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January 2002 - Making Changes and A Renewed Determination

Pete Sampras starts the year making changes. Paul Annacone, his coach of seven years has been replaced by Tom Gullikson.  Pete has also switched his manager from Jeff Schwartz to Jill Smoller.  And dissatisfied with the terms, Pete announced he will not be renewing his endorsement contract with Nike - his sponsor for the past 8 years.

The new year has also brought in renewed determination from the champ.  "I have really stepped it up and told myself I am going to give it one really, really hard push.  In these last three months, I have been training hard, doing a lot of running and lifting and doing whatever I can to get in the best shape possible."



Date Details
Jan 2, 2002 Pete loses in Adelaide
Jan 6, 2002 Tom steps up for Sampras
Jan 9, 2002 Commonwealth International Bank, Kooyong (Exhibition)
Round Robin: Pete def Alex Corretja 6-4, 7-6
Men Seeds for Australian Open 2002
Jan 10, 2002 Sampras splits with agent and Nike
Sampras Changes Mind, Returns To AMG
Jan 11, 2002 Pete def Scott Draper 6-2, 7-6
Australian Open Draw notes
Jan 12, 2002 Pete def Agassi 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 for Commonwealth International Bank Title
Jan 14, 2002 Australian Open 2002 Begins, Pete is seeded 8th
Jan 15, 2002 Rd 1: Pete def Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
Jan 16, 2002 Article: It's no more Mr. Nike guy
Jan 17, 2002 Rd 2: Pete def Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-4
Jan 18, 2002 Article: Reports of Sampras` demise exaggerated
Jan 19, 2002 Rd 3: Pete def Nicholas Escude 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3
Jan 20, 2002 Article: Stamina test for Sampras
Jan 21, 2002 Rd 4: Pete lost to Safin 2-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7
Jan 23, 2002 Article: I`ll play as long as my legs allow: Sampras
Jan 29, 2002 Article: Sampras, Roddick in Davis Cup
Jan 31, 2002 Article: Sampras looking forward to Cup return



February 2002 - Davis Cup

Pete joined Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish as Team USA faced the Slovak Republic in the first round of the Davis Cup.  Pete explained his motivation for the Davis Cup, "you’re playing for your country, you’re playing for your teammates and I need to feel inspired out there….that’s why I decided to play." 

With the home crowd cheering on, Team USA made a clean sweep of the Slovak Republic.

Later in the month, Pete made another change.  Jose Higueras was hired to replace Tom Gullikson, his coach of less than 4 months.


Date Details
Feb 1, 2002 Interview with Pete on Davis Cup
Feb 4, 2002 Interview with Pete on Davis Cup by the USTA
Feb 6, 2002 Article: Pete determined to regain form
Feb 7, 2002 Article: Davis Cup star has 13 Grand Slam titles
Interview with the team
Feb 8, 2002 Davis Cup: USA vs Slovak Republic
Pete def. Karol Beck 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-1, 7-5 and Andy Roddick's win over Jan Kroslak gave the US a 2-0 lead
Feb 9, 2002 The US doubles team, James Blake/Mardy Fish win over Beck/Kroslak clinches the tie for the USA
Feb 10, 2002 Reverse singles: James Blake and Andy Roddick win both of their matches. A clean sweep by the US team.
Feb 11, 2002 Article: Sampras finds motivation
Feb 13, 2002 Article: Sampras ready to go to attack
Feb 26, 2002 Article: Galaxy break ground on national training center
Feb 27, 2002 Article: Sampras Changes Coach Again
Feb 28, 2002 Article: Behind the Guillikson firing


March 2002 - Another Coaching Change

With Jose Higueras as the new coach, it seemed Pete was making plans to contend well on the red clay in Paris come May.

Despite his string of losses, Pete reiterated that his drive has not diminished, "I still want it, that's the big key. I still want to hit the ball, do the training and I want to end on a great note."

Nike and Sampras reconciled. Pete donned the trademark swoosh logo once again.


Date Details
Mar 3, 2002 Article: Sampras remains focused - Believes best years are coming
Mar 4, 2002 Franklin Templeton Classics, Scottsdale begins
Article: Sampras Finally Calls on the Clay Master
Mar 5, 2002 Round 1: Pete def Byron Black 6-1, 6-2
Article: Sampras wins opening game at Scottsdale
Mar 7, 2002 Article: Nike, Sampras are teammates again
Mar 8, 2002 Round 2: Pete lost to Wayne Ferreira 7-5, 7-5
Article: Sampras makes another early exit at Scottsdale tennis
Mar 10, 2002 Article: Agassi, Sampras could clash in quarterfinals
Article: Pete Sampras: He`s Not Done Winning Yet
Interview at TMS: Indian Wells
Mar 11, 2002 Tennis Masters Series: Indian Wells (Pacific Life Open) begins
Round 1: Pete def Mardy Fish 7-6, 6-2
Mar 13, 2002 Round 2: Sampras def. Albert Costa 6-4, 6-4
Mar 14, 2002 Round 3: Pete def Fabrice Santoro 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
Mar 15, 2002 Quarter-final: Pete def Rainer Schuettler 6-2, 6-4
Mar 16, 2002 Semifinal: Pete def by Lleyton Hewitt 2-6, 4-6
Mar 18, 2002 Tennis Masters Series: Nasdaq-100 Open, Miami begins (round 1: bye)
Mar 20, 2002 Article: Sampras not old for those who appreciate
Mar 22, 2002 Article: The real Sampras is intense, not dull
Mar 23, 2002 Round 2: Pete def Jarkko Nieminen 4-6 6-3 6-2
Mar 25, 2002 Round 3: Pete loses to Fernando Gonzalez 6-7 1-6
Mar 26, 2002 Article: Back to familiar territory - Sampras to lead U.S. Davis Cup team against Spain (on grass)
Mar 29, 2002 Articles: Pete's Nike deal and Davis Cup update
Mar 30, 2002 Article: Pete Sampras debuts in Houston on his best surface



April 2002 - Davis Cup Woes

In the Davis Cup tie against Spain, the matches were played on grass to give advantage to the USA team. However Pete lost in 5 sets to Alex Corretja. With this disappointing result, even Yevgeny Kafelnikov opined that Pete should hang up his racket and retire. Pete countered, "I'm going to stop on my own terms, not when someone thinks I should or how I should go out."

In lieu of playing at Monte Carlo, Pete decided to play at the US Clay Courts in Houston where he lost in the finals to Andy Roddick.


Date Details
April 1, 2002 Davis Cup likely lineup
Pre-Davis Cup Interview with Pete Sampras
April 4, 2002 Pete to face Corretja
Presidential party given to the US Davis Cup Team
April 5, 2002 Pre-match article: Pete used to skip DC, now hopes the event will revitalize game
Pete loses to Alex Corretja 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7, 4-6
April 9, 2002 Pete Sampras has once again requested that a wildcard be kept for him ahead of this year's Stella Artois Championships at London's Queen's Club in June.
Sampras, Jordan still may have a few thrills left
Are Sampras and Chang Going Uphill or Over It?
April 10, 2002 Sampras withdraw from Monte Carlo Masters
April 11, 2002 Sampras to return for U.S. Clay Courts
April 12, 2002 France, U.S. to play at Roland Garros in Davis Cup semis
Sampras says Kafelnikov`s opinion won`t sway him
April 15, 2002 Sampras` problem not physical
April 22, 2002 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships.
April 23, 2002 R1: Pete def. Jan Vacek 4-6,6-1,7-5
April 25, 2002 R2:Pete def. Mariano Puerta 6-4, 6-2
April 26, 2002 QF: Pete def. Todd Martin 6-2, 7-6(3)
April 27, 2002 SF: Pete def. Andre Agassi 6-1, 7-5
April 28, 2002 F: Pete lost to Andy Roddick 7-6(9), 6-3



May 2002 - Disappointment on Clay

Pete teaming up with Jose Higueras to work on his clay court tactics brought high expectations. However, success in clay continued to be elusive with disappointing first round loses at Rome, Hamburg and finally at the French Open.

"It just has not clicked for me here, it has not happened. Paris has been tough for me over the years, all I can do is keep trying... If it never happens life will go on, and it might never happen, but you never know unless you try and I'm planning on coming back next year."


Date Details
May 1, 2002 Article: Pete Sampras says he`s got plenty of winners remaining
May 5, 2002 Tennis Masters Series: Roma May 5 - 12
Article: Sampras enters Rome Masters with a bit more confidence on clay
May 6, 2002 Article: Resolute Sampras puts no limit on twilight years
May 7, 2002 Round 1: Pete lost to Felix Mantilla 6-4 6-7 6-3
May 13, 2002 Tennis Masters Series: Hamburg May 13 - 19
May 14, 2002 Round 1: Pete lost to Max Mirnyi 6-3, 6-4
May 19, 2002 World Team Cup Dusseldorf May 19 - 25
France def USA 3:0
Andy Roddick lost to Arnaud Clement 6-3 4-6 3-6
Pete Sampras lost to Nicolas Escude 6-7(3) 6-2 6-7(2)
James Blake/Arvin Palmer lost to Arnaud Clement and Nicolas Escude 1-6, 1-6
Article: Sampras, Roddick lose as France beats U.S. 3-0
May 21, 2002 USA def Argentina 2:0
Andy Roddick def Jose Acasuso 6-3 6-2
Pete Sampras def Guillermo Canas 7-5 2-6 7-6(5)
Article: U.S. beats Argentina
May 23, 2002 Sweden def USA 2:0 Thomas Johansson def Pete Sampras 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(5)
Thomas Enqvist def James Blake 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4)
Article: Sampras huddles with NFL Europe
US blow opportunities in loss to Sweden
May 24, 2002 Article: Sampras Gets Draw in French Open
May 25, 2002 Article: Interview with Jose Higueras - Pete`s coach
May 26, 2002 Articles: French Open Preview: Sampras Keeps Up Search for His Game
Sampras Fights for Respectability
May 27, 2002 Roland Garros, Paris May 27 - June 9
Round 1: Pete lost to Andrea Gaudenzi 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6
May 29, 2002 Articles: Sampras has no answers on clay.
Joy on court good enough for Sampras
Sampras not done yet


June 2002 - The Lowest Point

Instead of playing at his usual tune up event at the Stella Artois Tournament, Pete opted to go to Halle, Germany for the Gerry Weber Open. His struggles oncourt continued and an early exit prompted him to participate in an exhibition match at the Boodle and Dunthorne.

After a three-set win in the first round at Wimbledon, Pete faced Swiss 'lucky loser' George Bastl. Putting Pete in the infamous Court 2 "Graveyard of Champion" proved ominous as he went down in 5 sets. The second round exit would be described by Pete as "the lowest point" of his career.

Date Details
Jun 3, 2002 Agassi has knack for comeback, Sampras?
Jun 4, 2002 Pete pulls out of Queen's, will play Halle
Jun 10, 2002 Gerry Weber Open - Pre Match presscon
Jun 11, 2002 Rd 1: Pete def. Andrei Soliarov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Becker backs Pete for Wimbledon title
Jun 14, 2002 Rd 2: Pete loses to Nicolas Kiefer 4-6, 3-6
Jun 16, 2002 Father's Day article on Pete's Dad
Jun 17, 2002 Pete seeded no. 7 at Wimbledon, his lowest since 1991
Jun 18, 2002 The Wimbledon Draw <more>
Jun 20, 2002 Boodle & Dunthorne Exhibition match
Pete def. Todd Woodbridge 6-7, 6-4, 6-4
Pete changes routine in Wimbledon preparation
Jun 21, 2002 Sampras desperate to find touch
Jun 22, 2002 Struggling Sampras prepares for his biggest challenge
Jun 23, 2002 Sampras pulls out of exo because of back injury scare
Sampras enters Wimbledon in disarray
Jun 24, 2002 Wimbledon
R1: Pete def. Martin Lee 6-3, 7-6, 6-3
Jun 26, 2002 R2: Pete lost to George Bastl 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6
Jun 30, 2002 Boris Becker on Pete
Article: Slammed as bland, Sampras is truly grand


July 2002 - Back to What Works

Pete's early exit at Wimbledon brought forth more retirement talk from his critics. He responded, "I want to end my career on my terms, not on what people think I should do."

Pete disclosed, "This year has been bad for me. But I'm looking forward to new challenges. For the first time in my career, I have to come back."

For his comeback trail, Pete split with Jose Higueras and returned to the coach who know him best, Paul Annacone.


Date Details
Jul 1, 2002 Pete Sampras, The Remains of the Day
Jul 2, 2002 Sampras ready to get back to work
Jul 4, 2002 Pete Sampras says his second-round Wimbledon loss was a fluke.
Jul 16, 2002 Sampras splits with coach Higueras
Jul 18, 2002 Sampras always remembers coach who changed his life
Jul 20, 2002 Tim & Tom Gullikson Charity Event
Pete lost to Andy Roddick 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
Sampras searching for new coach
Jul 26, 2002 Sampras Turns to an Old Friend: Annacone
Sampras, Wife Expecting First Child
Jul 28, 2002 Sampras rehires Annacone to help end slump
Jul 29, 2002 TMS-Toronto
Hoping to court some confidence
Pistol Pete hopes to end futility string
Jul 30, 2002 Rd 1: Pete def. Wayne Ferreira 7-6, 5-7, 6-4
Jul 31, 2002 Rd 2: Pete def. Hyung-taik Lee 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2
Sampras helping USTA program in new deal with Annacone


August 2002 - The Toughest Challenge

Paul Annacone is back on board as Pete's coach. To prepare for the last Grand Slam of the year, Pete competed in Toronto, Cincinnati and Long Island, New York.

After his second round loss in Long Island Pete said, "People have to realize who I am when I get to the US Open next week. I sure won't be the man to beat but when it comes to that tournament, I'm there."

In another interview, he said, "I've got one chance to salvage a pretty disappointing year. I'm going to do something I've never had to do - a comeback. It will be the toughest challenge of my career - bigger than 13 Grand Slams, to come back from the lowest point I've ever been."


Date Details
Aug 1, 2002 TMS-Toronto continues
Rd 3: Pete loses to Tommy Haas 6-7, 6-3, 6-7
Aug 5, 2002 TMS-Cincinnati begins
Aug 6, 2002 Article: Sampras knocked down, not out, by recent events
Rd 1: Pete def Guillermo Canas 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-3
Aug 7, 2002 Rd 2: Pete lost to Wayne Arthurs 4-6, 6-3, 7-6
Aug 12, 2002 Article: Sampras still searching for the perfect sunset
Aug 18, 2002 Article: Hoping for RE-PETE
Aug 19, 2002 TD Waterhouse Cup, Long Island
Rd 1: Bye
Article: Sampras will decide at end of 2003 whether to quit
Aug 20, 2002 Rd 2: Pete lost to Paul-Henri Mathieu 3-6, 7-6, 4-6
Article: Sampras admits end is near
Aug 21, 2002 Article: Sampras seeks major revival
Aug 24, 2002 Pete and Andre teamed up against Andy Roddick and James Blake in a doubles match on the Arthur Ashe Day
Aug 25, 2002 Article: Sampras out to regain glory
Aug 26, 2002 US Open begins
Aug 28, 2002 Rd 1: Pete def. A. Portas 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Aug 30, 2002 Rd 2: Pete def. K. Pless 6-3, 7-5, 6-4



September - December 2002

After Pete faced Greg Rusedski in the third round of the US Open, there was no turning back. He battled... and defeated 3rd seed Tommy Haas, Andy Roddick and Sjeng Schalken for his third consecutive appearance in the US Open finals. And on the other side of the net was none other than his rival over the years, Andre Agassi.

Andre's manager Perry Rogers described the match between the two 30-something champions eloquently, "They're not playing for a piece of history anymore. They both have history. Now they're playing as a tribute to the game, as a tribute to their rivalry and as a tribute to their endurance."

And so after 4 sets, Pete prevailed and raised his arms in glorious triumph.  He extended his record to 14 Grand Slam titles and matched Jimmy Connors' open-era record of winning the US Open five times.

For the rest of the year, Pete pulled out of the tournaments and speculation abound on retirement.

September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002