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Posted on: June 19th, 2004

Tennis Magazine July 2004: Pete Interview (Excerpts)

- petepage

Made Man
By: Peter Bodo


What have you learned about yourself since retiring?

Iíve learned that I didnít play for the limelight. I played to win, played because I enjoyed playing. I donít miss that part, the stage. I donít know, what else have I learned about myself? I like a pretty simple life. I like just being home, just being with my family. I love just having some friends, playing some golf, doing normal things. Iíve always enjoyed that, but the fact that Iím not playing anymore just gives me more time to do that.

Do you miss the applause?

You miss the hype, you miss walking out and seeing 20000 people, ready to see this clash. You make a great shot, you get an ovation, thatís great. But even more, I miss [moments like when ] itís 1:30 for a 2 oíclock final at Wimbledon, and you kind of miss that nervous, you-want-to-throw-up feeling.

How do you want your child to grow up?

Iíve talked about that with Bridgette. Weíre in this area of Beverly Hills, which means private school. Itís like 20 grand to get into a private school and thereís a yearís wait. I didnít grow up that way; I went to public school. I didnít have a cellphone until I was 28. Christian will grow up very comfortable, but I also want to instill some humility.

People wonder, whatís Pete Sampras doing with himself? Is it a long day for you?

Not really. Iím like, hey, this is work. Youíre with your son half a day, feeding him. I mean, men are different that way. Iím with him half an hour, I feed him, I feel like Iíve accomplished something. Then Iíll go play golf, between, say, 10 and 2. Come back, have some food, maybe go to a Laker game, play poker, go see a movie. Thereís enough things that I donít sit home at 2:00 in the afternoon watching TV.

You said before that you wanted to be a better husband; was your career putting a strain on your marriage?

A tennis player is the type of athlete where it really is all about you, your schedule, when to practice, when to leave, when to play the next tournament. You have to be with someone who is selfless. Fortunately, my wife was willing to put her career on hold, travel with me, be all about me. Thatís priceless.

Read the complete interview by Tennis Magazine

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