Story about Sampras in the juniors

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Moose Malloy, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    While talking to Martin Blackman about his Junior Champion's Tennis Center (see my recent Youre Invited post) , I mentioned that I had just been talking with Pete Sampras the previous day. He told me a funny story. Blackman played the Easter Bowl consolation final against Sampras one year; Martin was in the 18s, and Pete was playing up (he was just 14 or 15). Martin won the match, and remembered how good Pete was, and how cool he seemed to be when he lost. "He came bounding up to the net, it looked like he'd just had the time of his life. Losing didn't seem to bother him one bit".

    About a year later, Blackman and Sampras met yet again in a junior Davis Cup camp trials match. Again, Martin prevailed, and Pete came loping up to the net like a puppy. Blackman says, "He was grinning from ear-to-ear, just like the first time. I couldn't forget that, it was so unusual to see that in junior tennis. So I got to thinking about that previous match and I realized something. Since i last played him, Pete had abandoned the two-handed backhand. This second time we met he was using the one-hander. A totally different backhand. But if that had any affect on his enthusiasm or self-confidence, you never would have known.

    "That, I think, is a pretty good clue to understanding how Sampras became who he is - and I'm not talking about the one or two-handed backhand issue, either."

    http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2007/04/x.html
     
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Great story. Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Lol. Easy to picture.
     
  4. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Do we hate losing or we love winning ?

    Winning is the real reward of this game or it's just a spice to
    enjoy real meat ?
     
  5. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    This reminds me of a quote by Truman Capote, "Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor."
     
  6. MHobbit

    MHobbit New User

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    It's widely known that Pete wasn't so interested in succeeding in the juniors by winning matches-- he succeeded by gaining great experience.
     
  7. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Well said. The emphasis should be on playing great tennis, not winning necessarily.

    I think fear of losing is what has made me a tennis underachiever.
     
  8. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Another thing about Sampras' tennis is his parents.
    They are known to be very far from typical tennis parent.
    They never pushed him to excel in tennis or anything.
    That must be at least part of his pressure-free junior years.
    It's all driven by Sampras himself and his love of the game.

    Another big influence must be his early coach Dr. Pete Fischer(sp?).
    A medical doctor who were deeply in love with the game, almost
    madly into studying the game.
     
  9. armand

    armand Banned

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    The junior Pete seems very far away from the adult who tanked(?) the US Open match one year (vs Edberg?)because of too much pressure then became dedicated to becoming one of the GOATs.
     
  10. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    There wasn't much talk about GOAT in his early days.
    Mary Carrillo was pretty much the only one I remember who caustiously
    talked about possibility. Nothing like the rave over Federer.

    At US Open 1992, Sampras got beaten squarely by Edberg.
    He always struggled with fiercely attacking players.
    He was never able to beat Edberg convincingly until Edberg
    clearly declined. Edberg was a tough tough player.
     
  11. harryz

    harryz Semi-Pro

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    Sampras didn't tank against Edberg

    He was reputed to have been pretty ill with a stomach virus for the '93 final. I remember the match, and he looked sluggish throughout. I really don't think he tanked...
     
  12. armand

    armand Banned

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    Didn't he say something to the press after the match, like he was very relieved to have lost?
     
  13. laurie

    laurie Guest

    Well, if I remember the potential GOAT talk started with Sampras around 1994 when he won Aussie Open, Japan, Indian Wells, Miami and Italian Open in the first half of the year.

    The talk with Federer started in 2004 when he won the Aussie Open and Andrew Castle wrote the article on the BBC website. That's when the debate really started. So it's about the same time wise.

    That 1992 final Sampras won the first set and had the match under control as he served for the 3rd set at 5:4 but served a double fault on break back point. Edberg won the match because Sampras kept having to come up with great passing shots off both wings, in the end it was too much but he stayed back a lot then and Edberg took the opportunities by repeatedly coming in. Sampras took the Edberg game plan and used it himself in later years - illustrated perfectly on my clips of Sampras Kuerten in 2000 Maimi.
     
  14. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    He said that after he lost in the '91 US Open QF's to Courier(when he was the defending champion)
    He was referring to the pressure he had to deal with as being the youngest ever US Open champion, saying something like, 'in a way I'm glad I lost so I don't have to deal with this attention,' referring to offcourt attention, not that he didn't want to win.
    The press made more out of it than it probably deserved, he certainly didn't tank in '91 or '92. He cites the '92 US Open final loss as the turning point in his career, where he realized how much he hated to lose & that being 2nd best wasn't good enough.
     

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