Close Encounter with Pete Sampras
Location: London, England
Date: Wimbledon 1995
I am not a new member of Samprasfanz. I joined about 18 months ago, it's just that I have never posted. After Petey won on Sunday (US Open 2002) I thought there was no better time to send a post.
My name is Rita and I live in London. Those who are from London it's Brixton, South London. I have been a Pete fan since he won the US Open in 1990. Since then I have followed him religiously, and have even had the pleasure of meeting him.
I met in 1995. He was staying at a hotel near my school when he was playing at Wimbledon. A group of 7 of us would go there every day after school to go and see him. This dwindled down after about 2 days, leaving just me and my friend, which we both preferred. At the time he was with Delaina. She would always say hi to us when she went back to thier apartment. We'd see Pete drive by in the car and he would always wave. Goran, Courier, Martin and Pioline were also staying there. Martin was a bit moody, but the others would have a little chat with us before they went in. Goran actually snatched my camera when I was taking a picture and went sprinting down the street. I then had to start chasing him to get it back. He turned round and then out me over his shouder and then continued running. It was a sight to behold, and all I kept thinking was "in this postion my bum must be looking huge!" The picture he took of himself was the best one! Delaina would often come back out when she got in and take our posters and stuff for Pete to sign. He was usually having a massage after the match. The first time she told is this, I just thought "the lucky git who has a chacne to massage Pet Sampras, the most sexiest gorgeous man" She said that he appreciated the two of us being here every evening cheering him on. Some other girls would come randomly come to the hotel asking if AA was there. We'd say no, but Pete is here, but they weren't interested. They'd disappear before we had even finished our sentence.
The day before his final against Becker my friend and I decided to go there on Saturday morning. We didn't expect to see him, but it was nice just to be in the same vicinity. We were chatting away when Pete and Delaina walked out of the hotel apartment complex. We were absolutley dumbstruck. We had envisaged this happening, and saying what we would do if we saw him, but now it happened we were lost for words. He saw us and was like "hi you two, didn't expect to see you guys today, and not at this time" It was 8am! We then got the power of speech back and asked him how he was feeling about the match against Becker. He said not too bad, and was going to get a bit of practice in later. We chatted to Delaina as well. He told us that he really appreciated the support we had given him over the past 2 weeks, as people don't normally come out to cheer for him. I asked if I could see and touch his right hand, which made him laugh. I said I needed to see tha hand of a great champion, and that made him have a really coy smile. He almost looked embarrassed that I said that. Who was to know at that time the rest of the great legacy that was to follow? After having a good stroke of his hand, which sent some serious shivers down my spine we took some pictures together. His hand wasn't as rough as I expected. It felt so good just to be standing there, the four of us chatting away. There were no other fans, no photographers, body guards, just a really relaxed atmosphere. We were with him for about 10 mins. I sure did wish I could be permanently attached to him. When Delaina took the picture of us with him I put my nose close to get a good smell (sad I know!!) He had that just showered smell. I could have nuzzled my nose right into his neck, but we won't even go there. God he's gorgeous. Anyway, lets not digress!!!! After we wished him luck we got a hug each and then went our seperate ways. I turned round and shouted back to him "you'll do it in 4", he laughed and said "we'll see".
That whole experience is one I'll saviour deep in my memory for ever and ever. I thought this was a fitting time time to share this with this group. I have the pictures, but I am not very good at putting these things on to the computer. If anyone knows how to do this can they get back to me and I'll have a go. I don't have a computer at home or scanner. I tend to mail from work (naughty I know) or the library. I'd love for you to see them. Take into account I was 16 at the time!! Even if I have to get copies done and send it to someone who knows how to get it mailed.
I can't even put into words the emotions that I felt on Sunday night. I have been going over and over it again in my mind. It was the belief in his eyes when he came out on court that showed he meant business. As he has been endlessly saying, he knew he had it in him to get another slam (in yer face Rusedski!)
Long live Pete Sampras and Samprasfanz.
(Submitted September 10, 2002)