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News on Sampras

Posted on: September 09th, 2004

PETE SAMPRAS, Tennis legend

- petepage

Thu, Sep. 09, 2004 By David Martindale
Special to the Star-Telegram

Pete Sampras still misses playing tennis now and then.

He especially misses it at this time of year, as the U.S. Open, a tournament he won five times, is winding to a conclusion.

"But I just don't have it in me anymore to go out and do the things I have to do to win a major," Sampras said. "Playing is the easy part. That's 10 percent of it. The other 90 percent is preparing and training. You wrap your whole year around playing those two weeks.

"That's the hard part. It's a tough way of life. It's a consuming sport. There's no question it took a lot out of me, especially when I was No. 1 in the world. It was a good time, but also stressful."

There's no stress in Sampras' life today. The most work he has done lately was giving an in-depth interview to the Tennis Channel (airing at 6 p.m. Sunday) and doing a few phone interviews -- from the golf course in Palm Desert, Calif. -- to promote the show.

This Tennis Channel interview airs on the second anniversary of your final Grand Slam victory. Does that make you nostalgic? Not really. I do miss it. And I always will miss it. But people ask me, "Are you going to the Open? Are you going to Wimbledon?" And I say, "There's no reason for me to go." There might be a day when I'll want to take my son to watch tennis. But when it's been your life for so long, you almost want to get as far away as possible. I'm still decompressing and not doing anything really with tennis.

What does take up the majority of your days? Do you have a day job? No, I don't have a job. I wake up, and I help out with my boy, and I go to the golf course and play a round of golf and sometimes two rounds of golf. Having not played, I've kind of lost my shape a little bit. So I'm starting to work out a little bit. I've been playing Texas Hold'em with some boys, playing some basketball, spending some time at the beach, trying to stay busy.

And how is your golf game? It's better. I'm a 6. Compared to some of the guys who are really good, like scratch players, I'm not there. Ivan Lendl is like a scratch player.

Have you sneaked a peek at the Open? I've seen some. A little bit of Roger Federer and Andre Agassi and the big boys. It's going to be an interesting second week. I think Andy Roddick can get to the final. I think the winner of Federer-Agassi will get to the final. It's really a pick-'em tournament right now.

Do you have a master plan for the rest of your life? I make it up as I go. I'm kind of waiting for something to fall into my lap. But I also know it doesn't really work that way. It's probably something that I'm going to have to go and create. But, whatever that is, there's one thing that I know, which I learned from tennis, and that's that you can't do it halfway.

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