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Pete’s Press Conference [Full transcript]

US OPEN 2003 Press Conference on August 25, 2003 on Pete’s Retirement

RANDY WALKER: Welcome, everybody. Pete is going to start with a statement and then we’ll go to the question and answer session.


PETE SAMPRAS: First of all, I want to thank everyone for coming here. I really, really appreciate it. I think you know why we’re here, is to announce my retirement.

It’s been quite a process this past year. I know that the process is now over. So I am a hundred percent retired. It brings back a lot of memories, coming back here to the site, being back in New York. I’m looking forward to tonight.

You know, I knew once Wimbledon came and went that it was time for me to stop. And I know that it’s time. And I’m content and I’m at peace with it. It’s time to, you know, call it a career. Couldn’t happen at a better place than here in New York where everything happened for me at 19, and it ended for me last year here.

Anyone has any questions (laughter), you guys can ask.

Q. If you were still one Grand Slam behind or tied with Emerson, would you be retiring today?

PETE SAMPRAS: It’s hard to say. That slam record was something that was really important to me. I worked hard, I focused on it. Once I did it, I felt like it could have been time to stop then. But I wanted to win one more. It was a tough year and a half. To win last year felt great.

But that 12 was definitely a number that I had on my mind. It felt nice to break it at Wimbledon.

Q. When Boris retired for the first time, he initially retired from Grand Slam play only. I read an interview. He said he just didn’t have the selfishness in him required to compete at the highest level in Grand Slam tournaments and also have a life. It sucks too much out of you

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