Teltscher agreed that Sampras' future is bright. He thinks the trio of Sampras, Chang and Agassi is the best group of American juniors since he and John McEnroe broke onto the scene 10 years ago. But he cautioned the young players to take things slowly at first.
"At the beginning, it's all a new world," Teltscher said. "It's like a new toy. But you can't play too much too soon. Right at the beginning you've got to make sure you're not trying to do it all."
Sampras' coach for the last seven years has been Dr. Peter Fischer, a pediatrician. His father, Sam, is a mechanical engineer for the U. S. Air Force Space Division in El Segundo. Both Sampras' mother and father encouraged him to play in his first junior tournament at age 7.
Sampras was hitting tennis balls last week at the Jack Kramer Tennis Club in Rancho Palos Verdes with 68-year-old Bodie Fite, who has been a member at the club for 55 years. Fite returned all of Sampras' high-kicking topspin serves and bullet forehands with the patience of one who has seen a lot of good tennis talent in his days.
"I played with all those damn kids--Teltscher, Tracy Austin--all of 'em," Fite said. "This kid Sampras might be the best of 'em. He's got it all ahead of him."
Sampras' first-round victim at Indian Wells is another believer.
"He serves and plays the net very well, which is impressive," Krishnan said. "He's 16 and playing great. It's very difficult to tell how good when you're that young, but he does have a lot of potential."
Sampras, whose idol is Rod Laver, agrees he has the potential. Now he just needs to set it into motion.
"My one goal is to win Wimbledon someday," Sampras said. "It's been my goal for the last four years.
"That doesn't mean I will do it. But I can."