Pete Sampras - 1992 U.S. Open Final - Career Changer?

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
Pete has often said that the final against Stefan Edberg in 1992 at the US open was his most regrettable Grand Slam final. He said he could have won if he had tried harder but he choose not to. He said that match changed his mentality toward Grand Slams in the future and take it more seriously. He said he didn't want to feel disappointed anymore and made him hungry for the win.

Does anyone else find it really weird that the very next Grand Slam, 1993 Australian Open semifinal he lost in straight sets to Edberg?
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
When Sampras first became world number 1, there was some criticism, because his only major had been 2 and a half years previously, while Courier was the reigning champion of 2 majors and Edberg had twice beaten Sampras in majors. Sampras was under pressure to prove his world number 1 status, and he responded in excellent fashion.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
He CHOSE not to try hard in the 1992 US Open final? Why on earth would he choose not to try hard to win a Slam?

Was it a case of 'already been there, already done that' ?

:confused:
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
The OP should read "Stumbling on Happiness" by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert. He presents evidence that retrograde memories such as Sampras suggesting that a particular match made him determined to take slams more seriously are notoriously inaccurate. Sampras may have come to this conclusion long after both of the matches you cite, so the events would not be weird at all.
 

BrooklynNY

Hall of Fame
He CHOSE not to try hard in the 1992 US Open final? Why on earth would he choose not to try hard to win a Slam?

Was it a case of 'already been there, already done that' ?

:confused:
OP using the word, 'chose' not to try is a bit misleading

uh... think of it as the difference b/w Murray's first couple of slam final performances vs the Murray that goes out there digs deep in the 5th and beats his rival Novak.

The differences in the amount of desire and fighting spirit are almost quantifiable in this example.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
He CHOSE not to try hard in the 1992 US Open final? Why on earth would he choose not to try hard to win a Slam?

Was it a case of 'already been there, already done that' ?

:confused:
you misunderstand. It's not that he didn't try hard. He felt that he didn't dig down deep enough and was content on making the finals. Its not like he tanked the match. Digging down deep is what separates someone with talent and a champion. It was a wake up call for him because he stated he never wanted to feel that way again in terms of regret
 

Kenshin

Semi-Pro
you misunderstand. It's not that he didn't try hard. He felt that he didn't dig down deep enough and was content on making the finals. Its not like he tanked the match. Digging down deep is what separates someone with talent and a champion. It was a wake up call for him because he stated he never wanted to feel that way again in terms of regret
You are spot on. And it looks like my post has been used to create this thread. Good for you OP. Back to the topic but I think Pete is right in saying that the Edberg match was his wakeup call. Until he was defeated by Safin and Hewitt at USO at the tail end of his career, he had a record of 13 wins in a grandslam and only 2 losses in a final. That stat is better than Federer and Nadal. Even great player like Djokovic is 6-6 in grandslam finals. I can't think of any other player who had this outstanding record. So I think he is right by saying that the Edberg match was his most painful loss in a grandslam final but at the same time his most important final for him.
 

mattennis

Hall of Fame
Both matches showed Sampras's mental weakness (up to that point).

In the 1992 US OPEN final, he was leading 6-3 4-6 6-5 and serve. He played an awful game to lose his serve and also lost silly points in the tie-break to lose that third set. During the fourth set, it was not that he tanked, but he clearly did not dig deep, he was kind of content to lose that match in that moment.

In the 1993 AusOpen SF (against Edberg also) he was leading 4-0 (or something like that, two breaks up ) and he managed to lose that huge lead to lose in a tie-break. He also had chances to win the third set, but again lost his chances and played very flat to lose another tie-breaker.

After those two losses, many people started to talk about Sampras, that he would never be a GS champion again, that he had not the mental strenght to win important matches, that he had a great complete game but not a champion mind (it was not that bad to lose against Edberg two close matches, it was THE WAY he lost those matches, the way he squandered important leads, playing awful and apparently careless in the most important games, his mental weakness is what drove people mad about him in those matches).

Few weeks after that he got to nº1 (he had chances to become nº1 several times months earlier, during the last months of 1992, but everytime he lost the important matches, kind of like Federer during the summer of 2003 ) and people criticized him even more.

But then he won Wimbledon, US OPEN and the Australian Open back to back to back (first player to win 3 consecutive GS since Laver) and so people realized he had changed, he had become mentally stronger.
 
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