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A million thanks Pete… for the memories

[June 26, 2003 NIRMAL SHEKAR] Exactly 10 years after he won the first of his record seven Wimbledon titles in 1993, the chances of the great man returning to the hallowed lawns for a final goodbye in 2004 seem rather bleak. And it’s time now to curtsy to Wimbledon’s greatest living Royalty, Pete Sampras, “It’s going to be a tough flight home. But I plan on coming back. This is not the way I am going to end it here.” — Pete Sampras, June 26, 2002 As sporting Greek tragedies go, on a scale of 1-10, this was a Perfect 10. There he was, slumped in his chair on the sidelines, staring vacantly into the turf on the No. 2 court at Wimbledon, long after his conqueror ?a Swiss journeyman … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Sampras’ departure left us all with void

[June 24, 2003 Peter Kerasotis FLORIDA TODAY ] We begin to recognize Pete Sampras’ greatness now as we observe it in the rearview mirror of history. Eye-rubbing statistics spill forth — a record 14 Grand Slam titles, for instance — and it’s hard to believe Pete Sampras accomplished all that he did and that he’s still only 31. Even harder to imagine that he is only 31 and walking away from tennis. Perhaps for good. For the first time in 15 years there is no Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, and the taste it leaves is like bread without butter. Sometimes, you don’t realize how good something was until you don’t have it anymore. We weren’t that way with Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, of course. Time stood still when they … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Referee Mills feels he may have mistreated champ Sampras

[June 21, 2003 CHARLES BRICKER South Florida Sun-Sentinel] As tournament referee Alan Mills contemplated the first Wimbledon in 15 years without Pete Sampras, there was a sadness in his voice, as well as a lingering fear that he might have had something to do with Sampras’ absence here. “I think putting two and two together, he thought he was badly treated last year and maybe he’s a little bit annoyed,” said Mills, who had scheduled Sampras’ second-round match against George Bastl on an outside court. “He played his match on Court No. 2 and lost to a lucky loser, which obviously devastated him. You could tell that by the way he was at the end of the match. I hope it’s not because of that that he’s basically retired,” said Mills, who … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Wimbledon will miss Sampras’ presence

[June 22, 2003 Charles Bricker] For the first time in 15 years, including seven in which he raised the championship trophy over his head on the final Sunday, Pete Sampras is not at Wimbledon. His locker in the gentlemen’s clubhouse has been passed on to another player. You won’t find him on his favorite practice court, gagging it up and betting dinners with Tim Henman or Jeff Tarango that he can whip them in a tiebreaker. The house he rented for years has been let to someone else. There is no evidence anywhere of his presence, though you might still get a chill as you enter one of the gangways on Centre Court and look down on the pristine grass which has become known, quite correctly, as Pete’s Lawn. Yankee … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

End of the road for the king

[June 22, 2003 Sunday Times, Andrew Longmore] Pete Sampras exclusively reveals he has played his last match at Wimbledon and may not even defend his US Open title. The racket lies in the games room, next to the pool table. Close by stand the trophies, the videos neatly stacked next to the television, the images of a career that is done. Being Pete Sampras, as cautious off the court as he was explosive on it, he will not fully commit to a life without tennis, but in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times last week, the seven-time champion admitted for the first time that he would not be coming back to his beloved Wimbledon. “We’ve got the two biggest events in tennis coming up, Wimbledon and the US Open, and if … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Tennis-Sampras says will never play French Open again

[June 14, 2003 Reuters] Pete Sampras says he will never again play at the French Open, the only grand slam tournament he has not won. The record 14-times grand slam winner, who has not played since beating old rival Andre Agassi in September to win his fifth U.S. Open title, said he had put too much pressure on himself to win in Paris. “That’s that. I won’t be seen at Roland Garros anymore,” the 31-year-old said in an interview with sports daily L’Equipe on Saturday. “I did everything I could to win the title, so I am giving it up without regret. I changed my preparation, playing a lot on clay before the French Open, or less, but there was always something wrong,” Sampras said. “I came every year for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011