Pete Sampras's 2008 autobiography "A Champion's Mind"

Vamos Rafa Nadal

Hall of Fame
I am reading his superb autobiography 13 years after it was published. I find it endlessly fascinating. He is helping me to see why it is often best for the younger players to develop slowly for the long haul, which is why I want Carlos Alcaraz to keep on improving but I don't need him to win a GS right away. I love how Pete writes with such honestly about the ups and downs of those first few years on the tour. He has an honesty in his book blended with his being a nice guy too and a true champion. Remember when the tennis media did not believe anyone would ever win more than his 14 slams??? This is a great book if you haven't read it already!
 

BGod

Legend
It does say published January of 2008 which means it was at least out there for over a year before Fed broke his record and was 2 shy when it came out (winning USO to get within 1 nine months later). There's a sadness in that fact as obviously Pete needed some time before gathering himself to write it I imagine the earliest would have been in 2004-2005 when Fed was already blazing on the scene. I will too give it a read. How does it compare to Agassi's Open? Another nice tennis book is Super Swedes.
 

Drob

Professional
I am reading his superb autobiography 13 years after it was published. I find it endlessly fascinating. He is helping me to see why it is often best for the younger players to develop slowly for the long haul, which is why I want Carlos Alcaraz to keep on improving but I don't need him to win a GS right away. I love how Pete writes with such honestly about the ups and downs of those first few years on the tour. He has an honesty in his book blended with his being a nice guy too and a true champion. Remember when the tennis media did not believe anyone would ever win more than his 14 slams??? This is a great book if you haven't read it already!

Agreed, friend. A wonderful, straightforward tennis adventure history.
 

STRONGSTYLE

Rookie
Pete is my all time favourite player, I loved his style, it's a shame he met that doctor that messed his backhand up - he could've been the perfect player
 
I am reading his superb autobiography
Pete's book is one of the driest and most boring tennis player biographies out there.

The ones produced by Laver, Newcombe, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Agassi, Nadal, Smith-Court, Evert, Navratilova, Goolagong-Cawley and Serena are all significantly better.

he could've been the perfect player
Got be able to win at least one (and preferably more than one) Roland Garros Title to be considered in that group.

Any candidate for "Perfection" has to succeed at the extreme ends of the sport - Fast Grass and Red Clay. Laver did. Borg did. Federer did. Nadal did. Djokovic did. Sadly, Peter didn't come close.
 

dryeagle

New User
Pete's book is one of the driest and most boring tennis player biographies out there.

The ones produced by Laver, Newcombe, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Agassi, Nadal, Smith-Court, Evert, Navratilova, Goolagong-Cawley and Serena are all significantly better.



Got be able to win at least one (and preferably more than one) Roland Garros Title to be considered in that group.

Any candidate for "Perfection" has to succeed at the extreme ends of the sport - Fast Grass and Red Clay. Laver did. Borg did. Federer did. Nadal did. Djokovic did. Sadly, Peter didn't come close.
Different game when Pete played, such an extreme difference from French to Wimbledon back then whereas a little more neutral nowadays.

Borg an outlier as he could win at French /
Wimby but not US. Laver before my time.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I read the book many years ago, checked out from library, I don't have a copy laying around. I'm just asking!
Ok, I looked it up for you. Dr Peter Fischer. He made Sampras switch from a 2h to 1h so he could win Wimbledon.

He later did 6 years in prison for molesting young boys at his office.

Anything else?
 

beltsman

Legend
Ok, I looked it up for you. Dr Peter Fischer. He made Sampras switch from a 2h to 1h so he could win Wimbledon.

He later did 6 years in prison for molesting young boys at his office.

Anything else?
Whoa that raises even more questions! Was he a dr and tennis coach? What was his relation to Sampras?
 

Rosstour

Legend
Whoa that raises even more questions! Was he a dr and tennis coach? What was his relation to Sampras?
He started coaching Pete at 9 at a tennis club they both attended, I think. He saw big potential in Pete. And yes he was a full-time Dr with Kaiser as well.

Obviously raises questions about whether Pete ended up being one of his victims as well. Don't think we will ever know. Please don't lock the thread!
 

beltsman

Legend
He started coaching Pete at 9 at a tennis club they both attended, I think. He saw big potential in Pete. And yes he was a full-time Dr with Kaiser as well.

Obviously raises questions about whether Pete ended up being one of his victims as well. Don't think we will ever know. Please don't lock the thread!
Interesting. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.
 

Novichok

Semi-Pro
I read the book a few years ago and it was a little bland but overall quite good. Just as good if not better than Andre's autobiography.

Unfortunately, Pete didn't talk about his personal life as much as I would have liked. Didn't even mention his romantic relationships before dating his current wife. Also there were some errors like for e.g. he wrote that he didn't play at the French Open in 2002 but actually he did (and lost in first round :p).
And this overrating of Sampras has to stop. It's gotten totally out of hand
I'm not sure if he would be a perfect player with a two hander. But he's definitely not overrated. 14 slams in the non - homogenized era is no joke. What makes you think he's overrated? (other than 90's clay type posters)
 
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Rosstour

Legend
I read the book a few years ago and it was a little bland but overall quite good.
Pete didn't talk about his previous romantic relationships before dating his current wife. Also he wrote that he didn't play at the French Open in 2002 but actually he did - and lost in first round.

I'm not sure if he would be a perfect player with a two hander. But he's definitely not overrated. 14 slams in the non- homogenized era is no joke. What makes you think he's overrated? (other than 90's clay type posters)
Comments like "he's the most dominant player in history" or "he had the strongest mental game ever" etc.

I've only been here for a few years but it's definitely got worse since I signed up.
 
Borg an outlier as he could win at French /
Wimby but not US
Not too many players that have won RG, Wimb and USO in the same year. Even fewer who have won the Channel Slam and then gone onto win the USO in the same year.

And keep in mind, Borg would go the the USO and face hometown boys Connors and McEnroe on their home soil with the NY crowd behind them. Huge ask for Borg to pull that off imho.

Many modern fans do not realise that Grass was not a familiar surface for Borg. His training regimes leading into Wimbledon are the stuff of legend. Playing on Grass did not come naturally to him. Yet his work ethic allowed him to succeed on that surface. Borg believed Wimbledon was the World Championship of the sport so he focused all of his efforts to win that tournament. If the USO had been that important to him at the time, he may well have passed on Wimbledon in a couple of seasons and focused on the USO. But things were different back in the 1970s. Wimbledon was THE tournament to win.

Sampras never came close to achieving a similar a challenge. Fast HC is a lot closer to Grass than both of those are to Red Clay.

Laver before my time.
Laver was the most dominant player of his era by quite some way imho. And he was a lot more dominant than any other player of their own eras.

He made Sampras switch from a 2h to 1h so he could win Wimbledon.
He didn't MAKE Sampras do anything Sampras did not want to do.

Sampras's main goal was to win the Wimbledon Men't Singles Title. Sampras idolised the great Australian players of he 1950s and 1960s, in particular Emerson.

Sampras realised in order to have any decent chance of winning at Wimbledon, he would have to develop a decent backhand volley. It was only natural that having a decent SHBH groundie would help achieve that aim So he switched to a SHBH - he had quite a decent DHBH as a junior- in order to develop a world class BH volley. The rest is history.
 
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JoelDali

Talk Tennis Guru
When Sampras brings his racquets in to get strung when I’m in a certain shop he frequents I think to mine self that this guy is married to Veronica Vaughn, and I consider all the talk tennis threats he reads from talk tennis scholars, scholaring on Miss Vaughn’s husband’s rise to USTA KPS 88 Glory.
 
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