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Pete Sampras Retires

August 26, 2003|Steve Pratt

* Most Grand Slams: 14

* Most Weeks at No. 1: 286

* Highest Career Earnings: $43 million

* Wimbledon Greatness: 7 titles, 63-7 record (.900)

*

The Memorable Moments

1. WIMBLEDON 2000

Sampras' parents, Sam and Georgia, had never seen him win a major. Until now. It was 8:57 p.m. in London with light fading when Sampras claimed his record 13th Grand Slam after two rain delays. Tears followed his 6-7 (10), 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Patrick Rafter. It's been called his grittiest effort at a Grand Slam. Tendinitis in his left shin and foot meant injections before his final five matches.

2. U.S. OPEN 2002

He had gone 33 tournaments without a title, longest such streak in his career. Seeded 17th, Sampras wasn't given much of a chance. In the final he faced his biggest rival, Andre Agassi, owner of the game's best return of serve. At 5-4, 30-0, ahead two sets to one, Sampras unleashed a 119-mph second-serve ace, his 33rd of the match, a personal record in a major final. It would be his last match: 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

3. 1996 U.S. OPEN

In a fifth-set tiebreaker against Alex Corretja, a dehydrated Sampras vomited twice. From Times' sports editor Bill Dwyre: "... This one will stand the test of time as a match for the ages. All the other cliches work too. ... The true tennis buffs will be telling their kids someday where they were the day Sampras threw up between serves and still won his quarterfinal match in the U.S. Open." The score: 7-6 (5), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7).

4. 1995 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Grief-stricken over coach Tim Gullikson's terminal cancer and down by two sets against Jim Courier, Sampras wept openly after a fan shouted, "Do it for your coach," at the start of the final set. After losing tiebreakers in the first two sets, he stormed to take the last three, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, and the match. He beat Michael Chang in the semifinals and lost to Agassi in the final.

5. WIMBLEDON 1999

In their fourth Grand Slam final and playing "probably the best I have ever played," Sampras beat the resurgent Agassi, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, to join Australian Roy Emerson as the only male player to win 12 Grand Slam singles titles. Agassi had dominated in his previous six matches. "I ran into a bus today," he said. Added Sampras: "Andre just brings out the best in me."

*

-- Steve Pratt

Grand Slam singles titles*:

1. PETE SAMPRAS... 14

2. Roy Emerson ...12

3. Rod Laver... 11

4. Bjorn Borg ...11

5. Bill Tilden... 10

*

Men's career singles titles**:

1. Jimmy Connors ...109

2. Ivan Lendl ...94

3. John McEnroe ...77

4. PETE SAMPRAS ...64

5. Bjorn Borg/Guillermo Vilas ...62

*

Weeks at No. 1**:

1. PETE SAMPRAS... 286

2. Ivan Lendl...270

3. Jimmy Connors...268

4. John McEnroe...170

5. Bjorn Borg...109

*

Years at No. 1**:

1. PETE SAMPRAS...6

2. Jimmy Connors...5

3T. Ivan Lendl...4

3T.John McEnroe...4

5. Three tied with...2

*

Career prize money*:

1. PETE SAMPRAS...$43 million

2. Ane Agassi...$27 million

3. Boris Becker...$25 million

4. Yevgeny Kafelnikov...$23 million

5. Ivan Lendl...$21 million

*

Years in Top 10**:

1. Jimmy Connors...16

2T. Ane Agassi...13

2T. Ivan Lendl ...13

4. PETE SAMPRAS...12

5. Boris Becker...11

*

Year-end championships**:

1T. PETE SAMPRAS...5

1T. Ivan Lendl...5

3. Ilie Nastase...4

4. John McEnroe...3

5. Three tied with...2

*

Master Series titles***

1. Ane Agassi...16

2. PETE SAMPRAS ...11

3. Thomas Muster...8

4. Michael Chang...7

5. Four tied with ...5

*

Titles by surface

Hard... 36

Carpet ...15

Grass ...10

Clay... 3

* -- All-Time ** -- Open Era (since 1968)

*** -- Since 1990

*

The Opponents

Pete Sampras compiled a 762-222 record, winning more than 77% of the matches he played in 15 years. A look of his record against selected opponents:

Sampras has a winning record head-to-head against his U.S. peer group:

Andre Agassi ...20-14

Michael Chang... 12-8

Jim Courier ...16-4

Todd Martin ...18-4

He has a losing record against the new guard:

Lleyton Hewitt...4-5

Marat Safin ...3-4

Andy Roddick ...1-2

Roger Federer ...0-1

Against 1980s greats:

Ivan Lendl ...5-3

Boris Becker ...12-7

Stefan Edberg...8-6

Against McEnroe brothers (6-0):

John McEnroe ...3-0

Patrick McEnroe...3-0

Against British players (15-2)

Greg Rusedski ...9-1

Tim Henman ...6-1

Against others:

Cedric Pioline...9-0

MaliVai Washington...7-0

Goran Ivanisevic ...12-6

Patrick Rafter ...12-4

Yevgeny Kafelnikov...11-2

*

The Personal File

* Birth date: Aug. 12, 1971.

* Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

* Reared: Palos Verdes.

* Residence: Beverly Hills.

* Height: 6-1.

* Weight: 195 pounds.

* Plays: Right-handed.

* Turned Pro: 1988.

* Married: To actress Bridgette Wilson, Sept. 30, 2000.

* Children: Christian Charles, born Nov. 21, 2002

* Shoes: Nike Air Oscillate II.

* Racket: Wilson ProStaff Tour 90.

* Starting out: At age 7 taught himself to play tennis by hitting balls against a wall with a wood racket found in basement.

* At a loss: Cried after losing his first tournament match, 6-0, 6-0.

* First coach: At 9 began working with Pete Fischer, a physician and amateur player who changed Sampras' backhand from two-handed to one-handed.

* Idol: Hit balls with Rod Laver at age 11.

* Turned pro: Age 16.

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