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Old 07-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #11
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 208

Originally Posted by BeHappy View Post

What most impressed Agassi was how little Sampras leans on his coaches.
(Agassi is now coached by Brad Gilbert, who helped him climb from No. 32 to No.
1 in a little more than a year; Sampras's coach is Paul Annacone, who replaced
Tim Gullikson seven months ago when Gullikson withdrew to battle brain cancer,
for which he is now undergoing chemotherapy.) "Pete said, 'Regardless of what
Brad's done for you, you're the one who has to go out there and do it,' " Agassi
told me in the restaurant. "I said, 'I totally agree with you, but he's given me
a lot of important insights." He said, 'Like what?' And I was like, 'Well, he's
directed me here and directed me there, and given me a game plan.' And Pete was
shocked to think that's what a coach does. All he knows is someone who makes
sure his toss is on line and helps with the fundamentals on some very basic
level. But nobody tells Pete how to play. Me, it's the opposite. I have all the
shots, but what the hell do I do with them?"

when I
remind him how frequently Brad Gilbert, Agassi's notoriously gregarious coach,
brings up the fact that Gilbert is four and four in the eight times he met
Sampras as a player, he says, "[expletive] Brad!" He tries to point out the
meaninglessness of the statistic. "I mean, this [expletive] guy here is 1-0
against me," Sampras says, pointing to Annacone, who is wading in the shallow
end with a silly grin, not quite sure whether to look proud or insulted

Sampras has seemed to
value his coaches more for their company than their wisdom. When Annacone, still
wading nearby, starts expounding tennis theory, saying that a player is always
plotting to take away the amount of time his opponent has to return a shot,
either by hitting the ball hard or hitting it early, Sampras, without taking
his eye off the little poolside basketball hoop he's shooting at, just says,
There it is
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