"I could do that," Sampras said of making cameo appearances at the majors

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by FedSampras, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. FedSampras

    FedSampras Semi-Pro

    Oct 27, 2006

    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

    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.

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