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Sampras leaves wiggle room for more Grand Slam play

[May 19, 2003 Christopher Clarey] Pete Sampras’s decision last week to withdraw from the French Open and Wimbledon probably signals the end of the most remarkable tennis career in the past 30 years. But that does not mean Sampras, the winner of a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, has retired. He still wants to leave himself enough wiggle room for the second thoughts that might surface in the months ahead, particularly when he watches Wimbledon begin from afar for the first time since 1988. “I am not ready to close the door quite yet on my career,” he said when interviewed by ABC television Thursday in Los Angeles during a National Basketball Association playoff game in which his beloved Lakers were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs. Sampras, 31, has not played … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

A classy exit for Pete Sampras

[May. 16, 2003 MELISSA ISAACSON, Chicago Tribune] He never did cozy up to the idea of retirement and perhaps he never will. But Pete Sampras always had a much better feel for his internal clock than any expert or opponent ever did, and so we watch now as he orchestrates the close of his career in his own way, in his own time and yes, on his own terms. The end for one of the greatest tennis players of all time appears to be in sight with Sampras’ withdrawal from Wimbledon this week. He had pulled out of every event he was scheduled to play this year, so the significance of Sampras missing Wimbledon should not be lost, and not simply because it is where he won half of his 14 grand … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Game, set and match likely as Sampras declines Wimbledon start

By Bill Dwyre in Los AngelesMay 17 2003 Pete Sampras, whose status as a tennis legend is best represented by his record 14 major titles, has probably played his last competitive match. Through his coach, Paul Annacone, Sampras withdrew on Thursday from three tournaments that were holding entry spots for him. One was Wimbledon. “Yes, for me not to be at Wimbledon, I guess that’s big,” Sampras said from his home in Beverly Hills, California. Seven of Sampras’s 14 grand slam titles came on the sacred grass of Wimbledon, where, in 2000, he beat Australian Patrick Rafter in the final. That gave Sampras his record-breaking 13th grand slam title, topping by one the standard established by Australian Roy Emerson in 1967. Sampras beat Rafter after losing the first set and trailing in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Sampras Retirement Is a Know-When Situation

By Bill Dwyre, Times Staff Writer Pete Sampras was at the Laker game Thursday night. The tennis star said before the game he was a little bummed. “If only Horry’s shot had gone in,” he said. “I would feel a lot better now.” If only Sampras would stay around for a while longer, the tennis world would feel a lot better now. But he is not. Most likely, we have seen the last of a magnificent talent. A maestro has put down his violin. Once, we had Agassi and Sampras. Now we have Rodgers and no Hammerstein. For years, we took for granted that with “Breakfast at Wimbledon” came that tall, handsome, Greek American, rocking back at the service line and then, as smooth as vanilla ice cream on chocolate cake, exploding forward with an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Pete’s Interview at NBA (Video Link)

Excerpts — Q: It was announced on the ABC broadcast that you have pulled out of Wimbledon and are considering retiring. Pete: Yeah, I pulled out of Wimbledon. Retirement… I’m not quite there yet. I’m gonna see how I feel in the next few months. There could be a chance I’ll play next year but my heart isn’t in the game right now – it really isn’t. Q: When did you make the decision to pull out of Wimbledon? Pete: Probably about 3 weeks ago in my mind. I start doing some work – working out, starting to practise a little. But after about the fourth day of practising, I felt my heart wasn’t into it. Q: Do you have a timeline for when you want to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Sampras isn’t playing but is it the end?

[May 15, 2003 By Cynthia Faulkner] When Pete Sampras’ coach Paul Annacone talks about the man he’s coached for the better part of 15 years, the word superstar pops up more than once. But on Thursday night, after Sampras said he’s not planning on playing the rest of the year, so did the word normal. And Sampras looked like a normal guy — a sports fan sitting courtside at the Lakers game with his wife. But still neither man called this break by the R-word. “Although he isn’t retiring, he’s not going to play and continue not to play for the time being — just to get his bearings down and see if the fire starts to burn to get back out there,” Annacone told “But right now he doesn’t … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011