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Pete's pledge

June, 1995

Pete Sampras bounced back to his best form at Queen's yesterday and vowed: I'll win Wimbledon for my sick coach.

Since Tim Gullikson was struck down with cancer in January, Sampras has lost his No. 1 ranking after 101 weeks at the top.

But the Wimbledon champ, chasing a third successive title, breezed past Jon Stark 7-6, 6-3 and into the third round of the Stella Artois tournament.

Sampras is coming to terms at last with the plight of Gullikson, who faces a second bout of chemotherapy during the Wimbledon fortnight.

Pistol Pete, 23, said: "I've learned to deal with the situation, though it's difficult not having Tim around. I know my winning at Wimbledon for a third time would be a great boost for his recovery.

"When Tim became ill it was my lowest point as a human being. It helped me put things in perspective and understand tennis is not everything in life.

"Tim is only 43 and to see what the guy has endured breaks my heart. I'm hoping he pulls through.

"The clay court season was a disaster for me and over the months I lost my aggression. But being back on grass feels great. I was pleasantly surprised how well I played."

Article supplied by Gerogia Christoforou