Sampras shows he still has game. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Sampras shows he still has game.

angiel
12-09-2006, 09:37 PM
:worship: :worship: :worship:

http://treywhitaker.blogspot.com/2006%2007%2021%20-%20Sampras%20-%201.jpg


Sampras shows he still has game
By Brian Murphy
Idaho Statesman | Edition Date: 12/09/06

Pete Sampras has lost some of his hair since his days as the world's best tennis player. He doesn't appear, however, to have lost much of his game.

The 35-year-old Sampras headlined the St. Luke's-Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Services (SLIERS) Tennis Shootout on Friday night at Qwest Arena and defeated American pro Robby Ginepri 7-5, 6-3.

He looked like the Sampras of old — or at least the Sampras of four years ago when he retired from competitive tennis.

"When he does some of those overhead shots, I remember those shots," said Boise's Donna Bari, one of the estimated 2,500 fans in attendance.

Sampras, who began playing more this year after going three years without picking up a racket, also displayed his picturesque serve and pinpoint forehand.

"I still want to play good tennis and be competitive for the crowd," said Sampras, the all-time leader in Grand Slam titles with 14. "I'm hitting three, four days a week as opposed to once a week. I'm starting to hone it in a little bit and starting to hit the ball real good."

Sampras lost to Ginepri in Houston earlier this year. They play again tonight near Atlanta.

"He looks more fluid and smoother with his stroke," said Ginepri, a 24-year-old who has two wins on the ATP Tour. "The serve is always going to be there. With the motion that he has, it's never going to break down."

Ginepri said that with a few more months of practice Sampras could crack the top 30 on tour. But Sampras said he is content to play friendly matches.

"I'm just glad I'm starting to play tennis again," he said. "I still have a lot of passion for the sport, still working hard at the sport, but not like I used to. I'm having fun with it. This is what it's all about, giving back to the sport that's been so good to me."

Sampras and Ginepri staged a clinic for several hundred local kids Friday afternoon and stayed for almost a half-hour to sign autographs after the exhibition.

"It was a good match," said Elaine Wolfe of Boise. "It's good for Boise to have that kind oft talent come here."
:worship: :wavey: :D

R.Federer
12-09-2006, 10:16 PM
Any new pictures of Pete?

angiel
12-09-2006, 10:41 PM
Q&A / PETE SAMPRAS

Sampras misses 'rush of standing on Centre Court'

By STEVE HUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/09/06

In 2002, Pete Sampras, one of tennis' greatest champions, slipped quietly into retirement. He and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, concentrated on raising two sons in California, out of the glare of celebrity.

Now 35, he is returning part time to the court. Sampras just finished one short season of World Team Tennis and has embarked on a series of exhibitions.

He is scheduled to play Kennesaw's Robby Ginepri tonight at the Kennesaw State University Convocation Center in a best-of-three-set exhibition. The FedEx Tennis Shootout also features local players competing in a tiebreak shootout format.

Sampras says he has dropped the 10 pounds he gained in retirement, and that his serve has remained in the 130-mph range. His modern-era records — 14 Grand Slam titles, seven Wimbledon championships, a six-year span of being ranked No. 1 in the world — are all being challenged by Roger Federer.

Sampras talked briefly with the AJC's Steve Hummer about his life and his legacy::angel: :worship:


Q: What is the best and the worst part of retiring at 31?

A: Throughout my life, I always had the job and sport in the back of my mind. When you'd go out and have a few beers or go out for a nice dinner, there was always the thought of how it would affect my tennis. [After retiring] I could have some fun and not worry about people trying to knock me out of No. 1.

I do miss the work and the structure and the focus. I miss the high of playing Wimbledon and the other majors. I miss the rush of standing on Centre Court of Wimbledon.

Q: Now that you've begun hitting a tennis ball again, how active do you plan to be?

A: I'm looking to get myself busy again. I'm looking to get a little more structure and focus in my life. I love being with my kids, but a man has to go to work.

I'm playing a little bit now, but nothing like it used to be. I hit some balls three or four times a week. I get to the gym almost every day. We'll just see how it goes next year and take it from there.

Q: Then comes the question: Ever think of making a full-blown comeback?

A: The only time I really think about it – and it's not going to happen, believe me – is around Wimbledon. Especially when I see everybody staying back on the grass. That was something I loved to see.

Q: When you see a guy like Jimmy Connors succeeding as a coach [with Andy Roddick], do you have any interest in that?

A: It has crossed my mind, and people do ask about that. To be a coach takes quite a bit of traveling, and I don't know if I'd like that part. Realistically, I don't see that happening. But I don't know, if someone asks me to do it. ... I do know what to do out there.

Q: Do you get asked more about Roger Federer than yourself anymore?

A: Yeah. How do you think he'll do? How good is he? It will be a comparison for the next number of years.

I really think Roger is going to go on and break most of my records. That's OK. I've reached out and offered him congratulations. I've told him how much I admire and respect what he's been doing.

Q: What are your thoughts on the general state of American tennis?

A: It's good. There used to be myself, Andre [Agassi], Jim [Courier] and Michael [Chang]. That was a pretty dominating era. It's unfair to compare us to Andy [Roddick], James [Blake] and Robby [Ginepri].

Andy has been making some strides with Connors as his coach. James has had a real strong year. It's just that Federer and [Rafael] Nadal are in a class above the rest.

Q: Do you allow yourself in your mind to imagine what it would be like to play [Federer] in both of your primes?

A: I think it would be an interesting matchup. Roger is more of a baseliner; he doesn't like to come in [to the net] as much. I'm all about pace. I think we both would have our fair share of wins. Neither would dominate the other.

Q: Do you watch a lot of tennis anymore?

A: Not a lot. Just the majors.

If something is on television, I may watch it here or there. To watch a match, you might have to sit there for three hours, and that's a long time.




FEDEX TENNIS SHOOTOUT

• When: 7 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Kennesaw State University Convocation Center

• Tickets: $26.50, $45.50, $75.50 (www.etix.com or 1-888-202-3849)

wimbledonfan
12-09-2006, 11:15 PM
Pete is showing that he still has game .

Now he has two wins against quality opponents in Ginepri and Roddick and the man is retired . It's scary to think what he would have done to the tour with everyone playing baseline these days . I'd reckon that he'd win 8 or 9 wimbledons .

Pigpen Stinks
12-09-2006, 11:22 PM
Uhhhh, does George Bastl ring a bell?

Horatio Caine
12-09-2006, 11:57 PM
He wouldn't be at the very top of the game today though...although he'd still be top 50

Deboogle!.
12-10-2006, 12:23 AM
Pete is showing that he still has game .

Now he has two wins against quality opponents in Ginepri and Roddick and the man is retired . It's scary to think what he would have done to the tour with everyone playing baseline these days . I'd reckon that he'd win 8 or 9 wimbledons .OMG, you're calling hit-n-giggle charity exhibitions "quality wins"????? Half the time the results in these things are fixed anyway :haha: I mean I love Pete but come on, what's with the epidemic of taking charity exhibitions seriously this year

speedemonV12
12-10-2006, 01:06 AM
He wouldn't be at the very top of the game today though...although he'd still be top 50


HAHA, He WOULD be at the top of the game. Pete Sampras' game would pick apart the players so quickly now, they wouldn't know what to do. The players on tour today dont get a chance to see the serve and volley aspect of the game. Plus the weight of the ball that Sampras hit is nothing like what the players today are producing. Pete had a Racquet that was 14 ounces, that ball came off like a bowling ball. Returning his shots are like hitting a baseball.

jacobhiggins
12-10-2006, 01:08 AM
If Pete could compete with todays players he would have never retired. He left at the right time, he cant compete with the players these days, no matter how hard he trains.

wimbledonfan
12-10-2006, 01:36 AM
Well he's 35 now so it would be tough for any human being to replicate the success they had when they were in their prime .

A younger Pete would have performed better against baseline players of today .

In fact , I think the Pete of today would beat any current american player on tour . If he trained hard right now , there is no reason why he wouldn't be a top 10 player .

speedemonV12
12-10-2006, 01:49 AM
Im sorry i misunderstood... Now, i think that sampras would have been up there, but not quite at the top, hes to old. In his prime, i think that he would have beaten anyone on tour.

onewoman74
12-10-2006, 02:47 AM
He beat Roddick in the Elton John exhibition...his game looked good. Roddick seemed flustered by Pete's game. I'm not a Pete fan, but he could still beat a lot of guys on the tour.

R.Federer
12-10-2006, 02:54 AM
If Pete could compete with todays players he would have never retired. He left at the right time, he cant compete with the players these days, no matter how hard he trains.

He could have competed, but he would have a much harder time sticking around in the Top 20. A lot more work for a much more physically weary body. Yes he certainly left at a good time, it doesn't get much better than winning the last match of your career in a slam final.

speedemonV12
12-10-2006, 02:56 AM
You guys are making it sounds like its not that good to be sticking around the top20 for Pete, Hes 36 YEARS OLD , of course he would have a hard time sticking around. In his prime, he would have been the best.

R.Federer
12-10-2006, 02:56 AM
OMG, you're calling hit-n-giggle charity exhibitions "quality wins"????? Half the time the results in these things are fixed anyway :haha: I mean I love Pete but come on, what's with the epidemic of taking charity exhibitions seriously this year

It is probably fixed for some people but I don't think any amount of money could have bought Pete's loss to Ginepri in his first big match post retirement. That said, exhibitions are no measure of h2h for a variety of other reasons including lack of motivation, levity of the moment and so on.

spencercarlos
12-10-2006, 02:59 AM
Im sorry i misunderstood... Now, i think that sampras would have been up there, but not quite at the top, hes to old. In his prime, i think that he would have beaten anyone on tour.

Exactly, plus people forget that despite all of Pete greatness he went into a two year titleless from Wimbledon 2000 to Usopen 2002, and i don´t recall him being defeated by serve and volley players. Hewit, Safin, Haas, Roddick, defeated Sampras during the time. And most of them played better tennis after 2002, probably most of them except Hewit, although i think Federer, Safin proved to have too much power for Hewit and prevented him from taking a slam between 2004 and 2005.

If he would play these days i think he could easily get into the top 20, and of course a top 5 on grass, but apart from his serve i don´t think he has enough to challenge Federer on grass.

If Federer disposed of defending champion Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001, it´s scary to think what Federer would do to Sampras these days.

I think he has been thinking a lot of coming back, who knows if he gives it a go at one more Wimbledon try.

atpSUPERMAN
12-10-2006, 03:00 AM
Sampras is still the best player in the world on Grass, not Roger Federer.

Seleshfan
12-10-2006, 03:07 AM
Sampras is still the best player in the world on Grass, not Roger Federer.

Of course he is, and don't forget, he's also still the best player in the world period, not Roger Federer. Federer couldn't beat Ginepri 5 and 3..

Deboogle!.
12-10-2006, 03:18 AM
He beat Roddick in the Elton John exhibition...his game looked good. Roddick seemed flustered by Pete's game. I'm not a Pete fan, but he could still beat a lot of guys on the tour.:haha: I can't believe you're deducing anything about a match that occurred 3 days after the USO Final on the complete opposite coast in WTT 5 game no-ad scoring format :rolls:

Johnny Groove
12-10-2006, 03:20 AM
:haha: I can't believe you're deducing anything about a match that occurred 3 days after the USO Final on the complete opposite coast in WTT 5 game no-ad scoring format :rolls:

are you kidding me? Thats practically the Wimbledon Final!

Deboogle!.
12-10-2006, 03:22 AM
are you kidding me? Thats practically the Wimbledon Final!True, true. Andy and Elton John won the doubles set they played together at that event, that means they like won a slam!!!!!!!!!1111111!!!!!!!!omg!!!!!!

Johnny Groove
12-10-2006, 03:24 AM
True, true. Andy and Elton John won the doubles set they played together at that event, that means they like won a slam!!!!!!!!!1111111!!!!!!!!omg!!!!!!

BrYaaaNsZ11! buTtERS bEtTer! watCH! out!11111 :rocker2:

Deboogle!.
12-10-2006, 03:25 AM
BrYaaaNsZ11! buTtERS bEtTer! watCH! out!11111 :rocker2:Wait, Andy also pretended to be Enrique Iglesias and pretended to serenade Anna K. Can he win a Grammy too PLZ!!!!!!!!!!@@$@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Johnny Groove
12-10-2006, 03:26 AM
Wait, Andy also pretended to be Enrique Iglesias and pretended to serenade Anna K. Can he win a Grammy too PLZ!!!!!!!!!!@@$@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

y jus a griimmy?1?!!? He shud be da prezident!1111 :rocker2:

MisterQ
12-10-2006, 03:27 AM
Sampras knows that his '02 Kooyong Classic victory was a fluke. He is looking for the glory he never had as multiple Kooyong champion. He wishes he were a great exhibitionist, but he's just a sorry voyeur!

Deboogle!.
12-10-2006, 03:28 AM
y jus a griimmy?1?!!? He shud be da prezident!1111 :rocker2::haha: :rolls: Well not JUST A grammy but since this event was SO important and means so much, then surely his performance was worth one of those :p OHH Also, he imitated Pete's serve and still hit an ace. DOES THAT MEAN ANDY IS REALLY PETE TOO OMG@!@#!!!!!!!!!!!!! So maybe he had dissociative identity disorder and was really playing himself!!?!? :crazy:Sampras knows that his '02 Kooyong Classic victory was a fluke. He is looking for the glory he never had as multiple Kooyong champion. He wishes he were a great exhibitionist, but he's just a sorry voyeur!See, you know what's important in tennis!!!!!!!!! Kooyong is just as good as winning 10 grand slams! DUH!
I saw Sampras beat Roddick this year in that charity event for BJK and Elton John. In that match it appeared Sampras still had a great serve and volley game although he didn't look like he was ready to sprint all over in long baseline rallies. Did anyone else see this on The Tennis Channel?:secret: Yes that's what Blaze and I are talking about. Surely the most important event of the year and it surely means Pete should end his retirement!

PamV
12-10-2006, 03:35 AM
Wait, Andy also pretended to be Enrique Iglesias and pretended to serenade Anna K. Can he win a Grammy too PLZ!!!!!!!!!!@@$@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andy goofed around in the mixed doubles but not when he was in the singles set against Sampras. For me it was hard to tell if Andy truly tried his hardest or if perhaps he went easy on Pete because he wanted to give him a boost. At the same time Elton John's team never won the event and Elton was putting pressure on Roddick to win it for him. So who knows?

PamV
12-10-2006, 03:38 AM
I think Pete misses tennis and just wants to get back into it at some level. Maybe he will end up playing in the seniors tour and if he did it would be fun to see him play Courier, Agassi and Rios. I would love it if he would beat Rusedski.

Deboogle!.
12-10-2006, 03:42 AM
Andy goofed around in the mixed doubles but not when he was in the singles set against Sampras. For me it was hard to tell if Andy truly tried his hardest or if perhaps he went easy on Pete because he wanted to give him a boost. At the same time Elton John's team never won the event and Elton was putting pressure on Roddick to win it for him. So who knows?OMG:haha: It was like 3 days after the USO Final. Maybe Andy wasn't really all there physically or mentally? :scratch: :rolls: Who knows if either of them were trying their hardest? But the more important thing is, WHO CARES?! The point is to raise money for charity, for cancer, for kids, for whatever the particular cause of the event is. I really don't think anything about either player, or about Robby, or anything, can be deduced. I mean didn't Sam Warburg and Ramon Delgado both beat Pete this summer in WTT play? I'm sorry, it's just absolutely laughable to me that people take the results of these things seriously. I love Pete as much as anyone, I'd love for Pete to come back to the tour and to compete with the top guys but to say that that's the case because of a couple of charity exhibitions is sort of beyond my comprehension.

Quite frankly, if Andy WAS Going all out and was risking injury in an event like that, right before the davis cup semi and a full fall season, that'd make him pretty freaking stupid.

Johnny Groove
12-10-2006, 03:44 AM
OMG:haha: It was like 3 days after the USO Final. Maybe Andy wasn't really all there physically or mentally? :scratch: :rolls: Who knows if either of them were trying their hardest? But the more important thing is, WHO CARES?! The point is to raise money for charity, for cancer, for kids, for whatever the particular cause of the event is. I really don't think anything about either player, or about Robby, or anything, can be deduced. I mean didn't Sam Warburg and Ramon Delgado both beat Pete this summer in WTT play? I'm sorry, it's just absolutely laughable to me that people take the results of these things seriously. I love Pete as much as anyone, I'd love for Pete to come back to the tour and to compete with the top guys but to say that that's the case because of a couple of charity exhibitions is sort of beyond my comprehension.

Quite frankly, if Andy WAS Going all out and was risking injury in an event like that, right before the davis cup semi and a full fall season, that'd make him pretty freaking stupid.

i also hear that all made a raunchy sex tape after the charity hit-n-giggle. Do you have any further info? :aplot:

MisterQ
12-10-2006, 03:52 AM
i also hear that all made a raunchy sex tape after the charity hit-n-giggle. Do you have any further info? :aplot:

Yes, it was auctioned off at charity Rock-n-rackets to some housewife from Virginia Beach.

kronus12
12-10-2006, 04:24 AM
sampras is a great player but please its a exhibtion match mean nothing more for the fans to enjoy players having fun, Ginepri is a good player not a great player big difference.
Sampras wouldn't even make the top 10 let alone top 20 at his age, remember the usopen was the only tourney he won in two years.
He might make the top 50 that's about it.

R.Federer
12-10-2006, 07:18 AM
Q: What is the best and the worst part of retiring at 31?

A: Throughout my life, I always had the job and sport in the back of my mind. When you'd go out and have a few beers or go out for a nice dinner, there was always the thought of how it would affect my tennis. [After retiring] I could have some fun and not worry about people trying to knock me out of No. 1.

I do miss the work and the structure and the focus. I miss the high of playing Wimbledon and the other majors. I miss the rush of standing on Centre Court of Wimbledon.

Q: Now that you've begun hitting a tennis ball again, how active do you plan to be?

A: I'm looking to get myself busy again. I'm looking to get a little more structure and focus in my life. I love being with my kids, but a man has to go to work.

I'm playing a little bit now, but nothing like it used to be. I hit some balls three or four times a week. I get to the gym almost every day. We'll just see how it goes next year and take it from there.

Q: Then comes the question: Ever think of making a full-blown comeback?

A: The only time I really think about it – and it's not going to happen, believe me – is around Wimbledon. Especially when I see everybody staying back on the grass. That was something I loved to see.

Q: When you see a guy like Jimmy Connors succeeding as a coach [with Andy Roddick], do you have any interest in that?

A: It has crossed my mind, and people do ask about that. To be a coach takes quite a bit of traveling, and I don't know if I'd like that part. Realistically, I don't see that happening. But I don't know, if someone asks me to do it. ... I do know what to do out there.

Q: Do you get asked more about Roger Federer than yourself anymore?

A: Yeah. How do you think he'll do? How good is he? It will be a comparison for the next number of years.

I really think Roger is going to go on and break most of my records. That's OK. I've reached out and offered him congratulations. I've told him how much I admire and respect what he's been doing.

Q: What are your thoughts on the general state of American tennis?

A: It's good. There used to be myself, Andre [Agassi], Jim [Courier] and Michael [Chang]. That was a pretty dominating era. It's unfair to compare us to Andy [Roddick], James [Blake] and Robby [Ginepri].

Andy has been making some strides with Connors as his coach. James has had a real strong year. It's just that Federer and [Rafael] Nadal are in a class above the rest.

Q: Do you allow yourself in your mind to imagine what it would be like to play [Federer] in both of your primes?

A: I think it would be an interesting matchup. Roger is more of a baseliner; he doesn't like to come in [to the net] as much. I'm all about pace. I think we both would have our fair share of wins. Neither would dominate the other.

Q: Do you watch a lot of tennis anymore?

A: Not a lot. Just the majors.

If something is on television, I may watch it here or there. To watch a match, you might have to sit there for three hours, and that's a long time.




http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/stories/2006/12/08/1209sampras.html

atpSUPERMAN
12-10-2006, 10:41 AM
Pete's a smart guy.

nobama
12-10-2006, 11:20 AM
Yes he is, he can keep talking about Roger breaking his records when he knows in the back of his mind just how hard it will be to do it.

Burrow
12-10-2006, 11:21 AM
This man is 35 years old, he hasn't been training, he is only playing 3 or 4 times per week. Please explain why some of you think he can be in the top 20 of the ATP tour? Perhaps top 60/50 but not top 20. As they say, class is forever, form is temporary.

Joyce_23
12-10-2006, 11:34 AM
This man is 35 years old, he hasn't been training, he is only playing 3 or 4 times per week. Please explain why some of you think he can be in the top 20 of the ATP tour?

I never agree with you but hey, there's gotta be a first for everything. ;) I think you are right, the man retired a couple of years ago at the right moment. As a Pete fan I think it's great to see he's playing again and hey, I'm very proud of him for beating Ginepri but real competitive tennis? His body could never take it anymore. You cannot compare exibitions to real pro tennis. That would make Tommy Haas the best player of the year for beating Fed. The fact that you all seem to think he could easily become a top twenty player again is flattering...it makes me oddly proud...but come on. He had his time, now it's up to the new generation.

Pammy
12-10-2006, 07:53 PM
Pete took the revenge with Robby and that's good. Thanks for the short interview!

Mimi
12-11-2006, 02:33 AM
i miss pete :wavey:

Mimi
12-11-2006, 02:56 AM
even it is just an exhibition, i don't think Roby will "let" the older pete won, pete shows he still has game, he still can beat those who are much younger than him :worship:

JW10S
12-11-2006, 03:01 AM
I'm not sure exhibition matches are the best measure of a player's form. Sampras struggled this summer playing WTT. Courier is lobbying hard to get Sampras to join his Outback Champions Tour next year. That would be interesting...

oz_boz
12-11-2006, 10:34 AM
Sampras in his last years on tour wasn't even close to dominating the baseliners of then (2001-2). Why would he fare better now, with many better baseliners and returners of serve, and slowed down game? And saiyng that judging by the result of two EXOS??? Come on. Giving it a serious try he could get into top 50 or maybe 30 at best, his serve is after all arguably the best ever. But competing with Fed, Roddick or even Nadal for the Wimbledon crown? Utterly ridiculous.

Sampras had the best possible ending of his career, and still has a record 14 slams and 286 weeks on the #1 spot, records that Federer still will need some luck and a massive effort to break. He shouldn't ruin it by getting bitchslapped by nobodies 5 years later.

Greg-Pete fan
12-11-2006, 01:33 PM
Great news:worship: :worship: :worship: In this year Pete defeated Ginepri, Roddick and Courier :worship: It is really wonderful that Pete and also Andre Agassi still play some exhibition matches;) They should play together as soon as possible;)

And three photos of Pete from his match against Robby Ginepri;)

Mimi
12-12-2006, 01:55 AM
thanks greg for the great photos :D. I think pete should "re-plant" his hairs and then he gonna looks super good :D :p :devil:

ataptc
12-12-2006, 10:31 AM
:yeah:

Poor Pete - He looks like his baldness is getting worse

angiel
12-12-2006, 06:59 PM
:yeah:

Poor Pete - He looks like his baldness is getting worse

I am going to send some of my hair to him:rolleyes: :p ;)

angiel
12-12-2006, 07:43 PM
:worship: :worship: :worship: :wavey:


Sampras-Ginepri draws 4,000 at Kennesaw State

By STEVE HUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/10/06

Professional tennis — a diluted, non-threatening form of it, anyway — returned to the Atlanta area Saturday night. Pete Sampras and Robbie Ginepri shadowboxed for three sets on a jigsaw SportCourt inside Kennesaw State University's convocation center, more a inter-generational scrimmage than high tournament drama.

This was Walkman vs. iPod. Pager vs. Blackberry. Madonna vs. Aguilera. Mostly for fun.



The old ways, for once, prevailed, 35-year-old Sampras beating 24-year-old Ginepri 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. He now has beaten the kid in two out of three exhibitions.

It was not exactly the Sampras of old, some of that for the better. Carrying on a running conversation with the crowd, he showed a lighter side of himself that he kept well buried while winning 14 Grand Slam titles — half of them at Wimbledon.

"I still have a few tools in the shed," he told the crowd afterwards.

"Growing up and watching a lot of matches on TV, and now playing him, it's a completely different story," said Kennesaw's Ginepri, currently the world's No. 51-ranked player. "It's fun to see how he carries himself on and off the court. Just being around someone with the achievements he has is phenomenal."

Billed as a celebration of tennis in one of America's great tennis towns, Saturday night's FedEx Shootout drew a capacity crowd of 4,000 to the convocation center. Before the two pros took center stage, a procession of players representing the spectrum of tennis in the area sparred in a series of tie-breakers.

And by its numbers, the crowd spoke of an abiding interest in the sport. That brings up the question that has nagged Atlanta for years:

All these players, and no pro tournament anywhere in sight?

You can't throw a marshmallow in Publix most days without hitting an ALTA player buying her tennis-cut sub for that day's match. A metro area that boasts the largest group of recreational tennis players known to civilized man (ALTA has more than 80,000 members, USTA more than 45,000) enjoys basically the same professional exposure as Boise.

Here's the long-standing rap, voiced by Ginepri: "The people here want to play tennis, not go watch it."

After a 17-year run, the ATP's AT&T Challenge went away in 2001, its spot on the calendar sold off to Argentina like a used tractor.

Who could forget the Atlanta Thunder, World Team Tennis champion in 1991 and '92, headlined by Martina Navratilova? Or Davis Cup play and a U.S. Women's Hardcourt Championship doomed by poor attendance? All relics of Atlanta's past, gone with the wind. As relegated to tennis history as catgut.

But on a night when fans packed a make-do tennis arena in the suburbs, maybe the locals have been a little bad-rapped.

"That's a terrible rap," said Bill Oakes, former director of the AT&T Challenge, now working this region for the

USTA and talking tennis on television and radio. "Our worst year ever — 1998 — we drew 67,000 fans over the nine days. When you look at the current tournaments in the United States, Houston, Newport, Las Vegas, San Jose have never drawn more than 67,000."

The AT&T total was more than 100,000 in 1994 when all went according to plan and Sampras, Andre Agassi, Todd Martin and Michael Chang all advanced to the semifinals. That was as good as it ever got.

Oakes said there has been a constant probing of the market to see if there is a spot for Atlanta on the pro calendar. The process is not unlike trying to buy and move an NFL franchise. Oakes said the next opportunity might not come until 2008, when the Houston tournament is expected to relocate.

"I think it's a horrible deal, but, look, until we get a tournament back and we can show we can do it, it's something that's going to stick on us a little bit," he said.

"We get thrown into the same thing with baseball and basketball — the Braves don't draw during the playoffs, nobody goes to see the Hawks, nobody used to go see the Falcons until Michael Vick came along.

"And 'Nobody supports tennis, either' is just kind of added on."

For one night, Ginepri got to show off his stuff — granted not his best, for this is normally his down time — to his neighbors. He only got to play once in the AT&T, as a teenager in qualifying. From the wisps of an exhibition against a towering figure from the previous millennium, might he be able to construct a clear vision of playing more meaningful matches at home?

"We do more events like these, and hopefully good things will come," he said.

angiel
12-12-2006, 08:20 PM
This man is 35 years old, he hasn't been training, he is only playing 3 or 4 times per week. Please explain why some of you think he can be in the top 20 of the ATP tour? Perhaps top 60/50 but not top 20. As they say, class is forever, form is temporary.


I will tell you Safinator2000, most of who are saying that are Roger Federer fans or people who dont have a clue about sports, let say Pete was to come back and topple Federer and all those little youngest on tour today, then we will have something interesting to talk about and they dont want that here, and i agree with you, how do we know what he can achieve on tour now, we dont but we all love to give opinions one way are another, and we think we know it all

Class is forever. form is temporary as you say.:worship: :worship: :worship:

angiel
12-12-2006, 08:32 PM
Any new pictures of Pete?


Yes, here are some , they are some from these expo games last week.:worship: :angel:


Here are a few new photos of him:


http://www.menstennisforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=105601&d=1165792372

http://www.menstennisforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=105612&d=1165843983

http://www.menstennisforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=105613&d=1165843983

nobama
12-12-2006, 09:10 PM
I'm not digging the ankle socks. Does anyone know exactly what racquet he's using? Is it an off the shelf n-code? I noticed he doesn't have the red W painted across his strings.

adee-gee
12-12-2006, 11:54 PM
As they say, class is forever, form is temporary.

Class is forever. form is temporary as you say.:worship: :worship: :worship:
People, the phrase is "form is temporary, class is permanent". That is all :)

angiel
12-13-2006, 04:03 PM
People, the phrase is "form is temporary, class is permanent". That is all :)


Permanent, forever, same difference my friend.:angel: :worship: :wavey:

frenchie
12-13-2006, 04:10 PM
Robby:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

jcempire
12-13-2006, 05:04 PM
I'm a ture Sampras Fan.

But.....

I have to tell you guys, Even He can be top 50, or Top 10, All Meaningless

Cause, We won't see Pete play ATP Tour again

thrust
12-13-2006, 06:27 PM
Pete was playing hurt the last two seasons of his carrer which is why most were shocked he won the USO against a red hot Agassi. He retired because his body was worn out. Now that his body is rejuvinated he has the energy and desire to play again. Perhaps Wimbledon and a warm up grass tourney could be interesting? Otherwise, the senior tour might be a good venue for him. He is, afterall, several years older than Rios and he would be a great draw for the tour.

tangerine_dream
12-13-2006, 07:16 PM
Andy goofed around in the mixed doubles but not when he was in the singles set against Sampras. For me it was hard to tell if Andy truly tried his hardest or if perhaps he went easy on Pete because he wanted to give him a boost. At the same time Elton John's team never won the event and Elton was putting pressure on Roddick to win it for him. So who knows?
Clearly not you.

angiel
12-15-2006, 09:19 PM
I'm a ture Sampras Fan.

But.....

I have to tell you guys, Even He can be top 50, or Top 10, All Meaningless

Cause, We won't see Pete play ATP Tour again


No???:rolleyes: :rolleyes: