Originally Posted by Mainad
The ATP dates records in Masters tournaments from 1990 even if they were not called 'Masters' at that time.
According to Wiki:
"The series was introduced in 1990 with the inception of the ATP Tour by bringing together the nine most prestigious tournaments of the Grand Prix Tour Championship Series (1970–1989). The events were originally known as the ATP Championship Series, Single Week for the first three years. From 1993 through 1999, the series was known as the Mercedes-Benz Super 9. In 2000, the name was changed to the Tennis Masters Series and then changed to ATP Masters Series in 2004. The present name took effect in 2009."
As for Sampras, he has gone on record as saying that he sometimes found them harder to win than Slams as you often had to play back to back matches against top players often without a day's rest unlike in the Slams.
I am aware of the history of this series! My the fact it had to be rebranded so many times in itself speaks of how it lacked prestige and value with fans and players alike! Only since the Masters Series and now Masters 1000's have these events been held in the highest regard!
Sampras also said he believed in peaking for the majors! And he did! He lost to Paes once at Cincinnati! Says it all about how much Pete valued that tournament!