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Close Encounter with Pete Sampras

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Date:  August 19, 1999

Hi, my name is Janet McEwan and I have a Pete story I'd like to share. I have only seen him in person two times. Both times were in Indianapolis, Indiana. The first time was on August 13th, 1997. I didn't meet him at that time. The second time was on August 19, 1999. Let me start by saying that I had already gotten his attention earlier that night when there was a bad line call, and I yelled, "What are you blind?" Well Pete turned around and looked right at me, I was three rows off the court, and said, "Yeah, I agree with her." Luckily I didn't get kicked out for causing a disruption.

After the match, I waited around so I could give him a belated birthday gift, and two cards. The security guys said, "I'm sure he's already gone." Just when I was about to leave, they said, "There he is!" I saw him walking through the courtyard, so I ran over and was right behind him on the stairs. I walked behind him calling, "Pete, Pete, I have a present for you." He lifted his arm up for the gift because he couldn't turn to see me, then suddenly stopped and I nearly knocked him over. My hand touched his back and then he was off walking again signing autographs.

Once he walked into the secure area, I followed him and called out, "Pete, Pete." He turned around not 10 feet from me and waited for me to walk over. Well, I froze, couldn't speak or move. He stood there five minutes and then as he got ready to walk away, he smiled this beautiful friendly smile and winked and then he was gone.

Wow, I'll never forget that smile. I still have his teddy bear. I hope to give it to him someday. That's my tale, pretty silly huh? I thought other fans might enjoy reading it.





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