Sampras: Mr. Invisible

Defcon

Hall of Fame
In a lot of ways, Pete was like the good ol Aussies whom he liked so much - understated, gentlemanly and let his racket do the talking and winning.

Unike most pros, Sampras had a deep appreciation and knowledge of the history and traditions of the game and this is yet another striking similarity between him and Federer. Its no coincidence they both excel at Wimbledon, the bastion of tennis tradition and its g r a n d e s t stage.

I like how Sampras has faded away in his retirement, enjoying his family and kids, but if he ever comes on the senior tour, he'll be a force to reckon with!
 

fastdunn

Legend
Marius_Hancu said:
Sampras was not and isn't underappreciated by the knowing people.

And the rest don't count.
My sentiment exactly.

He was even more under-appreciated in 1990s, I think.
Mostly the knowing people fully appreciated and
admired Sampras' tennis.
Most of casual viewers did not get it and quoted boring.

Federer seems to inspire both the knowing poeple and
casual viewers, though. That's a good thing, for tennis,
although I feel like some people get a little too much
excited about his tennis....
 

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
Well, I think the whole "underappreciated" label directly linked to his nationality. Tennis is a very minor sport in the US & very few players have reached the status of stars of MLB, NBA, or NFL. If Sampras was Australian, British etc, he'd be a sporting god. Being American, he's just a minor blip on the sports radar.
Look at how huge Becker, Federer, Borg, even Henman are in their native countries.
 

fastdunn

Legend
Kevin Patrick said:
Well, I think the whole "underappreciated" label directly linked to his nationality. Tennis is a very minor sport in the US & very few players have reached the status of stars of MLB, NBA, or NFL. If Sampras was Australian, British etc, he'd be a sporting god. Being American, he's just a minor blip on the sports radar.
Look at how huge Becker, Federer, Borg, even Henman are in their native countries.
It might be true to a certain degree but look at Agassi.

Agassi was 2nd highest paid athlete in US behind Michael Jordan
excluding a few professional boxers in 1992 right after he won his 1st
wimbledon.

And Becker was such an exception. He was much bigger personality
than his status as a professional tennis player, IMHO.
It's really hard not to like this Becker guy just like Nadal as some
people compare them.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
Agassi's fame is due as much to his tennis as it is to his long hair, flashy clothes, dating hot film stars and being the colorful 'punk' who was the counterpoint to the straightlaced Sampras, hardworking Courier and diminutive Chang as part of the US fab four. He loved the limelight, the media made him a star and the people loved him.

Of course the 'new' Agassi of today is respected as a grand old statesman of tennis and is a completely different player.

Sampras never cared for the publicity, he was too 'boring' and won too easily and too often to be worthy of a story.
 

friedalo1

Semi-Pro
Americans liked Mcenroe, Connors, Agassi more than Sampras. American love the bad boy image. Look at Tyson, Koby Brayant, Barry Bonds, Ray Lewis. I guess Americans like controversy than a good nice guy that goes to church.
 
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