Pete Sampras (pronounced /ˈsæmprəs/) (born August 12, 1971) is a retired American tennis player and former World No. 1. During his 15-year tour career, he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and became recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
Sampras debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and played his last top-level tournament in 2002 when he won the US Open, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was the year-end World No. 1 for six consecutive years (1993–1998), a record for the open era. Also record for open era are his seven Wimbledon singles championships. He spent 286 weeks at number 1, the most of any player. His five US Open singles titles is an open-era record shared with former World No. 1 players Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. He won five ATP World Tour Finals, a record shared with Ivan Lendl and Federer. Sampras is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and ATP World Tour Finals (1999).
Early life and career
Pete Sampras was born in Potomac, Maryland, and is the third child of Sammy and Georgia Sampras. His mother immigrated from Sparta, Greece, and his father was born in the United States to a Greek father and a Jewish mother. Greek culture played a big role in his upbringing. Pete attended regular services of the Greek Orthodox Church on Sundays. From an early age, Sampras showed signs of outstanding athletic ability. At age 3 Sampras discovered a tennis racket in the basement of his home and spent hours hitting balls against the wall. In 1978, the Sampras family moved to Palos Verdes, California, and the warmer climate there allowed seven-year-old Pete to play more tennis. From early on, his great idol was Rod Laver, and at 11 Sampras met and played with him. The Sampras family joined the Jack Kramer Club, and it was here that Sampras's talent became apparent. He was spotted by Peter Fischer, a pediatrician and tennis enthusiast, who coached Sampras until 1989. Fischer was responsible for converting Sampras's double-handed backhand to single-handed with the goal of being better prepared to win Wimbledon.
Sampras turned professional in 1988, at the age of 16, and finished the year ranked World No. 97 after starting the year at World No. 893. His first professional match was a loss to Sammy Giammalva, Jr. at the February Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor in Philadelphia. But just one week later at the Lipton International Players Championships in Miami, Sampras defeated two top-40 players before losing to World No. 18 Emilio Sánchez. He did not defeat another top-40 player for almost six months, when he defeated World No. 39 Michiel Schapers at a US Open warm-up tournament in Rye Brook, New York. In his first Grand Slam singles match, Sampras lost to World No. 69 Jaime Yzaga of Peru in the first round of the US Open 6–7(2), 6–7(4), 6–4, 7–5, 6–2. Sampras did not advance past the quarterfinals in his next three tournaments, although he did record wins over World No. 79 Jim Courier, in their first career match-up, and World No. 8 Tim Mayotte.
The following year, Sampras slightly improved his ranking to a year-ending World No. 81. He lost in the first round of the 1989 Australian Open to Christian Saceanu and the first round of Wimbledon to Todd Woodbridge 7–5, 7–6(5), 5–7, 6–3. He won a Grand Slam singles match for the first time at the French Open before losing in the second round to eventual champion, 17-year-old Michael Chang, 6–1, 6–1, 6–1 in their first career match-up. At the US Open, Sampras defeated defending champion and fifth-seeded Mats Wilander in the second round 5–7, 6–3, 1–6, 6–1, 6–4 before losing to World No. 13 Jay Berger in the fourth round. To end the year, Sampras lost in the first round of four consecutive tournaments.
Sampras finished 1990 at World No. 5, having started the year ranked World No. 61 just prior to the start of the Australian Open. He lost to Wilander in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Sydney. At the Australian Open, Sampras upset twelfth-ranked Mayotte in the first round 7–6(6), 6–7(5), 4–6, 7–5, 12–10 before losing to thirteenth-ranked Yannick Noah in the fourth round in four sets. His first professional singles title came in February at the Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor in Philadelphia, where he defeated sixth-ranked Andre Agassi, eighth-ranked Mayotte, and eighteenth-ranked Andrés Gómez in the final. This title elevated his ranking into the top-20 for the first time. Sampras did not play the French Open and again lost in the first round of Wimbledon, this time to Christo van Rensburg 7–6(4), 7–5, 7–6(3). Sampras played seven consecutive weeks during the North American summer hard court season. He defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open but then lost to Chang in the semifinals. He also reached the semifinals of the tournament in Los Angeles where he lost to World No. 2 Stefan Edberg. He did not advance past the quarterfinals in his next three tournaments, losing to Chang, Richey Reneberg, and Goran Ivanišević. In September, he captured his first Grand Slam title at the US Open. Along the way, he defeated sixth-ranked Thomas Muster in the fourth round and third-ranked Ivan Lendl in a five-set quarterfinal, breaking Lendl's streak of eight consecutive US Open finals. He then defeated 20th-ranked McEnroe in a four-set semifinal to set up a final with fourth-ranked Agassi. 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. He played five more tournaments and won the Grand Slam Cup to complete his year.
Sampras in 1992.
Sampras in 1991 captured the first of his five career titles at the year-end Tennis Masters Cup. Upon entering the US Open as the defending champion that year, he caused controversy when, after losing in the quarterfinals to Jim Courier, Sampras said that he was not disappointed and felt relieved that the pressure to defend his title was no longer on him. This led to widespread criticism, which included disparaging remarks from Courier and Jimmy Connors.
In 1992, 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. 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. He also played doubles with John McEnroe on the US team that won the Davis Cup, duplicating the feat in 1995.
Sampras reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in early 1993, and matched the previous year's quarterfinal performance at the French Open. In April 1993, Sampras attained the World No. 1 ranking for the first time. His rise to the top of the rankings spot was controversial because he had not recently won any Grand Slam titles, but he justified his ranking three months later by claiming his first Wimbledon title, beating former World No. 1 Jim Courier in the final. This was followed by his second US Open title. He finished the year as the clear No. 1 and set a new ATP Tour record that year by becoming the first player to serve more than 1,000 aces in a season.
Except for a loss in the 1996 quarterfinals to eventual winner Richard Krajicek, Sampras would continue to win at Wimbledon for the rest of the decade, becoming the most successful male player in Wimbledon history.
Sampras won the first of his two Australian Open titles in 1994, defeating American Todd Martin in the final. In 1995 Sampras experienced one of the most emotional matches of his career when he played Courier in the quarterfinals. Sampras's longtime coach and close friend, Tim Gullikson, had mysteriously collapsed during the tournament and was forced to return to the United States. Gullikson was later diagnosed with brain cancer to which he succumbed the following year. Saddened by Gullikson's illness, Sampras began visibly weeping during the match, but managed to win. He lost the final to Agassi. Paul Annacone took over as Sampras's full time coach after Gullikson's illness made it impossible for him to continue coaching.
Sampras's best surface was undoubtedly the fast-playing grass courts. He was also known for his all-round game and strong competitive instinct. He won back-to-back US Open titles in 1995 and 1996, despite in the 1996 quarterfinals against Àlex Corretja, vomiting on the court at 1–1 in the tiebreak due to dehydration. Sampras's only real weakness was on clay courts, where the slow surface tempered his natural attacking serve-and-volley game. His best performance at the French Open came in 1996, when he lost a semifinal match to the eventual winner, Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Despite his limited success at Roland Garros, Sampras did win some significant matches on clay. He won a 1992 clay court tournament in Kitzbühel, defeating Alberto Mancini in the final. He 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. Sampras also won a 1998 clay court tournament in Atlanta, defeating Jason Stoltenberg in the final.
Sampras won his second and final Australian Open title in January, defeating Carlos Moyà in the final; in July he won Wimbledon for the fourth time, defeating Cédric Pioline in the final. Sampras also won singles titles in San Jose, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Munich, and Paris and the ATP Tour World Championships in Hanover, Germany. He became the only player to win both the Grand Slam Cup and the ATP Tour World Championships in the same year.
He had a 10–1 win–loss record against top 10 opponents and was undefeated in eight singles finals. He held the World No. 1 ranking for the entire year and joined Jimmy Connors (1974–1978) as the only male players to hold the year-end World No. 1 ranking for five consecutive years. His prize money earnings of US$6,498,211 for the year was a career high.
In 1998, Sampras's number-one ranking was challenged by Chilean player Marcelo Ríos. (In 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997, Sampras had dominated the ATP tour.) Sampras failed to defend his Australian Open title, losing in the quarterfinals to Karol Kučera, and won Wimbledon only after a hard fought five-set victory over Goran Ivanišević. Sampras lost a five-set US Open semifinal to the eventual winner Patrick Rafter after leading the match two sets to one. He lost another semifinal at the Tennis Masters Cup to eventual champion Àlex Corretja. Nevertheless, Sampras finished the year as the top ranked player for the sixth year in a row.
1999 also started out disappointingly, as Sampras withdrew from the Australian Open and failed to win a title during the early part of the season. However, he then went on a 24-match winning streak, including the Stella Artois Championships, Wimbledon (equaling Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles), Los Angeles, and Cincinnati. His victory over Agassi in the Wimbledon final is often cited as one of Sampras's greatest performances (despite this, he lost his No.1 ranking to Agassi the following day, when ATP Tour rankings were updated). That run ended when he was forced to retire from the RCA Championships and the US Open because of a herniated disc in his back. Sampras's ranking was hurt through 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 Andre Agassi, putting an end to Sampras' six consecutive years of finishing as the World No. 1. Agassi took over the top ranking and held it for the rest of the season, but Sampras recovered and managed to beat him in the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup for the fifth and final time, enabling Sampras to place 3rd in the rankings.
Sampras reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in early 2000 (falling to the eventual champion Agassi in a five-set match) and won the Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida for the third time in March. He then won a record-breaking 13th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, battling through tendonitis in his right shin and a painful back injury in the process. This victory was his eighth consecutive win in a Grand Slam final (starting at 1995 Wimbledon), which remains a record. After this victory, Sampras did not win another title for more than two years. He lost in the finals of the 2000 and 2001 US Open to Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt, respectively, leading many to speculate that Sampras would never capture another major title. At the 2001 Wimbledon Championships, Sampras lost to Roger Federer, who was 19 at the time, 6–7(7), 7–5, 4–6, 7–6(2), 5–7 in the fourth round, ending Sampras's 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon. The match also marked the first and only time that the two men ever played each other on the ATP tour.
In 2002, Sampras suffered an early exit from Wimbledon, losing in the second round to 145th ranked George Bastl of Switzerland, whose best surface was red clay. Sampras had a relatively poor summer leading up to the US Open. Greg Rusedski, whom Sampras had defeated in a long five-set third round match at the US Open, said that Sampras was "a step and a half slower" and predicted that Sampras would lose his next match. Sampras, however, then defeated two young and upcoming stars of the game, Tommy Haas in the fourth round and Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals. He 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. This time, he faced Agassi, whom he had met in his very first Grand Slam final 12 years earlier. After a four-set battle between the two veterans, Sampras claimed a then record 14th Grand Slam singles title and matched Jimmy Connors's record of five US Open singles championships.
He played no tour events in the following 12 months, but did not officially announce his retirement until August 2003, just prior to the US Open. He 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. At the time of his retirement, many regarded Sampras as the greatest player of all time.
Sampras won 64 top-level singles titles (including 14 Grand Slam titles, 11 Super 9 / ATP Masters Series titles, and five Tennis Masters Cup titles) and two doubles titles. He was ranked the World No. 1 for a record 286 weeks and was year-end No. 1 for a record six consecutive years from 1993 through 1998.
Rivalry with Andre Agassi
Main article: Agassi-Sampras rivalry
Sampras won 20 of the 34 matches he played against Agassi.
The 1990 US Open was their first meeting in a Grand Slam tournament final. Agassi was favored because he was ranked World No. 4 compared to the World No. 12 ranking of Sampras and because Agassi had defeated Sampras in their only previously completed match. However, Agassi lost the final to Sampras in straight sets.
Their next meeting in a Grand Slam was at the 1992 French Open, where they met in the quarterfinals. Although Sampras was higher ranked, Agassi prevailed in straight sets. Their next Grand Slam meeting was at the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1993, where Agassi was the defending champion and Sampras was the newly minted world number one. Sampras prevailed in five sets, and went on to win his first Wimbledon championship.
With both Sampras and Agassi participating, the U.S. won the Davis Cup in 1995. Notable Sampras-Agassi matches of 1995 included the finals of the Australian Open, the Newsweek Champions Cup, the Lipton International Players Championships, the Canadian Open, and the US Open, with Sampras winning the Newsweek Champions Cup and the US Open.
The next time Sampras and Agassi met in a Grand Slam final was at Wimbledon in 1999, where Sampras won in straight sets. For both, it was considered a career rejuvenation, as 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. Sampras forfeited the World No. 1 ranking to Agassi when injury forced Sampras to withdraw from that year's US Open. They faced each other twice in the season-ending ATP Tour World Championships, with Sampras losing the round robin match but winning the final.
They played each other only once in 2000. The top-ranked Agassi defeated World No. 3 Sampras in the semifinals of the Australian Open 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(0), 7–6(5), 6–1.
In arguably their most memorable match, Sampras defeated Agassi in the 2001 US Open quarterfinals 6–7(7), 7–6(2), 7–6(2), 7–6(5). There were no breaks of serve during the entire match. Reruns of the match are frequently featured on television, especially during US Open rain delays.
The final of the 2002 US Open was their first meeting in a US Open final since 1995. The match also was notable because they had defeated several up-and-coming players en route to the final. Sampras had defeated World No. 3 Tommy Haas in the fourth round and future World No. 1 Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals while Agassi had defeated World No. 1 and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals. Sampras defeated Agassi 6–3, 6–4, 5–7, 6–4. This was the final ATP tour singles match of Sampras's career.
On August 2010 Sampras played an exhibition game with Andre Agassi at the indoor arena: Coliseo Cubierto El Campin in Bogotá, Colombia.
Rivalry with Patrick Rafter
Sampras won 12 of the 16 matches he played against Rafter, including eight of their first nine. Their rivalry began to truly develop after Rafter shocked the tennis world by winning the 1997 US Open, a tournament that many expected Sampras to win, having won in 1995 and 1996; the win catapulted Rafter to the year-end number two ranking behind Sampras. Many, including seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe believed Rafter to be a "one-slam wonder", since it was only his second career ATP title.
In 1998, after Rafter defeated Sampras in the Cincinnati Masters final, Sampras, at the time winner of 11 Grand Slams, when asked about the difference between himself and Rafter, famously stated "Ten grand slams", that a controversial line-call cost him the match, and that a player had to come back and win another Grand Slam title in order to be considered great. The two met in the semifinals of the 1998 US Open, with Rafter winning in five sets. Sampras cited a leg injury as the reason Rafter won, an attitude that upset the generally mild-mannered Aussie: "He really does say some funny things at the wrong time", said Rafter, "We are out there busting our guts and he doesn't show a lot of respect at the end of the day. He 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."
Following his successful defense of his 1997 U.S. Open title by defeating Mark Philippoussis in the 1998 final, when asked about Sampras' earlier comments about having to win another Grand Slam in order to be considered great, Rafter replied: "Maybe you can ask him that question, if he thinks that now. For me, I won another Slam, and it hasn't sunk in yet. It's very, very exciting for me, especially to repeat it". For his part, Sampras said about Rafter, "When I see him holding the US Open trophy, it pisses me off."
After losing for a third consecutive time against Rafter, Sampras won their final four meetings, including a four-set victory in the 2000 Wimbledon final after being down a set and trailing in the second-set tiebreaker. The victory gave Sampras his 13th Grand Slam title, breaking the record of 12 by Roy Emerson and at that time giving Sampras the most Grand Slam titles in history, until his record was eclipsed by Roger Federer following the 2009 Wimbledon final.
Sampras used one racket type, the Wilson Pro Staff Original, for his entire professional career – a racket first introduced in 1983. He played with Babolat natural gut, with all his rackets re-strung before each match (used or not) at 75 lbs tension (more or less depending on conditions). His rackets had weight added to bring them close to 400 g, but the proper frame was a production model manufactured from St. Vincent, an island factory in the Caribbean. The handles were custom-built.
Post-retirement, Sampras has used the slightly modified Pro Staff Tour 90 and in 2008 had a new version of the original Pro Staff produced, with in-between head size of 88 square inches and heavier weight at 349 grams unstrung.
Since mid-2010, however, Sampras has been spotted at multiple exhibitions playing with a Babolat Pure Storm Tour, along with Babolat's popular RPM Blast strings.
"I need a little more pop...I need it if I'm going to play some tennis," he said after playing Gael Monfils in an exhibition at the SAP Open.
Pete Sampras at Champions Cup Boston, in 2007.
On April 6, 2006, three and a half years after his retirement, Sampras resurfaced and played his first exhibition match in River Oaks, Houston, Texas against 23 year old Robby Ginepri. Ginepri won the match 6–3, 7–6(10). Sampras later announced that he would be playing in World Team Tennis events.
2007 saw Sampras 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. Sampras won his first two events on tour, defeating Todd Martin in both finals (one of which included Sampras's first trip to his ancestral homeland, Greece). Many observers noted that despite his lengthy layoff from competitive tournaments, Sampras still possessed many of the previous skills he had displayed while on the ATP tour, with tennis legend John McEnroe going as far as to say that Sampras would be worthy of a top five seeding at Wimbledon were he to enter the tournament.
On November 20, 2007, Sampras lost the first of three exhibition matches in Asia against Roger Federer losing 6–4, 6–3 in Seoul, Korea. Two days later in Kuala Lumpur, Sampras again lost to Federer, 7–6(6), 7–6(5). However, Sampras was able to win the last match of the series, winning 7–6(8), 6–4.
On February 18, 2008, in an exhibition match during the SAP Open, Sampras defeated another active player, former World No. 2 Tommy Haas. Sampras dispatched the German, 6–4, 6–2 in 43 minutes.
On March 10, 2008, Sampras played another exhibition match against World No. 1 Roger Federer at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Sampras once again lost the match 6–3, 6–7(4), 7–6(6).
In 2009, Sampras won two Outback Champions Series titles. He defeated McEnroe in the final of the Champions Cup Boston in February and Patrick Rafter in the final of The Del Mar Development Champions Cup in March.
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. Sampras's record of 14 majors had lasted for seven years.
The following year, along with Federer, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal, he played an exhibition doubles match at Indian Wells to raise money for the people of Haiti that had been affected by the earthquake.
In November 2010, Sampras reported that many of his trophies and other memorabilia had been stolen from a West Los Angeles public storage facility. The loss included only one of his 14 Grand Slam title trophies, from his first Australian Open victory, but also included two Davis Cups, an Olympic ring and six trophies for finishing top in the year-end rankings. Most of the stolen items have since been recovered and returned.
Sampras was an all-court player who would often serve and volley. Possessing an all-around skill, in the early years of his career, when not serving, his strategy was to be offensive from the baseline, put opponents in a defensive position, and finish points at the net. In his later years, he became even more offensive and would either employ a chip-and-charge strategy; just chip back the return and run up to the net, waiting for a volley or try to hit an offensive shot on the return and follow his return to the net.
He was known for producing aces on critical points, even with his second serves. He had an accurate and powerful first serve, one of the best of all time. His second serve was nearly as powerful as his first, possibly his most dangerous weapon. He had great disguise on both his first and second serves.
Sampras was able to hit winners from both his forehand and backhand wings from all over the court. He was also especially known for having arguably the best "running forehand" of all time. He was able to catch attacks wide to his forehand using his speed and hitting a forehand shot on the run. When successfully executed, he won many points outright or put opponents immediately on the defensive, due to the extreme pace and flat nature of the shot. He also popularized the jump smash, or "slam dunk", where he jumps and then hits the smash in mid-air.
Many players tried (especially late in his career) to serve a high "kicker" out to the Sampras backhand in an attempt to draw a weak return. A similar tactic was employed by many players in rallying Sampras; they would play shot after shot to the Sampras backhand, hoping to wear him down. Still, most of the time, he will handle them with either topspin or slice backhand deep to his opponent's court to change defense to attack.
Personal and family life
Sampras's older sister Stella is the women's tennis head coach at UCLA, and his younger sister, Marion, is a teacher in Los Angeles. His older brother, Gus, has been tournament director at the Scottsdale ATP event, but from 2007 he became president of the firm managing Pete's business activities.
On September 30, 2000, Sampras married American actress and former Miss Teen USA, Bridgette Wilson. On November 21, 2002, their son Christian Charles was born. On July 29, 2005, the couple welcomed their second son, Ryan Nikolaos.
Sampras has β-thalassemia, a genetic trait that sometimes causes mild anemia.
Main article: Pete Sampras career statistics
Records and achievements
These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
^ Denotes consecutive streak.
Championship Years Record accomplished Player tied
Grand Slam 1995–2000 8 consecutive wins in Grand Slam finals Stands alone
Grand Slam 1993–2000 8 consecutive years with a victory in a slam Björn Borg
Wimbledon 1993–2000 7 wins overall Stands alone
Wimbledon 1993–2000 7 finals overall Boris Becker
U.S. Open 1990–2002 5 wins overall Jimmy Connors
U.S. Open 1990–2002 8 finals overall Ivan Lendl^
ATP World Tour Finals 1991–1999 5 wins overall Ivan Lendl
Sampras has won 14 Grand Slam titles, second only to Federer's 16.
Sampras is the first male player to win more than 12 Grand Slams, surpassing the old record of 12 Grand Slams by Roy Emerson
Sampras finished the year ranked World No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for a record six years. He is the only player to have been ranked Year End World No. 1 by the ATP for six consecutive years (1993–98).
Sampras was ranked World No. 1 by the ATP for a record 286 weeks.
William Renshaw and Sampras share the record for most Wimbledon men's singles titles won, with seven titles each. Sampras never lost a Wimbledon final.
Sampras is the only male player to win the same Grand Slams (Wimbledon) 7 times in the span of 8 years.
Sampras is the only male player to have won at least three consecutive Wimbledon singles titles twice (1993–95 and 1997–2000).
Sampras is the only male player in the history of tennis to win his first and last Grand Slam 12 non calender years apart and 13 calender years apart(1990 & 2002 US Open).
Sampras is the first player to win combination of 7 Wimbledon and 5 US Open. Nobody has else matched or surpassed this combination of Grand Slam wins.
Only Sampras (1997–2000), Federer (2003–07), and Borg (1976–80) have won at least four consecutive Wimbledon singles titles. During the open era, only Borg (1978–81 French Open and 1976–80 Wimbledon), Sampras (1997–2000 Wimbledon), Federer (2003–07 Wimbledon and 2004–08 US Open), and Rafael Nadal (2005–08 French Open) have won at least one Grand Slam tournament four consecutive times.
Sampras was included in the year-end ATP top ten rankings for 12 years. Only Connors (16), Ivan Lendl (13), and Andre Agassi (16) have stayed in the ATP top ten longer.
Sampras earned US$43,280,489 in prize money (2nd Overall only to Roger Federer).
Sampras captured 64 ATP singles titles, which makes him fifth on the all-time list, behind Connors (109), Lendl (94), McEnroe (77) and Federer (67).
Sampras won 11 ATP Masters Series titles. Only Nadal (19), Agassi (17), and Federer (17) have won more of those titles.
Sampras appeared in at least one Grand Slam final for a record 11 consecutive years (1992–2002) (a record shared with Lendl (1981–91)). Sampras won at least one of those finals for a record eight consecutive years (1993–2000), a record shared with Borg (1974–81) and Federer (2003–10).
Ken Rosewall and Sampras are the only men to have won Grand Slam singles titles as a teenager, in their 20s, and in their 30s.
Sampras won at least one title for 11 consecutive years (1990–2000) and 12 of 13 (except 2001). He won at least four titles per year from 1990 through 1999 and captured at least two per year from 1990 through 2000.
Sampras compiled a 19–9 career Davis Cup record (15–8 in singles) and was a member of the winning teams in 1992 and 1995.
Sampras served a career-high 1,011 aces in 1993 and 974 aces in 1995 to lead the ATP tour.
Sampras won a career-high 10 titles and compiled a personal-best 29-match winning streak in 1994.
Sampras won a career-best 85 matches in 1993 and on April 12 of that year became the 11th player in the history of the ATP rankings to reach World No. 1.
Sampras was the youngest US Open men's singles champion at 19 years, 28 days in 1990.
Sampras won 40 of the 42 singles matches he played on Wimbledon's Centre Court and 63 of the 70 singles matches he played at the All England Club.
Sampras compiled a 762–222 win–loss record in singles during his 15 years on the ATP tour, winning more than 77% of his matches.
Sampras won singles titles in 11 different countries: Austria, Australia, Belgium, People's Republic of China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.
Sampras is the only male player during the open era who played in at least seven singles finals at two different Grand Slam tournaments (8 US Open and 7 Wimbledon).
Sampras is the only male player to have won the same Grand Slam singles tournament 7 times (Wimbledon).
Only Sampras and Lendl have appeared in 8 finals of the same Grand Slam (US Open).
Sampras won two grand slams in a calendar year four times: (1993–95, 97). Roger Federer surpassed this former record by winning Wimbledon in 2009, the 5th time he has won at least 2 slams in a calendar year. (2004–07, 09)
Only Sampras (2000–02), Federer (2004–09), Lendl (1982–89) and McEnroe (1979–81) have appeared in 3 or more consecutive US Open finals.
Only Sampras (1997–2000), Becker (1988–91), Federer (2003–09), McEnroe (1980–84) and Borg (1976–81) have appeared in 4 or more consecutive Wimbledon Finals.
Sampras won 12 Grand Slam in 8 year periods (1993–2000).
Sampras was the only greek/american to win a grand slam
Summary of professional awards.
Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Player of the Year for six consecutive years from 1993 through 1998.
International Tennis Federation World Champion for six consecutive years from 1993 through 1998.
U.S. Olympic Committee "Sportsman of the Year" in 1997. He was the first tennis player to receive this award.
GQ Magazine's Individual Athlete Award for Man of the Year in 2000.
Selected the No. 1 player (of 25 players) in the past 25 years by a panel of 100 current and past players, journalists, and tournament directors to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ATP in 1997.
Voted 48th athlete of Top 50 Greatest North American Athletes of ESPN's SportsCentury (also youngest on list).
In 2005, TENNIS Magazine named Sampras the greatest tennis player for the period 1965 through 2005, from its list, "The 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS Era".
^ "Top 10 Men's Tennis Players of All Time". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
^ "Sampras visits ancestral home for first time". Associated Press. MSNBC. May 15, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
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^ Srinivasan, 2007, Bio-Sporting Legends, p. 83.
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^ Most current Wimbledon Titles.
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^ Based on total wins per surface.
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^ Sampras-Rafter Career Head-To-Head
^ Tennis: Rafter learns the mind game
^ a b Rafter Grandly Slams U.S. Open Criticism
^ There's a Little Tension in Sampras, Rafter Rackets
^ Sampras slight raises stakes for 'Pat-trick'
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^ Pete Sampras at the International Tennis Federation
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Collins, Bud; H. A. Branham (1996). Sampras: A Legend in the Works. Chicago: Bonus Books. ISBN 1-56625-062-5.
Pete Sampras and Peter Bodo (2009). Pete Sampras: The Autobiography – A Champion's Mind. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 9781845134693.
Wimbledon Classic Match: Federer vs Sampras (2001) Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: October 31, 2006, Run Time: 233 minutes, ASIN: B000ICLR98.
Legends of Wimbledon – Pete Sampras (2006) Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: October 31, 2006, Run Time: 60 minutes, ASIN: B000ICLR84.
The Netjets Showdown: Pete Sampras vs. Roger Federer (2008) Arts Alliance Amer, DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008, Run Time: 180 minutes, ASIN: B0013PVGN6.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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