the Highs and Lows of a passionate Pete Sampras devotee
To the casual tennis watcher, Pete Sampras is a man with little emotion, little character, and a lack of charisma. To these people, this man seems to be, as he is often described, "boring". To the passionate tennis watcher and Pete Sampras fan, these comments are stinging and glaringly untrue. And of course, the loyal fans of this man are forced to withstand the constant barrage of asinine comments that are made. Aside from another painfully early loss at the French Open or an agonizing injury, such as the one on the eve of the 1999 U.S. Open, one of the worst lows for a Sampras fan such as myself is to see one article after another diminishing this exquisite man's ability and emotions.
But writers come and go, and harsh words are quickly forgotten when The Sweet One pulls out another emotion-driven win. The 2000 Wimbledon Championships proved to be one of the most moving displays of emotion Sampras has ever shown. These seemingly impossible triumphs are the heart and soul of what makes me a Sampras fan. After being injured in the second round, Pete was forced to dig deeper than he has ever had to before to win a championship. Sampras himself even said that the 2000 Wimbledon was the hardest win he's ever had, but the hardships he had to endure to win his 13th seemed to make the win all that much sweeter. Tears of happiness came to his eyes, and mine as well, many times in the moments after the stunning victory.
And as he scaled the heights of the Center Court stadium to embrace his parents, the tears of this fan began to flow once again. There, at that court that has meant so much to him over the years, was everything that Pete loved. His parents finally came and saw their beautiful son win. His new fiancee, who seemed as in love with him as he did her, smiled through a few tears and snapped photos of history. There, on that court, stood Pete Sampras, eyes shining and mouth smiling a smile of satisfaction and perhaps a little disbelief of what he had finally accomplished.
Thousands of fans stayed at that court that day through rain delays. And when the trophy was raised by the arms of the legend, thousands of flashbulbs showered the newly crowned champion of champions with light. And for one Sampras fan, who sat an ocean away in her living room in Pittsburgh that glorious Sunday, the moment was beautiful.