Is the Acupuncture Treatment a Contributing Factor in Pete Making the
July 8, 2000
Pete Sampras, winner of 6 Wimbledon singles titles and holder of 12 Grand Slam singles titles, could perhaps not have made the Wimbledon Final this year had it not been for the treatment he has had on a potentially serious injury.
In so far as miracle or quick fix cures are concerned, many believe in using ancient Chinese remedies such as treating injuries using their needle (acupuncture) treatment, which is well over 2,500 years old.
One could almost say that Sampras, due to the severity of tendonitis in his left ankle, was on the brink of pulling out of the tournament, but the treatment he has received has some what revived the prolific Champion and could even have brought out his best!
The Straits Times is the only media source to have obtained information as to the extent and frequency of the treatment Sampras has been receiving.
Acupuncturist, Dr. Sun Yu-Juan, who was born in Beijing who has a clinic in London, has been treating Sampras.
The Wimbledon defending Champion arrived at the clinic in South-West London, in a van with blacked out windows that had been provided by the tournament organisers. It would pull up and stop at the front door of the clinic and Sampras would rush inside always closely followed by his close friend and coach Paul Annacone.
They were both met at the front door by Dr. Sun, who escorted them into a private room. Dr. Sun, the 38 year old, doctor, wife of a Chinese accountant born in Sabah, received her qualifications in practicing Chinese Medicine and acupuncture at the Beijing University. She had also worked at the Tianjing General Hospital for 8 years near Beijing prior to coming to London eight years ago.
The British public and media a like do not know this, but Pete Sampras has had six sessions with Dr. Sun, he has attended treatments on his "off days".
His sessions would last approximately 40-45 minutes each at a cost of $65.40 (£25.00). It is the first time in his career that Pete Sampras has turned to using traditional Chinese remedies for an injury during a major tournament.
Dr. Sun was recommended by former Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash who insisted Pete Sampras give the acupuncture treatment a chance and advised him that it could help relieve or perhaps even aid in healing the injury.
Sampras lost the pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Queen's Club to Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the finals and it was mainly due to his injured ankle.
Many critics and pundits a like had already written off Pete Sampras' chances of winning or let a lone lasting to the latter stages of Wimbledon because of the injury, especially after seeing him displaying obvious signs of distress in his first round match.
Also, there had been a lot of cynicism coming from commentators and players who were openly questioning and making comments as to the authenticity of his injury.
But none of these cynics including the sports journalists had any idea of the fact that Sampras was secretly receiving acupuncture treatment.
"Pat Cash is a regular patient of mine" Dr. Sun had told the Strait Times
"I didn't know Pete Sampras at all when he first came in. He said he played tennis. I said that I played badminton"
"He asked me if I was any good. I said I was not bad. I asked him if he was any good at tennis." "He laughed and said, "I'm okay".
"It was only when people in the clinic started asking Pat for his autograph that I realised he was a former Wimbledon champion."
"Pete told me it was Pat who had recommended him to me."
"The acupuncture treatment for Pete has worked wonderfully well. When he first came to see me he was extremely worried. The treatment has taken away the pain and ended those worries also."
"Pete will have 8 treatments before the final today. At £25.00 a time, that will cost him £200.00"
When Dr. Sun was informed that the Wimbledon Champion picks up a cheque for £447,500 in prize money and that she could have charged him a lot more due to his multi-millionaire status she responded by saying "No, my fee is £25.00 a session, for the rich and famous and for an ordinary person on the streets."
"Pete offered me tickets to No.1 Court and Centre Court to see his matches, but I had to decline the offer. I have patients to see. But when he plays the final I will go with my husband." Dr. Sun and her husband will be seated next to Bridgette Wilson, Sampras' gorgeous fiancée in the players box.
It was confirmed by an official source close to Pete Sampras that, "Yes, Pete has been having regular treatment at Dr. Sun's clinic. He never misses an appointment. It has really worked wonders - otherwise Pete wouldn't be going back there time and time again. We have kept the location and the visits a tight secret because we didn't want a public spectacle outside Dr. Sun's clinic each time."
The man credited with informing Pete of Dr. Sun, Wimbledon's 1987 winner, Pat Cash told the Straits Times, "If Pete wins the Wimbledon title on Sunday, he owes me a beer!"
But one assumes that if Pete Sampras were to win on Sunday, he will be breaking open the Champagne instead of drinking beer, in celebration at what the win will signify, 7 Wimbledon titles and 13 Grand Slams in total.
Based on "Sampras Resorts to Acupuncture" by Alfred Lee, Singapore Strait Times