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PostZamieszczono: 11 lis 2011, 11:35 
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Pete Sampras, Great Soul
by Kim Shanley, TennisOne.com

September 9, 2002

I’m sorry, Pete. I was wrong. I thought you should have retired a year ago. After you won your 13th Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2000, you wanted to give it another year. You wanted the glory one last time, wanted to see, in your own words, if you had one Slam more in you. But it was obvious to me after a full year of trying—and I think to nearly every other tennis fan on the planet—that you didn’t. And when I saw you fall in the first round of the French this year, I knew for sure you didn’t.

Pete, it looked all wrong. Your first serves, those Zeus-like thunderbolts, were now erratic slingshots. Your untouchable second serve, now fodder for the Gaudenzi’s of the world. Sure, you had lost a step, but who could begrudge you that after the million grueling sets you’ve put yourself through? No, it wasn’t the loss of raw speed around the court, but the off-balance and jerky way you moved through your shots that convinced me that the immortal grace you once played with had now deserted you.

When I saw you sitting slumped over, head in your hands, after your loss to the qualifier George Bastl at Wimbledon, my heart ached for you. “Don’t do this to your self, Pete,” I said to myself. “Don’t go out like this, man. You are too great and proud a champion to walk off the stage like this.”

But you stuck to your guns. You said you had another great moment in you. So I settled into watching your opening matches at this year’s U.S. Open with a sinking feeling in my gut that I was going to once again watch you flail after your impossible dream. Until, that is, I saw your serves in your first few games of your opening match. One thunderbolt after another! “Hmmm, I said to myself, this is definitely different.” Then when I saw you hit a few backhand winners in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, I said, now this is really different. You haven’t hit a backhand like that, well, since last year’s U.S. Open. You hung tough with Rusedski for five sets, and somehow pulled it out. Hass falls, Roddick falls. Not only did you have momentum, but the old fluidity had returned. Now you were dictating play, forcing your opponents to feed your forehand, and then unleashing shots that seem to rocket through the court. Even your flex-your-shoulders, cock-of-the walk strut was back!

But Pete, I’m sorry, even after you beat Schalken in the semis, I still couldn’t believe you could do it. After all, you had to face either Hewitt or Agassi in the final without a day’s rest. No day off, that’s what brought your two previous runs at the U.S. Open to a crushing loss in the final. Your body just couldn’t recover. And I knew Hewitt’s or Agassi’s would.

But by the time you walked onto the court Sunday against Andre, you had become Pete Sampras again, the Pete Sampras who had won 13 Grand Slam titles, the Pete Sampras whose cracking serves now once again sent even Agassi, the game’s greatest returner, into a state of near-fatalism. Up two sets to love, what a shock!

But Agassi wasn’t about to give up. Maybe Barbara Streisand didn’t quite get it right when she called Agassi a Zen-master, but there’s no doubt Andre has a big soul. All you have to do is look at the intensity of his gaze as he tries to discern the initial movement of the ball off the server’s racquet to know his being is animated by a burning spirit.

So, Pete, I wasn’t surprised Andre won the third set and, seemingly, was ready to steam-roll you off the court. The magic deserted you towards the end of that third set. The lack of a day off, which had brought your dreams crashing to earth the last two years, had finally caught up with you.

But this is where you surprised me more than at any other time in your amazing run at your 14th Grand Slam championship. You reached deep, pulled yourself together after the 7-5 loss in the third set, and began playing that fourth set with a steely conviction to try to push this one over the top. You reached deep, deep in that final set. Deep, back to your bitter loss to Stefan Edberg in the 1991 Open final. Back to single-handedly winning the 1995 Davis Cup final against Russia and collapsing after a grueling five set win against Andrei Chesnokov. Back to your famous episode against Alex Corretja in the 1996 Open quarter-finals, back to the exhausting last year of your six year run as the number one tennis player in the world, and back to your last grand slam title at Wimbledon, beating Pat Rafter before your family.

Ah, Pete, I’m sorry I doubted you. Like Andre, you have grown a great soul throughout all the years of victories and in the last two years of defeats. No one deserved to hold the champion’s cup above his head more than you on Sunday. Bask in the applause and kudos, they are all deserved. You say you might want to make another run at a Grand Slam title? Go for it, man, I’ll never doubt you again.


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_24.html

_________________
MTT:
Tytuły: US OPEN 2012 -debel, Sztokholm 2012, Australian Open 2013 - debel, Abu Dhabi 2014, Barcelona 2014

Finały: US OPEN 2013, Monte Carlo 2014, Rotterdam 2015

Półfinały: Winston-Salem 2012, Roland Garros 2013, Queens 2013, Wimbledon 13-debel, US OPEN 13-debel, Kuala Lumpur 2013


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PostZamieszczono: 11 lis 2011, 11:35 
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And Baby Makes Pete
by Chris McKendry, ESPN Page2

September 9, 2002

I was not surprised to find myself getting nervous while watching the Pete Sampras-Sjeng Schalken semifinal match Saturday at the U.S. Open. Understand that I think being nervous during a sporting event is a great feeling, because nerves can mean only one thing: that you care. And I did. I wanted Sampras to win. But unlike those who simply wanted one more Sampras-Andre Agassi showdown, my reason had nothing to do with nostalgia and everything to do with priorities, particularly Sampras' new ones.

Though many critics faulted her for Pete Sampras' decline, Bridgette Wilson was the main source of inspiration for his comeback win at the U.S. Open. Finally, after years of total self-absorption, of being No. 1 in tennis first and everything else tied for second, Sampras has his priorities in order ... wife, family, tennis. (Or maybe it's family, wife, tennis.) If in any other industry, a 31-year-old who, after a decade of world domination in his chosen field, suddenly found some balance in his life, everyone would applaud. But apparently this does not hold true for Sampras, who has been called old, unfocused, washed-up, a "victim" of marriage. And not only has his game been under attack, but so has his wife, the actress Bridgette Wilson, currently six months or so pregnant with their first child. She had been "accused of" -- oh, the horror! -- paying more attention to Sampras' career than her own, as if being concerned with the well- being of your spouse is a negative quality. What's next ... when will someone compare her to Yoko Ono, often given "credit" for breaking up the Beatles?

After hearing the questions ... and even asking a few ... I took a step back and realized how absurd the whole line of questioning was.

Maybe it's just that I can empathize with the transition Sampras is going through, as tough decisions concerning family and career are in my very immediate future, too. Currently pregnant with my first child, I'm also learning that everyone seems to think they "know" exactly what I should do. People are constantly telling me how important it is for a parent -- not a care-giver -- to raise the child. Of course, just as many love to remind me of how hard I've worked to build a career, and that I can't stop now. Unsolicited advice has flown my way by the bushel ... and after each win at the U.S. Open, it flew Sampras' way, too.

Consider, for example, these bits of advice, masquerading as questions, just a small sample from a single Sampras press conference:

If fans could get to see the postmatch Sampras, they'd really like him. The robotic champion who offered very little insight or personality at his peak now chats up pregnant reporters about due dates.

Q: Pete, the stock wisdom is, "Marriage is a distraction. He's thinking about somebody else besides himself (which is why your game has deteriorated)." How to you respond to that?

Pete Sampras: (remarkably politely, considering the circumstances) "There were times, five years ago, where tennis was my life. I was consumed with being No. 1. You know, just being on top for so long, I think I kind of had enough. Getting married and having a child on the way gives me balance.

"But even though the years of dominating are over, I still feel like I can win a major. If I didn't believe that, I would not play."

Q: Pete, this is your first Grand Slam as a family. Is it more satisfying?

Sampras: "Yes. It hasn't been easy. I've had a rough year. Putting in a lot of work and getting nothing in return. It was tough ... and I was tough. I was tough to live with at that time. But my wife ... she was the one to talk to me late into the night and she gave me stability. You know, I heard all the negative things being said. It's been rough on our marriage, to be honest, but she stood by me."

Q: Pete, you've had to answer questions over the past two years about whether finding your wife coincided with losing your game. How did this win affect her?

Sampras: "It wasn't fair ... the timing of my breaking the record and getting married. I just felt like I was at a point in my career that was tough after winning 13 Grand Slams. I got married two months later, and I was happy. I met the woman of my dreams and we are going to have a child. I mean, that's what life's about."

That's what life's about!!!

What? Shame on you, Sampras ... retire!

By now, you get the point. Sampras is OK with being ranked lower than No. 1, No. 10, even No. 15 in the world. In other words, he's grown up and gained perspective. Isn't that something we wish more athletes, more workaholics, would do?

The past two years haven't been easy for him. He's pulling away from a very regimented schedule and learning to live. Tennis was his identity for so long and, when his skills slipped, he admitted he lost a bit of confidence. But he kept working to find the mix that worked for him.

If fans could get to see the postmatch Sampras, they'd really like him. The robotic champion who offered very little insight or personality at his peak now chats up pregnant reporters about due dates.

After becoming a bigger winner off the court, Sampras regained his championship form on it. After one late-night match, Sampras was ready to do his press conference and bolt. But he stopped for our interview, looking at pregnant me and saying, "I'd better do this one," so his wife wouldn't be angry with him. (I think he was joking.) The first thing that happened was he asked me a question: When was I due? When I told him -- it's very close to his wife's date -- his face lit up. I'll never forget that look of pure joy.

Throughout his slump, Sampras asked only for what anyone should have, former world champion or ordinary Joe -- the chance to go out on his terms. He said he deserved the right to say when and how he should retire. After winning the Open on Sunday, he's not promising anything. He told me he wants to play Wimbledon once more because he'd hate to end his legendary career there with a loss in the second round on court two, as was his fate this past June. But then again, as he said, beating Agassi at the U.S. Open is a nice way to go out, too. He's going to think about it for a few months.

Final question: "So can you have a family and career?"

Pete Sampras: "You can do both. Jack Nicklaus was married and had kids and he won 18 majors."

Whether Sampras stops at 14 (Grand Slam wins, not children!) is for him and his wife to decide. Their baby is due just about a month before the next major, the Australian Open. This could be a severe test of his new-found delicate life balance.

But somehow I think the new Pistol Pete will do just fine.


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_25.html

_________________
http://www.sportowefakty.pl/tenis

MTT career highlights (13-7):

2017: WTF (W), Sztokholm (W), Hamburg (W), Stuttgart (W), Acapulco (W);
2016: WTF (F), Basel (F), Cincinnati (W), Roland Garros (F), Marsylia (W), Doha (W);
2015: WTF (W), Basel (W), Winston-Salem (W), Hamburg (W), Wimbledon (F), Stuttgart (W), Monte Carlo (F), Indian Wells (F);
2014: Halle (F)


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PostZamieszczono: 11 lis 2011, 11:36 
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The Magic (and Talent) of Pete Sampras
by Matthew Cronin, TennisReporters.net

September 9, 2002

FROM THE U.S. OPEN – When you talk to Pete Sampras, you sometimes think he has turned on on a switch in his head and he becomes a sports cliché automaton, ready to tell you for the zillionth time that the U.S. Open is "our Super Bowl" and that Andre Agassi always "brings out the best in me."

But he really does see and feel life that way and as his coach, Paul Annacone said on Sunday night after Sampras stopped his greatest rival Agassi, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to win his fifth U.S. Open title, the magic and artistry of the insular 31-year-old is best discovered when you watch him caress a backhand drop volley from the service line that trickles over the net.

"The bottom lime is every time he plays a match like this is going to be fun," Annacone said. "He really loves the occasion. As introverted as he is, this is how he shines. He just plays. That's his emotion."

In a nearly three-hour contest that featured all the ebbs and flows of the Hudson River, 14-time Grand Slam champ Sampras overcame a monumental effort by Agassi in the last two sets, cracking his returns when it counted most and volleying with the utmost confidence under pressure.

FROM RUIN TO RESURRECTION
It was a phenomenal title run for Sampras, who hadn't won a title in more than two years entering the Open and had had a poor summer: pummeled in Paris, crash and burning at Wimbledon and sputtering in hard court warm-up tournaments. He had parted ways with coach Jose Higueras after Wimbledon and then asked Annacone to throw him a lifeline.

"He was down in the dumps," Annacone said. "You get tired, doing it for long time, not winning a lot of matches. You're traveling all the time, lose some tiebreakers. There are a million things that happen when you do it all year for 15 years. It's tiring. Everywhere he goes, it's news. It sounds like this is a life of glory and glamor but it can be exhausting. If you do that and your not winning, it's can all lead to a downward spiral and that leads to not being happy on court. But he was ready to turn it around. ... We communicate well together. I seem to say right things and he believed in that. It was either get back to work and push forward and keep trying to get better, or wallow in mediocrity of fade. Luckily, he chose the first."

Sampras said that although he was as depressed as he ever was at any time in his career after he was shocked at Wimbledon, he never lost the faith.

"Struggling and hearing I should stop, the negative tone of the commentary, to get through that and believe in myself at a very tough time means a lot," Sampras said. "It means more than anything because I had to go through the adversity."

Annacone said that Sampras needed to be convinced that he could still impose his will on a large group of players who were thumping him and still had the ability to turn up the heat so high that all comers would be seared by his shot making.

"It's about his approach and trying to play a certain way," Annacone said. "He needed to put being the competition is at the forefront. Nothing else matters but the desire to compete. If you combine that with his talent, that's a lot. He was changing his practice habits. He had been working hard all year, but his practices were negatively connoted where you are so pissed off that you are going to work harder. When you are driven by that stuff, it's hard to radiate a positive feelings when you play the matches."

BACK TO BASICS: SERVE AND VOLLEY
So Annacone and Sampras sat down and figured out why he won 13 Slams and dominated his sport for six years. He needed to get back to his basics, which was to set the tone with the most fearsome, well struck, high variety of serves ever seen of the planet, close at the net as quickly as possible and play threatening, high risk tennis with his returns and groundstrokes.

"All the negative stuff that was written about him was short sighted because when you are that talented you just don't wake up and can't play," Annacone said. "He got to the final of the U.S. Open last year and he got to the final of three other tournaments. The problem with these guys is the bar is so high they only make news when they lose."

Once he arrived in New York, Sampras got a taste of that U.S Open magic again and served and volleyed as well as he has. He played nearly perfectly in the first two sets, taking Agassi completely out of his return games with wicked slice serves to the deuce court, huge flat serves down the middle and big kickers out wide to the ad court. Sampras was crisp on his hard volleys and showed delicate touch with his drop volleys. Moreover, he was aggressive in his return games, rarely allowing Agassi to exhaust him in long back court rallies.

"I was having a hard time getting on his serve, getting off the mark and making any impact at all," Agassi said. "He sensed that and that allowed him to play loose on his return games."

Agassi fought hard to get himself into the third set and began to get a better read on Sampras' serves.

THE FOURTH SET
He had his chances to snare the fourth set, but couldn't break down Sampras and blew two realistic break opportunities. Then Sampras began to crank it up on his return games and Andre was dust once again.

"Everything clicked today," said Sampras, who nailed 84 winners to only 27 from Agassi. "I played as well as I could. I knew he was going to start playing better in the third. I was in the zone for a while. It was hard to keep up that pace against him. He's great. But you have to match his game and I did."

Andre noted that anyone who believed that Pete would never rise from the ashes has no clue as to how to the stuff that legends are made of.

"His game is to be able to raise himself at the right time," Agassi said. "It's gotten tougher for him, but there's a danger in the way he plays and how good he is. Anybody that says different is really ignorant. They don't understand the game because Pete has a lot of weapons."


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_26.html


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PostZamieszczono: 11 lis 2011, 11:37 
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No Term Limits for Sampras Now
by Lisa Neil Harman, LA Times

September 9, 2002

NEW YORK -- That Pete Sampras lost in the second round of a tuneup tournament on Long Island last month wasn't the primary issue. What he said afterward was.

"You have to remember who I am and where I'm playing next week," he said after a three-set loss to Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. "The U.S. Open is where you shine and that is where I hope to shine. I'm not the man to beat, like I once was--Lleyton Hewitt has taken that role--but I'm still one of the favorites. The fear factor is still there in the majors, although maybe not as much as it used to be."

Frankly, it seemed sad at the time. Many read those comments and wondered if Sampras didn't seem a tad deluded. Fear factor? His tournament drought had hit double digits, 33. Once, numbers that high identified with Sampras usually dealt with aces.

Still, Sampras had done too much, and suffered too much, in 2002, and the words passed without commentary. Why pile on when Yevgeny Kafelnikov had already publicly voiced what other players were saying quietly, that Sampras should consider retiring?

The beauty of sport, though--as well as life--is its crazy bounces. On Sunday, one player was left standing at the U.S. Open, Sampras. His greatest rival, Andre Agassi, was dispatched in a stirring four-set final.

The so-called "New Balls" kids--let's put that gimmick in mothballs, please--were long gone. Tommy Haas, in the fourth round, and Andy Roddick, in the quarterfinals, both had been taken out by ... Sampras.

As for the critics? Greg Rusedski, the man whose left foot ended up in his mouth when he suggested that Sampras had lost a step, made it to the second week only because of rain delays, and was dismissed in the third round last Monday by ... Sampras. Kafelnikov didn't even make it through the first week.

Sampras might have sounded like a tennis orphan with his brave words in Long Island. Funny how he turned into a tennis oracle one tournament later.

And so, Sampras the seer was keeping the world off balance about his future in the moments after perhaps his greatest achievement, his fifth U.S. Open title and 14th Grand Slam singles championship.

The victory will allow him the luxury of taking his next step on his own terms. Going out on top is something of an American obsession, really, and Sampras, should he choose to go that route, scripted it perfectly, beating his all-time rival Agassi under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium, hitting 33 aces.

There is no hard-and-fast script, though. Agassi's wife Steffi Graf won her final and most unexpected Grand Slam, the 1999 French Open, after an emotional, injury-riddled journey. Graf could have stopped then, but went on to reach the Wimbledon final in July and retired later that summer.

Losing in the final at Wimbledon did nothing to diminish her storybook French Open victory, and an early or late Sampras loss next year at Wimbledon would not detract from his U.S. Open accomplishment.

Had Sampras thought about who his final opponent at Wimbledon might be?

"You can't predict these things," he said. "[It will be] whoever it is. I mean, I don't know. You wanted a storybook ending, but hopefully, my last Wimbledon will be on Center Court and not Court 12 or 2."

And not against George Bastl, who beat him in the second round this year on Court 2. That was Sampras' low point, and the resulting negativity started to settle into his psyche.

"I wanted to stop on my own terms," he said Sunday after his 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Agassi. "That was the one thing I promised myself, even though I was struggling this year and hearing this and that.

"I've done too much in the game to hear the negative things and start believing it because there was a point I was believing it, maybe this time.

"Having my family, my wife, just kind of kept me going and [Coach Paul Annacone] just kept me positive, and that was huge for me.

"I could step away from the game and feel really good about what I'd done," Sampras said of his attitude before the Open. "But I still felt like I had one more moment, maybe a couple more moments. And it happened today."

Perhaps the solution would be for him to play a drastically reduced schedule, retire from the full-time grind of the tour, and focus on selected Grand Slams.

"I don't think he puts the same effort and the same performance in at a regular tournament," said the retired Boris Becker. "I think if he would play eight Slams a year, he'd make four finals and maybe win one or two."

There is no large looming figure dominating the game, week in and week out. There were four winners at the four Slams this year. Thomas Johansson won the Australian Open, Albert Costa the French Open, Hewitt won at Wimbledon and Sampras here.

The German legend, Becker, talked about the boost Agassi and Sampras gave the sport at the Open.

"All the talk the last couple of weeks [about] whether they're finished or not, I think they've proven a point here," he said. "Hopefully you'll see more of Pete and Andre for the next 12 months because this is what tennis is all about.

"You see Lleyton Hewitt, the current No. 1 against the former No. 1s. This is what tennis needs, to see a comeback from Pete. We don't need to explain how much he'd won. It's good for tennis altogether."


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_27.html

_________________
MTT:
Tytuły: US OPEN 2012 -debel, Sztokholm 2012, Australian Open 2013 - debel, Abu Dhabi 2014, Barcelona 2014

Finały: US OPEN 2013, Monte Carlo 2014, Rotterdam 2015

Półfinały: Winston-Salem 2012, Roland Garros 2013, Queens 2013, Wimbledon 13-debel, US OPEN 13-debel, Kuala Lumpur 2013


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PostZamieszczono: 11 lis 2011, 11:39 
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Sampras Becomes Highflier Again: Veteran Leaves Struggle Behind
by Bud Collins, The Globe and Mail

September 9, 2002

NEW YORK - Pete Sampras came in as a lame duck and departed soaring, transformed as a phoenix in short pants and popping out of the ashes of his career.

You don't find many phoenixes in the Flushing Meadow aviary. Some sparrows, seagulls, and pigeons, but Sampras's once-brilliant career was strictly for the birds when he stepped into Arthur Ashe Stadium 12 days ago to wing it against a stranger from Spain named Albert Portas. Sampras loyalists were relieved after he showed Portas the portal in three sets even though the Spaniard out-aced him, 13-10. At least Pete'll be here manana was the general feeling. You couldn't say that too often this season.

A few more mananas went by and he was still hanging around, thinking maybe he'd apply for phoenix wings. If there was an opening, of course. In his heart he believed that this US Open, in a town of too many ashes, could use a phoenix, a beat-up guy showing the world that he could get off the asphalt floor and fly again.

That looked as likely as Tweety Bird punching out Sylvester, but Pete stuck with it. He'd been going nowhere for 26 months, traveling the planet, picking up endless frequent-flyer miles but essentially treading water, mired in the quicksand of one of the longest slumps since the Washington Generals traveled as foils for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Twenty-six months and 33 tournaments without a title seemed a lifetime on a bread line, even for a millionaire. But the fourth game of the fourth set as he beat Andre Agassi, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, last evening for his fifth US title must have felt almost as long. A deuce of a game - seven of them, as well as two break points - went on and on and on for 20 points.

If Agassi had gotten one of the breakers to go up 3-1, a fifth set would have appeared inevitable, and Pete admitted he was feeling weary. However, as an applicant for a phoenix flyer's license, Sampras just was not going to continue as a lame duck. He kept boring to the net, making stunning volleys and half-volleys with his pass-me-if-you-can attitude.

When Agassi rushed and missed a makeable backhand passer on the second break point to slide into the seventh deuce, his fate was sealed. Sampras held fast to 2-2 and would not budge again. Stretching his male record to 14 major titles, he said, ''that takes the cake. Nobody expected it.''

He was right about that. If you're talking pastry, instead of cake he was the ideal candidate for a custard pie in the face from one of those Laurel and Hardy movies. A fall guy being set up for a series of pratfalls. But that was when Sampras's ranking had plunged to No. 17, and the Lleyton Hewitt bandwagon was rolling along merrily as it had in the final of 2001, making Sampras a hit-and-run victim.

Old pal Andre - ''the toughest I've ever played ... he brings out the best in me'' - did Pete a big favor by taking out Hewitt in Saturday's semis, enabling himself to bring out the best in Pete again.

So the Geezers Gala was maybe their last gavotte in a major showdown, although don't bet against these two admirable antiques tangling again. Now that Pete has been fitted for phoenixing. Their duet filled the Ashe canyon for the first time with 23,157 screaming parishioners, who couldn't quite believe what they were seeing, but were glad they were seeing it.

A few other phoenixes have flitted through the US Championships, but not for considerable years. Big Bill Tilden, the world's only No. 1 guy for six straight years until Sampras came along, had been out of the winner's circle for four years when, at 36, he triumphed again, snatching his seventh title in 1929. Kenny Rosewall, the diminutive Doomsday Stroking Machine out of Australia, saw 14 years slip by between titles, yet won again in 1970 at age 35. But both of them were higher rated than Pete.

There was crow, not cake, for some of us, including me, to munch on, those of us who declared that Pete would never win another major, and blabbed about his curious swan dive off a cliff this year. He arrived in the Meadow batting .556 (20-16). For Sampras that's like Ted Williams hitting .230.

When would this ghastly drought end? Surely not at the US Open. They were lined up to take a swat at Pete, grab a scalp that could be bragged on for years. Guys have always tried to sucker punch ex-heavyweight champs just to say they did it. But nobody landed one. His phoenix suit was armor-plated. He was a born-again crashman, smashing through the put-downs.

No wonder he felt ''awesome,'' and wore a smile wider than the length of his losing streak. A great champion had pulled his greatness out of the dusty trophy case for all of us to look at again. It was a new role for the old champ - lame duck to phoenix in two weeks. It suited him well. After all, when has a phoenix ever served 33 aces, 12 service winners, baked a cake for himself and fricasseed crows for the press?


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_28.html

_________________
MTT:
Tytuły: US OPEN 2012 -debel, Sztokholm 2012, Australian Open 2013 - debel, Abu Dhabi 2014, Barcelona 2014

Finały: US OPEN 2013, Monte Carlo 2014, Rotterdam 2015

Półfinały: Winston-Salem 2012, Roland Garros 2013, Queens 2013, Wimbledon 13-debel, US OPEN 13-debel, Kuala Lumpur 2013


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Pistol Pete Not Ready to Pack it in
Sampras Will Hunt for 15th Major after Glorious Open Title Run

by Bud Collins

September 9, 2002

NEW YORK— Pete Sampras beat Andre Agassi to win the 1990 U.S. Open. Twelve years later, it appears that Sampras is hungry to win another major tournament following his four-set victory over Agassi in this season’s final.

Sampras played very well in his 6-3, 6-4, 5-7 6-4 victory over Agassi in the final match of the ’02 Open. And if Sampras wants to leave the game after winning his fifth Open title, then his run here would serve as a storybook ending. But I don’t think Sampras wants to retire. Despite capturing his 14th major with his triumph here, Pete obviously still enjoys playing and he proved he still has the skills to compete with the top players in the men’s game. Overall, Sampras’ performance here completely took me by surprise and I’ve been forced to change my take on his future. If Sampras stays healthy, I feel he has a good chance to win his eighth Wimbledon title next year. That’s something I wouldn’t have said two weeks ago. But Sampras has not only found his lethal service game, but he is attacking the net aggressively, too.

TURN BACK CLOCK IN FINAL
The clash between two active legends lived up to the hype. Sure, the 31-year-old Sampras and the 32-year-old Agassi combined to make this the oldest U.S. Open final in history. But this match was about great tennis, not age. It seemed as if these guys were in a time warp as they battled like warriors on almost every point.

Agassi and Sampras played against each other the first time in 1989, and Sunday was their 34th-career meeting. Tennis fans have been so fortunate to watch two of the all-time great champions come in together and frankly, it is simply amazing that they are still playing near the top of their games.

In fact, Sampras looked 10 years younger Sunday as he took the first two sets rather quickly against Agassi. However, Agassi, a seven-time major winner himself, wouldn’t give up. He took the third set and put enormous pressure on Sampras in the fourth set. But Sampras wouldn’t budge, pulling off big winners and serves every time it seemed like Agassi was taking control of the match. Overall, Sampras finished with 33 aces in the match, many of them coming at very big moments.

LONG ROAD BACK
Many believed Sampras’ game had fallen off too much to make a big splash at this year’s Open. I didn’t believe that Pete was finished, but I also didn’t think he’d make it past the quarterfinals here and I certainly didn’t expect him to make it to the finals here or at any other major. But again, I have changed my opinion about Sampras’ future.

Remember, Sampras hadn’t won a tournament since Wimbledon in 2000. That’s 26 months ago and as time went on his game — and his ranking — slipped. In fact, Sampras won more than one match in only four of the 14 tournaments he entered before his journey here. That said, there was no reason to believe that Sampras could turn things around so soon. However, the New York crowd put a charge into him throughout the tournament.

Following his victory over Agassi, Sampras admitted that this title run could be his greatest achievement in tennis because of all the struggles he’s had the last two years. While it’s hard to argue with him, I also think it’s clear that Sampras’ triumph here puts a stamp on what has already been an amazing career.

AGASSI COMES UP SHORT
By no means did Agassi roll over for Sampras and hand him the title. The two-time Open champion played well but he wasn’t as sharp as he was in his semifinal performance against top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt on Saturday. Agassi was virtually flawless in that match and it might have been a little too much to expect him to be able to turn in the same type of performance with only a day to rest.

Regardless, Agassi remains one of the top players in the world and he’s still a threat to win every tournament he enters. This great run at the Open proves that he has more than enough game to be a top contender in next year’s majors.


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_29.html


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Aging Sampras in a Class by Himself
by George Gross, Toronto Sun

September 9, 2002

"He's a step and a half slow coming into the net. He's just not the same player. I lost the match. He didn't win the match tonight. He's not playing that great. I'll be surprised if he wins the next match." -- Greg Rusedski, Sept. 2, 2002

Obrazek

These prophetic words were spoken by the former Canadian-turned British tennis traitor after Pete Sampras outlasted him in a five-set match in the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows and went on to win the prestigious tournament for the fifth time. It was Sampras' unprecedented 14th Grand Slam title.

It is painful to have to have to listen to this nouveau-Brit spewing such drivel in front of knowledgeable tennis journalists, who were quite aware that the Sampras at Flushing Meadow wasn't the same Sampras who had failed to win a tournament since capturing the 2000 Wimbledon championship after a virtuoso-like performance in the final against Australia's Patrick Rafter.

It is actually funny to hear Rusedski criticize Sampras since the closest sniff the former ever got of a Grand Slam title was one losing finals appearance in 1997 at the U.S. Open.

Sampras, at 31, is only two years older than the Montreal-born Rusedski and is in a class by himself. He plays the tennis racquet like Paganini used to play the violin. His serve is the most powerful and consistent in the history of the game.

The Californian, soon to become a father, has the most devastating second serve of any player -- present or past. His volleys are, most of the time, out of reach and he can hold his own with such baseliners as Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt.

I don't think I'd be going too much out on a limb to suggest that Pistol Pete Sampras is the best player in modern tennis history. No other player has won as many Grand Slam championships, which includes seven Wimbledons, five U.S. Opens and two Aussie Opens. The only one to escape him is the French Open at Roland Garos with its slow clay courts, ill-suited for a serve and volley player.

Who, then, should follow Sampras on a list of the top 20 tennis players in the modern era? I'm sure that I'll get arguments on that topic, but I've shied away from criticism. If we all were of the same opinion, the world of sport would be a very dull place.

My No. 2 on the list would be the greatest player from Down Under -- Rocket Rod Laver -- whom many consider the best player ever. The left-hander, whose forearm is as large as that of a heavyweight boxer's, excelled at all aspects of the game. He twice completed the Grand Slam sweep -- winning Wimbledon, the French, U.S. and Aussie Opens the same year -- once in 1962 as an amateur and then in 1969 as a pro.

Sliding into third on my list is American Donald Budge, who also won all four Grand Slams in 1938 and dominated tennis in those days on all surfaces.

Following these three is a group of superstars, who ruled the over-the-webbing sport on different occasions: Andre Agassi, who won all four Grand Slam events, albeit not in the same year, is a superb player, even at 32, and just last week gave Sampras a serious run in the U.S. Open final.

Add to that the quartet of Bjorn Borg -- winner of Wimbledon five times in a row -- who retired much too soon from the tennis scene; John McEnroe, probably the best doubles player in history to go with some of his Grand Slam titles in singles; Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Lew Hoad, Stefan Edberg, Ilie Nastase, John Newcombe, Guillermo Vilas, Boris Becker, Roy Emerson, Stan Smith, Ken Rosewall, Arthur Ashe, Fred Perry and Vitas Gerulaitis round out my top 20 list.

Where is Greg Rusedski's name, you may ask? I think he'd make my top 20 list of Canadian tennis players who changed passports to become British tennis players.


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_30.html

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Tytuły: US OPEN 2012 -debel, Sztokholm 2012, Australian Open 2013 - debel, Abu Dhabi 2014, Barcelona 2014

Finały: US OPEN 2013, Monte Carlo 2014, Rotterdam 2015

Półfinały: Winston-Salem 2012, Roland Garros 2013, Queens 2013, Wimbledon 13-debel, US OPEN 13-debel, Kuala Lumpur 2013


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Sampras Victory is Pure Hollywood
by Darryl Richards, FoxSports.com

September 9, 2002

FLUSHING MEADOWS — Pete Sampras fooled everybody.The people who said he was done. The people who didn't think he could win another Grand Slam title. The people who said he was dull and robotic. Before our very eyes, Sampras went Hollywood on us and wrote an unbelievable story at this U.S. Open.

He lost touch with what made him successful, hit rock bottom and then overcame long odds to win the most improbable title of his magnificent career. Sampras beat Andre Agassi, his archrival and the sport's master showman, with a vintage performance of aggressive serve-and-volley tennis.Sampras won his 14th career Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory, bringing a dramatic end to the two most grueling weeks in tennis.

Sampras then showed a flair for the dramatic.He even got the girl in the end. Or is it two girls?With cameras flashing all over Arthur Ashe Stadium, Sampras made his way through the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, exchanging high-fives with spectators and well wishers. When he finally found his pregnant wife, actress Bridgette Wilson, the two shared an embrace that caused women to cry and macho men to have a lump in their throats.U.S. Open central

Everybody went home happy after this one, with the obvious exception of Andre Agassi. Sampras needed this to revive a slumping career. Tennis needed this for a compelling storyline in men's tennis. New York needed this too. It needed to cheer and celebrate an All-America championship as it enters a stressful week of remembrance.

"This one might take the cake," Sampras said. "I never thought anything would surpass what happened at Wimbledon a couple of years ago. But the way I've been going this year, to kind of come through this and play the way I did was awesome."

This is a Hollywood ending, but Sampras isn't ready to say it is the end. Why should he? Michael Jordan had the perfect ending against Utah, but he came back. Sampras wants to go out on his own terms and this U.S. Open showed Sampras is totally capable of setting his own terms.Sampras even had some doubts after his loss to "lucky loser" George Bastl in the second round of Wimbledon. The flight back to Los Angeles was quiet and Sampras felt empty inside. The aura was gone.

Sampras had to re-evaluate everything that made him the most successful Grand Slam men's champion.Sampras stopped listening to his coach Paul Annacone last year and the player-coach relationship grew stale. Sampras decided to try to revitalize his career by switching to Tom Gullikson and switched again and tried to work up magic with Jose Higueras in time for the clay court season. That didn't work. It didn't work because Sampras didn't need to fine-tune his game. He needed to fine-tune his psyche.Only a handful of men could do that in his career. Pete Fischer, the man who convinced Sampras to get rid of his two-hand backhand was one. The late Tim Gullikson was another and Annacone is the third.

Sampras and Annacone stayed in touch throughout the year via e-mail, but when Sampras came back from Wimbledon he wanted Annacone to provide some analysis of his game and some tough love."It was back to work, either push forward and keep trying to get better and do it in the right way with the right frame of mind or wallow around in mediocrity and fade away. Luckily, for all of us, he chose the first," said Annacone."He had been working hard all year but I told him I felt like a lot of his work had been negatively conducted. In other words you are so frustrated you are going to work harder. When it's driven by that stuff it's hard to radiate a positive feeling when you play the matches. It was a 10-minute onversation."

Sampras and Agassi, the players in the oldest U.S. final in the Open Era, showed they aren't done yet. Something amazing happened in the third set when Sampras was on his way to winning this match in straight sets. The crowd, sensing this may be over, began cheering for Agassi with great zeal. They yearned for double faults and missed first serves and Agassi picked up his energy. It wasn't so much that they wanted Sampras, who was beginning to fatigue, to lose. The crowd wanted to see one more set. The crowd wanted to revisit 1995 when both were at their best. The wanted Sampras and Agassi to play their magical point, over and over again and enjoy the greatest men's rivalry since McEnroe-Connors-Borg.

"He can play for an hour where you don't even break a sweat sometimes because he's just taking the rhythm out of the match," Agassi said. "He's playing quick points, getting in, missing a few. Then all of a sudden, he plays a great game and he's off."

Sunday would have been the perfect ending to the rivalry that shaped both Agassi's and Sampras' careers. But if the U.S. Open showed anything, it was that both players are capable of raising their games for two weeks.

Sampras will take some time off to reflect on this accomplishment."I still want to play," Sampras said. "I love to play. To beat a rival like Andre in a major tournament at the U.S. Open is a storybook ending. It might be nice to stop. But …"

There goes Pete getting Hollywood on us again. You know how those guys love equels.


http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_31.html


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2002 US Open Championship
Post-Match Interview


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http://www.samprasfanz.com/news/2002/20020907_pc.html


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Grand Slam no. 14: US Open 2002
http://www.samprasfanz.com/bio/gs14.html

Cytuj:
Pete Sampras - Making History
by: Sally Turkovich (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

It all started when a small kid from California found an old tennis racquet in his basement and started hitting a tennis ball off of a garage door. When the shots began to make dents in the door, they all knew this kid was something special.

Pete Sampras started playing tennis young and makes no plans to stop anytime soon. The man who has a calm demeanor, boyish shyness and the looks of a star proves again and again what so many players, critics and fans can't deny: he can win, and always does. In 1990, when Sampras was only 19 years old and seeded twelfth in the U.S. Open, he slammed his way into the finals and became the youngest man to win the tournament. And we all knew after that first Grand Slam victory there would be no looking back. Over the years, the quiet giant has gone on to win 13 more Grand Slams: 7 Wimbledons, four more U.S. Opens, and two Australian Opens. Sampras's most beloved titles have come on the grasses of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. In 1993, he won his first Wimbledon title, and since that year up to 2000, has gotten to and won in every final, except for a quarterfinal defeat by Richard Krajicek in 1996. He is the winningest man at Wimbledon in the Open Era, tying the all time record of seven titles that was set in the late 1800's. The historic grounds of Wimbledon and the intimate Centre Court has become a home to Sampras, a "cathedral" as he once said. His undeniably flawless grass-court tennis game has made him the best tennis player of his time, and he will undoubtedly go down in the history books as the greatest.

Pete Sampras is one of the last classic serve-volley players, possesses the most effective and powerful serves on tour, and handles himself in a way that could only be described as gentlemanly and reserved. On the court, he lets his racquet do the talking. He does his job. He goes on the court to win a match, not to impress the crowds. He enters tournaments to win them. And when he wins them, as he so often does, his posture gets a little straighter, his eyes get a little brighter and a shy, timid smile of pleasure spreads across his face. It is a truly beautiful moment to watch history be made. And with every new win, every new championship title, history books are being rewritten to tell the story of one Pete Sampras. (Written: Year 2000)


http://www.samprasfanz.com/bio/bio.html


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Kariera Samprasa w obszernym skrócie.

Cytuj:
It just happened. He couldn't explain it or understand it. "I didn't know what I was doing. I was just a new kid. Everything I did worked," Pete Sampras would say later, discussing his Flushing Meadow triumph of 1990 that anointed him as the youngest of all U.S. champions at 19 years, one month. He knows what he's doing now, doing it as "Silky" Sampras, smoothly, uniquely, gliding along a path of greatness in an outwardly unconcerned and effortless manner while mounting a planned and concerted assault on the citadels of the past. Pete knows his tennis history, and was consciously pursuing the man on the spire, Aussie Roy Emerson, who seized 12 major singles championships between 1961 and 1967, the men's record (six Australian, two each French, Wimbledon, U.S.).

Pete razed Emerson's 33-year-old citadel by beating another Queensland country boy, Patrick Rafter, for a thirteenth major at Wimbledon 2000. New century, new record. But in the shadows of dusk that day he also caught up with a ghost, Willie Renshaw. Willie had won seven Wimbledons between 1881 and 1889, and this was the seventh for Pete. Emerson sent his congratulations after being eclipsed, laughing that he hadn't even known of holding a record until Sampras began stalking him, and the press picked up on it.

Pete raised his own stronghold higher at 14 by winning the U.S. Open of 2002, even though he was lurching through his worst year, and a spell dryer than the Sahara - 33 tournaments without a title. At Wimbledon, where he'd won his last four titles consecutively, and strung together 29 straight match wins, Pete lost in the second round to a stranger, No. 145 George Bastl. At Paris, No. 69 Andrea Gaudenzi booted him from the opening round. He even lost on grass, with a two-set lead, in a Davis Cup match at Houston to turf-wary Spaniard Alex Corretja. Never had he been so down and disregarded. Yet Pete, ranked and seeded 17th, was inspired at Flushing Meadow, the scene of his 1989 breakthrough. Then he'd knocked off defending champion Mats Wilander in the second round. But after suffering final-round defeats by 20-year-olds Marat Safin in 2000 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2001, Pete was somehow ready to claim his fifth U.S. title, defeating lifetime rival Andre Agassi in the final, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

It had been a while since Pete had ruled the U.S. Squelching the perpetual motion of Michael Chang in the all-Californian Open final of 1996, he had boosted his majors total to eight. He had passed John McEnroe, Wilander, John Newcombe, RenT Lacoste, Henri Cochet, and Renshaw; and stood even with Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Ken Rosewall and Fred Perry. Now he was within sight of Emerson, Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver's 11, Bill Tilden's 10. Moreover, except for Borg, he was younger than any of them had been at the eighth, and Borg was finished at 25. At that age Pete felt he was just flexing his muscles. Impressive flexing, although he had an off Wimbledon in 1996, losing in the quarters to the new champ Richard Krajicek. Pete was, after all, shooting for his fourth in a row, and had won 25 straight where only Borg (41) and Laver (31) had longer streaks. He would still close out his ninth professional campaign as No. 1 for a fourth consecutive year.

At 6-foot-1i, 175 pounds, with a full head of dark hair, the lanky Greek-blooded high school dropout from Palos Verdes, Calif., was handling his affluence and standing modestly and well. "It's not a good year unless I win two majors. They're what count," he said. But he was happy to salvage 1996 with one, considering the year's heartaches with the death of his coach and best friend, Tim Gullikson, of a brain tumor, which had been discovered at the Australian Open of 1995. Though unprepared for the French, which followed Gullikson's funeral, he made his finest showing in Paris, the one major that has befuddled him, falling in the semis to the champ Yevgeny Kafelnikov. That was after exciting, draining five-set wins over ex-champs Sergi Bruguera and Jim Courier, as well as Todd Martin.


http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Play ... mpras.aspx


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Born Aug. 1, 1971, in Washington, D.C., the right-hander grew up in Southern California. His older sister, Stella Sampras, played professionally and now coaches the women's varsity of her alma mater, UCLA. Brother Gus was tournament director at the former ATP stop in Scottsdale, Ariz. Pete's tennis life was changed at 14 by a pediatrician (and moonlighting tennis pedagogue), Dr. Pete Fisher. Fisher, feeling that Pete's two-handed backhand and baselining were childish, preached volleying, a free-flowing traditional backhand and reverence for the greats of yesteryear in performance and behavior, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall. As Pete grew, so did his vaunted serve, and everything fell into place. Later it was Gullikson, Pete says, "who helped me to grow up, compete, focus, learn to play on grass. I owe so much to him."

Rookie pro Pete was out of his first U.S. Open, 1988, almost before it opened, beaten by Jaime Yzaga, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2, in the first round. But he got a footnote in 1989, deposing the champ, Wilander, reaching the fourth round. The next year he was golden, if "unconscious." A long shot, seeded twelfth and ranked No. 81 when the season commenced, he went through in a spray of aces (100) on a loss of four sets. He showed his mettle by taking out ex-champs Lendl and McEnroe back-to-back. Pete demonstrated authenticity, the fact that he was unstoppable, by coolly sealing off canny third-seeded Lendl's counterattack in the quarters, 6-4,7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, embellishing with 26 aces. "He just kicked my ass," was Andre Agassi's terse summation of unbreakable Pete's 106-minute final-round caper, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Up jumped the name of Oliver Campbell, dead man dispossessed. He had held the record as youngest champ, 19 years, six months. Pete out greened him by five months.

A few months later Pete made a bigger financial splash, collecting a record $2 million for winning the inaugural Grand Slam Cup in Munich over Brad Gilbert. Uncomfortable with all the attention brought by these deeds, and rocketing to No. 5 in the rankings, he actually seemed relieved to have the U.S. title lifted from him in the 1991 quarters by Courier. But he matured, accepted the responsibilities and challenges of life at the top, and became a solid World No. 1 in 1993, repelling all-would-be usurpers for six straight years, topping Jimmy Connors's open era record of five in a row (1974-78). Nothing as imposing had been seen for almost three-quarters of a century since Big Bill Tilden's No. 1 parade of six years (1920-25) in the pre-computer days.

Though Agassi took it away momentarily by beating Pete in the 1995 Australian Open, Sampras struck back in the U.S. final eight months later, dispiriting Andre, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Their hot rivalry stood at 20-14 for Pete at the close of 2002. Other than the six No. 1's, Pete's 12-year World Top Ten residency: No. 5, 1990; No. 6, 1991; No. 3, 1992, 1999, 2000; No. 10, 2001; arid No. 13 in 2002.

Davis Cup was not altogether happy for Pete, especially his jitters-wracked debut in the 1991 final. A raucous, nationalistic French crowd in Lyon unnerved him, and Henri Leconte and Guy Forget pummeled him to defeats, Guy in the clincher that gave the French an unexpected Cup, 3-1. He played a winning right-court doubles part (alongside McEnroe) in the 3-1 Cup victory over Switzerland in 1992. In the 1995 final at Moscow, on a clay court spread especially to spread-eagle him within Olympic Stadium, Pete responded by taking charge in the 3-2 victory over Russia in as glorious a weekend triple as performed by any American abroad. First was a five-set out-grinding of dirt maven Andrei Chesnokov, immediately after which Pete keeled over, exhausted. Then came a nifty duet with Todd Martin in the 7-5, 6-4, 6-3, go-ahead flooring of Andrei Olhovskiy and Kafelnikov. Finally a definitive curtain-lowering riddling of Kafelnikov in a shower of aces (16) and forehand winners (19). All his extraordinary qualities were on display: The grit and stubbornness underlying fluid groundies, thundering serves, casual yet deadly volleys and racing forehands. It all appears so relaxed and glissando, although his head still slumps in adverse moments.

Beneath the calm facade lurk certain physical and emotional frailties, a hereditary blood problem called thalyssemia. This was evident when he collapsed the instant the Chesnokov ordeal ended, and the memorable 1996 evening at Flushing when he lost his lunch but not his title. Ill and vomiting in the conclusive fifth-set tie-breaker of his defining quarter-final win over Alex Corretja, Pete wormed his way out of a match point with a lunging volley. Staggering, he hooked a 90 mph second-serve ace - "I don't know where it came from ... I was out of it" - to give himself match point at 8-7. Where upon, "not wanting to hit another ball" he didn't have to. Corretja lost the only way Pete could win - a double fault. Kismet. "Ah, but that's sweet Pete," says longtime friend and rival, Courier. "Just when you think he's dying, that's when he kills you."

At the close of 2002, he had won 64 of 265 singles tournaments, losing 24 finals. He'd also won two doubles titles. In the majors, he won 14 of 18 finals. His singles W-L record stands at an impressive 762-222 (.776), 203-39 in the majors (.839). Winning more prize money than anyone else, $43,280,489. His most productive season was 1994, winning 10 of 18 singles tournaments on 77-12. In the 1992 Olympics he was beaten in the third round by Russian Andrei Cherkasov. Regardless of how long the game is played he will forever be the Big Man of the Big W.


http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Play ... mpras.aspx

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Tytuły: US OPEN 2012 -debel, Sztokholm 2012, Australian Open 2013 - debel, Abu Dhabi 2014, Barcelona 2014

Finały: US OPEN 2013, Monte Carlo 2014, Rotterdam 2015

Półfinały: Winston-Salem 2012, Roland Garros 2013, Queens 2013, Wimbledon 13-debel, US OPEN 13-debel, Kuala Lumpur 2013


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MAJOR TITLES (14) - Australian singles, 1994, 1997 Wimbledon singles, 1993, 1994, 1995; 1997, 1998, 1999,2000; US. singles, 1990,1993, 1995, 1996, 2002.

OTHER U.S. TITLES (2) - Hard Court singles, 1991, 1992.

DAVIS CUP - 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997,1999, 2000, 2002; record, 15-8 in singles, 4-1 in doubles.

SINGLES RECORD IN THE MAJORS - Australian (45-9), French (24-13), Wimbledon (63-7), US. (71-9).

- Bio Courtesy Bud Collins
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

1988 -- Reached first ATP SF in Schenectady, losing to eventual champion Mayotte, but avenged loss in Detroit later in year for his first career Top 10 win...

1989 -- In doubles, teamed with Courier to win Rome, reach final at Forest Hills and qualify for year-end doubles championship...

1990 -- Won first ATP title in Philadelphia (d. Gomez) and captured first grass court title in Manchester (d. Bloom)...At US Open, upset Lendl, J. McEnroe and Agassi in last three rounds to become youngest men's champion at 19 years, 28 days...

1991 -- Won titles in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Lyon and ATP Tour World Championship in Frankfurt...

1992 -- Won first ATP clay court title in Kitzbuehel (d. Mancini)...

1993 -- Became 11th player to rank No. 1 in singles on April 12...Won eight titles, including first Wimbledon (d. Courier) and second US Open (d. Pioline)...

1994 -- Won career-high 10 titles in 11 finals, including first Australian Open (d. T. Martin), second Wimbledon (d. Ivanisevic) and second ATP Tour World Championship in Frankfurt (d. Becker)...Also won TMS Indian Wells (d. Korda), TMS Miami (d. Agassi) and TMS Roma (d. Becker)...First player to hold No. 1 every week during year since Lendl in 1987 and first to win 10 titles since Lendl in 1989...

1995 -- Won five titles, including his third consecutive Wimbledon (d. Becker) and third US Open (d. Agassi)... Reached four other finals, including the Australian Open and TMS events in Miami and Montreal, losing to Agassi each time...Defeated Agassi in title matches in Indian Wells and the US Open...Helped lead U.S. to Davis Cup title by accounting for all three points in 3-2 victory over Russia in Moscow...Compiled a 7-0 record (6-0 in singles) in Cup play...Held No. 1 for 82 consecutive weeks (from Sept. 13, 1993, to April 3, 1995) before Agassi took over April 10 and held it for 30 weeks until Nov. 5...Regained top spot Nov. 6 after winning Paris-indoor (d. Becker)...First player to surpass $5 million in a season...

1996 -- Won titles in San Jose (d. Agassi), Memphis (d. T. Martin), Hong Kong (d. Chang) and Tokyo (d. Reneberg)...At Roland Garros, pulled out five-set victories over Bruguera (2nd RD), Martin (3rd RD) and Courier (QF) before losing in SF to Kafelnikov...Had his 25-match winning streak at Wimbledon snapped by Krajicek in QF...On hard courts, won Indianapolis (d. Ivanisevic) and his fourth US Open title (d. Chang)...Won his seventh title of year in Basel (d. Dreekmann) and capped year by beating Becker in a five-set , four-hour battle in ATP Tour World Championship final...Led tour with 46-4 record on hard courts...

1 997 -- Joined Connors (1974-78) as only players to finish No. 1 five consecutive years...Ranked No. 1 every week throughout year for second time (1994)...Won eight titles in as many finals, including Grand Slam crowns at Australian Open (d. Moya) and Wimbledon (d. Pioline)...Began season with 17-0 record and three straight titles: Australian Open, San Jose (d. Rusedski) and Philadelphia (d. Rafter)...Won his fourth Wimbledon title in five years and held serve 116 of 118 games...Won TMS Cincinnati (d. Muster)...Helped U.S. to Davis Cup final vs. Sweden only to retire in third set of second match with a left calf muscle strain vs. Larsson...Captured 50th career title at Grand Slam Cup in Munich (d. Rafter) and won his fourth ATP Tour World Championship (d. Kafelnikov)... Earned a career-high $6,498,311...

1998 -- Became first player in ATP Rankings history to finish No. 1 for six consecutive years...Won four titles on as many surfaces for second time in his career (1994) and won his fifth Wimbledon crown (d. Ivanisevic) in five sets...Fired 117 aces in fortnight (most in his career)...Also won three other titles ...

1999 -- Captured all five finals he appeared in during season, including his Grand Slam-tying 12th title at Wimbledon title (d. Agassi)...Appeared in 14 tournaments and played 48 matches, his fewest since 1989, due to injuries...In April, withdrew from two clay court events due to lower back spasms...In August, retired in a match with a right hip flexor strain and one day prior to start of US Open, suffered a herniated disc injury while practicing...Missed two months due to back injury...In first tournament in San Jose, advanced to SF but withdrew due to left leg injury...In June, won first of four straight titles at Queen's Club in London (d. Henman) and followed with his record-breaking sixth Wimbledon title in seven years...Dropped only two sets (broken five times) en route to title and fired 108 aces during fortnight...Continued success during hard court circuit by defeating Agassi in Los Angeles final...In next tournament in Cincinnati, did not lose a set while beating Krajicek (QF), Agassi (SF) and Rafter (F) in last three rounds...On Aug. 20, retired due to hip flexor strain in QF in Indianapolis (vs. Spadea), snapping a 24-match winning streak, second-longest of his career...Ranked No. 1 going into US. Open before back injury in practice forced his withdrawal and drop to No. 3...Missed two months before returning Nov. 2 in Paris-indoor...Saved three match pts. in second round match vs. Clavet but withdrew in next match due to back spasms...Returned for season-ending championship in Hannover and defeated rival Agassi in final (after losing to him in round robin play)...Went 4-1 against Agassi during year (3-0 in finals)...Joined Ivan Lendl as only five-time winner of year-end tournament...Compiled 23-5 record on hard, 12-0 on grass and 4-3 on clay and 17-6 in tie-breaks...

2000 -- The game's all-time leader with 13 Grand Slam singles titles finished in Top 3 for ninth consecutive year, trailing only Jimmy Connors (12) and Ivan Lendl (10) with longer streaks of Top 3 finishes...Only player to win at least one title since 1990û2000 and only player to finish in Top 10 every year during that span...Stands No. 4 in Open Era (since 1968) in titles won...By winning his seventh Wimbledon title he joined Bjorn Borg as only players to win at least one Grand Slam title for eight consecutive years...William Renshaw is only other man to win seven Wimbledon titles, back in 19th century...Played in his fewest tournaments (13) since his rookie year in 1988 and won two titles and was a finalist in two others...Opened year with a SF at Australian Open, losing to rival Agassi in an epic five-set battle...In that match on Jan. 27, he sustained a torn major flexor muscle in his right hip in fourth game of match and he missed 1st RD Davis Cup tie in Zimbabwe...Reached QF at TMS Indian Wells and won first title in Miami (d. Kuerten in final)...Played in Cup tie vs. Czech Republic in his hometown of Los Angeles and lost to Novak in opener but came back in reverse singles to clinch a 3-2 victory by defeating Dosedel in straight sets...On grass, reached final at Queen's in London (l. to Hewitt) and then biggest moment of his career came at All England Club where he won his seventh Wimbledon title in eight years (53-1 record during stretch)...But his record 13th title didn't come easy as he struggled with tendinitis of left shin and foot from his 2nd RD match on...Practiced only once on an off-day since 2nd RD due to injury...In title match against Rafter, lost opening set and trailed 1-4 in 2nd set tie-break before rallying to win breaker, next two sets and break Aussie Roy Emerson's record, which he held since 1967...Played all seven matches on Centre Court...Fired 118 aces and lost serve five times during tournament...Came into US Open and only lost one set in six matches en route to final before falling to Russian star Safin in straight sets...It was his first straight-sets loss in a Grand Slam final...Qualifed for Tennis Masters Cup in Lisbon and lost opening round robin match to Hewitt 7-5 6-0 for first bagel set lost since Roland Garros SF in 1996 to Kafelnikov (a span of 280 matches)...Lost in SF to eventual champion Kuerten...Finished year with 700 career match victories, most among active players...Led ATP in service games won (91 percent) and break points saved (73 percent) and finished No. 5 in aces (666)...

2001 -- Finished in Top 10 for 12th consecutive year, third-longest behind Connors (16) and Lendl (13)...The winningest active player failed to win an ATP title and at least 40 matches for first time since 1989, a Grand Slam crown for first time since 1992 and he finished outside Top 5 for first time since 1991...Reached four finals, including his seventh US Open title match (l. to Hewitt)...Also finalist at TMS Indian Wells, Los Angeles (l. to Agassi in both) and Long Island (l. to Haas)..Had his 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon snapped by Swiss teenager Roger Federer in five sets in 4th RD...His previous loss and only other Centre Court defeat was to Krajicek in QF in 1996...Had a 39-2 career record on Centre Court and 56-2 overall since 1993...At US Open, became first player to beat three former US Open champions en route to final as he beat Rafter (4th RD), rival Agassi in four tie-breaks (without a service break) in one of tournament's greatest matches of all-time and Safin (SF) in a repeat of 2000 final...Going into championship, had streak of 87 consecutive service games won from 2nd RD on but Hewitt broke in first service game and prevailed 76 61 61...Finished No. 6 in aces (627) and No. 7 in service games won (86 percent)...Parted ways in December with coach Paul Annacone and hired Tom Gullikson to begin 2002 season...

2002 -- The all-time leader in Grand Slam singles titles broke over a two-year title drought by capturing his 14th career Grand Slam crown at US Open (14-4 in Slam finals)...Has won at least one Grand Slam title in nine of last 10 years (except 2001)...Fired 144 aces during tournament, including 33 in final, to capture his fifth US Open (in eight finals) and win for first time since 2000 Wimbledon...It was fourth time he defeated Agassi in a Grand Slam final and he improved to 20-14 lifetime against his long-time rival...In breaking 33 tournament drought, at 31 he became oldest to win Open since Ken Rosewall (35) in 1970 and oldest Grand Slam singles winner since Arthur Ashe (31 years, 11 mons.) won Wimbledon in 1975...He joined Rosewall as only players to win Grand Slam titles as a teenager, in 20s and 30s...Did not play rest of season...Finished out of Top 10 (No. 13) and with fewest match victories (27) for first time since 1989...His run of 12 consecutive Top 10 finishes trail only Jimmy Connors' 16 and Ivan Lendl's 13...Prior to US Open, his best results during year came in Houston in April when he reached final (d. Agassi in SF, l. to Roddick) and SF at TMS Indian Wells (l. to Hewitt) in March...Opened season with 4th RD showing at Australian Open (l. to Safin) and lost early at Roland Garros (1st RD to Gaudenzi) and Wimbledon (2nd RD to Bastl in five sets)...It was his earliest exit at All England Club since 1991...Played on U.S. Davis Cup team and went 1-1 in two ties...Worked with three coaches - Tom Gullikson (five weeks), Jose Higueras (from late February through Wimbledon) and back with Paul Annacone (during US Open)...Had a 20-8 record on hard, 5-6 on clay and 2-3 on grass...Despite playing his fewest matches since 1989, finished No. 5 in aces (607, averaging 14.5 per match) and service games won (87 percent)...Went 5-1 vs. left-handers (83-8 against lefties since '94).


http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Play ... mpras.aspx


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Umysł mistrza (fragmenty ebooka po angielsku)


http://www.scribd.com/doc/15826909/A-Ch ... as-Excerpt


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PostZamieszczono: 30 mar 2012, 14:47 
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Doskonały wywiad z Pete'em:

Champions chat: Sampras talks tennis
Cytuj:
(CNN) -- Pete Sampras is one of the legends of men's tennis, holding the record of 286 weeks as world No. 1 -- a position he maintained for an unprecedented six years in a row.

The American sat down for a chat with CNN's Open Court show host Pat Cash, who like Sampras is a former Wimbledon champion.

Sampras was still a boy when Cash won his only grand slam crown in 1987, but went on to notch a record seven championships at the British grass-court event and 14 majors overall -- which was a record until Roger Federer beat it in 2009.

Sampras, now 40, has been retired from top-level tennis for almost a decade, and has two sons with actress wife Bridgette Wilson.

He talks about his post-playing days, his record-breaking achievements, the state of the men's game and why the U.S. can't expect to dominate tennis anymore.

On life after tennis:

"I've been into golf, trying to get into the gym to stay somewhat fit. I've got two boys now, they're active kids.

"Retirement is a work in progress. I try to figure out my day, and what I know about myself is that I need structure. I can't just wake up and watch TV and do nothing. I need a day off working out, seeing the wife, play a little golf, see my kids.

"I've worked hard my whole life, since I was a little kid. But now it's a point in my life now where I can just enjoy it, but at the same time I still need to work."

On his post-retirement exhibition clashes with Roger Federer in 2007 and 2008:

"It was pretty intense. When we signed up to do it, the last thing I wanted to do was play horrible and embarrass myself. I wanted to be respectful.

"Roger was really good, and he's a great guy ... I felt pretty comfortable, I was only 35 at the time, so I was still playing pretty good tennis, but I think the most important thing is that I really got to know Roger.

"He's such a nice guy, good family man. He's quick and he's really good and he's got all the shots and he's a great player, but I just wanted to make sure I didn't make myself look like an idiot. I wanted to play well and I felt like I did that."

On the state of the men's game:

"To have Roger and Rafa Nadal playing -- and Novak Djokovic has now been the dominant player and Murray's getting closer -- it's a great time for tennis, an interesting year. Is there a guy coming through who is going to to dethrone those guys? I don't think so. Berdych, Tsonga? Yeah, they have their moments up to that level, but I think it's a little bit like the '80s with McEnroe and Lendl -- those guys played each other all the time, and we're seeing that today.

"I love watching Roger and Rafa play. I mean the lefty and the righty, the grinder against Roger, who is classic ... Djokovic being a great athlete ... I'm a huge fan of all those guys."

On America's lack of successors to Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Chang and himself:

"It was a freaky time, it really was, and for American fans and media to expect it every 10 years ... let's be realistic. It's unfair to Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick and John Isner. They are really good players but they're nowhere near Roger and Rafa and Djokovic.

"To get to where to I was with Andre and Jim and Michael, it might take another 10, 20 years. I think the world has got a little bit stronger, a little bit better. Guys are pretty hungry out there ... the game has gotten bigger, more people are playing the sport around the world.

"Americans have been a little content, maybe a little soft. It's just not happening at the moment. It seems like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tom Brady, they're like major stars in our country and it seems like tennis has died down a little bit. I don't see anything changing anytime soon. The American media and fans expect Wimbledon winners, guys being number one -- it's pretty hard to do."

On the dying art of serve and volley:

"It's gone. I mean you (Cash), Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, you were the guys that I grew watching play, so I just developed this serve and volley game at a young age. You have to start young. I started at 13, 14 -- if you're 20 and don't serve and volley, it's too late.

"And seeing you play Wimbledon, seeing Boris (Becker) play Wimbledon, it impacted on me -- if I was to win Wimbledon, I needed to get into the net. I decided to serve and volley and do it as a young kid, and at first it was difficult. I love watching Roger, Nadal, Djokovic but it's sad to see Wimbledon today with everyone staying back.

"Technology might be an issue because with these big Babolat rackets, they don't need to volley, you just hit the crap out of the ball. Whereas we grew up with the wood racket, so you had to hit it properly. It'd be nice to have someone come up that serves and volleys. It's definitely a lost art, and it's unfortunate."

On the ATP Tour's 2011 rookie of the year Milos Raonic, widely tipped to be the next Sampras:

"Huge serve, huge second serve. But again, he's not really looking to get in, he's looking to serve big and crack it and then get in. The feel isn't quite there with him, but he doesn't need to do it when you serve so big.

"It's a timing thing, it takes a certain rhythm, practice. (Players) like Milos or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, they serve big, but they're not willing to get into the net on their serve. I'm a fan of all these guys, but serve and volley tennis, unfortunately, has pretty much gone."

On bowing out at the top by winning the 2002 U.S. Open, his final tournament:

"I broke the (grand slam) record when I was 29 -- I went through the next two years trying to find motivation. I just felt week in week out I didn't have it in me anymore, I just wanted to win one more major. I switched coaches, didn't really work out very well with that. I went back to Paul Annacone over the summer, and I just knew I had the game, I just needed to put it together and play that last U.S. Open.

"It was raining a lot that first week, so I had to win five matches in seven days at 31 -- a lot of work at the U.S. Open. To beat Andre (Agassi) at the end was a great ending. Quite honestly, I wasn't planning on retiring, but once Wimbledon came and went for me, I knew I was done -- my heart wasn't in it. I didn't want to practice, I didn't want to play any tennis.

"But it was a great way to end it. It wasn't really my plan, and from being as low as I could be -- losing second round at Wimbledon against (world No. 145) George Bastel, I was like almost in tears -- to come through two months later..."

On being No. 1, beating Connors' record of five successive years at the top of the rankings, and passing Roy Emerson's mark of 12 grand slams in 2000

"The No. 1 was a big deal for me -- six years in a row. I played in Europe for about two months to do it. That was huge for me, that's a big record. To beat Roy Emerson at Wimbledon with my parents there, beating Patrick Rafter, a great Australian, it was great way to do it. It was 9 o'clock at night, it was a storybook ending, quite an emotional time for me.

"So yeah, it was all about being No. 1 and winning majors, that was my goal, and I created a certain lifestyle to really create that. I was very focused, very single-minded. I just needed to be a certain way as far as my personality, so I felt I wanted to win majors and break some records and be world No. 1 as long as I could."

On being a father:

"Right now they are nine and six. They are great kids, I love them. I want them to listen a little better, I want them to do their homework and not give me a hard time and do what I say. I'm taking it in small steps, but I'm not sure they are going to be into tennis. I got them doing tennis lessons every week, and I have them doing golf lessons every weekend, just to try keep them active, get them out of the house.

"We live in a day and age of a lot of computers, Wiis, and iPods -- so much technology -- so I want to get them out of the house. I just want them to be good kids, respectful kids, be nice to people. If they play tennis great, if not, I'm okay with that."

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/30/sport ... =allsearch

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MTT career highlights (13-7):

2017: WTF (W), Sztokholm (W), Hamburg (W), Stuttgart (W), Acapulco (W);
2016: WTF (F), Basel (F), Cincinnati (W), Roland Garros (F), Marsylia (W), Doha (W);
2015: WTF (W), Basel (W), Winston-Salem (W), Hamburg (W), Wimbledon (F), Stuttgart (W), Monte Carlo (F), Indian Wells (F);
2014: Halle (F)


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PostZamieszczono: 09 lip 2012, 18:10 
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Sampras believes Federer cannot break one of his records

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Pete Sampras has called Roger Federer a great player and a great champion. He has also shared that he has now gotten used to Federer breaking his records.

However, the 40-year-old thinks that there is still one record that is out of the reach of Federer. That is Sampras’ record of ending six straight seasons as the world number one.

Giving an interview on Friday, Sampras said, "The only record I think I'll have left will be No. 1 for six years which I think will be tough for anyone to break."

Federer has finished a total of five years as the top ranked player. He ended four straight years as world number in 2004-07 and then in 2009.

The American acknowledged, “Personally I've gotten used to Roger breaking my records."

By winning the 2009 Wimbledon title, Federer broke Sampras’ all-time record of 14 Grand Slams. The American retired from professional tennis after winning his last Major championship at the 2002 US Open, at a time when Federer had not won even a single Grand Slam. The Swiss Maestro grabbed his first Grand Slam at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships and went on to win his 16th Major at the 2010 Aussie Open.

Now Federer is aiming to equal two more of Sampras’ records by winning this year’s Wimbledon Championships. If the Swiss legend beats home favourite Andy Murray in the final on Sunday, he will level the American’s record of seven Wimbledon titles and most weeks as the world number one. Sampras remained at the top of the world rankings for a record 286 weeks and Federer is only one short of it with 285.

Sampras continued to say, "I've always felt Roger's the sort of guy that, if I'm going to see my records broken, I'd hope that it's someone like him. I like his game. I like what he's about. Just a very classy player. And we're friends. Maybe makes it a little bit easier that it's someone I genuinely like and consider a friend."

The former world number one thinks that Federer is the favorite to win the final on Sunday and equal his records.


http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Sampras-b ... o4764.html

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MTT:
W: Kuala Lumpur 09, Memphis 10, Eastbourne 10, World Tour Finals 10, Cincinnati 12, Auckland 14, Sydney 16, Quito 17, Buenos Aires 17, Halle 17, Umag 17
F: Metz 09, Basel 09, Johannesburg 10, Stuttgart 10, Toronto 10, Valencia 10, San Jose 11, Buenos Aires 16, Miami 17, Tokyo 17
Roland Garros & US Open doubles champion, Olympic silver & bronze medalist, World Team Cup 2010 winner.


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