Hey y'all, this page is entirely devoted to Pete Sampras, the God of Tennis, where you can find links to the top Sampras sites, chat rooms and photo galleries, as well as find out how to join his mailing list so you can get to know other Sampras fans like me!
First, the mailing list. All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words 'subscribe sampras' in the subject field and the body of the message and that's it! You'll receive a confirmation message within a few minutes and you're all set to meet your fellow Sampras disciples.
This article is written by a member of a tennis newsgroup I belong to. See what you think.
Portrait of Pete Sampras by Vedran Dracic
After he was defeated in Wimbledon's quarterfinal, Boris Becker said "You can't compare 60's and 90's, but to me he is the best player ever!" Of course, he was talking about Pete Sampras.
Pete Sampras surprised everyone when he won US Open 1990, but his first dominating year was 1993. That year he took Wimbledon and US Open. Today, he is a winner of 11 Grand Slam titles. Only Agassi and Muster took his ATP #1 for a few weeks. It's obvious Sampras has his place among the best players in history of tennis.
What made him player like this? Maybe just a little bit of talent and a lot of hard work. Now he has such an all-round game that everybody gets really threatened when playing against him. Sometimes he has weaker moments (very rarely) but even if he's losing by 0-2 he can raise his game like no one else and win the match. At Wimbledon '97 we saw a perfection of player. Nobody, but really nobody could get a single chance. He lost only 2 service games. Oh man, is it possible?
His weakest surface is clay, no doubt. One of the biggest questions today is "Can Sampras win French Open?" I think he can. But why didn't he do it earlier? His game is not questionable, he has game for every surface. His problem is that he becomes vulnerable whenever match gets longer and he gets more tired. Do you still remember his match against Corretja at US Open last year? Or maybe his matches against Russian player at Davis Cup finals? When playing on clay you must be 100% fit and I'm not sure he is always 100% fit. You know, on grass, he can end a match for 50 minutes, when points are so short. But when you must hit the ball 6,7 or more times and run, run, run... We'll see.
And what about Sampras as a person? He's definitely not a showman. Some people say that he's boring, he's not charismatic. But that's their problem. You know that he cannot be Dennis Rodman on court. We should wait Agassi's return to see something like that. He's cold, he never smiles, he's distant from crowd and that maybe the reason for some people not to like him. OK, maybe to like him, but definitely not to love him. (There are some exceptions here too. When he played against Korda I saw some girls holding the sign "Pete, I love you". Well, everything's possible even here.) There's no communication between him and crowd. He's there only for himself. It's really hard to raise some emotions for him. He never looks as a mortal on court. I know the crowd would like him to show emotions little more often, but we won't see that movie ever again. Last time against Courirer few years ago. And never again. Every player who plays against him must feel like he's in gravedigger's office. Remember Wimbledon's final. When he got match finished, then he started to look like any other guy. Why it is that way?
Michael Stich gave the best comment. He said something like this: "I have other things to do in my life! He dedicated his whole life to tennis, he has nothing else, and that's good for him."
But, you know what? That doesn't bother me at all. I enjoy watching him playing tennis. He's capable of everything, he can play every kind of game. He played some of the best and the toughest matches ever seen. I won't mention some of theme, because if I start counting them, I'm not sure when will I finish...
It's good for tennis that we have Sampras. Because if any player wants to make some significant results he will have to improve his game. He will have to reach his tops. The tops of the tennis game. Better the challenge, better the game.
Last questions is "how long will Sampras last?" It's hard to answer that. He's 25, but that's not the age to conclude something like "this is the beginning of the end". He's on his way to beat some records and to have some 15 GS titles or maybe more. He's definitely capable of making that. But development of somebody's career in this sport is not something we should predict. You never know what will happen tomorrow, not to mention next 2-3 years.
And now for the links…
Pete's Place- Pete's homepage at Sportsline.com
Sampras Chat Network - chat with Pete online (if he's there!), or meet other fans
Sampras Photo Gallery- great pics of the man himself
Pistol Pete Sampras- A great site for links to Sampras info sites, not very up to date, but still worth visiting!
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