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The life and career of Pete Sampras

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Pete Sampras
The life and career of Pete Sampras. Photo/ Sky Sports.
  • Pete Sampras is a former American tennis player who is counted among the greatest players ever in tennis history. 
  • During his career, he won 14 major singles, which was an all-time record by the time he retired. 
  • Sampras reached the world No. 1 ranking in 1993 and held the position for 286 weeks.

Pete Sampras is a former tennis player widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game. His professional career began in 1988 and ended in 2002. 

Sampras reached the world No. 1 ranking in 1993 and held the position for 286 weeks. The legend still holds the ATP record of six year-end No. 1 rankings (1993-1998).

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Photo/ tennisnet.com.

During his career, he won 14 major singles, which was a record by the time he retired. He won a joint Open Era record five US Open titles, seven Wimbledon titles and two Australian Open titles. 

The American is considered by many one of the best serve-and-volley players of all time. He is particularly remembered for his excellent technique and powerful serve that earned him the nickname ‘Pistol Pete”. 

Pete Sampras enjoyed rivalries with some of the best players of his time. In fact, his rivalry with Andre Agassi has been called the greatest of the generation playing in the 1990s. His rivalry with Patrick Rafter is also among the best tennis rivalries of all time. 

Pete Sampras, a right-handed player with a single-handed backhand, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007. He credits much of his success to his former coach and friend Tim Gullikson, who passed away in 1996. 

Early Life

Pete Sampras was born on August 12, 1971, in Washington, D.C. to Soterios “Sammy” and Georgia Sampras. Pete began playing tennis when he was just three years old after finding a tennis racket in the basement of his family’s home. 

When he was 7, his family moved to Palos Verdes in California, allowing him to play tennis most of the year because of the warmer climate. His idol growing up was Rod Laver, and he met and played with him tennis when he was 11. 

Sampras’ talent became apparent after he became a member of the Jack Kramer Club. Dr Peter Fischer, a tennis enthusiast and paediatrician coached Sampras until 1989. 

Career 

Pete Sampras became a professional tennis player in 1988 when he was 16 years old. His first professional match was against Sammy Giammalva, Jr. in Philadelphia. He lost the match. 

Sampras won his first professional singles title at the Ebel US Pro Indoor in 1990 after defeating Andre Agassi, Mayotte and Andres Gomez. He set history at the US Open after defeating Thomas Muster, Ivan Lendl, McEnroe and Agassi to become the youngest-ever male singles champion.

Sampras was 19 years and 28 days when he first won the US Open. He expanded on these accomplishments by winning the Grand Slam too and ranking No. 5 at the end of that year. 

In 1991, Sampras defeated Jim Courier to win the Tennis Masters Cup. However, he failed to defend his US Open title after losing to Courier in the quarter-finals. 

The American reached the No. 1 rankings for the first time in 1993 and soon won his first Wimbledon title and second US Open title. He won Wimbledon again but lost to Andre Agassi in the finals of the Australian Open. By 1996, he had won four US Open titles. 

Pete Sampras ended his sixth consecutive year as No. 1 in 1998. That year, he won his fifth Wimbledon but lost the US Open and Australian Open. 

Pete Sampras, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, announced his retirement from the sport before the 2003 US Open. He bid farewell to his fans and the tennis world in general in a special ceremony at the US Open.

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras won 14 major singles during his career. Photo/ Sky Sports.

Personal Life 

Pete Sampras married American actress Bridgette Wilson on September 30, 2000. The couple had their first child, Christian Charles Sampras, on November 21, 2002. Their second son was born on July 29, 2005. 

Sampras and his family live in Lake Sherwood, California. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the tennis legend has a net worth of around $150 million. He earned $43 million during his legendary career. He has also earned an estimated $100 million from endorsements and special appearances. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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