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Pete Sampras wants to see Americans contending

Monday, February 16, 2009

There was a period, from 1992 to 2000, when Americans — well, Pete Sampas and Andre Agassi — had a monopoly on the sport’s marquee Grand Slam.

Sampras won Wimbledon seven times during that stretch and Agassi claimed the 1992 title.

In roughly the same era, Agassi captured four Australian Open and two U.S. Open titles and Jim Courier won two French Open titles and two Australian Opens.

Since those halcyon days, Americans have been relatively absent from the finals of majors. Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, his only Grand Slam title, and he reached the finals of Wimbleon in 2005 and the U.S. Open in 2006.

But since his U.S. Open win, Roddick is the only American who has reached the final of a Grand Slam. The current U.S. drought — 21 consecutive Grand Slams without a title — is the longest since the late 1950s and early 1960s when Americans went 30 straight without a title.

Sampras, the record-holder for Grand Slam titles with 14, says while U.S. tennis fans appreciate the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry, one of the greatest in tennis’s history, the presence of an American routinely breaking through to challenge Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at majors would re-energize the sport in this country.

”I think American fans really got behind tennis

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

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