Pete Sampras defeated Jim Courier 6:1,6:4 during an exhibition match (day 1 of the JPMorgan Chase Open August 7, 2006 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California)
Photos from this match :)
08-08-2006, 08:34 AM
Two more photos ;)
08-08-2006, 09:02 AM
Another 5 photos from yahoo :)
08-08-2006, 12:26 PM
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Older Sampras still owns Courier
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
CARSON – The meeting Monday night between Pete Sampras and Jim Courier was more of revival than an exhibition.
The legends returned to the hardcourt. One looked balder. Both looked older. Both played slooooower, but nobody who waited past 8:30 p.m. for the last match to begin at The Home Depot Center came to measure the greats against their past greatness.
This was about seeing flashes of the familiar, remembering what tennis used to be. The Americans winning the titles, the Grand Slams. The American men kissing silver trophies after hard-fought matches and starring in the world's best rivalries.
Like Sampras-Courier, this rivalry that hobbled onto the court smelling of mothballs as a kickoff event for week's WTA Tour JPMorgan Chase Open.
It was strange that the biggest draw for this women's event might just turn out to be two men who have left the game. But that's another subject.
On Monday night, the big names delivered a show with Sampras winning, 6-1, 6-4, in 64 minutes.
Sampras, who just picked up the racket in May for the first time since his 2003 retirement, still had his powerful serve and his powerful second serve, his spinning forehand, his slice, his drop shot, his return, and every other weapon that Courier remembered used to hurt him.
The last time the two played in front of a crowd was in 1999 in Key Biscayne, Fla. To them, Monday night felt like getting a classic-rock band back together for reunion concert.
And there was a Rolling Stones farewell-tour quality to the exhibition between the retired pair who combined for 87 career tennis titles, including 18 Grand Slams.
"I enjoyed it (the match) a lot too, except for the losing part," said Courier, who has let his red hair down.
He probably didn't like Sampras' first serve, an ace that tore across the court at 125 mph. Or Sampras' slicing volley that juked him out of his white Nikes. Or Sampras' five-love first-set lead "that happened before I could even blink," Courier said.
"When Pete plays like that he's hard to beat. He was serving right and returning right, and when you put those two together, he's, well, Pete."
This "Ultimate Tennis Celebration" kickoff event for the pro women's tennis event presented an opportunity for the wily Courier, loser to Sampras in 16 of their 20 pro meetings, to exact a mild form of revenge to carry into the sunset - or at least, the poolside happy hour at Leisure World.
Stories had surfaced in the past few months that Courier, who hung up the racket in 2000 with 23 titles, two French Open and two Australian Open championships, had committed himself to training for this trumpeted grudge match.
Meanwhile, the same Internet sources reported Sampras' lackadaisical approach to the publicity-stunt of a tennis match.
While some were typing that Courier was fastidious in his preparation for this match, birddogs apparently nesting in camouflage outside Sampras' Los Angeles compound filled the World Wide Web with reports alleging that the greatest tennis player of his generation - the holder of a 762-222 career record, the top-ranked player for an ATP record 286 weeks from 1993 to 1997, the winner of 64 singles titles (14 Grand Slams) - was going to wing it.
After all, Sampras is only playing three or four days a week now, spending time changing diapers on a second child a little bigger that a can of Wilsons and didn't play many of his greatest hits this summer as part of World TeamTennis' Newport Beach Breakers.
Sampras, who turns 35 Saturday, didn't come out with a walker, but he did some interesting pre-match stretches that begged for Geritol.
Courier, who turns 36 on Thursday, looked more spry, but Sampras kept him rolling from corner to corner, before a breathless blast wide or into the net or at the side panel of the Land Rover parked in the corner of stadium court.
In the second set, Courier put the racket in the hands of a ballboy after he buried a textbook overhead smash in the center of the net. Losing - it was happening again.
Of their 20 meetings, Sampras has met Courier in only one Grand Slam final, defeating him, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, on the grass at Wimbledon in 1993.
Monday night didn't even count for anything. Except to prove these players' legendary status is timeless.
Source: OC Register
08-09-2006, 02:41 AM
Wow Greg, i was so happy to see all those great pics you posted and the news that pete had won...way to go Pete...thanks greg :)
08-09-2006, 11:28 AM
You are nott serious, In the old age true talent really shines through no??? I think it'd be the same if he played agassi (if agassi retired a long time ago too) because they rely on physical strength. Wowwww
08-11-2006, 07:52 AM
That's such awesome news
08-11-2006, 03:12 PM
Thank you Greg, love that article and photos. :wavey:
And most of all pete beat Courier, love it. :worship: :worship:
08-11-2006, 05:32 PM
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Change of pace, Sampras back into tennis three years after retiring
By: Arash Markazi, Sports Illustrated.
August 8, 2006
Pete Sampras had grown restless. While changing diapers and helping his wife, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, around the Beverly Hills home they share with their two sons, Christian and Ryan, Sampras was getting tired of his routine of waking up in the morning and watching cartoons with the kids, then playing golf.
"I wanted to get myself busier," said Sampras, who turns 35 this week. "I wanted to have a little more structured day. It was a general feeling I had within the past year. I was looking around, trying to see what was next."
When he retired from tennis three years ago, Sampras shut the sport out completely. He didn't pick up a racket, watch a match or read a single sentence about the sport that had been his life for the past 25 years.
"When I retired, I just wanted to decompress and get away from the game," he said. "I didn't want to talk about it, read about it; I just wanted to get away from it. It had been my life for so long. I didn't pick up a racket for almost three years after I left. It's like Joe Montana -- I doubt he throws the football around much these days. It's something you just do to move on."
Slowly, though, as the mundane schedule of SpongeBob SquarePants and tee times grew tiresome, Sampras began to think twice about that Wilson ProStaff Original racket sitting in his closet.
"Enough time goes by and then you miss it a little bit," he said. "You don't miss the lifestyle, but you miss the competitive juice when the majors come and go. So a few months ago I said, 'OK, let's hit a few balls and see how it feels.' It came back pretty quickly. It's kind of like riding a bike, and I used to own every bike."
Sampras returned to the court four months ago for the first time since his 2003 retirement to play Robby Ginepri in an exhibition match in Houston. Since then he has played for the Newport Beach Breakers of World Team Tennis and played exhibitions around the country. Monday night he helped kick off the JP Morgan Chase Open at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with a match against his former rival Jim Courier, whom he defeated 6-1, 6-4 in a match that was vintage Sampras, with blazing serves and killer volleys.
"It's a mystery every time I step out there. I don't know what I'm going to do," Sampras said. "I felt good out there tonight. I know Jim's game and I knew what he was going to do, and then I just got into a rhythm and served big and I played very good. I'm not killing myself, I'm practicing three to four days a week and getting back in shape, but it was pretty encouraging, the way I was hitting the ball tonight. It was a little bit of my old self."
During the match, Courier could only nod his head in acceptance and touch the brim of his cap after every Sampras point as the crowd cheered on the seven-time Wimbledon champion and arguably the greatest male tennis player of all time. Sampras laughed during the match and turned to the crowd at one point and said, "How come no one was rooting for me when I was kicking everyone's ass?"
While tennis fans might not have appreciated Sampras' greatness while he was playing -- the 14-time Grand Slam champion was often criticized for being too businesslike on the court and too reclusive off it -- he is beginning to win them over as he rediscovers his appreciation for the game.
"Its good for me to get back, just for my kids to see me," said Sampras, who says he has no intention of returning to the ATP. "My oldest is almost four now and he's beginning to grasp the concept of Daddy playing tennis and people watching him. It's fun for me and it's one thing I do regret that he never did get the chance to see me play at Wimbledon or any other place. But now that I'm playing a few here and there, it gives him a taste of what I used to do."
Source: CNNSI - Sports Illustrated
08-11-2006, 07:03 PM
:worship: :wavey: Great article Greg, and good to see Pete smile. :cool: :cool: