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Sampras wavers on retirement [Nov 18, 2002]

November 18, 2002

If anything, Pete Sampras has become more conflicted than ever about his tennis future since winning the U.S. Open in September. There has been no bolt of wisdom or inspiration, only his own counsel.

It sounds so simple when you hear athletes talking about retiring on their own terms. Well, it’s not.

“There’s a lot going on, and I need to decide in the next couple of weeks,” Sampras said Friday in Costa Mesa, Calif., where he was appearing at a function for a watch maker he endorses.

“I’ve been in limbo for the last month, not avoiding it, but just not sure. It’s all coming to terms with stopping.”

His plan of playing for at least another year was pleasantly disrupted by his U.S. Open victory against his biggest rival, Andre Agassi. Sampras, 31, is going to be a father for the first time within a few weeks and wants to make a decision before then. Some days, he is leaning toward retirement.

“I’ve had moments of wanting to continue and I’ve had moments of stopping,” he said. “It depends on what I’m doing at the time. Either you do it all the way or you don’t do it halfway.”

Contrary to popular perception, Wimbledon won’t determine his final decision. Sampras, a seven-time winner, went out in the second round this year to George Bastl.

“I won’t play just for one tournament. I’ll play because I want to, because I enjoy playing, and go through the process and the challenges, not just for two weeks of the year. In a romantic way, I would love to end it on a much better note than I did this year.”

Source: LA Times

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

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