97 Facts About Pete Sampras

1.

Petros "Pete" Sampras is an American former world No 1 tennis player.

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2.

Pete Sampras won 14 major singles titles during his career, which was an all-time record at the time of his retirement: a then-record seven Wimbledon titles, two Australian Opens and a joint Open Era record five US Open titles.

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3.

Pete Sampras first reached the world No 1 ranking in 1993, and held that position for a total of 286 weeks, including an Open Era record of six consecutive Year-End No 1 rankings from 1993 to 1998.

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4.

Pete Sampras's mother emigrated from Sparta, Greece, and his father was born in the United States to a Greek father, Costas "Gus" Sampras, and a Polish-Jewish mother, Sarah Steinberg.

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5.

Pete Sampras attended regular services of the Greek Orthodox Church on Sundays.

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6.

In 1978, the Pete Sampras family moved to Palos Verdes, California, and the warmer climate there allowed the seven year-old Pete Sampras to play tennis for most of the year.

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7.

The Pete Sampras family joined the Jack Kramer Club, and it was here that Pete Sampras's talent became apparent.

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8.

Pete Sampras was spotted by Dr Peter Fischer, a pediatrician and tennis enthusiast, who coached Sampras until 1989.

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9.

Pete Sampras turned professional in 1988, at the age of 16, and finished the year ranked world No 97 after starting the year at No 893.

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10.

Pete Sampras's first professional match was a loss to Sammy Giammalva, Jr.

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11.

However, just one week later, at the Lipton International Players Championships in Miami, Pete Sampras defeated two top-40 players, before losing to No 18 Emilio Sanchez.

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12.

Pete Sampras did not defeat another top-40 player for almost six months, at which point he defeated No 39 Michiel Schapers at a US Open warm-up tournament in Rye Brook, New York.

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13.

Pete Sampras lost in the first round of the 1989 Australian Open to Christian Saceanu and, at that year's French Open, won a Grand Slam singles match for the first time in his career; in the second round he lost to eventual champion and fellow American teenager Michael Chang in their first career match-up.

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14.

At the US Open, Pete Sampras defeated defending champion and fifth-seeded Mats Wilander in the second round before losing to No 13 Jay Berger in the fourth round.

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15.

Pete Sampras lost to Wilander in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Sydney.

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16.

Pete Sampras finished 1990 at No 5, having started the year ranked No 61 just prior to the start of the Australian Open.

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17.

Pete Sampras did not play in the 1990 French Open and again lost in the first round of Wimbledon, this time to Christo van Rensburg.

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18.

Pete Sampras played seven consecutive weeks during the North American summer hard-court season.

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19.

Pete Sampras defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open, but then lost to Chang in the semifinals.

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20.

Pete Sampras reached the semifinals of the tournament in Los Angeles, where he lost to No 2 Stefan Edberg.

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21.

Pete Sampras did not advance past the quarterfinals in his next three tournaments, losing to Chang, Richey Reneberg, and Goran Ivanisevic.

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22.

Pete Sampras then defeated 20th-ranked McEnroe in a four-set semifinal to set up a final with fourth-ranked Agassi.

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23.

Pete Sampras beat Agassi in straight sets to become the US Open's youngest-ever male singles champion at the age of 19 years and 28 days.

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24.

Pete Sampras played five more tournaments and won the Grand Slam Cup to complete his year.

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25.

In 1991, Pete Sampras captured the first of his five career titles at the year-end Tennis Masters Cup.

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26.

In 1992, Pete Sampras reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the first of three consecutive years, made it to the Wimbledon semifinals, and was the runner-up at the US Open to Stefan Edberg.

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27.

Pete Sampras later stated that his loss in the US Open final that year was a "wake-up call" and that he needed to figure out how to become the world No 1.

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28.

Pete Sampras played doubles with John McEnroe on the US team that won the Davis Cup.

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29.

Pete Sampras reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in early 1993, losing again to Stefan Edberg and matching the previous year's quarterfinal performance at the French Open.

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30.

Pete Sampras's rise to the top of the rankings was controversial because he had not recently won any Grand Slam titles, but he justified his ranking three months later by claiming his first of seven Wimbledon titles, beating former world No 1 and fellow American Jim Courier in the final.

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31.

Pete Sampras won the first of two Australian Open titles in 1994, defeating American Todd Martin in the final.

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32.

Pete Sampras then defended his Wimbledon later that year, beating Ivanisevic in the final.

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33.

In 1995, Pete Sampras battled for the world No 1 ranking with compatriot Andre Agassi, whom he faced in two grand slam finals.

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34.

Pete Sampras won two grand slam titles on the year and was the key figure for champion United States in the Davis Cup.

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35.

Pete Sampras experienced one of the most emotional matches of his career against Courier in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

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36.

Saddened by Gullikson's illness, Pete Sampras began visibly weeping during the match when a spectator shouted at Pete Sampras, urging him to win it for Gullikson.

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37.

Pete Sampras nevertheless managed to defeat Courier, but lost the final to Andre Agassi in four sets.

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38.

Pete Sampras defeated Agassi in the final at Indian Wells and then won his third straight Wimbledon title over Boris Becker.

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39.

Pete Sampras lost in the final of the Canadian Masters to Agassi and then beat Agassi in the final of the US Open.

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40.

Pete Sampras lost in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon to the eventual winner, Richard Krajicek, the tournament's 17th-seed.

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41.

Pete Sampras finished off the year by claiming the season-ending ATP Tour World Championship.

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42.

Pete Sampras won singles titles in San Jose, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Munich, and Paris, and the ATP Tour World Championships in Hanover, Germany.

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43.

Pete Sampras became the only player to win both the Grand Slam Cup and the ATP Tour World Championships in the same year.

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44.

Pete Sampras held the No 1 ranking for the entire year and joined Jimmy Connors as the only male players to hold the year-end No 1 ranking for five consecutive years.

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45.

Pete Sampras failed to defend his Australian Open title, losing in the quarterfinals to Karol Kucera, and won Wimbledon only after a hard-fought five-set victory over Goran Ivanisevic.

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46.

Pete Sampras lost in the final of the Cincinnati Masters to Patrick Rafter after a controversial line call.

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47.

Pete Sampras faced Rafter again in the semifinals of the US Open, losing in five sets after sustaining injury while leading the match two sets to one, and Rafter went on to win his second consecutive US Open title.

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48.

Pete Sampras lost another semifinal at the Tennis Masters Cup to eventual champion Alex Corretja.

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49.

Nevertheless, Pete Sampras finished the year as the top-ranked player for the sixth year in a row.

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50.

Year started with a withdrawal from the Australian Open due to fatigue, and Pete Sampras failed to win a title during the early part of the season.

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51.

Pete Sampras' ranking was hurt by a combination of withdrawing from the Australian and US Opens, tournaments in which he had strong performances during the previous year, and the resurgence of longtime rival Agassi, putting an end to Pete Sampras' six consecutive years of finishing as world No 1.

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52.

Agassi took over the top ranking and held it for the rest of the season, but Pete Sampras recovered and managed to beat Agassi in the year-end championships for the fifth and final time, enabling him to remain third in the rankings.

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53.

Pete Sampras reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in early 2000, falling to the eventual champion Agassi in a five-set match.

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54.

Pete Sampras' run to the final briefly returned him to the No 1 ranking, but Gustavo Kuerten ended the year atop the rankings.

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55.

At the US Open, Pete Sampras reached the final but lost in straight sets to Lleyton Hewitt.

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56.

In 2002, Pete Sampras suffered an early exit from Wimbledon, losing in the second round to No 145 fast-court specialist George Bastl of Switzerland.

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57.

Pete Sampras had a relatively poor summer leading up to the US Open, losing at Cincinnati to No 70-ranked Wayne Arthurs in the second round, and then was eliminated at the opening round at Long Island by No 85.

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58.

Pete Sampras then defeated two young stars, Tommy Haas in the fourth round and Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.

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59.

Pete Sampras then defeated Sjeng Schalken in the semifinals to reach his third straight US Open final, and eighth US Open final overall, tying Ivan Lendl's all-time record.

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60.

Pete Sampras chose not to defend his title there, but his retirement announcement was timed so that he could say farewell at a special ceremony organized for him at the Open.

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61.

Pete Sampras thus became the only man to win the final Grand Slam tournament at which he competed.

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62.

Pete Sampras won 64 top-level singles titles and two doubles titles.

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63.

Pete Sampras was ranked the world No 1 for a total of 286 weeks and was year-end No 1 for an ATP record six consecutive years from 1993 through 1998.

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64.

Pete Sampras was known for his natural attacking serve-and-volley game, all-round game, and strong competitive instinct.

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65.

Pete Sampras is lauded by many tennis analysts as one of the greatest male grass-court players of all time.

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66.

Pete Sampras won a 1992 clay court tournament in Kitzbuhel, defeating Alberto Mancini in the final.

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67.

Pete Sampras won the prestigious Italian Open in 1994, defeating Boris Becker in the final, and two singles matches in the 1995 Davis Cup final against Russians Andrei Chesnokov and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in Moscow.

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68.

Pete Sampras won a 1998 clay court tournament in Atlanta, defeating Jason Stoltenberg in the final.

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69.

Pete Sampras later announced that he would be playing in World Team Tennis events.

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70.

In 2007, Pete Sampras was announcing that he would play in a few events on the Outback Champions Series, a group of tournaments for former ATP players who have met certain criteria during their careers.

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71.

Pete Sampras won his first two events on tour, defeating Todd Martin in both finals .

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72.

However, Pete Sampras was able to win the last match of the series, winning in two sets on fast carpet.

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73.

Pete Sampras was present at the 2009 Wimbledon final between Andy Roddick and Roger Federer to witness Federer eclipse his mark of 14 major titles and become the most successful man in Grand Slam history.

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74.

In November 2010, Pete Sampras reported that many of his trophies and memorabilia had been stolen from a West Los Angeles public storage facility.

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75.

Pete Sampras prevailed in five sets, and went on to win his first Wimbledon championship.

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76.

For both, it was considered a career rejuvenation, as Pete Sampras had suffered a string of disappointments in the last year while Agassi was regaining his status as a top-ranked player after winning the French Open.

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77.

Pete Sampras forfeited the No 1 ranking to Agassi when injury forced Pete Sampras to withdraw from that year's US Open, which Agassi went on to win.

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78.

Pete Sampras had defeated No 3 Tommy Haas in the fourth round and future No 1 Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, while Agassi had defeated No 1 and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals.

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79.

Pete Sampras won 12 of the 16 matches he played against Patrick Rafter, including eight of their first nine, and their final four meetings.

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80.

Pete Sampras was displeased, and stood at the baseline for several seconds, making the victorious Rafter wait at the net, and then refused to shake the umpire's hand.

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81.

Two met in the semifinals of the 1998 US Open, where Pete Sampras was slowed in the third set by a leg injury and called for a trainer, and Rafter broke Pete Sampras twice in the deciding fifth set.

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82.

Pete Sampras tries to play down the reason why he lost, giving no respect to the other player, and that is what really upsets me about him and the reason I try to piss him off as much as I can.

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83.

Later that summer, Sampras withdrew from the U S Open due to an injured back, while Rafter retired in the first round as a result of a torn rotator cuff.

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84.

Pete Sampras was an all-court player who would often serve and volley.

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85.

Pete Sampras had an accurate and powerful first serve – widely considered among players, commentators and fans as one of the best of all time.

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86.

Pete Sampras had great disguise on both his first and second serves, and his second serve was nearly as powerful as his first.

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87.

Pete Sampras was known for producing aces on critical points, even with his second serves.

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88.

Pete Sampras was able to hit winners from both his forehand and backhand from all over the court.

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89.

Pete Sampras was able to catch attacks wide to his forehand using his speed and hitting a forehand shot on the run.

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90.

Pete Sampras used one racket type, the Wilson Pro Staff Original, for his entire professional career—a racket first introduced in 1983.

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91.

Pete Sampras's rackets had weight added to bring them close to 400 g, but the frame proper was a production model manufactured at a Wilson factory on the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

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92.

Since mid-2010, Pete Sampras has been spotted at multiple exhibitions playing with a Babolat Pure Storm Tour, along with Babolat's popular RPM Blast strings.

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93.

Pete Sampras wore Nike apparel and Nike Air Oscillate footwear on court.

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94.

Pete Sampras's mother was born in Greece and his father was born in the United States to a Greek father and Jewish mother.

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95.

Pete Sampras's older sister, Stella Sampras Webster, is the women's tennis head coach at UCLA, and his younger sister, Marion, is a teacher in Los Angeles.

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96.

Pete Sampras has ß-thalassemia minor, a genetic trait that sometimes causes mild anemia.

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97.

Pete Sampras is considered to be one of the best serve-and-volley players in tennis history.

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