Pete Sampras (born: August 12, 1971) is a retired American tennis player and highly regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. In 2002, he set the career mark for most Grand Slam victories with 14 titles. He made his debut on the professional tour in 1988 when he was only 16. He dominated tennis for most the 90s.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Before Roger Federer came along, Pete Sampras broke Roy Emerson’s 12 Slams record, winning 14 Grand Slam single titles, winning more single titles than any man living or dead. He became World No. 1, became a 5-time U.S. Open Champion and a 7-time Wimbledon champion.
After his retirement, four years later in 2007, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and the ATP World Tour Finals (1999).
Why Was He So Good?
Sampras showed extraordinary athletic ability for tennis when he was young. With his powerful first-serve, he dominated the sport. His attacking style and all-around arsenal gave his opponents little in the way of openings and nothing in the way of hope when he brought his A-game to the court. Sampras was loved for his rank and loyalty but was criticized for his boring character that some of his fans gravitated toward charismatic player Andre Agassi.
What You May Not Know
- When he was 14, he idolized Rod Laver. He discovered a tennis racket in his family’s basement and started hitting balls against his basement wall for hours.
- Pete Sampras was the first tennis player to receive the Sportsman of the Year Award in 1997.
- He suffered “the most devastating loss” of his career to Swedish player Stefan Edberg during the 1992 U.S. Open.
Was he a legend?
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