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Pete Sampras - US OPEN

angiel
03-24-2005, 01:38 AM
US OPEN 1990


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Sampras burst upon the scene with his 1990 U.S. Open final victory over Agassi, igniting their rivalry. Sampras upset Lendl and John McEnroe in the quarters and semis on his way to becoming the youngest-ever men's champ at 19. (By Peter Morgan, AP)

angiel
03-24-2005, 08:46 PM
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angiel
03-24-2005, 08:52 PM
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angiel
03-26-2005, 08:08 PM
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Upset Time

Teen ace Pete Sampras an unlikely U.S Open champion
Posted: Wednesday July 28, 1999

The 1990 U.S. Open was the coronation of Pete Sampras, who has ever since reigned supreme over the tennis world. Rick Stewart/Allsport

By Alexander Wolff


He takes three balls from the ball boy and examines each. The briefest frown may cross his face before he throws the fuzziest one back, as if it were an undersized bass. That frown is all the emotion you're likely to get from Pete Sampras, the youngest man ever to win the U.S. Open and the first American to prevail since 1984. He keeps two balls, thrusts one into his pocket, hoists the baldest one -- ''I like the fuzz thin,'' he says, ''because the thinner ones go through the air quicker'' -- rocks, cocks and powders it toward some poor soul obliged to do something with it.

One hundred times, over the length of the tournament, the best tennis players in the world, including Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and a rejuvenated John McEnroe, could do nothing with the serve of Sampras, 19 years old, seeded 12th and now all-three-network-morning-shows famous. ''I've got a heater and a changeup,'' he says like some phenom just up from Triple A. Sampras is so welcome to U.S. tennis precisely because he splits the difference between the pious Michael Chang and the ostentatious Agassi. His style is classic serve- and-volley, and someday this Southern California kid of Greek ancestry will win Wimbledon. But Sampras will be forever linked with the U.S. Open, just as Boris Becker and Mats Wilander are identified with the tournaments that midwifed them, Wimbledon and the French Open, respectively.

Tennyson, anyone? In Sunday's final, Agassi watched cannon to the left of him, cannon to the right of him, as Sampras thundered and volleyed. Agassi could not make reply; he could not reason why. ''Why are you so slow?'' he muttered to himself between points. There was an answer in the numbers that the announcer up in the Flushing Meadow press box calls ''sadistics.'' Sampras hit 13 aces in the match. Agassi not only never had a break point in the first two sets, but he also never even forced a deuce game on Sampras's serve, which hovered around 120 mph during the final. The final arithmetic -- 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 -- had a grim progression to it.

Sampras's father stayed home too. For all their son's reserve, Soterios (Sam) and Georgia Sampras, who reside in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., are so emotional that they can't even watch him live on TV, preferring instead to view the matches on tape, with the outcome already known. Not that Pete believes in on- site support. He has a coach, Joe Brandi, but his spiritual mentor is none other than his victim in the quarterfinals, Lendl. Last December, to prepare for the Masters, Lendl invited Sampras to his Greenwich, Conn., home to be a workout and hitting partner. Sampras sampled the ascetic life-style -- rigorous training, plenty of sleep, eat-to-win diet -- that had turned Lendl into the best player in the world. Between the end of last year and the start of the U.S. Open, Sampras rose steadily from No. 81 to No. 12. Still, he had no premonition of what he would do at the tournament. Indeed, after an easy third-round defeat of Jakob Hlasek, Sampras summarized his chances thus: ''Maybe in a couple of years, but I don't think it's realistic right now.''

Only after he had upset Lendl 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 did Sampras feel he could take the prize. In the final he seized breaks early in the first two sets, and by the third, Agassi's spirit was broken. Sampras went up 4-2 in the clinching set by breaking Agassi at love, and wherever he was, Robby Benson must have been bracing himself for the prospect of people stopping him in the street and saying, ''Hey, aren't you Pete Sampras?''

Sampras had learned from his opponent's semifinal. ''Agassi hit it in the corner for three hours,'' Becker had said after losing 6-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. But Sampras realized that Becker had let Agassi do so.

''Becker had a bad game plan,'' said Sampras. ''He tried to outslug Andre. He should have come to the net as soon as possible.''

Only five years ago Sampras was just another counterpunching junior with a two- fisted backhand. After he did poorly in the 1985 Easter Bowl junior tournament, his coach at the time, Dr. Peter Fischer, prevailed upon him to change his game. Sampras went to a one-handed backhand, improved his serve by studying tapes of Rod Laver and began rushing the net. Over the short term the switch seemed rash; he lost to players he had beaten easily, and his ranking plummeted. But the trade-off was meant to pay dividends later on. As Sampras grew into his body, the tumblers of his serve-and-volley game began falling into place. It was Agassi's misfortune to get whacked in the face as the safe door swung open. After reaching the finals of the only two Grand Slam events he played this year, drawing one guy (Andres Gomez) who seemed too old to beat him and another (Sampras) who appeared to be too young, Andre was oh-fer.

''For whatever I do the rest of my career,'' Sampras told the crowd as he accepted his trophy on Sunday evening, ''I'll always be a U.S. Open champion.''

To some, image may be everything. But Sampras -- with his feet on the ground, an ace in the air and a “NO I'M NOT” T-shirt in his future -- has proved that reality counts for something too.

Issue Date: Issue date: September 17, 1990

angiel
04-02-2005, 08:26 PM
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Float Like a Butterfly, Serve Like a Bazooka
Laid-back Pete Sampras blasts his way into tennis history
by Andrew Abrahams, Cindy Dampier (on Amelia Island) and Tom Cunneff (in Los Angeles)


September 24, 1990 -- In a small, one-bedroom condo on Amelia Island, a posh resort off the northeastern coast of Florida, Pete Sampras grabs a golf club and takes some practice swings. The olive-skinned 19-year-old appears skinnier and gawkier than he did two days before, when he demolished Andre Agassi in the men's final of the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadow, N.Y. Sampras is describing the phone call he made to his parents in exclusive Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., after walking off the stadium court. This was before they got around to changing their phone number, before their answering machine broke. ''They were more stunned than anything,'' says Sampras. ''They said, 'Congratulations, you worked hard and you deserve it. Now enjoy the next couple of weeks and then get back to work.' ''

That sense of dedication instilled by his parents quietly created tennis's newest star. With a seismic-quality serve clocked at 120 mph and an unflinching calm at the net, Sampras dispatched Ivan Lendl in the quarters, John McEnroe in the semis and took the Day-Glo out of Agassi, winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to become the youngest men's champion in the Open's 110-year history.

While Agassi represents the brash, cocksure new breed of young players, Sampras is a throwback to the 1960s, when elegant serve-and-volleyers like Australia's Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall dominated the game. ''I've always looked up to people like Laver, and I changed my game to play like those guys,'' says Sampras, whose ranking has gone from 81st to sixth in less than a year.

Sampras also absorbed some of the personal reserve of the earlier era's players. ''He looks like he grew up playing with a wooden racket,'' says Mary Carillo, a CBS tennis analyst. ''You can tell his values are steeped in the past. He's anti-entourage; he wears whites on the court. People say, 'Where did this guy come from?' He came from the '60s, that's where.'' Even Sampras' taste in music is anachronistic: He prefers the mellower tones of Cat Stevens and the Eagles to the hipper trends of rap or heavy metal.

But Pete's greatest source of inspiration comes from his Greek-American family. His brother, Gus, 22, is often the only person who travels with him and, as his financial adviser, must now think about prudently investing Sampras' $1 million earnings and any subsequent endorsement money. His parents, Soterios, 53, an engineer for the Defense Department, and Georgia, a housewife, encouraged Pete through the long years of junior tennis in California but now find it too nerve-racking to watch him play. (They went to Presumed Innocent during Pete's semifinal win over John McEnroe and cruised a Long Beach shopping mall during the finals.) Sampras' older sister, Stella, 21, plays for the UCLA varsity tennis team and plans to turn pro, and his younger sister, Marion, 16, swings a racket for Palos Verdes High.

Sampras is a self-conscious young man with a quick, booming laugh. A high school dropout -- he turned pro after his junior year -- Pete has no girlfriend and is shy to a fault, maybe even a double fault. ''He's quiet almost to the point of dull,'' says ex-coach Dr. Peter Fischer. But all that may change now that Sampras has been thrust into the limelight.

It didn't take long for the Open triumph to transform other aspects of Sampras' life. On Sunday night, according to agent Ivan Blumberg, Pete was so excited he ''didn't sleep a minute, not a minute.'' Perhaps it's just as well, considering how early he would have had to get up to do all three network morning news shows. By noon he was on a plane for Florida, where he was due to play an exhibition.

Two days after his victory, the new champion is planning to relax and work on his golf game. (He is a 16-handicapper.) He knows his win at the Open makes him the man to beat now. ''It's a lot of pressure, but I think I'm mature enough and capable of living up to that responsibility,'' Pete says with aplomb. Meanwhile, he's going to indulge in a little old-fashioned glory- basking. ''I'm just going to try to let this sink in,'' says Sampras, taking a smooth swing with his sand wedge. ''I'm on a high right now.''

Article supplied by Amanda Lonnick

angiel
04-05-2005, 11:25 PM
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angiel
04-09-2005, 08:49 PM
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angiel
04-12-2005, 10:44 PM
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angiel
04-14-2005, 10:21 PM
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angiel
04-16-2005, 09:00 PM
US OPEN 1993


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angiel
04-16-2005, 09:13 PM
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US Open 1993: In essence, Sampras won the tournament in the quarterfinals. He took on his old nemesis Michael Chang in a sparkling battle under lights. At this point Chang was ahead 6-2 in the rivalry, and early in the encounter, Sampras was precariously perched at 6-7, 6-6. But he made his move to level the match in the tie-break, then soared to another level, comprehensively dismissing Chang 6-7 (0), 7-6 (2), 6-1, 6-1 - winning 20 of 25 points in the first five games of the fourth and final set. The 1972 Open champion Ilie Nastase said, "The last two sets were the best I have ever seen anyone play on hard courts." Sampras glided to the title without losing another set.

angiel
04-23-2005, 08:49 PM
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION
1993 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York, NY
September 12, 1993

P. SAMPRAS/ C. Pioline
6-4, 6-4, 6-3

AN INTERVIEW WITH PETE SAMPRAS


Q. Pete, is it kind of lost in the shuffle that you are going to be No. 1 again; is that that big a deal to you compared to this?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think winning a Grand Slam is more important than anything. I know, I became No. 1 winning yesterday, but if I would have lost today I wouldn't have been happy. But you know, it feels good to get it back, with the Grand Slams, that is more important in my mind.

Q. Can you sense how nervous he was; was there a feeling out there?

PETE SAMPRAS: I could tell I got to a good start, got off to several breaks, got on top of him pretty quickly. I actually thought he might be swinging away. I thought he was going to hit some great shots. I managed to get an early break. Then I served really well in the first couple of sets. He was a bit tight, which I think is to be expected.

Q. Pete, does this kind of cement your reputation now as being the best player in the game at this moment?

PETE SAMPRAS: You tell me. I don't know. I mean, it has, you know, been a great year, the Wimbledon victory was really big for me and now I won the 2 biggest tournaments in the world. 93 is going to go down as my best year so far. But there is a lot of competition out there and hopefully I can keep this ranking all the way through the end of this year.

Q. When the first few serves 128, 127 miles per hour, was that more trying to send him a message or was that just your adrenaline?

PETE SAMPRAS: It was both. The wind was really in one direction. I wanted to you know, first start of the match, smoke them by him even if I miss; kind of send him a message that I am going to hit it pretty hard. That is what I did.

Q. Can you anticipate enjoying this more than you did in 90? I don't think we are going to hear you come here next year and say the monkey is off your back. Can you talk about the feeling?

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, in 90, the victory here almost kind of happened too fast and too easy, where I really didn't have any time really to think about what is exactly happening. Throughout these two weeks I have been thinking about this moment of winning my second year U.S. Open. I can appreciate it much more, 93 versus 90. I am just going to go home and just enjoy the victory.

Q. What are you most proud of in this performance; not today necessarily, but over the two week period?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think winning my matches pretty convincingly. I think I only dropped 2 sets and I am pretty happy that I beat the guys, you know, beating Chang was a very big step for me. The way I played the last couple of sets, I mean, he has given me a lot of problems in the past and to get by him at a big Grand Slam, that is one victory that kind of sticks out in my mind right now.

Q. Was the final in this tournament a whole easier than you expected?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I didn't really expect, you know, kind of taking it one match a time. My summer wasn't really that great. I felt my tennis was okay when I came in here, but the way things worked out, a lot of the top seeds went down early and I just took advantage of the draw.

Q. How much more comfortable are you now with being No. 1 and winning Grand Slams than in 1990, and what was the process you went through to get to the point where you are now?

PETE SAMPRAS: 1990, my game wasn't really quite developed when I won here. I just had two hot weeks and for the next 6 to 8 months I really kind of struggled off and on the court. I kind of got through that little slump. Just keeping enjoying the tennis, keep it simple and, you know, peak at the Grand Slams. That is what I have done this year. You know, did well at the French and Australian, so my year, you know, can't get any better than this.

Q. When you serve that well, do you think that you are unbeatable?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think when I am serving well, I can really take more chances on his serve. If I can send him a message, I am hitting 2, 3 aces a game I can be a little bit more carefree and loose on his service games, and my groundstrokes game has really improved the last couple of years, due to my claycourt success, and serving well, everything else is working well.

Q. When the other top seeds went out, Courier going out, does that tell you anything about yourself; is there any kind of explanation as to why they did and what it said to you why they went out?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, the depth of tennis today is very deep, you know. Pioline, I saw him beat Courier. He looked awful tough. I mean, lot of upsets, you know, these days versus ten years ago. You can kind of expect, you know, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Borg in the semis, whereas today it is a different story. There are so many guys out there that are so dangerous, I think that is a good reason why you see a lot of upsets.

Q. Did that tell you a way to avoid it or that you'd better tone your concentration --

PETE SAMPRAS: I- wasn't- worried about the other guys in the draw. Just concerned about my matches and what I was going to do to prepare and stay focused. Last two weeks I did a pretty good job of that.

Q. This is two-part. Did you realize what you said out there, does anything cross your mind when it came out of your mouth?

PETE SAMPRAS: What is that?

Q. "I am trying my ass off here." Also, what I want to say about that, yesterday, Steffi told us no matter how many times she is in that position, she is really nervous speaking to huge groups of people. Can you relate to what she said, because you also are higher than some players, other people on the tour?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, a man's biggest fear is getting up in front of people to talk. And it is, you know, I am not used to it. I am getting better and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Q. Did you mean to say that?

PETE SAMPRAS: That just kind of slipped out. Sorry.

Q. Pete, how are you going to celebrate at all when you get back to Tampa; any particular place in your house where you are collecting these trophies now?

PETE SAMPRAS: I got this one space in my cabinet that my U.S. Open trophy 90 and 93 Wimbledon are standing and I'll put it right there right next to it. But, you know, I am going to go down to Florida for a couple of days, I got a couple of one-night exhibitions over in the west coast, see my family a little bit. So it should be fun.

Q. Cabinet in Florida or California?

PETE SAMPRAS: In Florida.

Q. Is it more difficult in a tournament of this magnitude to play somebody who you have only played twice and is it the sort of an unknown rather than when you know Courier's game so well, did that make it more of a challenging--

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, I was expected to win today. Playing, you know, Jim, I played him so many times. Playing Cedric, I have only played him a couple of times. And you know, he has really made a lot of good improvements in his game and he is a more solid player than he was a couple of years ago when I played him. You know, didn't know really what to expect if he was going to come up real tight or come out just swinging away. As a result, he came out a little tight and I got off to an early break.

Q. You said winning the last time made you struggle with your life. What is the comparison, if there is, between then and now in terms of life?

PETE SAMPRAS: 90 I won the Open and immediately I was recognized all around the world, and at that point I really wasn't used to it. I didn't really enjoy it, but I realized, you know, it is the way it is going to be. It is part of the job, more success, more times you win, the difficulty is going to be off the court. I have just accepted that.

Q. Did it play with your head, Pete, at all, and how did you get over it, I mean, what got you around that struggle and moving on?

PETE SAMPRAS: I just kind of, you know, kept on going at it. Hanging in there. I was going through some tough losses, but managed just to-- I believe in myself and I believed in my game and as it worked out, I got back to it.

Q. Pete, you had that moment in the third set second game where you went on the line call on the serve, then you doublefaulted. What did you say to yourself--

PETE SAMPRAS: That happened couple of times I got off to an early break in the second and the third, I just-- I was rushing it. I believe I was rushing a little bit too much and thinking about, you know, thinking about winning it instead of thinking about the point I was playing, and that was a mistake and I just got a little bit tight there and start rushing a bit. But I managed to get through that.

Q. Was there ever-- it never seemed like he challenged you in terms of bringing you to a point where he could turn the match in his favor. You always seemed to be in control of it from the start. Did you always have that feeling that there-- was there ever a point where you thought that he could get back in it?

PETE SAMPRAS: When I -- when I got out to an early break in the second he broke me straight back. I was-- I let him back in the match just by some careless errors. Just not three-set-- 3 out of 5 set match you cannot play well every game. There were sometimes when the crowd got a little bit behind him, he started playing a bit better, but I managed to play the big points real well. And he, you know, got a little bit tight on the breakpoints, he had hit some doublefaults, which helped me out. Match point he obviously doublefaulted.

Q. What was the feeling when you saw that doublefault on match point? It is suddenly over abruptly; what is that like?

PETE SAMPRAS: I knew because the wind was blowing in that one direction. I knew it is tough to really hit second serves; it hit the tape. I had a pretty good feeling it was going to go out because of the wind. It would have been much nicer to win it the point before, couple of points before when I hit that great volley, but it felt great, it is a great feeling.

Q. Obviously, Cedric's biggest moment. Were you surprised that he came out there and chose to serve and not take the chance of receiving it and getting into the match; that kind of hurt him?

PETE SAMPRAS: I wasn't surprised. He had 2 great weeks and he is confident. I mean, if I was in his position; if I won the toss, I would have started serving. As it turned out, he doublefaulted and missed pretty a easy volley on breakpoint and maybe if he had to do it over again he might receive.

Q. You said in 90 if I remember when you broke down your game, and you know, went for the one-hand that you basically-- you would look at films of Rosewall and Laver; you really looked up to them. You now move basically into their company. You are now a 3 time champion. How does it feel to be in that kind of company now?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, if I can do -- maintain this for ten years; then I will be in their company. But you know, I have 3 Grand Slams titles; 2 biggest ones in the world, and you know my goal one day is to be in the same set as Laver and Rosewall. Those guys were class acts. That is something that I try to present when I play. But you know, it feels pretty good right now.

Q. You have won a few Grand Slams now. Based on your experience, how long does the exultation last before the real world starts seeping back in; how long can you really enjoy this before you go --

PETE SAMPRAS: My schedule is -- as it turned out I have four, five weeks off before I go to the European swing. After the Wimbledon victory, after about two weeks I knew it was back to business and getting ready for the hard courts. Now I have been a lot of time off and, you know, I am just going obviously to take sometime off and get back to playing again.

Q. The last time, you talked about all this intrusion on your life. What was that all about and was that a position where you had say is it really worth it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, it was really worth it. It really-- I don't like losing. I don't like not playing well and you know, just -- just being recognized, I wasn't comfortable with that. I pretty much don't like to be the center of attention and immediately in 90 after I won it here was, you know, from one extreme to the next and, you know, took me a while to get used to that but I managed to get through it.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how Tim has helped you become what you are and comfortable with everything that goes along with it?

PETE SAMPRAS: He had a huge impact on my results and me playing better. I mean, the claycourt success I have had, you know, he really emphasized playing well on clay and you know mentally staying in there and you know, Tim, he was a smart player when he played in his day and that is something that I was lacking, my shot selection was a bit suspect and he kind of sharpened me up a little bit. He has made me think a little bit more what I am trying to do out there. As a result you know, things have really worked out well. I am sure our relationship will continue for a lot of years.

Q. Early in the year when you became No. 1, there was a lot of commentary about, yeah, he is No. 1 on the computer, but hasn't won a Slam recently. Did you hear that and was that a motivating factor in any way for you?

PETE SAMPRAS: I heard that. But it-- was it motivating? You know, I am not going to say that one thing really motivated me, the talk in the press, but -- I really don't understand the question. Can you rephrase it?

Q. Just did that spur you on? Did that make you --

PETE SAMPRAS: Not particularly. I mean, that is not one thing that I was thinking about out there.

Q. Pete, you mentioned Laver and Rosewall a lot as guys you emulated and still emulate. Are there any American guys growing up that you pointed to and say I want to grow up like them? Is it a personality thing?

PETE SAMPRAS: Connors and McEnroe obviously, I looked up to them. But the coach that I was working with Pete Fischer really liked the way and liked the way the guys acted, the Australian guys and you know, I try and, like I said, conduct myself in a classy manner. That is one thing that they did and so there wasn't really an American that I really idolized. Sure, I respected McEnroe's talent and Connors' intensity, but the Aussies, those guys were great guys.

Q. Do you like today's tennis?

PETE SAMPRAS: I like today's tennis. I was just mentioning that you know, look at this draw. I mean, all the upsets. It is tough to win every Slam. I mean, it is-- I had, you know, two, 4 really good weeks at Wimbledon and the Open. And it is, you know, it is tough.

Q. Why tougher now, that is what I mean? Is it the --

PETE SAMPRAS: Not the schedule,.

Q.-- depth of the schedule?

PETE SAMPRAS: Just the depth in tennis period. All the top guys schedule to do well at the grand Slams and Novacek beating Edberg and Becker losing to Larsson. Those guys are ranked 30, 40, 50 in the world. You just didn't see that ten years ago.

Q. Is the schedule so long that nobody can keep that kind of concentration; you don't have an off season; there is no time to put your head back together?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, the one part of the schedule where it is tough, I believe, is coming from the French and having two weeks until Wimbledon. And that amazes me how Borg did it. But as far as you have Australia, January, and the French and Wimbledon are tough to win back-to-back and the Open, I think, you have about 6-7 weeks to really peak, but those two in the middle are the tough, especially the surfaces, you know it is tough to win those back-to-back.

Q. How many tournaments will you play this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: I will probably play around 20.

Q. You maintain a certain standard of conduct. You have a certain way you want to project yourself as a class act. Yet periodically things pop up in the media; writers say Sampras is boring or the Open isn't exciting without a Connors or McEnroe; do you find that ironic or is that a price you have to pay to maintain the standard?

PETE SAMPRAS: Kind of puts me in a tough position. I can't change my attitude on the court for the fans or for the press. I just have to do what I have to do to; win tennis matches and the way I conduct myself is the way it is always going to be. I was taught and trained at a young age to play and act a certain way. And I am sorry that it wasn't exciting for you guys to write about.

Q. But are you really sorry?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am not really sorry.

Q. Did you feel at any point that this summer that you would overschedule yourself, but in looking back, do you feel that it was the right thing to do, getting yourself ready for this tournament?

PETE SAMPRAS: I wasn't -- I felt playing 4 straight weeks was a bit of a mistake. But as it turned out, I really didn't play all that great. I don't know what my ranking was, but it wasn't winning every week, so I came in here pretty mentally fresh and physically fresh. I wasn't playing a whole lot of tennis even though I was scheduled to play. I just wasn't winning week in, week out, and as it turned out, it worked pretty well for me.

Q. A lot of college basketball coaches like their teams to lose before the NCAA tournament. Do you equate that to when you lost, I guess it was in Montreal, does it help you refocus yourself and if you had won those weeks, do you think that it would have been tougher for you to come in here keeping that level up than having lost?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, what happened in Montreal I had a bit of a let-down after the Wimbledon. In Cincy and Indy I tried my best; just didn't get the breaks. Maybe that was a blessing, maybe you know I got all my bad luck and bad tennis behind me, and really you know, peaked well here and you know, I am not going to schedule my next year like I did this year. I am just playing two tournaments and take a week off and play 2 more and so I can see where those coaches are coming from. Obviously I like to win every week, but I rather win these two weeks.

Q. You said earlier that when you came-- when you won Wimbledon it was a real break through. "I needed a major," you said and basically you -- as a champion, what does this win do for you?

PETE SAMPRAS: This feels just as good. It feels you know, kind of tough to talk about. Call me in a couple of days. I will tell you what it is like. Wimbledon victory was really big for me because if I would have gone down there I wouldn't know how I would have rebounded for this tournament, but as it turned out, I won there, but you know it has been a great year. I need some time off.

Q. Last year, you came close here and you got sick and I guess it affected your performance in the final. Did you do anything this year, you know, like cautious the way you played or whatever, to make sure you wouldn't get sick?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah.

Q. Like what?

PETE SAMPRAS: I didn't eat at Flushing Meadow all two weeks. What I was doing was getting good New York delis sandwiches and eating turkey sandwiches for two straight weeks and didn't eat here at all.

Q. Pete, you talked about the depth of the men's game and all the outstanding players, but yet during this match a lot of guys kind of watching football games and checking scores. If tennis has dropped in popularity, is there anything that you guys can do to get the public's imagination back?

PETE SAMPRAS: Maybe shave my chest, I don't know.

Q. Since you bring that up, some of the other guys have tried things like that. Is that bad for tennis? Where is the grey area here?

PETE SAMPRAS: What can I say? What can I say? You know, the personality of the guys today are aren't quite as outspoken as the McEnroe Connors days and I am the complete opposite. And if that is a negative, then what can I say or do?

Q. Do you think American players coming into a Grand Slam, especially a final, are relieved of some of the pressure about the nationality. Like this guy is playing you and he is going to be the first Frenchman since the 4 musketeers and you guys were like a bunch of-- you are all in the same age group; do you feel that you don't have to deal with the same way of winning for your country as you know, Gaby and the win here in 90 was the first South American in God knows when; is that something you don't have to deal with or does it way on your mind at all?

PETE SAMPRAS: As far as playing here versus playing Wimbledon?

Q. Like being the last American left for X number of stages in the Open and I mean, does the nationality issue even cross your mind in a Grand Slam and is it different for the none Americans?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really. That is the longest question I have heard.

Q. Pete, I know you are hitting some heavy top spin out there, and serves. I don't think I have seen anybody break two strings in a row?

PETE SAMPRAS: The first one I broke I have been using that racket for couple of sets and the second one, a couple of -- I hit and it just snapped.

Q. Anything like that twice before?

PETE SAMPRAS: To me it has happened before.

Q. Two successive swings?

PETE SAMPRAS: Sure.

Q. Did you have a lot of rackets left in the bag?

PETE SAMPRAS: I brought out five.

Q. Pete, you have won Wimbledon and here this year. Can you win a Grand Slam?

PETE SAMPRAS: Can I win a Grand Slam? All in one year?

Q. Yes.

PETE SAMPRAS: I am not going to out rule it. I am not going to -- that is a tough question. Sure, I'd love to do it. I mean, if there is one tournament that is tougher for me is the French Open, and you know, I played pretty well there last couple of years, but winning a Grand Slam is-- you need to be obviously a great player and you need to have a bit of luck and you know, it is tough. I mean, I haven't really thought about it too much.

Q. Lendl always chased Wimbledon. Is it important for you to win in all 4 eventually over the life of your career?

PETE SAMPRAS: That is a big thing for me to win on clay.

Q. Pete, what are you planning, anything special with the $530,000?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is always that question here, isn't there? No. Not really.

Q. Thank you.

angiel
04-28-2005, 11:23 PM
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angiel
04-28-2005, 11:25 PM
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angiel
04-28-2005, 11:27 PM
US OPEN 1995


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angiel
04-28-2005, 11:35 PM
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US Open 1995: The Sampras-Agassi final was monumental. They were the two best players in the world, only by now it was defending champion Agassi at the top of the rankings. In many ways, the match was settled on the final point of the opening set. With Agassi serving at 4-5, they had a dazzling rally of 22 strokes that Sampras won with a crosscourt backhand winner. Sampras had shown that he could hold his own with Agassi from the backcourt, showing that his greatness wasn't derived solely from his serve. Sampras earned a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 victory and took the top spot. Agassi would not win another Grand Slam event until 1999

angiel
05-04-2005, 12:46 AM
Sampras Rolls, Agassi Fades in Final
by: Bruce Jenkins


New York (Monday, September 11, 1995)-- THE BIG tennis party had come on Saturday, raging well into the evening, and by the time yesterday's men's final came around, people were a little spent. Unfortunately for the sport, Andre Agassi was among them.

Nobody was taking a thing away from the great Pete Sampras, who wrapped up his seventh Grand Slam title with a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Agassi in the blustery afternoon conditions of the Stadium Court. Sampras was so sharp, he was
pinpointing celebrities in the crowd at a moment's glance.

But Agassi had that watered-down look, like an unfinished gin-and-tonic that spent the night on the coffee table. After all that preparation, all that anticipation for his big match against Sampras, Agassi took the court in a sluggish state, full of regret.

``It's like everything caught up to me,'' he said. ``The long summer, playing all those matches, then having to come back today after last night (finishing his semifinal against Boris Becker around 9 p.m.). I mean, after just one set, I felt heavy in the legs. That's way too early to feel like that.''

Sampras, who played the morning semifinal against Jim Courier, admitted having an edge -- and when one of the British writers asked if the Wimbledon format (a day off before the final) is better, Sampras said, ``Absolutely. Super Saturday is great entertainment for the fans, but when you have to come back after a long night match. . . . Let's just say that with a day off, the tennis today would have been better.''

Shortly before he died, legendary Pancho Gonzalez said Agassi and Sampras ``would beat the pants off of anybody in the past. They're just on another level from anyone else who has ever played.'' But from the start of yesterday's Hung-Over Invitational, something wasn't right.

The first set went quietly, without a single spectacular moment, until the two men closed it with a sudden stroke of collective genius. Out of nowhere, they began hitting rockets at each other, gaining in pace, accuracy and angle, until the crowd began gasping in amazement. ``One of the greatest points I've ever been a part of,'' said Sampras, who finally closed out the 21-stroke rally with a topspin backhand cross-court winner.

The wind was a blessing for the crowd, enjoying a magnificently sunny afternoon, but it made for tricky and somewhat tentative tennis. The match's signature stroke would become Sampras' first serve, and when he took a 4-1 lead in the second set with three consecutive aces, the crowd could have been declared legally dead. Sampras was in complete command, and Agassi seemed incapable of mounting a challenge. Then, in a stunning show of bravado, Sampras wrapped up the set with a second-serve ace.

It was amazing to watch Agassi completely out of it. He'd won 26 straight matches going in, the cornerstone of his No. 1 world ranking, and suddenly it seemed his fire had been extinguished. To the crowd's relief, Agassi finally turned up the heat as the match approached the two-hour mark. Forging a second set point at 4-5, he unleashed his trademark first-service return, put Sampras on the defensive, then ripped a down-the-line forehand pass.

``If I'm returning well, I've got news for you,'' said Agassi, ``it doesn't look like Pete's got that good of a serve.''

Alas, on this day, it was only an illusion. At one point, Sampras uncorked an all-ace service game -- ``first time I've done that against Andre in my life,'' he said. Sampras held serve with frightening ease to close out the match. And just before that, when Sampras scored a critical service break for 6-5, Agassi shanked an embarrassing double fault -- at least five feet long -- to put himself down 0-40.

``The whole year I've had, the big run I was on, turned out too good to be true,'' said a sullen Agassi afterward. ``I just didn't have that little extra today. I fought my way through the tournament and beat a lot of guys, but Pete was much more on his game today. I think when I look back, I might realize I was fried -- mentally and physically. I mean, yeah, I went 26-1 -- but I'd give up all 26 to have that one back.''

At 24, Sampras is truly looking the part of an all-time great. His seven Grand Slam titles draw him even with John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, trailing Jimmy Connors (8), Ivan Lendl (8) and Bjorn Borg (11) in the Open era. Sampras is only the fourth player in history to win three Wimbledons and three U.S. Opens, joining McEnroe, Bill Tilden and Fred Perry.

Most importantly, in terms of the world rankings, Sampras won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year. ``And I'd kill to have done that,'' said Agassi. ``I'm still No. 1, even after today, but I think Pete has to feel better about his year, and I don't blame him.''

It was left to Sampras, the man of the hour, to provide the party's last laughs. People were moving around constantly in the stadium yesterday -- as they did throughout this and every Open -- and Sampras couldn't help but notice.

``I hit this one ace,'' said Sampras, ``and when I look up, and there's J.F.K. Jr. I'm thinking to myself, `Gosh, that guy looks familiar.' Another time, I'm ready to serve, and I hear this noise. I look over and it's Arnold Schwarzenegger. I mean, there he was. The Terminator.''

Unlike Saturday, the anticipation proved more lively than the execution. This was the day after, and Pete Sampras was the most sober guy in the room. That's the guy you never bet against. It was only one point, and it came early in the match. But, oh, what a point.

"That was a huge point," Pete Sampras said. "Thank God I won it."

angiel
05-04-2005, 12:49 AM
Sizzling Sampras proves his point


It was only one point, and it came early in the match. But, oh, what a point.

"That was a huge point," Pete Sampras said. "Thank God I won it."

It was the key point of the 1995 US Open, which completed its two-week run yesterday with Sampras defeating defending champion Andre Agassi 6-4,6-3,4-6,7-5 to win the men's singles title.

Back and forth the ball went, the two slugging it out at long range, moving each other from side to side.

Then, on the last of 22 deep, hard and angled shots, Sampras ripped a sharply angled backhand crosscourt that Agassi could only watch sail past. Thirty-four minutes after play had begun, Sampras had won the first set.

He raised his arms in triumph an emotional display that would come again much later. Agassi could only hang his head.

"Pete knows how to seize opportunities," Agassi said. "I ran him from 12 corners. He had to work for it, but he got it. And to think the wind was against him there."

After that, Sampras grew stronger, went for bigger shots. After serving just one ace in the opening set, he finished with 24-11 coming in the final set.

Agassi fell behind 3-0 in the second set, then won the third when Sampras started missing his first serve. When Agassi broke Sampras to close the third set, it seemed that finally he had switched the momentum.

"I thought I'd sneak my way into the fifth," Agassi said, "and roll the dice a little bit. But it didn't happen."

Instead, Sampras found the rhythm on his serve again - in the sixth game blowing four consecutive aces past Agassi.

In his moment of triumph, Sampras looked into the television cameras and sent a message to his coach, Tim Gullikson, watching in Chicago where he is recovering from brain tumour treatments.

"That was for you, Timmy," Sampras said. "Wish you were here."

Gullikson had to leave Sampras during the Australian Open in January, when the then-number one wept during the fifth set of a dramatic semi-final triumph over Jim Courier, Sampras went on to lose the final to Agassi.

Sampras lost his top ranking to Agassi in April and was ousted in the first round of the French Open. More important, he was fearful Gullikson might lose his life.

But his coach's condition stabilised. Sampras found an interim coach in friend Paul Annacone. And things turned around. Sampras won a third straight Wimbledon crown. Then came the Open and one of his finest moments.

"My year has been up and down," Sampras said. "I felt I could raise my level here as the two weeks went on and I did that. This was my best tennis. I just picked the right time."

Agassi found that out the hard way. He already knew that friendly rival Sampras had a special mission to win for Gullikson.

"It's tough to say how much that has truly affected him," Agassi said. " I know it has affected him on a personal level. But as for his tennis, Pete has done a great job."

"Maybe the weight of his coach being ill has affected him day to day. But in a certain sense, I think he draws a lot of strength from it, too."

Gullikson has kept in touch with Sampras and Annacone, talking by telephone every day during the Open.

"There are a couple of things Pete needs to continually work on and be reminded," Annacone said. "He needs to put more forward pressure on opponents. He's one of the few guys who can do everything. But if you don't use it, there's no sense having it."

"He heard that from Tim and I think he realised he has to do that."

Of that magic point, Annacone said: " That's one of the best points I ever saw in my life. You saw two superstars come up with I don't know how many shots I thought were point-ending. I sat there in awe as most of the other people did."

Naturally, Agassi saw it differently: "That point really sucked."

angiel
05-27-2005, 09:51 PM
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angiel
05-27-2005, 09:53 PM
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angiel
06-02-2005, 08:57 PM
Pete dethrones Agassi to earn 3rd Open title

by: Steve Wilstein New York
Originally published on 9/11/1995



KEY TO MATCH - One magnificent rally at the end of the first set gave Sampras the edge he needed to deflate top ranked Agassi. - One point, 22 shots, a championship at stake with every breathtaking stroke. In that magnificent rally at the end of the first set Sunday, Pete Sampras imposed his will on Andre Agassi and broke him, literally on serve, figuratively in spirit.

It was a point that meant more than any of the 24 aces Sampras knifed through the whipping wind, more than the volley he dived for when he bloodied his knuckles and skinned his knees on the way to a third U.S. Open title, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

That point, even with three sets yet to play, defined the match and decided it, showing that Sampras could beat Agassi at his own baseline game, no matter if he had to chase every ball from corner to corner.

``It's probably one of the best points I've ever been part of,'' Sampras said. ``I certainly hope that makes the play of the day.''

That point should be preserved on videotape in the International Hall of Fame, with all the gasps and screams and the final explosive cheers of the 20,000 fans in the background.

``That's one of the best points I've ever seen in my life,'' Paul Annacone, Sampras' interim coach, said. ``Before the match I told Pete to try to get into as many athletic points as he could get in. I think that (rally) was about as quintessentially athletic as you could have a point. You saw two superstars come with I don't know how many different shots. I sat there in awe, as many of the other spectators did.''

With that point and the eventual victory, Sampras reached No. 1 in the esteem of his greatest rival, if not yet once more in the rankings themselves, two months after taking his third straight Wimbledon championship.

``Pete knows how to seize opportunities,'' said Agassi, who had yielded only two points in his first four service games. ``I ran him from 12 corners. He had to work for it, but he got it. And to think, the wind was against him there.''

The rally came at the end of a game that revealed the best of Sampras and the worst of Agassi, with a little luck thrown in. Sampras reached his first break point with a forehand return that clipped the net cord and trickled over out of Agassi's reach. Agassi's service winner brought it back to deuce, but he went to break-point again when he bludgeoned an easy overhead 10 feet long.

Agassi thought he'd even it up again when he got Sampras scurrying desperately in a baseline duel. Instead, on the last of 22 deep and hard and angled shots, it was Sampras who ended that longest rally with a backhand crosscourt, and Agassi who could only hang his head.

``He's so quick,'' Sampras said. ``I felt if I could keep him moving, keep him moving, I could get a short ball and come in. But I never really felt I had a winner until I hit that backhand. It was an unbelievable point. Thank God I won it.''

For Agassi, that point made him realize there was little he was going to get away with on this day.

Right down to the end, when Sampras served his 142nd ace of the tournament at 120 mph, he put on a show of power, control and resilience that he dedicated to his absent and ailing coach, Tim Gullikson.

``That's for you, Timmy,'' Sampras said to the television camera, knowing Gullikson was watching at home in suburban Chicago. ``Wish you were here.'' Agassi, who came in with a 26-match winning streak, faded early in the second set to fall behind 3-0, then scrambled back in the third set, capitalizing on Sampras' suddenly more erratic serves and breaking him for the first time in the third game.

When Agassi broke Sampras again to close the set, it seemed for a few moments that he might finally wear him down, push him all the way to a fifth and raise this final to the level of the hype that preceded it.

``I thought I'd sneak my way into the fifth,'' Agassi said, ``and roll the dice a little bit. But it didn't happen.''

This match, for all of their fine rallies and all of Sampras' aces, never quite lived up to its potential.

The swirling wind on a cool afternoon made it harder for Agassi, who counts on the timing of his groundstrokes. For Sampras, his serves cut right through the wind, and his volleys reduced the chances of the wind tossing his shots around.

Sampras bunched his aces, dealing out three in one game in the second set, four in the sixth game of the fourth set. He had aces on three of his last five serves.

``I hit an ace up the middle, and I saw John F. Kennedy Jr.,'' Sampras said, drawing laughter. ``I did. Honest to God. I said, he looks a little familiar.''

Sampras looked around at the crowd another time and picked out Arnold Schwarzenegger.

``There he was,'' Sampras said, ``the Terminator.''

Agassi blamed his own weariness as much as the wind for the loss, though he gave Sampras full credit.

"It's been a long summer,'' Agassi said. ``I had a couple of days off after Boris, which helped me. In the first set, I felt my legs. ... It was way too early in the match to feel that way. I was lacking a little strength. I guess you could say I didn't have pep in my step.

``It was tough conditions today. It didn't lend itself to great tennis. You couldn't do enough with the ball. I didn't come near his serve in that fourth set. The problem is I didn't make him feel the pressure.'' The official rankings mean little to either of them. What counts most are Grand Slam titles, and this year Sampras has the two biggest and Agassi only the one he grabbed back in January at the Australian Open. ``Come December 31st, he'll feel better about the year than I will,'' Agassi said. ``On the other hand, I'd play him for a hundred bucks right now.'' They played this one for much more - $575,000 for the winner, half that for the runner-up.

``It means a lot to have been out there to try to defend it,'' Agassi said, ``but it hurts not to win it.''

Agassi will remain No. 1 for the moment, Sampras No. 2, though that could change by year's end. Agassi has held the top ranking since April 10. Sampras and Agassi have won seven of the last nine Grand Slam championships, missing out only on the 1993 and 1994 French Opens.

The rivalry between them may only now be reaching full bloom, and their best matches may be yet to come. Opposites in style and temperament, they need each other to push themselves to their best.

``I enjoy knowing,'' Agassi said, ``that there's somebody out there that I worry about, forcing you to come up with shots, forcing you to hit baselines.''

angiel
06-06-2005, 09:40 PM
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angiel
06-11-2005, 08:51 PM
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION
1995 U.S. OPEN
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK
September 10, 1995

P. SAMPRAS /A. Agassi
6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

AN INTERVIEW WITH PETE SAMPRAS

Q. What is the money for? Did you cash your check already?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am ready.

Q. Rankings aside, you are No. 1?

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, it depends how you look at it. I mean, Andre has been a lot more consistent than I have this year. He has won a lot more titles, but, you know, I feel if you win two of the Majors, there should be a strong possibility you should be No. 1, but like I said, he has been a lot more consistent; won more titles. My year has been a little up and down, but, you know, it is the computer, you know, I can't -- I can't rig it.

Q. What do you think your chances are of catching him in the points by the end of the year or whenever?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't know. I haven't seen the points. I am at this point going to go home and enjoy this and I got a Davis Cup Tie in another week or so, and so, I hopefully I can end the year strong, but he has been a lot more consistent as far as his results.

Q. Would you take the U.S. Open and Wimbledon over his titles?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yes, I would.

Q. When you play Andre in a big match, do you not just feel like it is for this title, but you are sort of playing for the title, you know, that there is always more at stake than just, you know, the circumstances; there is that feeling --

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, you know, walking on the court today, I could really feel the electricity -- the electricity just went out (audience laughter) Would you believe that?

Q. You are good, Pete.

PETE SAMPRAS: And, you know, looking forward to the new stadium, aren't we? Yeah, it is different. When Andre and I play each other, I find that he is the one guy I can go out and play good tennis; he can still beat me and I can't say that about a lot of the guys on the Tour. He has the best return of serve in the game and, you know, walking out today I feel like I needed to be at my best, and that is really the bottom line when I play Andre, if I am not at my best, the way he has played this summer this year, you know, I felt that I was always under a little bit of pressure today. I was up two sets and a break and I just-- I really didn't feel at that point that I had him, you know, and -- but it is always different. This is a rivalry that I hope gets more and more popular. I think it is, getting to the final here and playing pretty good tennis. So, you know, got a lot of respect for him.

Q. You would have been disappointed if he lost yesterday, wouldn't you?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it would have been a different match playing Boris, but, you know, when you have a chance to win the U.S. Open title you want to beat the best player in the world, and he is -- as far as in my mind one of the best players in the world.

Q. Have you at any time in the last two weeks thought about how you left here last year; you were in pain; it was a really tough loss, and can you contrast that with how you are going to leave here today?

PETE SAMPRAS: I tried to put what happened last year behind me. It was a tough, tough situation not being in shape; came out here and really was so unprepared that I didn't have any energy, and this year, I had a good summer, but not a great summer. I was in good shape. I felt that I could hopefully raise my level as the two weeks went on and I did that. I really did. I mean, yesterday and today was my best tennis and I just kind of picked the right time. That is what it takes sometimes.

Q. What is the most gratifying part of this one?

PETE SAMPRAS: Beating Andre. I mean, you know, would have -- it is always -- it would have been different if I would have played Boris and beaten him. I would have been just as happy, but it is always a little bit different when I can beat Andre 1 and 2 in the world, both American, and, you know, to beat him makes me feel a little better than if I had beaten someone else.

Q. Let us just say for the fun of it you are the editor of a leading sports magazine. Would you put the men's champion of the U.S. Open considering all he has gone through this year and what he has accomplished athletically, would you put him on the cover or Deion Sanders and why?

PETE SAMPRAS: Who is Deion Sanders? (audience laughter)

Q. Nike client.

PETE SAMPRAS: I really didn't understand the question.

Q. Do you think you deserve to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated?

PETE SAMPRAS: I won my third Wimbledon and I didn't get on there, so hopefully now I will get on there.

Q. Steffi won her fourth. Pete, how did you feel about the set point first set, after the set point in the first set?

PETE SAMPRAS: Probably one of the best points I have ever been a part of. I mean, even if I would have lost it, it would have felt a lot worse, that is for sure. We are both running each other around and I just flicked off a good backhand. I was pretty winded after that, regained my composure and played a pretty good first game. That was a huge point. I certainly hope that makes the play of the day.

Q. How many times, Pete, did you think you had won that point before you actually won it two or three times when you'd actually thought you had hit a winner?

PETE SAMPRAS: On that set point?

Q. Yeah.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I felt, you know, not really. I mean, I felt he is quick. I mean, and I felt if I could just keep him moving; keep him moving, I could get a short ball and come in, but I never really felt I had a winner until I hit that backhand. But it was an unbelievable point, and, you know, thank God I won it.

Q. Pete, Paul was just in here. He talked about how many great all-around gifts you have; how many things you can do. Is there anything that you in your own mind would like more of, or wish to have to a greater degree?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think I am extremely happy the way I served and my volleys, but I still feel like I can return a little bit better. I still feel like I can improve. I really believe that. I can be a little bit more solid from the backcourt. I mean, I don't think there will be a day where I am satisfied with my tennis. I always want to get better, and that is -- that is what gets me up in the morning to practice is trying to get even better and playing someone like Andre, you know, he has beaten me a couple of times, three times this year; he forces you to try and change some things, chip and charge a little bit, serve and volley, my second serve and try to add a little bit more to my game, so, that --

Q. Did you cut yourself when you belly flopped?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah.

Q. Oh, I see.

PETE SAMPRAS: Right here.

Q. Did you feel like a great chance had gone at the end of the third set that maybe he was ready to go and now all of a sudden you are in the fourth set, and --

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, when I was up a break in the third, I was holding my serve pretty easily, and I just felt, especially that -- one way with the wind going that way, I just hit a couple of -- hit a couple of bad doubles, really bad doubles. And then he started to get some confidence. He won the third set and the crowd started really getting behind him. I was -- still felt I was up a set and he had a long weighed to go to beat me. And -- but it would have been nicer to hold on there and maybe get another break in the third, but he is a tough guy to put away. I mean, you need to play a high level for three straight sets; that is tough to do sometimes. I maintained that for a couple of sets, but I just got a little bit tight at that point; maybe saw the trophy in my hand, but you know, he came up with some good stuff.

Q. Pete, in the fourth set, in the first game, you had a breakpoint; you missed the forehand quite easily. What you did you say to yourself, gosh, maybe I am going to lose, maybe something is happening; the match can turn; around; were you afraid a bit?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, that was a great opportunity to lose the third, come back and break him first game in the fourth. I had a pretty easy shot and -- but, you know, you can't worry about what happened in the last point. Just have to move ahead, and hopefully stay on my serve and I served -- I was surprised myself how well I served today. Because the conditions were so windy that my ball toss was going all over the place that was the one shot that kind of saved me today, my serve.

Q. Did you ever hit an all ace game against him?

PETE SAMPRAS: No.

Q. How do you hit an all ace game any day against anybody? How difficult is that? Is it difficult even for you?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is just -- you just get in a great groove. It is like throwing three strikes or striking out two people. You know, you just -- everything just clicks, and you starting to feel that you can, you know, toss it up there and hit the line and that is what I have to do against Andre. If I don't hit a great serve he is going to make me volley and so, you know, got a little bit lucky and snapped off a couple of good aces.

Q. Andre said he woke up this morning feeling a little sluggish; that he played sort of a step slow. Could you sense that and how did you wake up feeling this morning?

PETE SAMPRAS: I felt pretty good. I think the fact that I played first yesterday and he played second, he got done at 9 o'clock, I think, you know, he has had a long summer and maybe was a little bit fatigued at the end. I felt pretty good. I felt this is a great opportunity and no time for excuses as far as being sore or tired. You just need to suck it up and do whatever you can.

Q. Andre also said that when he will look back, they may not necessarily really remember who has been ranked No. 1, but people will always remember the Slams. Is that how you see it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, when you look back at the greatest players of all time we look at the number of Slams they have won and the ranking is something everyone just takes for granted as far as McEnroe being No. 1 or Connors being No. 1. In my mind, the major titles is the most important thing, in my year and the fact that I have won two, really ends my year on a great note.

Q. Now, Pete you have won seven Slam titles now, I think you are four behind Borg and maybe five behind Emerson. Do you think about that and is getting the most Slam titles a goal of yours; breaking the all-time record?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is something I haven't really thought about breaking the record. I just see myself preparing the best I can for Majors mentally and physically getting ready and it is not really like a goal I put on my chalk board; I am going to break Emerson's record. I still feel that the French is the one thing that is missing and that is a pretty tough challenge for me to win there, so that -- you know, something I haven't thought about as far as the record.

Q. Ever come up to your mind the final at the U.S. Open final five years ago?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really.

Q. Would you like Wimbledon to introduce Super Saturday, Pete?

PETE SAMPRAS: Super Saturday is great for the fans and the TV, but as far as the players are concerned, I think it is very difficult to play back-to-back three, five set matches. Andre got done late last night, and to have a day off in between, you know, the tennis might have looked -- might have been a little better, so I kind of like that day off in between. Super Saturday is, you know, he got done at 9 o'clock and he played today at 4; you don't have a lot of time to recover. I think think that is tough on the body; especially on this court, but I like to see Wimbledon stay as it is.

Q. This tournament seems wholly unlike you, loud, raucous, all those kind of things. When you come here do you try to assume a different mindset, say, for a different tournament so you can get through all of the --

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really.

Q. -- environment?

PETE SAMPRAS: No, the environment is --, you know, I am not changing my attitude or the way I am playing because of the crowd. I mean, I am just going out and trying to play good tennis and trying to win and I will show some emotion, when it is 5-4, set point I will be playing that great point, you know, I just prepare as well as I can and hopefully come out ahead.

Q. Is there a feeling of exhilaration out there, maybe there is no time for it when you think, here we are, the two greatest players in the world, the whole world is watching us, does that enter into it when you are out there?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really. It is me against him. And, you know, you don't think about the crowd, or the TV, or who is watching at home. You just --

Q. You could be on a court alone, nobody...

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, you are so zoned and focused in on the match in what you are trying to do; there is no time to think about who is watching and whatever.

Q. Andre said he would play you again tomorrow for $100. Would you play him tomorrow?

PETE SAMPRAS: Absolutely.

Q. Didn't you look up there? There was one interruption when Arnold Schwarznegger arrived. Did you realize that?

PETE SAMPRAS: I realized that.

Q. Did you know who it was or anything?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, yeah, well, I was ready to serve; the crowd was doing something and...

Q. Is that distracting?

PETE SAMPRAS: A little bit. A little bit. I saw -- I hit an ace up the middle and I saw John F. Kennedy Jr. - honest to God. I said, "God, he looked a little familiar."

Q. Does that put any kind of new perspective when you realize people of this magnitude are present and have you raised tennis to such a level that now these guys are here?

PETE SAMPRAS: No.

Q. Doesn't mean anything to you?

PETE SAMPRAS: No. Really doesn't.

Q. When did you see Arnold?

PETE SAMPRAS: I was ready to serve; the crowd was doing something. I looked over and there he was, "the Terminator."

Q. What was with the shirt today?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is too long.

angiel
06-14-2005, 10:58 PM
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With Dedication, Sampras Aces Third U.S. Open
By Jennifer Frey
Washington Post Staff Writer
September 11, 1995


NEW YORK, SEPT. 10 -- Pete Sampras did not want to play anyone more than he wanted to play Andre Agassi, his top rival, in the U.S. Open men's singles final this afternoon. Agassi felt the same way.

It was, by all accounts, a dream matchup: The No. 1-ranked Agassi, with his voracious return game, against No. 2-ranked Sampras, with his spectacular serve. Sampras says Agassi brings out his best tennis, and Agassi is quick to return the compliment.

So when Agassi stood stock-still on his side of the court and watched Sampras's final serve scream past him, he could do little more than nod his head and wave his racket in silent respect. He knew Sampras would have to play excellent tennis to beat him. And he knew that Sampras had done exactly that.

Sampras had 24 aces in a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Agassi, winning match point on a 120-mph ace. With the triumph, Sampras claimed his third career U.S. Open title, and seventh Grand Slam championship of his decorated career.

"It is always a little bit different when I can beat Andre," Sampras said. "We're one and two in the world, both American, and to beat him makes me feel a little better than if I had beaten somebody else."

Sampras had a subdued reaction to his triumph, raising both arms, but not dropping to the court the way Agassi did after winning the title last year. And after he shared a handshake, a pat on the back, and a few words at the net with his vanquished opponent, Sampras turned to the television cameras and told the world exactly what was on his mind.

"This one's for you, Timmy," Sampras said, referring to his coach, Tim Gullikson, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January.

Overwhelmed by his emotions, Sampras had to wipe a few tears from the corner of his eyes as he waited for the trophy presentation. At one point, he buried his head in a white towel as his shoulders gently shook. Agassi, always extroverted, also seemed somewhat quieted by what had taken place.

"You know, you feel it -- that kind of intensity you get -- you feel it on the ins and outs of every point," said Agassi, the defending champion, who seemed to have difficulty putting feelings into words. "You feel the respect for his game and what he is capable of doing."

Sampras and Agassi were the focus of the men's draw from the start of this tournament, a focus Agassi said today he found difficult to ignore during the past two weeks. Much more was riding on today's match than the title: With two Grand Slam titles to Agassi's one, Sampras gained bragging rights to the 1995 season, although not a return to the No. 1 ranking Agassi took from him in April.

"Andre's been a lot more consistent this year and won more titles," Sampras said. "My year is a lot more up and down, but, hey, it's the computer {deciding the rankings}, and I can't read it."

Agassi has far too many rankings points to be unseated by Sampras, whose titles here and at Wimbledon cannot make up for all the points Agassi has won in other appearances this year.

Starting with a victory over Sampras at the Australian Open, Agassi has reached the finals of nine hard-court tournaments, and won five.

Still, Agassi knows that winning the big ones is what really matters. He announced Saturday night -- after he won his semifinal -- that the player who claimed today's title could consider himself the king of 1995. He did not back down from that statement today.

"Pete has won two Slams, so I will have to say that come December 31, he is going to feel better about the year than I did," said Agassi, who also went out of his way to point out that Sampras has one more victory in head-to-head meetings (nine to Agassi's eight) in their careers. "By the same token, I would play him for 100 bucks right now. That's just the way it is."

Agassi certainly wanted to replay the first set, which nearly drove him to distraction. Sedate -- almost dull -- at the start, both players held serve and the crowd barely whispered, let alone spoke.

The key to the match came in the 10th game, when Agassi was pushed to break point when a shot that hit the net cord did not fall his way. He recovered to take the game to deuce, but overfired an overhead shot to give Sampras the advantage.

The point that followed -- Sampras's second set-point opportunity -- was the most spectacular of this tournament, and one of the best in recent memory. Time after time, Agassi thought he had hit a winner, and time after time, Sampras responded. Finally, after 22 shots, Sampras hit a marvelous backhand that ended the suspense.

"That's one of the best points I've ever seen in my life," said Paul Annacone, who has served as Sampras's coach and adviser in Gullikson's absence. "You saw two superstars come off with so many shots. I kept thinking someone had won it."

Perhaps a bit deflated by that game -- and that point -- Agassi was broken on his first service game of the second set, and never broke back. Barely more than an hour into the match, he was down two sets and a break.

Agassi made his big stand in the third set, when he broke Sampras twice, the second time in the 10th game to claim the set. But the final set belonged to Sampras, as was indicated by his numerous aces, including four straight to take the sixth game.

Agassi seemed to know it, and when he stood stock-still and watched Sampras's final serve, there was little left to be said.

"Next summer, I think I'm going to lose a little bit," said Agassi, who had 26 straight victories heading into today's match. "I'm 26-1, and I'd give up all 26 just to have this one back."

angiel
06-14-2005, 11:03 PM
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Sampras, Seles Shine in 1995
The Associated Press
December 20, 1995

By the time his body finally gave out at the Davis Cup final in Moscow, cramped and fatigued and sore all over, Pete Sampras had put the last touches on an amazing year.

An American championship. A third straight Wimbledon. A third U.S. Open title. A third consecutive No. 1 ranking at year’s end.

He became the first player to earn $5 million in a year, the biggest money winner in tennis history with $21.7 million.

Beyond all those achievements, though, Sampras revealed a depth of character perhaps more important than any of his considerable skills on court.

His year began with the devastating diagnosis in Australia that his coach and good friend, Tim Gullikson, had inoperable brain tumors. Sampras played through his tears in an emotionally wrenching match against Jim Courier and reached the final before falling to a near-perfect Andre Agassi.

Throughout the year, Sampras shuttled to Gullikson’s home in Illinois between tournaments, watching him go through radiation treatment. But Sampras handled the strain maturely, winning Wimbledon again at 23 and dedicating the victory to Gullikson, who watched from home.

As Sampras steeled himself, so too did Steffi Graf show remarkable strength in a year she called the best of her career.

Graf didn’t complete a Grand Slam, as she did in 1988. But she won every major event she played — the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open — plus the WTA Tour Championship. She won 47 of 49 matches and banked $2.5 million.

As dominant as she was, Graf suffered mightily all year with back and foot injuries and with a tax investigation in Germany that sent her father-manager, Peter, to jail.

“It’s an incredible end to an unbelievable year,” Graf said after taking the WTA title in five sets over fellow German Anke Huber. “I’ve definitely passed a few barriers that I didn’t think I could. ... I went to the French and U.S. Opens not very well prepared, not playing very many tournaments. Physically, because I haven’t been able to train, I haven’t been really ready.”

She was as ready as she had to be to claw back from near defeat in the U.S. Open against Monica Seles, who played brilliantly in only her second tournament since being stabbed 2 1/2 years earlier by a fan of Graf.

Seles, co-ranked No. 1 with Graf, surprised herself and everyone else by winning her first event, the Canadian Open, and came within one dubious call on a serve of beating Graf in straight sets in New York. Seles served a ball she thought was an ace on set point in their first-set tiebreaker, and skipped toward the sideline as if she’d won. But a linesman called it wide, and a rattled and tiring Seles wound up dropping the set and match.

A sore knee sustained from too much practice and too many matches on hard courts in her brief comeback caused Seles to pull out of the other tournaments she had planned to play after the Open. But she’s planning to resume her career in January at the Australian.

The dominance of Sampras and Graf throughout the year overshadowed superb years by other players, especially Agassi and Thomas Muster.

Agassi held the ATP Tour’s No. 1 spot for 30 weeks after gaining it for the first time in April. He was the tour’s most consistent player until his chest injury late in the year, winning a career-high seven titles in 11 finals and finishing No. 2 for the second year in a row.

After starting off the year with a victory in the Australian for his third Grand Slam title, Agassi reached the final of the rest of the 10 hardcourt tournaments he played.

The Agassi-Sampras shuffle in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots marked the first time in the history of the ATP rankings, which go back to 1973, that the top two positions were occupied by the same two players every week of the year.

On clay, no one could rival the indefatigable Muster, who notched a 40-match winning streak and moved up from No. 15 in the rankings in 1994 to No. 3 this year. Muster won a career-high 12 titles in 14 finals, highlighted by his first Grand Slam title at the French Open.

Some new players made an impact during the year, none more powerful than Australia’s Mark Philippoussis, who nearly toppled Sampras in the U.S. Open.

But the year was darkened by the passing of two great former champions, Fred Perry and Pancho Gonzalez.

As the year came to a close, one of the most graceful and gracious champions ever, Stefan Edberg, announced that 1996 would be his last year on the men’s tour. He set two goals for himself before he retires — to get back into the top 10, and to win one more Grand Slam title.

angiel
06-22-2005, 09:52 PM
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angiel
06-22-2005, 09:53 PM
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angiel
06-22-2005, 09:54 PM
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angiel
06-22-2005, 09:58 PM
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION
1995 U.S. OPEN
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK
September 10, 1995

P. SAMPRAS /A. Agassi
6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL ANNACONE


PAUL ANNACONE: I never had this many people when I played. Except when I beat John here.

Q. What did you do to help?

PAUL ANNACONE: I wish I could take a lot of credit, but, you know, Pete is a great athlete, and Andre has had a terrific summer. I just thought that Pete had a good chance because he has had a good tournament, hasn't been on the court a lot of hours and I think that he has worked really hard to prepare for this event, although he didn't have great results for him this summer, and I thought that if he turned it into more of an athletic match where they were both moving around a lot and kind of stayed away from getting into pattern play then we'd have a good chance. Obviously, he has to serve well to eliminate Andre's returning strength.

Q. Did you speak with Gully at all during the course of this tournament?

PAUL ANNACONE: Yeah.

Q. Before today's match?

PAUL ANNACONE: Yeah.

Q. What did you discuss?

PAUL ANNACONE: Well, same thing we basically discuss in all the conversations, you know, you can make it complicated or as simple as you want. It is not really rocket science. I think that, you know, you are dealing with someone who is an elite athlete. You are not constructing a lot of things. There is a couple of things that Pete needs to continually needs to work on and be reminded. He is a great athlete. I don't think he takes advantage of that. Tim agrees. He needs to put more forward pressure on his opponents. Needs to use his ability up at the net and use a variety in his groundstrokes. He is one of the few guys that can do just about everything. I always tell him that if you don't use it, there is no sense in having it. And, you know, today, he used it a bit more, and I think that, you know, it is always a bit of a grind when those two play. I just think Pete might have been a little mentally fresher today.

Q. Paul, he is playing the guy who is ranked No. 1 in the world. He gave the sense of overwhelming him today. Does Pete just do more things better than anybody else out there?

PAUL ANNACONE: I am a little bit biased, obviously, but, you know, I think -- I think Pete, when he is playing his best tennis, is a dominating player. I think he is one of the few guys that when he plays well, it doesn't matter who he is playing. And I think that most of the people who are tennis aficionados have that same type of sense about his ability. But I think at some point, so much talent can be a liability, in that when you play guys like Andre, and certain players, you don't know when to use what; what weapon. I think that all comes with time, and the maturation process and Pete obviously has a relatively successful record against Andre and I think that whenever you can win a match like that, like he did today, I think you just want to sit back and enjoy it.

Q. Today you felt that he was using --

PAUL ANNACONE: First two sets he did. I thought the first two sets he was pretty good about moving the ball around, and using different variety, although he chipped and came in a couple of times and was passed. I think you cannot beat Andre Agassi doing one thing. He is just too good. You have to be able to do everything. And it sounds easy and it is easy to sit here and say that, but there are very few human beings that can do that at the level that Pete -- I think that is what makes him difficult for Andre to play when he is playing well.

Q. What is your title, are you co-coach?

PAUL ANNACONE: Human being.

Q. Well, that too.

PAUL ANNACONE: Well, I have been a friend of Pete since he was 17, and when Tim became ill, we all just kind of decided that I should help out for a while, and the quotes have been "interim coach" which has been flattering. That is fine as long as I help and Tim starts feeling better and Pete is winning matches, that is what is important.

Q. We will call you interim coach.

PAUL ANNACONE: Whatever you'd like, as long as it is not derogatory.

Q. Watching the last point of the first set, did you go through various emotions as you went through watching that 22 stroke rally?

PAUL ANNACONE: That is one of the best points I have ever seen in my life. I mean, before the match I told Pete to try to get into as many athletic points as he could get in. And I think that was about as quintessentially athletic as you could have a point. You saw two superstars come up with, I don't know, how many different shots, I thought, were point ending, until ultimately, Pete came up with the one that did win the point. So I kind of sat there in awe, as many of the other spectators did, after that one.

Q. Were you at all concerned that Pete was tiring in the latter stages of the third, early fourth?

PAUL ANNACONE: No, he was a little bit stiff but I think it was because it was cold. I actually think it was kind of hard to play. I know from past experience, when I played, when it is cold like this, you actually get stiffer, and physically, I think he felt okay. He was just a little stiff because of the cold weather.

Q. Have you ever coached anybody before?

PAUL ANNACONE: I have helped a young New Jersey boy a little bit by the name of Justin Gimbelstob (phonetic), who I have spent a little time with him, but not on a permanent or regular basis.

Q. What is coaching Pete like?

PAUL ANNACONE: Like I said, it is not major construction. I think that at this level, you don't -- I have never been a person -- my brother coached me; helped me a lot when I played, but I knew that, you know, inevitably, it is up to the person on the court and I am very fortunate, especially in this situation, when the person on the court is one of the best players that ever played tennis. So I think there is little things, that no matter how good you are, you cannot pick up when you play. And Pete knows that and realized that if he has, hopefully, someone that knows a little bit about the game, that has got an easy going personality around, and that can help fill the void a little bit while Timmy is gone, then it can make it easier for him to improve.That is what struck me most from the beginning of my relationship with Pete, even since he was 17, and specifically, in the last nine months, is this guy wants to get better. He wants to win as many of these Majors as he can, but he wants to improve.

Q. Do you have to be Gullikson's shadow or are you Annacone?

PAUL ANNACONE: I hope I am my own person. I have been playing for 12 years on the Tour. I have won a few tournaments. I have been ranked 11 in the world. I think most of the players know me as my own person. I think Tim and I have a good relationship and I have with Tom, his brother and with Pete have had good relationship. I think it was a mutually beneficial situation. I think that it was the easiest way to get something positive out of a very difficult situation and I think that there is no egos involved. I think no one feels threatened and I think that, you know, Tim and I talk about it all the time, the biggest guy is for Timmy to get healthy and for Pete to continue winning tennis matches. If I can play some type of role, however small it will be, I think I will feel happy going to sleep at night.

Q. Pete and Agassi seem to genuinely appreciate this rivalry and that it brings the best out each of them. How unusual is that?

PAUL ANNACONE: I think it is very unusual. I think people in the states are used to everybody hating each other and I think that when you get two rivals that respect each other, but have very different personalities, I think it is a little difficult for people to grasp on to. But Pete and Andre are very different. They realize that, but they both respect the talent levels that each of them possesses. I think that they know on any given day it can be a flip of a coin. So I think that brings out the best in both of them.

Q. Some people said that Pete doesn't have the confidence to attack a lot of times. How come he had that confidence today? What is the difference?

PAUL ANNACONE: We spoke a lot about it and I think he heard it from Tim as well and I think he realizes he has to do that. Andre beat him three out of four times this year. There has to be a reason for that. And I think Pete realized that he had to do something a little bit different and fortunately for him today, he was able to put the pieces together.

Q. Could you just comment --

PAGE CROSLAND: Pete is here.

PAUL ANNACONE: Big man. Show time.

angiel
06-27-2005, 10:46 PM
US OPEN 1996


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angiel
06-27-2005, 10:53 PM
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US Open 1996: This was the last chance for Sampras to take a major after an emotional season. He faced the cagey Alex Corretja in the quarterfinals, and during this 4 hour, 9 minute battle, Pete was badly dehydrated. Drinking Pepsi at the changeovers exacerbated his plight. He threw up on the court during the fifth set tie-break and was slumped over on his racquet between points, fighting courageously, playing solely on adrenaline. At 6-7 in the tie-break, Sampras saved a match point with a superb lunging forehand volley winner. At 7-7, Sampras released a spectacular second serve wide to the forehand with heavy slice for an ace. A stunned Corretja double faulted. Sampras somehow triumphed 7-6 (5), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7). He returned over the weekend to commandingly take the title over Goran Ivanisevic and Michael Chang. Never before had he won a major after facing a match point.

angiel
06-30-2005, 09:41 PM
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Sampras serves up his own tribute


Pete Sampras saved his Grand Slam season and delivered a birthday tribute to a beloved friend by beating longtime rival Michael Chang in straight sets to defend his US Open title.

Sampras, who nearly collapsed on court during a fifth-set tie-breaker in the quarter-finals, was at the top of his game in the final in claiming a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(7-3) victory for his fourth Open crown and eighth Grand Slam championship.

The win was worth US$600,000 to Sampras, who extended his streak to four successive seasons with at least one Grand Slam title on what would have been the 45th birthday of coach and mentor Tim Gullikson, who died this spring of brain cancer.

The top-seeded Sampras also retained his world number one status in fighting off the pesky second-seeded Chang, who would have leapfrogged him in the rankings with a victory.

"It definitely saved my year," said Sampras.

Earlier, Steffi Graf also confirmed her top seeding by beating Monica Seles 7-5, 6-4 to successfully defend her title.

Sampras' powerhouse serve carried him past Chang. But his groundstrokes also had their familiar zing, unlike the form he showed in his painful struggle against unseeded Spaniard Alex Corretja in the quarters.

Sampras said Gullikson was also on his mind.

"Today was Tim's birthday. He would've been 45 today. I was thinking about him a lot all day," he said. "I still feel his spirit. I wouldn't be here without him."

Sampras had his seven broken only once by Chang as he beat him for the ninth time in their last 10 meetings to extend his lead in their personal series to 11-7.

For Sampras it was a booming start, setting the tone with his first swing of the racquet with a sizzling 201km/h service winner.

"I played my best tennis of the entire tournament against Michael," said Sampras.

"The first two sets I played as well as I could, I got off to a great start. It really set the tone."

I'll be back, says beaten but unbowed Chang

Irrepressible Michael Chang delivered a parting message to Pete Sampras after losing to his longtime rival in the US Open final.

"I've seen a heck of a lot of Pete in the juniors since we were eight years old, and whether he likes it or not he is going to be seeing a heck of a lot of me until his career is over," said Chang, who first played Sampras 17 years ago in California.

The pair have carried on their rivalry in the pros, and Sampras' 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) win to defend his Open title was his ninth win over Chang in their past 10 matches.

Despite holding the upper hand now, 25-year-old Sampras knows that Chang will never give up the fight.

"Michael earns his wins and makes his living fighting, and this is his character," said Sampras. "That is what makes him a champion and he will be around for the next five, six, seven, 10 years."

"Chang began his meteoric rise in 1989, becoming, at the French Open, the youngest men's Grand Slam champion. He has now moved up a place in the world rankings to number two…behind Sampras.

angiel
07-07-2005, 07:59 PM
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Sampras gets quick victory over Chang for Open title
By Bill Fleischman

NEW YORK - Pete Sampras was in a hurry to win his fourth U.S. Open championship. While workers were still drying the Louis Armstrong Stadium Court from a downpour following the women's final, Sampras began warming up.

The top-seeded Sampras continued the accelerated pace in the final, mopping up No. 2 seed Michael Chang, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), in just under two hours yesterday.

Playing in his first U.S. Open final, Chang picked the wrong day to try to dethrone Sampras.

``I played one of the best matches of my career,'' Sampras said.

The fans who waited through the 2-1/2-hour rain delay to see the last match on the National Tennis Center's Louis Armstrong Stadium Court didn't get much reward for their patience. With Sampras dictating most points, the men's final was decided in straight sets for the fifth time in the last seven years.

``Ah, it's over,'' a relieved Sampras said as he sat down for the postmatch interview. ``This definitely saved my year. The first two sets, I played about as well as I could.''

With the win, the world's No. 1-ranked player avoided a shutout in the Grand Slam tournaments this year. Sampras's difficult season has included the death in May of his coach and friend, Tim Gullickson, and a gut-wrenching, five-set victory over Spain's Alex Corretja in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Yesterday was Gullickson's birthday. He would have been 45.

``I've been thinking about him all day and all during the match, about things he told me,'' Sampras said. ``I still feel his spirit. He is still very much in my heart.''

Chang, also an Australian Open finalist this year, entered the final with the best summer hardcourt record on the ATP Tour: 22-2. Sampras was third, 13-1. In the Open semifinals, Sampras defeated No. 4 seed Goran Ivanisevic, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3; Chang dismissed a curiously listless Andre Agassi, the No. 6 seed, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Chang's best chance to extend the match and deprive Sampras of his eighth Grand Slam title occurred in the third set. With Chang ahead, 6-5, and Sampras serving, the defending champion faced set point. But a half-volley by Chang clipped the net cord and bounced back. On his third game point, Sampras lashed a backhand winner down the line.

In the tiebreaker, Sampras seized a 6-2 lead. Chang saved the first championship point, but on the one he hit a return long. Sampras raised both arms skyward, then tossed his racket into the stands behind the baseline.

Chang, who is deeply religious, wasn't crushed by the loss. He said he will continue to pursue Sampras because ``the Lord has His timing for everything.''

Sampras, 25, has a different perspective. ``I have never been a big believer in fate or destiny,'' Sampras said. ``I just feel you go out and play and win.''

The final was a continuation of a rivalry that began in junior tennis in California when they were 8 years old. Sampras has won nine of the last 10 meetings with Chang, but there was a time when the player known as ``the Roadrunner'' tormented Sampras.

Although Chang has improved his serve, Sampras still has the bigger serve and more weapons.

Said Chang: ``I wanted to dictate a little better (but) I had quite a few unforced errors. Pete wasn't pressing me. Maybe I was trying to press him too much.''

Chang's major problem was Sampras, who was in ``the zone,'' where everything he did worked.

``It was a great start. Everything was just clicking,'' Sampras said. ``Those are days you just dream about, especially in a final.''

Sampras sees more Grand Slam conquests ahead.

``The title is so much more important to me than the (No. 1) ranking,'' he said. ``The fact that I have won a number of (Grand Slam events) over the past three or four years, the more I want to win them.''

OPEN ENDERS
By winning, Pete Sampras matches John McEnroe's four U.S. Opens. He is one behind Jimmy Connors . . . In 1978, the first year the Open was played at the National Tennis Center, Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert each collected $38,000 for winning the singles titles. Yesterday, Sampras and Steffi Graf each won $600,000.

(c) 1996, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Greg-Pete fan
08-07-2005, 10:43 PM
This picture shows Pete Sampras during U.S. Open 1989 (!). In this tournament Pete beat defending champion Mats Wilander in five dramatic sets and then he was defeated by Jay Berger in the fourth round of U.S. Open. I think it was the first Sampras serious success in his big career :worship: ...

Greg-Pete fan
08-08-2005, 12:02 PM
I found a photo with Sampras and his opponent Jaime Yzaga after their match in the fourth round of U.S. Open 1994 tournament. I scanned this picture from the Polish newspaper. It was dramatic match and Pete was very disappointed, but at the time he didn`t prepare well to this U.S. Open and he was tired too.

Greg-Pete fan
08-08-2005, 01:34 PM
U.S. Open 1992 - Pete lost to Stefan Edberg 6:3,4:6,6:7(5-7),2:6 in final...

Greg-Pete fan
08-09-2005, 06:02 PM
U.S. Open 1997. Pete lost to Petr Korda 7:6 (7-4), 5:7, 6:7 (2-7), 6:3, 6:7 (3-7) in the fourth round after the great match.

Greg-Pete fan
08-15-2005, 10:38 PM
U.S. Open 1998: Pete lost to Patrick Rafter 7:6 (10-8), 4:6, 6:2, 4:6, 3:6 in a dramatic semifinal match :sad:

Greg-Pete fan
08-16-2005, 07:07 PM
U.S. OPEN 1993

angiel
08-29-2005, 11:44 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso/96-04vo.jpg http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso/96-01b.jpg http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso/96-03vo.jpg



1996 US OPEN.

angiel
08-29-2005, 11:47 PM
Sampras, Graf Storm to U.S. Open Titles
Win over Chang `saves my year'
by: Bruce Jenkins, SF Chronicle



New York (Sept 9, 1996)-- They came up together through the junior ranks in Southern California, three wildly different personalities, bonded only in their reputation as the hottest kids around.

Some 15 years later, not a whole lot has changed. They're the best America has to offer, three separate continents on the tennis globe. Andre Agassi is a seeker of eternal coolness. Michael Chang puts everything behind family and religion.

Pete Sampras is mostly into winning.

They were comparing Sampras to the greats of modern tennis yesterday after his 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Chang in the final of the U.S. Open. With his eighth Grand Slam title, he blew past John McEnroe and drew even with Jimmy Connors, Fred Perry, Ivan Lendl and Ken Rosewall (Roy Emerson is the all-time leader with 12). That's Sampras' thing. The other guys might fancy a place in history; Sampras lives, dreams and breathes it.

This was his fourth U.S. Open title and his second straight, but somehow, it was absolutely vital to his status in the game. After he defeated Agassi so impressively in last year's Open final, Tennis Magazine said Sampras ``need never again remind us of how good he is.'' But that really wasn't true. We did need a reminder. More importantly, so did Sampras.

``I hadn't won a Slam this year and that's my whole thing,'' said Sampras. ``It's not like my career would be over if I lost today, but this really saves my year.''

Instead of wondering if he'd ever get over the weighty burdens of his life -- the death of good friend Vitas Gerulaitis, the passing of coach Tim Gullikson, the constant questions about his physical conditioning -- Sampras is back on top, the undisputed No. 1 player in the world. They're throwing out names like Tilden, Budge, Laver and Borg when they talk about Sampras now, because he's just 25 years old and thoroughly obsessed with winning.

``The more I play, the more I want the Slams,'' he said. ``It's not the money, it's not the commercials. It's the titles. That's what I'll be remembered for, and I think about that a lot.''

Sampras probably thought he'd see Agassi, his old buddy, in yesterday's final, which was delayed 2 1/2 hours by an afternoon thunderstorm. Instead there was Chang, who dispatched an oddly spiritless Agassi during Saturday's semifinals. Just another ancient rivalry, Pete figured; he first met Chang when the two were 7 and 8 years old.

``That goes so far back, you wouldn't recognize Pete,'' said Chang. ``I was taller than he was.''

Neither man can remember who won that first match in a 10- and-under regional in Poway (outside San Diego), but Sampras remembers the rest. He remembers being dominated by Chang as he made the transition from two- handed baseliner to a one-handed serve-and-volleyer. He remembers going 1-6 against Chang in the pros, including a straight-set thrashing in the first round of the 1989 French Open -- Chang's only Grand Slam title, as it turns out.

As the years went on, Sampras became a championship player in the mold of his idol, Rod Laver. Chang didn't really change much. He embraced religion, used every opportunity to ``praise the Lord'' in his press conferences and signed every autograph, ``Jesus loves you -- Michael Chang.'' But he was still the quickest, most determined player Sampras had ever seen. Even yesterday, with eight wins in his last nine matches against Chang, Sampras felt a little nervous, like every fighter who ever stepped in against Joe Frazier.

It turned into a rout, more thorough than anyone could have imagined. Sampras steamrolled through the first set and closed it out with a two-point resume of his ability. First came a delicate, cross- court touch volley, picked off his ankles with the backhand, a shot that kissed the net and dropped quietly to the ground. Then came a blistering ace. Touch and power. A vintage slice of Sampras.

In the second set, Sampras scored a critical service break for 5-4 when Chang netted a backhand approach at 30-40. Then he served it out, clinching the set when a Chang forehand sailed long.

This was becoming pure validation for Sampras. Validation of his incredible quarterfinal victory against Alex Corretja, a match that now becomes part of a championship run. Validation of his skills, and his dedication to Tim Gullikson's memory.

``This is one of the best matches I've played in my career,'' said Sampras. ``It was one of those you dream about, where everything's clicking. A couple of times I stopped to thank Tim for all he taught me.''

Chang, true to his soul, gave it a mighty run. If his forehand hadn't caught the net-cord in the 12th game, sitting up so Sampras could unload a cross-court hammer, Chang might have won the third set outright. Instead, there was a tiebreaker. There were massive forehand winners from Sampras, and finally a Chang service return that went long.

``I believe everything happens for a reason, and I'll never count myself out,'' said Chang. ``Pete's been No. 1 pretty much for three years, but I'm No. 2 now. I have to stay positive. Hopefully, I'm the next in line.''

For Sampras, it's more Slams than McEnroe. Tied with Connors. The titles are stacking up like the poker chips of a red-hot card shark. And that's just how he likes it.

angiel
08-30-2005, 10:31 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/Congratu.jpg

angiel
08-30-2005, 10:32 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96usopen.jpg

Greg-Pete fan
08-30-2005, 10:40 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96usopen.jpg

Isn`t it Australian Open 1995?

angiel
09-01-2005, 08:18 PM
Isn`t it Australian Open 1995?



You could be right. :p :p :rolleyes:

angiel
09-01-2005, 08:20 PM
1996 US open.


http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96uscorr.jpg http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96uswave.jpg

angiel
09-01-2005, 08:29 PM
Post Match Interview

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION
1996 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York
September 8, 1996

P. SAMPRAS/M. Chang
6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3)

An interview with: PETE SAMPRAS

PETE SAMPRAS: It's over.

Q. So, has the crash of '96 ended?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, this definitely saved my year. I mean, first two sets today I thought I played about as well as I could. Got off to a great start. Set the tone. What can I say? I mean, these past two weeks I have played my share of great tennis and poor tennis and got through the Corretja match and I never thought I would be here as the winner. But I thought hard and played the best match of the tournament today against Michael, and so it really saves my year. It really does. It wasn't a bad year, but this will definitely make the rest of the '96 season very enjoyable to play.

Q. Matchpoint, you put your arms in the air and you looked to the sky. What were you thinking at that point, Pete?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, today is Tim's birthday. He would have been 45 today and I was thinking about him all day today and all during the match and things he told me to do on the court and I still felt his spirit and even though he is not with us, he is still very much in my heart and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for his help and it was nice. I saw Tom when I was holding up the trophy and that was a nice moment. So, I am just glad it is over. I really -- just didn't really feel like playing another set.

Q. What are one or two things that Tim would have said to you or you thought about before going on?

PETE SAMPRAS: He has always thought, as far as technically on the court, playing Michael, really set the tone. His second serve is attackable and return and smack some forehands because it is one of my best shots. That is something he would have told me. He seen him play for so many years that he knows. I still remember things he has told me, so that would be one thing that he would have said.

Q. When you beat Corretja, did you at that point say this is meant to be?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I thought it could have meant to be at the French, but we all know what happened there. I don't know. Whatever happened, happened. Against Ivanisevic, I felt -- I had a day off after Corretja -- maybe this was meant to be. I don't know. I mean, I have never been a big believer in fate or destiny. I just feel you go out and play and win. That is it. This year has been very difficult at times on and off the court and this really leaves a very happy thought and some really good memories here.

Q. When you won in 1990, you said you were barely conscious. What was happening? How is it different this time?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, 1990 I really - I really couldn't appreciate what it takes to win a major. I was just kind of playing on instinct and kind of in a zone for the past couple of matches. In 1990 and now over the course of the years, I know what it takes to win majors. You need to play great tennis. You need a little bit of luck on your side and back then, it was kind of like a fantasy, the way I played, kind of a dream world and now it takes a lot of hard work and dedication and after Wimbledon and it paid off.

Q. You came out so strong today, did you feel you were in a zone or...

PETE SAMPRAS: I felt -- yeah, I felt a little bit. When I got off, it was a great start. My serve was there, everything was just clicking. Those are days you just dream about, especially in a final and I knew he would come around and start playing better and he did in the third set. He served a lot better and made it tight and I played real solid tiebreaker, hit some good shots and it was one of my best matches I played in my career. I mean, Michael the way he played against Andre, I knew it was going to be a tough battle.

Q. Did you play more different -- kind or beat more different kinds of games in this tournament than in others; you beat Chang's kind of game, Ivanisevic's game?

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, it is hard to say. Each, you know, it is such a contrast playing yesterday against Goran. You don't know what he is going to do; what he is going to serve. Michael, you kind of know what to expect. He is going to be -- stay back. It is a huge contrast. I have played some Majors where I have had a lot of different styles of players, Corretja who stayed back and played kind of a clay court match. You just have to adapt and I did that well today.

Q. You look back at the history head-to-head with Michael which match do you think turned that around for you --

PETE SAMPRAS: I can't remember. I don't know. I don't know. I mean, there was a time where four, five years ago, I was having a lot of trouble against Michael. He was beating me a number of times. I don't know where I beat him. I eventually started getting a hold of his game and playing better and beat him last four, five times.

Q. Eight or nine?

PETE SAMPRAS: Eight or nine.

Q. Is this win sweet enough for you to forget all of your losses this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, the losses have been forgotten for quite a while. You mean what happened at Wimbledon and the French, it happened and it is over, and just try to look ahead, but, you know, my main goal when it is January 1 is to win a major title, and this is my last chance to do it and I did it. So, in a lot of ways, I didn't feel like there was a lot of pressure that my career was over after this if I didn't win it, but I'd say it is a great way to end.

Q. Was there a risk that you might have been putting too much pressure on yourself?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really. The overall picture, I am only 25 and it is not like this is it for me. I mean, I am going to have many more Majors ahead of me and, you know, eventually work hard enough, you are going to win some, and this one is - was the most difficult. I think I have won because of the way I felt physically against Corretja and just past couple of months - this is sweet.

Q. Are you proud of yourself right now?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am, even though, I am pretty stoic. I was in the back with all the boys and real happy, and I am pumped, I really am. I felt -- I just was so glad that shot was out on matchpoint. I just wanted it to be over, you know, Michael, he doesn't give you an inch. He really doesn't. Always fights to the end and I am pumped. I am really happy.

Q. What is the schedule for the rest of the year?

PETE SAMPRAS: I have a couple of weeks off and I play some events over in Europe, Basel and Paris and Stuttgart and ATP Finals in Hannover and -- over in Europe I will be playing.

Q. Four events?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, about four or five events.

Q. Does the fact that Michael is so stubborn make winning this that much better, that you had - that he challenged you; didn't lay down at any point?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I don't think anyone would lay down at this situation, whoever I played in the final. I mean, everyone - whoever I would play today, if it was Andre, wouldn't have laid down, but Michael especially, is a feisty player. He is so competitive and wouldn't give me a point. He is a very tough guy to beat. He makes you earn every point you win, so, you know, it is a rivalry that I have had since we were seven, eight years old growing up in California. I battled with him through the juniors and pros, and, you know, we both have come along way from the junior days and it is a rivalry that will continue, I believe. I mean, he is obviously a great player.

Q. Would it surprise you that he was just in here and he said a couple of things, one, that you are a lot older than he is - ( audience laughter)?

PETE SAMPRAS: A lot taller too.

Q. Right (audience laughter) He said that he is not going away; that he will be pursuing you for a long time. Does that surprise you?

PETE SAMPRAS: That doesn't surprise me at all. Michael earns his wins and makes his living fighting and fighting and fighting and that is his character. That is what makes him a champion and he will be around for the next five, six, seven-- ten years. So he is -- all the guys, Courier, Agassi, Martin -- just go down the list, Michael is going to be one of those guys that is going to be threatening to take the top spot and win major titles.

Q. What makes you a champion? You said that is what makes Michael a champion?

PETE SAMPRAS: I feel like I can do some things, you know, I can my serve and I can stay back and hit the forehand pretty well. I feel like, you know, I have got a pretty good all-around court game. If things aren't working well in one area, I can rely on something else. I don't know. I mean, that is something I really don't think about.

Q. Nothing just technical?

PETE SAMPRAS:

Q. Anything other than technical?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I don't know, I will let you guys conclude that.

Q. You look at your contemporaries and Michael talked about this a little bit growing up and Jim and Andre and David and him and you, yet you are the guy who has got the lion's share of the titles now. Who, going back to those junior years, who is the guy you thought was like really going to be the big player if anyone?

PETE SAMPRAS: All of them. I mean, I always felt Michael and Andre, especially Andre when he was growing up in the juniors by far, of the other guys, he was the most talented; just a matter of him putting it together and Michael -- I didn't know Michael was going to win the French. I thought maybe at such a young age and I think the fact that we had each other to play against and the competition, you know, it really made us better players. We grew up together battling, but I would have to say, you know, all those guys you mentioned, I expected to be in the top 10, top 20 and -- but it was a good rivalry.

Q. Do you think no matter what happens this year you are pretty much No. 1 on the year; you can relax?

PETE SAMPRAS: At this point the ranking can just -- you know, playing today the ranking was up for grabs and I wanted the title. The title is so much more important to me than the ranking. You know, so whatever happens the rest of the year, if I am ended No. 2 or No. 3, I have achieved what I wanted to achieve this year and that was to win a major and so that is it.

Q. Michael was saying that there is always a lucky shot somewhere along the way. He cited Becker's net cord against Rostagno in 1989. Would you put it down to that second serve ace?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, that was against Corretja?

Q. Yeah.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, that was the single shot that I don't know where that came from. I think it came from the man upstairs.

Q. Tim?

PETE SAMPRAS: Tim. Came from Tim. That shot, I will never forget and the reaction of the crowd was awesome. I will never forget those moments when I really could feel the crowd chanting my name Pete and to win, that was awesome. You know, just decided I really didn't want to play the point. I wanted to hit a wide side and it went a lot better than I thought it would.

Q. Understanding that you have been concentrating on winning the title, have you started to get a feel for how intrigued people were with that Corretja match? They are still talking about it.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I purposely, the day after the match, I didn't come out to the site. I didn't really -- unfortunately for you guys -- didn't want to talk about it because I wanted to prepare for Goran, but, you know, everyone has been talking about it and just with the crowd and the vomiting and all that stuff, I guess it was dramatic (audience laughter).

Q. That is a word.

PETE SAMPRAS: So I don't know what to say, I mean, maybe over the next couple of years I will reflect on and see the tape of the match and appreciate it a little bit more than I do now.

Q. Today you came out a half an hour before the match began; hit some balls before the squeegees were even put away. Were you chomping at the bit before you got going and did that help you get such a good start?

PETE SAMPRAS: I got down to the referee's room. I always do that before the match. I was sitting there 2, 3 hours watching the ballgame. You are cooped up all day not really doing anything, it is good to get out and get some fresh air; hit some balls; move around, kind of break a little sweat. I did that. I don't know if it helped me get off to a great start, but I will do it again if it works.

Q. How many Grand Slams have you won?

PETE SAMPRAS: You should know that.

Q. I do.

PETE SAMPRAS: Eight.

Q. Do you know who is next? I'd like to get as many as I can. I'd like to be on the list.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, that I think the fact that I have won a number of them over the past three or four years, the more I want to win them. The other titles are nice, but when it is all and said and done, you look at your career, these matches are going to stand out, the match against Agassi is going to stand out last year and all the Majors that I have won so far will stand out. It is not the money. It is not the commercials. The titles, that is what I will be remembered for and I will think about that a lot.

Q. Since you are so far ahead of your contemporaries in your Grand Slam titles, is it the old guys that are your real competition?

PETE SAMPRAS: No, everyone is competition.

Q. Is the French looming before you since it is the one major you haven't won?

PETE SAMPRAS: I rather not talk about the French (audience laughter) Yeah, I have thought about it, but once it comes around next year, I will prepare a little bit better than I did this year and now I know I can win there with the players I beat there and a surface I feel that I can play well on. I just need a little bit of luck on my side and hopefully one day I can win it. You know, it is in my thoughts, but I don't think about it a lot.

Q. Is the quarterfinal or the win tonight, in your own mind, is your winning last year a special moment --

PETE SAMPRAS: I do not think you can put the one over the other. I mean, last year was a huge moment for Andre and myself. He was the hottest player on the Tour and so much media hype and, you know, a lot of pressure at stake and they are both huge matches, you can't put one over the other. I think this one I got through some tough matches against Novak and Corretja, maybe this could be a little sweeter, but they are all big.

Q. Why does one basketball team always win 120 to 118, it seems that there is a will factor involved?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I don't know if it is so much a will. I think it is the game. I think it is the guy you are playing. I feel like my game matches up pretty well against Michael. I can serve well. I can rally with him, and Michael pretty much has to do what he does best, that is, stay back and grind and come in when he has to. The thing against Michael if you are not playing well, if you are not serving well, it is a tough day. That is, but if I am playing well, I will be dominating and setting the tone, then I believe the match will go my way, so you know, when it comes to a fifth set, you know, then it comes down to will and heart and fortunately we didn't have to go through that.

Q. You talked about the crowd Thursday night. Today it seemed a little bit dead, you were waving the racket actually for the fans to get up and cheer. Had you ever had to do that before?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, the first couple of sets were smooth and they were trying to get Michael into the match and I could feel the crowd trying to spur him on and I just -- I am also American, so (audience laughter) but I think the crowd wanted to see more tennis, I could understand that. It was a very long day for everyone and -- but that tiebreaker was a big moment.

Q. Do you feel like you have the mental, physical and emotional stamina to play at this level and pay the price you pay for another three to five years, say?

PETE SAMPRAS: With some rest and good schedule I believe I can. There is no reason why I can't continue to work hard and even though it is an emotional grind, I do have some time off to regroup; get the batteries charged up again and, you know, prepare my schedule for the Majors and go from there. So I don't see there is no reason why I can't continue to play at this level and contend for major titles and continue to work hard.

End of FastScripts….

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:08 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96uswon0.jpg

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:09 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96us-02.jpg

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:09 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96us-01.jpg

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:10 PM
A VERY SICK PETE SAMPRAS 1996 US Open.

http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/1996uso2/96uspix1.jpg

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:12 PM
1999 US open.

http://216.194.87.192/uso99iii.jpg

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:14 PM
http://216.194.87.192/uso99i.jpg 1999 US open.


The US Open Misses Sampras (US OPEN 1999)


Modified from an ESPN article by Adrian Wojnarowski




Pete Sampras had to listen to it for years. Remember? The U.S. Open had to have Andre Agassi. The tournament needed him, tennis needed him. Without Agassi, it was colorless. Without him, it was unwatchable.

Maybe this is embarrassing to remember now. The Open wasn't the Open without Andre Agassi? Maybe now, everyone will understand the truth. We watched Sampras fight the tears this week on the interview podium, telling us he needed the Open. Worse, it needs him.

So, yes, the U.S. Open lost its soul this week when Sampras withdrew with a back injury. He doesn't get a chance to set the record of 13 Grand Slam championships with a victory. The Open doesn't get a chance to balance its sideshows with his substance. Beyond Sampras, the men have lost No. 2 seed and two-time champion Patrick Rafter with an injury. All the true champions are going home now, it seems. History's on hold.

Nobody needs a coach on tour anymore, as much as they need a therapist. Not that it's not good for the game. The sheer silliness on the women's side sells tickets -- never mind its brilliant young stars on the court. Even so, Sampras is different. He isn't a soap opera, he's a standard. And Rafter? He had a chance to make history, too, with his third straight Open title.

For Sampras, this year, this tournament, was different. Arthur Ashe Stadium was home for him, where he had hoped of vanquishing the record he shares with Roy Emerson. When his peers fell to his feet across the 1990s, Sampras, 28, kept climbing for Emerson and Rod Laver, for Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe.

What happened to Agassi? What happened to Jim Courier? They lost a drive.Sure, Agassi found it again. Thing is, Sampras never took his eye off the ball. When it would have been so understandable for him to ease back, he pushed harder. Sampras just doesn't go down with greats of tennis, he goes down with Jordan and Nicklaus and Ali; with the greatest of sport.

"I believe everything happens for a reason," Sampras said. "These last couple days, I've been trying to figure out that reason. I'm sure it will be very clear to me in six months time, or a year. But right now, I'm overwhelmed."

This wasn't just Sampras' loss, this was tennis' too. The men's side is suffering an identity crisis, unable to make clear it's stars for tomorrow. While the women have Venus and Serena Williams rising into stardom, pushing for Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis, there's a shortage of brilliant young talent for the men. Without Sampras and Rafter now, it's exposed at the Open.

"The next two weeks will be tough emotionally, because I want to be here," Sampras said. "I've been a part of the U.S. Open for every year of my career."

Sure, the Open still will be terrific theatre. When does it disappoint? It's just that we could've used a measure of grace and honor to go with the silly sagas. Remember, tennis needs Andre Agassi, right? For the men, it's his tournament now. Sampras goes home, so does Rafter. The champions walk out the door. History's on hold. Want to leave the Open to Agassi and old man Williams and the rest of the dysfunctional tennis family? That's all right. It'll be a good time.

Just understand that greatness left Ashe Stadium, and nothing replaces that. Not this year, not ever.

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:18 PM
1999 US open.

http://216.194.87.192/uso99ii.jpg

angiel
09-03-2005, 09:22 PM
1997 US open, Pete Sampras.

http://rlbartell.home.comcast.net/usopen/sampras97a.jpg

angiel
09-07-2005, 09:11 PM
1997 US Open, scary pete sampras


http://www.ne.jp/asahi/pete/sampras/images/illust/large/I1997USO_L.gif



This a japaneese photo.

angiel
09-07-2005, 10:37 PM
1997 US Open.


http://turtle.ee.ncku.edu.tw/~zulu/tennis_team/life_photo/tennisstarfilm/sampras/b08013.jpg

angiel
09-07-2005, 10:38 PM
http://turtle.ee.ncku.edu.tw/~zulu/tennis_team/life_photo/tennisstarfilm/sampras/b08003.jpg

angiel
09-07-2005, 10:47 PM
1998 US Open.


http://www2.raisport.rai.it/news/sport/tennis/199809/08/35f4654a02df9/sampras.jpg

angiel
09-08-2005, 11:39 PM
http://66.51.113.130/news/000910award.jpg


Safin & sampras US Open 2000.

angiel
09-08-2005, 11:52 PM
2000 US Open.

http://216.194.87.192/uso2000q.JPG

angiel
09-08-2005, 11:54 PM
http://216.194.87.192/uso2000a.JPG http://216.194.87.192/uso2000b.JPG

angiel
09-08-2005, 11:55 PM
More 2000 photos.

http://216.194.87.192/uso2000c.JPG

angiel
09-09-2005, 10:24 PM
http://66.51.113.130/news/000906a.jpg http://www.sapere.it/tc/img/Sport/US_Open/Sampras.jpg

angiel
09-09-2005, 10:26 PM
http://www.rediff.com/sports/2000/aug/29slide3.jpg

angiel
09-09-2005, 10:27 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/2000_us_open_tennis/news/2000/09/02/first_week/8.jpg http://216.194.87.192/uso2000o.JPG

angiel
09-09-2005, 10:34 PM
Marat & Pete.

http://216.194.87.192/uso2000w.JPG

angiel
09-09-2005, 10:35 PM
See you tomorrow guys - but one more photo before i go.


http://216.194.87.192/uso2000p.JPG



President Clinton.

angiel
09-10-2005, 09:04 PM
2001 US Open


http://home.comcast.net/~ravenhawks/images/2001USsampras.jpg

angiel
09-10-2005, 09:06 PM
http://www.detnews.com/pix/2001/08/29/sposampras200.jpg http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2001/09/05/images/07051021.jpg

angiel
09-10-2005, 09:07 PM
http://www.games.telegraph.co.uk/sport/graphics/2001/09/06/stsamp070901.jpg http://148.245.26.68/lastest/2001/Septiembre/06Sep2001/06de01e1.jpg

Greg-Pete fan
09-10-2005, 11:05 PM
U.S. Open 1995 - Sampras and Courier before their match ;)

angiel
09-12-2005, 09:42 PM
2001 US Open

http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/2001us1/r105.jpg

angiel
09-12-2005, 09:43 PM
http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/2001us1/r108.jpg http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/2001us1/r114.jpg

angiel
09-24-2005, 09:32 PM
2002 US Open.
http://www.smackfu.com/photos/usopen2002/IMG_0183.JPG

Greg-Pete fan
09-29-2005, 08:38 PM
U.S. Open 1990
U.S. Open 1993

Greg-Pete fan
09-29-2005, 08:43 PM
U.S. Open 1995

Greg-Pete fan
09-29-2005, 08:51 PM
U.S. Open 1996

Greg-Pete fan
09-29-2005, 08:55 PM
U.S. Open 2002