Sampras retirement after he won 02 US Open was a big mistake.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by mistik, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. mistik

    mistik Hall of Fame

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    I really think that Roger today and before him Agassi is a proof that you can still play some great tennis and be competitive as you get older.I know that Sampras have some early defeats in majors as he gets older but there was still some great tennis left in him after he won his last slam in 2002 Us Open.Sampras could still play some great tennis in 2003 and he might steal some slams against Agassi in AO or more likely 03 Us Open against Roddick. I think on his good day he would still be a more threat to Fed in Wimbledon than the likes of Roddick or Philipossis.I think Roger knows that he is going to lose more than he wins against the likes Nadal,Djokovic and Murray but he still competitive and he can still win like he did in last years Wimbledon, after having not win a slam since his 2010 AO.In a way that is good to see Federer not doing the same mistake like Pete done after he won 2002 Us open.Even at some point someone break his record he wont have any regrets that ı could have done a little bit more,because he is giving himself every possible chance before saying goodby.
     
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  2. aceroberts13

    aceroberts13 Professional

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    As long as Pete walked way from the game when Pete thought it was right, then no mistake was made.
     
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  3. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    He was tired of the day to day grind. He didn't enjoy it anymore.
     
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  4. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    what can you do (on the tour) against lack of motivation ?
    he probably wasn't going to win much if he didn't want to play...

    it's an important factor in the decline of champions.
     
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  5. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    I think touring pros are more likely than many to retire at the right time because most hang out almost daily with someone who faced the same decision himself -- the coach. That's some good experience to call on to help you decide.
     
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  6. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    OH trust me best way to bow out. He was mentally out of it, he didnt want to play. Annacone himself said Sampras was way more mentally fatigued than fed. Fed still has motivation like a 22 year old
     
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  7. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Unlike Federer, he wasn't consistently getting into the deeper round of the slam, so no, it wasn't a mistake to retire. He was struggling to win even the mickey mouse tournament.
     
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  8. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    I strongly disagree with you. Sampras lost to George Bastl at Wimbledon and had not won a tournament all year. His confidence was at an all time low going into the US Open. The magic returned over the course of the 2 weeks. Sampras beat top players like Rusedski, Haas, Roddick and of course his greatest rival, Agassi in the finals to win. He was able to rise to the occasion 1 more time. Sampras could not have scripted a better ending to his career.
     
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  9. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    No way... Pete did it right.

    Could he have possibly won another major? Sure.

    2002 definitely would've had some openings... by 2003 though he wouldn't have won squat.

    I think Pete might have played another season if he wouldn't have won the USO...

    But that draw went absolutely perfect and he won.. and he knew he was damn lucky to get that win..... rarely will anyone be lucky enough to do it that way again.


    Too many careers end in the way Venus Williams, Lleyton Hewitt, or Michael Jordan did... with a lot of losing.. hanging on too long.

    I can only hope that Federer and Nadal leave in a similar fashion... but since Pete's the exception... i bet they leave under circumstances that involve losing and/or injury...

    Sure would suck to see federer end his career on an injury.

    I understand he couldn't retire after this year's wimby with being #1 and the olympics coming up.... but I would be 100% happy IF he were to win another major and insta-retired on that high note.... or at least retired at the end of the season where he won said major.
     
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  10. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    When you don't want it badly anymore....there's nothing you can do.

    When you go out in the morning to train and you feel you don't want to be there and do that anymore....there's little you can do.

    When you have lost the motivation, hope you find another thing in life.

    Not everybody has fire inside that last forever like a Connors, Rosewall, Agassi,...(Federer now)...
     
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  11. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Looking back yes.. But at the time he had whiped out most of the records and there was no rival in sight that challenged his legacy as he disposed them all
     
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  12. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    I agree with you. Sampras was clearly struggling all year.

    It's not really a bad thread. I can understand the OP looking at the situation in hindsight, comparing Sampras to Federer at his current age. But Federer is still a threat to win any tournament. That was not the case in 2002 with Sampras.

    At the time, it looked like the Sampras 14 singles Slam record was safe for years. When you compare Sampras to Borg, then it is crystal clear that Borg had a lot more to offer. Considering he was 26 when he retired. But on the other hand, I'm judging Borg. Borg had his reasons to retire and obviously they meant something to him.
     
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  13. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Just like Roger and Agassi are proof that if you're a top player, you can win the FO? oh wait...

    Sampras is not as good as Federer. He was basically given a free pass by his next gen (Kuerten, Kafelnikov.. really?). If they were as good as Gen X+1 for Federer, Sampras would be languishing in single-digits in slams. Agassi was able to play into his 30s because he had very little mileage in his mid-20s. it's not rocket science.
     
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  14. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's not about being a top player, it's about champion's pride.

    Love them or hate them Fed and Agassi had too much pride to be irrelevant on a major surface.
     
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  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Doesn't this suggest that Gen X+1 is not all that good?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
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  16. jxs653

    jxs653 Rookie

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    Oh please .. in what sense his draw was perfect?

    Just how do you know? I think you're writing fiction here too..
     
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  17. jxs653

    jxs653 Rookie

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    People talk about lack of motivation but is it fact or speculation? Pete retired because he wasn't winning ...
     
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  18. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    For tennis fans, it was terrible, for the rest of "his" life, it was a good decision.
    I have seen Sampras, Courier, Agassi when they were young and old, none of them walk the same anymore. Tennis is very rough on the body.
     
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  19. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    i am pete sampras
     
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  20. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    pics or didn't happen
     
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  21. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    People forget.........

    People also forget that Sampras was battling a rare mediteranian blood disease that robbed him of energy, which got worse as he got older. He knew that it would be near impossible to continue at a high level of play with the condition.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
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  22. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    for Pete, yes.
     
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  23. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Yep, Pete was so good that people forgot that he had Thalassemia. Most mortals wouldn't even become pro with that type of disorder, but Pete was an exception. He was so good that Thalassemia didn't stop him from becoming #1 and one of the greatest player of all time.
     
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  24. Strobe Lights

    Strobe Lights Semi-Pro

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    I don't see it as a mistake at all.

    His motivation for the day-to-day grind of the tour was no longer there and, heading into that US Open, he had not won a title in over two years (previous was Wimbledon 2000).

    He played a great tournament and found himself in the final against his greatest rival. Your final match being a Major win in your home country, to tie Connors for most Open-era US Open titles, against your biggest rival sounds like a fairytale. He took a year to officially decide, but I think he realised it was the perfect way to bow out.

    He had the highest number of Majors and it is not as if he was going to win the French. For most, he was the greatest player of the Open era at his retirement. For me, he was second only to Borg and the greatest fast-court player of the Open era. Not too shabby.

    People spend so much time on here dismissing whoever they don't regard as the absolute best as if they are a joke. Now with Federer having surpassed Sampras in the eyes of most, people think he should have continued. I strongly disagree.

    A superlative career with a spectacular finalé, the likes of which we will possibly never see again. It will always be one of those great sporting moments.
     
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  25. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    If you read his book, you'll learn that he had nothing to prove to anyone but he knew he still had one more slam left in him. His last 2 years on the tour was all about winning that last slam he knew he had, so when he won it, he had nothing left to prove to the world and more importantly to himself. The next morning after he won the USO he was on a high, he was basically on a high until the AO, then he had no motivation to play that and pulled out. He was totally content.

    At that stage he had pretty much done it all, except win the FO, but he had resigned himself to not winning that 5 years earlier, but was no big deal to him because everyone since Laver had failed to win a career slam. But, he had the most slams, the most Wimbledons, a record 6 years ending number 1 and he had the best of his main rivals. What else was there for him to achieve?

    Plus, he was in a serious relationship at that time too.
     
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  26. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    Maybe Sampras just needed a holiday and had to come out of retirement...Jordan like :p

    I read open and enjoyed it. Sampras' book any good?
     
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  27. jorel

    jorel Hall of Fame

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    i believe courier summed it up best..

    Pete just wasnt putting the work in"
    and sampras himself said that he lost the motivation for the offcourt training
     
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  28. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras felt he had given his all to his career, and wanted to leave on top--winning a major. It be pointless to continue in major after major, revealing to all the worlds that many have your number and your "prime" is just a distant memory of the past. Think of Federer: he barely won another major after two year bust, and then USO '12, AO '13arrived and passed, with Federer's skills dulled in both. then, there was the Olympics, where he was soundly defeated. He is at the exact point of Sampras--more or less--and needs to consider his legacy.
     
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  29. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Hiis legacy means continuing to get to the semi-finals on a regular basis.

    It's another record that you will never see the likes or Rafa achieve as his body breaks down, and it remains to be seen if Djokovic can pull off anything remotely similar.

    I'd say as long as he can stay in the top 5, what reason is there for Fed to stop unless he just gets tired of the grind? Since he still has just as much if not more hope of knocking off the other top 3 in comparison to the rest of the field, he can help to preserve his own legacy.
     
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  30. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's a common misconception that Sampras retired after winning 2002 USO (left at the top), he was announcing his participation in many tourneys next year but was pulling out eventually out of each one (like say Nadal did since Wimbledon last year), it wasn't until Wimbledon was around the corner and Sampras couldn't motivate himself to train even for his most beloved tourney that he decided to call it quits.
     
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  31. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Sampras was tired. He'd done everything he wanted to do and from what I could tell as a fan the passion wasn't there anymore. Who can blame the guy. It's a grind to maintain the insanely high level that a top pro is at. He was 30 something and wanted to do some other things.

    I agree that the game was still in his body. He could still win majors. But if the heart's not there even he wasn't good enough to make that happen. Kudos to him for leaving on his terms.

    Fed, OTOH, seems to still just love the process. He loves playing. I think the other guys have caught up to his crazy high level, but that's not a knock on him. There are three people on this entire planet that can get on a tennis court with him and have an honest expectation that they might win. Everyone else is basically bracket filler, and these are some incredible players like Tsonga, Del Potro, etc. But to date, besides Del Potro once, they haven't gotten it done at a slam. The big four all got a slam last year, and Murray got the gold, Fed the silver, and Djokovic almost the bronze. Seems like we've reached parity, not a decline for Fed. By the time the semis of a slam happen, it's the same four guys for the most part.
     
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  32. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But Roger continue to play and won Wimbledon, his 17th slams. He also reclaimed the #1 ranking and broke Sampras 286 weeks at #1. The more he play, the more he's adding more to his legacy, thus, distance himself more from the pack.
     
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  33. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Sampras was burned out, yes, but some of that was because he felt like his place in the record books was secure. He had no idea that someone (guess who, haha) would come along and within 10 years erase Sampras' name from the top of most of the record lists. He had he known that I think he might have stuck around another 2-3 years to try to steal a couple of Slams.
     
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  34. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    That's no legacy. He's already won majors, so what are essentially third-place finishes are not some high achievement for Federer.
     
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