Pete Sampras to come off of the golf course?

Phil

Hall of Fame
This is from the Times of London...

Sampras mulls over return to the court
By Mark Hodgkinson
(Filed: 30/11/2004)

Pete Sampras, the seven-times Wimbledon champion, is considering a return to competitive tennis. Sampras, who formally announced his retirement last year, has been sounding out friends about the possibility of making a comeback on the seniors tour.

Serving notice: Pete Sampras is considering a return
The 33-year-old American last played a competitive match at the 2002 US Open, when he beat Andre Agassi to win the last of his 14 Grand Slam titles, and is believed to spend most of his days on the golf course. But Sampras is growing "restless" in California, his old friend and rival, Jim Courier, revealed yesterday.

Courier had an unexpected phone call from Sampras, who is intrigued by this week's seniors event at the Albert Hall. "I spoke to Pete this week. He was curious to see how I'm enjoying doing this. I sense a little bit of restlessness there. Pete has been playing a lot of golf, but he was curious to know what this seniors tour is all about," Courier said.

Sampras was given an emotional send-off at the US Open last year, and has previously said that any retirement would be final, that he "did not want to come back 17 times like retired boxers". It is not known whether Sampras, who is married to Hollywood actress Bridgette Wilson, is practising seriously again.

Courier hinted that, though Sampras is a private man, he may be lured back by his "love" of tennis. "It's been two years since Pete played and I think that's about the time when people start to feel how much they love the game of tennis and creep back into it with a few exhibitions here and there, and test the water," Courier said.

Courier, 34, is himself a recent convert to the seniors tour, making his first appearance this year. "What you soon realise is that tennis is a core part of your being," he said. "It would certainly be a boon for the tour if Pete came out of retirement."
 

VictorS.

Professional
I think it would be great to see Sampras back on the court on the senior circuit. Obviously this is a totally different scenario and anything he does here would have no bearing on his legacy as a player on the atp circuit.
 

Max G.

Legend
Yes, agree very much.

Whoever brought up the quote that Sampras "did not want to come back 17 times like retired boxers," I think, was mixing and matching promises.

Seniors tour is not a comeback to the main tour. It has less events, and requires a significantly lesser time commitment to practicing and training. It's like the tour without the grind.
 

sarpmas

Rookie
As an ardent fan of Pete, I'll be thrilled if he joins the senior tour! It may take some time for Pete to brush off some rustiness after his long layoff, but I'm extremely eager to see how Pete performs. Returning to tennis due to his passion and playing in a relax mode without much pressure, I'm expecting incredible tennis from Pete once again!

By the way, can Fed be the reason why Pete is considering a return?! :)
 

Max G.

Legend
Incredible tennis? Depends on your definition of incredible. He'll never play back up to his 90's standard, obviously; he'll play pretty high-class tennis, but nowhere near, say, Fed's current level. There's a reason why it's the seniors tour and not the regular tour.
 

VictorS.

Professional
Ya seriously....let's not forget, though pete had a nice last dance at the us open....his final few yrs on tour weren't exactly dominant.

But I certainly think a lot of these guys on the senior tour are still capable of playing high-quality tennis. I was watching Courier play I believe Muster the other day on the tennis channel, and he still has good explosion on the serve and his movement was excellent.
 

jun

Semi-Pro
it would be great to see Pete on senior tour.

Obviously it's much less rigorous than ATP tour, and I don't think anyone on Senior tour wants to return to ATP.

It would get pretty interesting as Richard K started playing senior even, and so did Jim Courier...I guess Richard K would be the greatest rival that Pete would have in that tour...
 
L

laurie

Guest
Krajicek is on the senior tour. he plays Becker tonight at the Royal Albert Hall. I'm going down there after work.

By the way, I find it hard to call men like Krajicek (age 33), Courier (age 34) and Becker just about to turn 37 as seniors. Maybe they should consider a change of name with such young men playing.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
laurie, I totally agree. These guys still play awesome. Would love to see Sampras playing against those guys: Becker, Courier, McEnroe, Krajicek, etc..


It should be called the Tennis All Star Slame/Hall of Fame Tour or something else.
 

fantom

Hall of Fame
Its called the Delta Tour of Champions, not the Seniors Tour. I think to be on it you must be a Masters Series Champion or a Grand Slam finalist.
 

Roforot

Professional
I'd rather not see him on the tour. Just goes against the image I have of him winning the 14th title.
If anything, I'd heard he'd planned on doing some instructional sessions on the Tennis Channel at some point.
 

rlbjr

Rookie
The only down side to seeing some of these guys on the champions tour is that movement is such a big part of the game.
A lot of the retired players have some trouble with hips, backs and feet and it isn't inspiring to see them hobbling around. For those of us that watched them play at their best though, it's a huge nastaldia rush to see them out there again. Edberg still looks like Edberg, Becker still looks like Becker and Mac still looks like Mac.
I had a chance to hit and play with Vilas and even at 52 he can still do whatever he wants with a ball and moves very, very well. I wish they still had the tour in the US because I wouldn't pass up a chance to go again.
 
L

laurie

Guest
Hi. I have just been to see Becker v Krajicek at Royal Albert Hall. It was a fantastic match. It went to a champions tiebreak which Becker won but there were 5 breaks of serve in the match. Both men played all court tennis with power and speed combined with finesse at net. It reminded me of a match I saw last year in Paris Bercy between Federer and Verkerk which went to a third set tiebreak.

The most amazing thing was that Krajicek never served and vollyed once!!! He plays like Roddick and Lendl now. Big serve and big forehand. His forehand was excellent especially running forehand.

A real treat!
 

Phil

Hall of Fame
Here's an article on the RK-BB match in England:

Becker opens with Krajicek win

Coverage on BBC Television on Saturday and Sunday
Boris Becker won the battle of the big serves to beat Richard Krajicek in his first match of the Masters Challenge. Krajicek, who retired from the ATP Tour only last year, cranked his serve up to a top speed of 133mph.

But Becker, 37, hit back from a set down to level before winning the deciding champions' tie-break 10-3.

It was a stirring revival by the three-time Wimbledon champion, who received a warning from umpire Jeremy Shales for smashing his racquet into the floor.

Krajicek took the opening set 7-5 with the first service break of the match.

Becker finally broke twice in succession to go 4-1 up in the second set, but the determined Dutchman emulated him to level at 4-4.

Two more aces put Krajicek ahead 6-5 before Becker rallied again to level at 6-6 and then took the tie-break 7-4 to force the match into the longer champions' tie-break.

Afterwards, Becker said: "These young guys take it seriously, and the older guys have to keep up with them."

Becker plays old rival John McEnroe in his second match in the most competitive of the Masters event's round-robin groups on Wednesday.

Michael Stich, the 1991 Wimbledon men's singles champion, admitted to suffering a health scare after losing his opening match at the Albert Hall.

The 36-year-old German visibly dropped the pace during his 6-4 6-3 defeat by Thomas Muster, Austria's Davis Cup manager, in his opening round-robin match.

Muster, who in his first match in charge in September steered Austria to the victory which saw Great Britain relegated from the Davis Cup world group, realised his opponent was struggling.

Tournament favourite Jim Courier took a tumble, banging his knee, as he closed out a 6-4 7-5 win over French showman Henri Leconte in his opening match.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Right now TTC is airing a Seniors event that was played in Austria. The format really allows these guys to showcase not only their tennis, but their personality as well. The first match I watched was Becker vs. Muster and neither guy cut up that much. The Jensens are doing the commentary and said that the reason was these two didn't like each other very much.

But, Becker played Forget in a subsequent match and did cut up some. Forget and Becker played very high level tennis and very entertaining tennis. Courier stopped play in his match when a guy's cell phone went off. The guy was seated directly behind Courier at court level. Courier stopped, let the guy answer the call, and then said "Is everything OK?" You could tell it got off on Courier, but he controlled himself very well.

The guys also give each other points when they think a linesman has hosed a call. They give each other two. If they like each other, like Courier and Kraijcek apparently do, they carry on coversations and tell each other good shot. I heard Forget say "good shot" about 3 times in the hour I got to watch during lunch. For one thing, I couldn't believe he was speaking in English, playing Becker in Austria.

But, to the point. Sampras was always accused of never showing any personality on court and this may be the perfect venue for him to have some fun. I, for one, hope he does come back on the Seniors tour. (Guys, anything over 30 is considered seniors.) The one thing I don't hope is that this runs McEnroe off the Senior tour. I still love to watch the guy play even though he's a car wreck waiting to happen.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
the bad blood between muster and becker probly stemmed from there monte carlo final a few years back when muster came from the brink of defeat and exhaustion to winning in 5 sets. afterwards becker accused muster of faking it or taking performance enhancing drugs to win the 5th set. becker had match points in that match and it was the closest he's come to winning a clay court tournament which he never has
 
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