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Sampras focused on the Grand Slam

March 6, 2001

In Pete Sampras's interview with the Arizona Republic, he emphasized that his tennis ranking is not as important as it used to be. "Now it's about getting a good schedule to do well at the Slams."

So far, the year 2001 has been disappointing. He lost in the 4th round of the Australian Open and lost in his first match at the Kroger St. Jude tournament last month.

"I feel like I kind of need to get my year going. I haven't really played that many matches in the past five or six months," said Sampras.

He took 2 1/2 month off the tennis circuit after getting married to actress, Bridgette Wilson on September 30, 2000.

Here are other quotables from the interview --

On what it was like back in 1988 as a 17 year old whose career was just starting-
"Then it was more about paying bills and getting enough points that I didn't have to go through the qualifying rounds."

On being the record holder of 13 Grand Slam titles -
"I don't really think about it much. You always have a player of the decade.. I'm definitely up there with the all-time greats, which is flattering, but I don't dwell on it a lot."

On life after tennis -
"I know I'll need to be fulfilled in some way. But for a while, maybe I'll just get a belly, play golf. I've been so focused on my goals since I was 8 years old."

On being older -
"It used to be just wake up and go hit some balls. Now it's get on the bike for 20 minutes and try to wake up."

(Don't you just like his dry wit.)


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