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Pete Sampras’ take on the big four for Wimbledon 2011

Pete Sampras ruled Wimbledon. He won at the All England Club seven times, the most titles in more than a century, overpowering opponents with his devastating serve. Tennis, perhaps, has never seen a better second delivery. So who better to discuss this year’s tournament than Sampras, overall a 14-time Grand Slam champion and still a keen follower of the game? In a telephone interview with ESPN.com, Sampras labeled buddy Roger Federer as the “slight” favorite at tennis’ beloved grass-court major, ahead of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Federer is “oozing with confidence” after reaching the French Open final, Sampras said. Sampras praised Nadal, calling him a “machine” who surfaces “once every 25 years,” but cautioned the Spaniard about his workload. He suggested Djokovic, owner of a recent 43-match winning streak, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Sampras refused to play Agassi in exhibition following heated call

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were more Federer-Nadal than McEnroe-Connors. During their careers, the two tennis stars had a rivalry that was mostly confined to the court and didn’t include any petty, off-court troubles. It took retirement for things to get heated. One year after Agassi embarrassed Sampras with awkward jokes made during an exhibition match, Sampras is still holding a grudge. He refused to play his long-time rival last week during a scheduled exhibition in Argentina after a testy phone call with Agassi following their last match. From TENNIS.com: “Andre phoned Pete after that match to tell him he should have slowed down a little bit to make it more entertaining and not take the exhibitions that competitively,” said one of the sources. “The conversation didn’t have a friendly ending and Pete … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

In Retirement, Sampras Looks for Balance

March 28, 2011 – Pete Sampras, winner of 14 Grand Slam singles titles, retired officially in 2003 but has been showing plenty of interest in playing the game of late. He has taken part in exhibitions in the United States, including a match in Madison Square Garden in New York last month against Andre Agassi Tweet … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Sampras Sees Off Muster And Eyes Ivanisevic In Zurich

March 8, 2011 – Pete Sampras beat Thomas Muster 6-3, 7-6(2) at the BNP Paribas Zurich Open, and will now face his old rival Goran Ivanisevic on Wednesday in his second round-robin match. The American needed to fire on all cylinders to see off the super-fit Muster, and ultimately it was his greater weight of shot that told. “I played Thomas a few years ago in Brazil and he’s in much better shape now than he was then,” said Sampras. “He’s hitting the ball well, he served well and he made me work pretty hard there in the second set.” He will now face Ivanisevic, who suffered a straight-sets loss against the in-form Mark Philippoussis, who recently won the Delray Beach ATP Champions Tour event. “Although I got the better of Goran during our … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Sampras’ serve still sizzles

Monday, February 28, 2011 NEW YORK — While Monday’s first match — a 50-something battle between Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe — ended with a sprained-ankle retirement by McEnroe, the main event in the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden was so not old-man doubles. Back in the day, Pete Sampras had the game’s best serve and Andre Agassi usually neutralized that with a peerless return of service. But eight and a half years after Sampras won the last tournament he ever played — the 2002 U.S. Open, over Agassi in the final — that serve overpowered Agassi, early and often. When one ace down the middle went darting into the crowd, Agassi could only smile and widen his eyes in mock horror — or maybe it was real. Sampras, it turns … Read entire article »

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Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils leave them laughing in SAP Open exhibition

Feb 8, 2011 – For the lighter side of tennis, Monday night at HP Pavilion was the place to be. Push-ups, sit-ups, between-point wind sprints, photo breaks … the exhibition match between retired 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras, 39, and up-and-coming French showman Gael Monfils, 24, had a little bit of everything. When it ended, there was even some smack talk. Peeking ahead to an exhibition match against longtime rival Andre Agassi (also retired) at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28, Sampras told the crowd of 4,911, “I’m looking forward to playing Andre. I’m always looking forward to kicking his little (behind).” It was the last laugh in a match filled with them. On the opening night of the SAP Open, Sampras and Monfils ran around the court for a little more than an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011