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Newz Forum: PFL:OTHER: Pete Sampras Sportznewz Tennis Profile

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posted on Apr, 17 2004 @ 06:18 PM
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.Sportznewz takes a look at tennis legend Pete Sampras.

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 did.Pete Sampras is widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time. Not only has Pete won more Grand Slam titles than any other male tennis player in the Open era, but he continually set new standards for how to play with style, grace, and sportsmanship both on and off the court. To his fans, he's simply the best.

Pete is the son of Greek immigrants, Sam and Georgia Sampras . He is one of four children that include his brother Gus, and his sisters Stella and Marion.He was born in Washington, D.C., the third child. His father was working for the aerospace field for the Department of Defense. At night his father worked at a deli where he was a part owner.Even as a boy, Pete showed signs of having outstanding athletic ability. As a youngster, Pete discovered a tennis racket in the basement of their house in Potomac, Maryland. He used to spend hours hitting balls against the basement walls.In the summer of 1978, the Sampras family drove across the U.S. to Palos Verdes, California, outside of Los Angeles. Sam Sampras had accepted a new job in the aerospace industry. The family was happy about moving into a warm climate. Seven year old Pete Sampras became more and more involved in the game of tennis. Soon the family joined the Peninsula Racquet Club. They played a great deal of tennis together. It was soon apparent that Pete was a tennis Prodigy. At age 11, he could pick up volleys at the service line, and hit low volleys will all the ease in the world.When Sampras was 11, he had the opportunity to trade groundstrokes with Laver, his idol. "Pete was so nervous he couldn't get the ball over the net.

His powerful serve earned him the nickname "Pistol". He was also known for his good all-round game and a strong competitive instinct. He holds the record for the most wins in Grand Slam men's singles events, having won a total of 14 (7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open, and 2 Australian Open). Sampras led the world tennis rankings for six consecutive years, from 1993 to 1998. After a period of time during which he, by his own admission, lacked the drive and hunger needed to remain at the top, Sampras officially retired on August 25, 2003.Sampras's pro career began in 1988. His first victory in a Grand Slam tournament came at the US Open in 1990, when he defeated Andre Agassi. The rivalry between the two men lasted throughout the 1990s. Sampras dominated Wimbledon for much of the 1990s, taking the title there in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Whereas the grass courts of Wimbledon played to Sampras's strengths, his only real weakness was on clay, where the slow surface tended to negate his natural attacking serve-and-volley game, and he never progressed beyond the semi-final stage at the French Open. His businesslike attitude during play and cautious handling of the press led critics to bemoan his lack of charisma, but his natural talent and work ethic meant that Sampras was always able to let his results speak for themselves.

Pete Sampras wasn't playing for today; he was competing for history. And when he won his seventh Wimbledon championship in 2000 for his 13th Grand Slam singles titles, Sampras achieved his goal of winning the most majors.In 2002, he extended his record to 14 by capturing his fifth U.S. Open.Although he earned $43,280,489 on the ATP Tour, it was winning Grand Slams that consumed him. Then he hit a rough patch and Sampras didn't win for 33 tournaments over 26 months. Critics wondered whether he was finished. In September 2002, Sampras at 31 answered them. Seeded 17th, he won the U.S. Open, firing in 33 aces in the final as he defeated Agassi in four sets.That was the last match Sampras played. But it took him almost one year to make that decision. On the first night of the 2003 U.S. Open, he tearfully announced his retirement from tennis.The only thing missing from Sampras' resume was a victory on the French Open clay. He realizes that without it, he might not be regarded as No. 1 all-time, no matter how many Slams titles he won.

The easy-going, hard-hitting Sampras would have traded a dozen of his 64 Tour singles victories for one French Open. Let others play for money; he played for majors.Pete Sampras was one of the last classic serve-volley players, possessed 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 let his racquet do the talking. He does his job. He goes on the court to win a match, not to impress the crowds. He entered tournaments to win them. And when he won them, as he so often did, 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 were rewritten to tell the story of one Pete Sampras.

Quick Stats..

Birthdate: 8/12/1971

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., USA

Residence: Los Angeles, California, USA

Height: 6'1'' (185 cm)

Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)

Plays: Right-handed

Turned Pro: 1988

Singles Record: 762 - 222

Singles Titles: 64

Double Titles: 2

Prize Money: $43,280,489

[Edited on 1/2/05 by TRD]


posted on Apr, 18 2004 @ 04:07 AM
Although i never really liked him his record speaks for itself and he has to be one of the greatest Tennis players ever.

posted on Apr, 18 2004 @ 08:14 AM
YEah, kind of a dull personality, but one hell of a player.

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