http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/sampras-shelves-grand-plan/2007/12/01/1196394689325.html Sampras shelves grand plan Will Swanton December 2, 2007 RETIRED tennis great Pete Sampras has flirted briefly with the idea of popping in to play at grand slam tournaments, but has dismissed it, seeing no need to add to his achievements despite Roger Federer closing in on his record. In an article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday, Sampras, 36, the winner of 14 grand slam titles who beat world No. 1 Federer in straight sets in an exhibition match in Macau last Saturday, said the competitive fires still burned. "I could do that," Sampras said of making cameo appearances at the majors. "But people who really know the sport and know Wimbledon also know it's a lot of work. Sure, if you told me I would train for two weeks and play Federer in the final of Wimbledon, I'd probably do the work. But there are a lot of great players I haven't seen play before and there's not a whole lot to gain, probably a little more to lose." Federer, 26, has 12 majors and will overtake Sampras unless a genuine rival emerges. When someone raises the possibility of it being Sampras, he shoots it down again. "In a romantic sense, it might be a big shot in the arm for the sport but it's not worth it. I'm at peace with what I did in the '90s," he said. Federer, whose claim to the "greatest ever" tag was tarnished a little by losing to Sampras five years after the American's retirement, claimed the former world No. 1 would return to the top five in the world with ease. But Sampras seems happy enough just to have stopped feeling like an old fat-face. "I saw a picture of myself and that was the pivotal moment," he said. "I was like, 'What happened to me? I don't want to be one of these athletes who puts on 30 pounds.' If I have a day when I don't play tennis, I have no focus. I had a moment walking off the court when I thought, 'I can still play'. I'll always have that moment . .. but I've had my time." Australian Open director Craig Tiley would be tempted to offer Sampras a wildcard if he thought he would accept. "There's no doubt Pete is still playing at the kind of level which could make him competitive at an Australian Open or a Wimbledon," Tiley said.