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Sampras: ‘I’m done, 100 percent done’

August 25, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Sampras kept saying it, over and over, almost as though he wanted to make sure it sounded right: “I’m done, 100 percent done.”
The owner of a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles delivered a formal farewell to tennis Monday in a news conference at the U.S. Open, not quite one year since he won the tournament in what turned out to be his final match.

He withdrew from tournament after tournament this season, but he never came out and said he would quit. Sampras said he made up his mind after deciding not to play at Wimbledon.

“The process is now over. I’m 100 percent retired,” Sampras said, his voice cracking. “I’m at peace with it. It’s time to call it a career.”

Sampras, who’s 32 and became a father in November, leaves with 64 singles titles, including seven at Wimbledon, five at the U.S. Open, and two at the Australian Open.

“I will never sit here and say I’m the greatest ever. I’ve done what I’ve done in the game. I’ve won a number of majors — I think that’s kind of the answer to everything,” said Sampras, wearing a black suit and gray shirt.

“I don’t know if there’s one best player of all time. I feel my game will match up to just about anybody. I played perfect tennis at times, in my mind.”

The only gap on an otherwise impeccable record was never winning the French Open, the only major played on clay, a slower surface that isn’t conducive to his serve-and-volley style. Sampras’ best showing at Roland Garros was reaching the 1996 semifinals

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

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