Archive for the 'Pete Sampras' Category

08
Dec
10

That Davis Cup Trophy on eBay for $100, probably belongs to Pete Sampras!

Sampras has been robbed of the majority of trophies, medals, plaques, crystal and rings that are a testament to a career that brought a then-record 14 major titles and status as one of the greatest ever to play the game. Three weeks ago, he found out that the dozens of boxes containing these symbols of his career had been stolen. “I have 13 of my 14 Grand Slam trophies,” he said. “Some are at home and some up at NikeTown (in Portland). My first Australian Open trophy is gone, and so is everything else.”

Seven Wimbledon, five U.S. Open and one Australian Open trophy remain.

“Everything else” includes trophies for winning 64 tour tournaments, and finalist hardware from 24 others. It includes what he was presented for winning five season-ending ATP World Tour titles, for being on two Davis Cup winners, and for taking 11 ATP Masters event titles. It includes an Olympic ring, seven ESPYs and six trophies awarded to the player who finished No. 1 in the year-end rankings. Sampras, now 39, did that from 1993 to ’98. The items were stolen from a public storage facility in West Los Angeles. Sampras had rented two units and stored furniture and the boxes of memorabilia. All, except for some large furniture, was taken. “We’ve had some housing issues,” Sampras said, “and we stored things while we were sorting that out.” A few years ago, he and his wife, actress Bridgett Wilson, and their sons Christian and Ryan had moved from Beverly Hills to Thousand Oaks and a home in the hills surrounding Sherwood Country Club. Recently, they moved again, this time to Brentwood.

Sampras said he never considered that his things wouldn’t be safe. “I was like, ‘What?'” he said. “I thought there were security cameras. I thought these things were locked up tight. I was shocked.” He said police currently have no leads, but they encouraged him to go public in the hope that somebody who knows somebody who heard something might come forward.

06
Mar
10

The Sampras ‘mansion’ is for sale…..really only 11 1/2 bathrooms?

Tennis great Pete Sampras and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, have listed their newly built compound in Lake Sherwood for $25 million.

The gated contemporary north of Los Angeles sits on 20 hilltop acres with 360-degree views, a north-south tennis court and a swimming pool. The more than 13,000-square-foot main house has a combined theater and game room. Including the 1,200-square-foot guesthouse and the 2,000-square-foot detached gym, the property has seven bedrooms and 11 1/2 bathrooms.

Sampras, 38, won 14 Grand Slam men’s singles titles and held the No. 1 ranking for 286 weeks. Since he officially retired from the sport in 2003, he has beaten Roger Federer in an exhibition match and John McEnroe in the Outback Champions Series.

The couple offered no reason for selling, but Sampras does have an impressive real estate record, having sold a Beverly Hills mansion in 2008 for $23 million as well as other homes in Los Angeles’ Benedict Canyon and Beverly Hills since 2003, according to Los Angeles Times reports.

20
Feb
10

‘Hit for Haiti’…..part 2.

Roger Federer’s impromptu ‘Hit for Haiti’ is to be replicated in Indian Wells by new tournament owner Larry Elisson in an event expected to raise at least $1million for relief efforts in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Due to take place on March 12 ahead of the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open, the latest Haiti fundraiser looks set to be less of a banter-filled knock around than the Melbourne event, more a doubles clash encompassing two of the sport’s greatest rivalries.

Federer will team up with 38-year-old Pete Sampras to take on Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi – a pair who would arguably have won far more than their 14 collective Grand Slam titles were it not for the long-standing dominance of the Swiss and the American.

Software billionaire Elisson coined the idea of a second ‘hit for Haiti’ after seeing the success of the Melbourne event, which raised over $600,000 from ticket sales and donations.

“When I saw the first Hit for Haiti event in Australia, I was very moved by the players coming together, on the eve of an important tournament, for such a worthy cause,” said Ellison.

A crowd of around 17,000 people gathered for the initial event at Melbourne Park’s Rod Laver Arena, and Ellison hopes to create an equally well-received event at what has become the most attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the four Grand Slams.

But unlike the jovial atmosphere in Melbourne, the return of the Agassi-Sampras rivalry looks set to be especially spicy, particularly after Agassi’s ill-received comments about the 14-time Grand Slam champ in his candid autobiography ‘Open’.

“I envy Pete’s dullness,” Agassi wrote. “I wish I could emulate his spectacular lack of inspiration, and his peculiar lack of need for inspiration.”

Sampras responded by saying he would like a ‘sit-down’ with his long-term rival.

“I got wind of a few things that he said about me, and I was a little surprised and a little disappointed,” Sampras said in January.

But the pair will once again let their tennis do the talking in Indian Wells – a tournament Agassi won once and Sampras won twice during their careers – and Elisson is particularly excited about their participation in the fundraiser.

“I wanted to bring together an exceptional group of players, with an unprecedented amount of Grand Slam titles, at the BNP Paribas Open,” he said.

“Our goal is to leave a memorable impression on fans, while raising a substantial amount of money that will directly impact the needs of people in Haiti.”

09
Feb
10

Verdasco defeats Sampras in charity match.

“I felt a little old,” the 38-year-old tennis great said.

Sampras’ serve is still explosive — he had nine aces — but his return game was no match for the younger and more polished Fernando Verdasco in a charity exhibition that kicked off the SAP Open at HP Pavilion.

Making his third straight appearance at the San Jose tournament, Sampras lost 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) to the 11th-ranked player in the world. The match was over in just under an hour.

“It was a little frustrating, because I was obviously having a hard time getting to his service games,” Sampras said. “His serve is tricky for me to get a hold of. Sometimes he’d spin it in. Sometimes he’d crack the whip pretty flat, so I was sort of off balance.”

Verdasco is 12 years younger than Sampras and at an entirely different stage in his career. Verdasco, seeded second in the main draw this week, has steadily climbed the rankings, reaching No. 7 last spring after reaching the 2009 Australian Open semifinals.

Sampras, meanwhile, spends much of his time at home in Los Angeles, raising his two boys (ages 7 and 4) and trying to find something to take the place of pro tennis.

Playing exhibitions “gives me focus at home, which is great,” Sampras said. “I don’t like to not do anything. Playing someone like Fernando makes me want to practice hard. It makes me want to work and do the things Ineed to do to play well.”

Like Sampras’ visits to San Jose the previous two years, the tennis Monday was more show than high drama. When one call went against Sampras, the 14-time Grand Slam champion jokingly noted the age difference between himself and Verdasco, drawing laughs from those seated near the court.

28
Jul
09

Pete Sampras is still the #1 crowd pleaser.

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One thing was clear as Pete Sampras battled Marat Safin on Monday night: he’s still got it.

Safin emerged victorious, 6-4, 3-6, (10-6), but it would not have been obvious judging by the crowd’s reaction at Straus Stadium.

In front of a pro-Sampras audience, the 37-year-old Sampras stole the show and took Safin – eight years his junior and the LA Tennis Open’s No. 8 seed – down to the wire.

“It was too much stress,” Safin told the fans following the match.

Sampras showed glimpses of the finesse he utilized to win 14 Grand Slam titles during a remarkable 15-year career. He displayed his powerful serve, once registering an ace of nearly 130 miles per hour. He pumped his fist and talked to himself – all blatant signs that a competitor still lies inside.

“I miss the crowds, the majors,” Sampras said. “I still enjoy playing.”

And underneath the lights on Monday night, Sampras proved it.

At the beginning, the match had the resemblance of a pick-up game. Sampras would shake his head and smile as Safin eased his way to a 6-4, first-set victory.

But then Sampras stormed back, at one time gesturing towards the stands with his arms extended as if to ask, “Did you see that?”

Sampras, who grew up in nearby Palos Verdes, broke Safin early in the second set, which resulted in another fist pump. Sampras then showcased his precise serve on consecutive aces to extend a 3-0 lead.

He even battled back from a 15-40 deficit to take a fifth point. Another fist pump from Sampras and another loud response from those in attendance.

“I hope the fans had a great time. I had a great time,” Sampras said.

24
Jul
09

Sampras to lead ‘old-timers’ into Charlotte.

_pete34Pete Sampras will lead the field of champions returning to The Palisades Country Club in Charlotte to compete in the $150,000 Breezeplay Championships at The Palisades, to be held September 24-27.

Joining Sampras to compete on the hard court stadium court at The Palisades will be defending champion Jim Courier, Hall of Famer Mats Wilander and three-time finalist Todd Martin.

Sampras will be competing in Charlotte for a second time after capturing the title in 2007. The seven-time Wimbledon champion and owner of 14 major singles titles won the title in Charlotte two years ago defeating Todd Martin 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match. Earlier this year, Sampras won Outback Champions Series events in Boston and Los Cabos, Mexico. He will be seeking his sixth career Outback Champions Series event in Charlotte after joining the global champions tennis circuit in 2007.

Courier will be seeking his third title in Charlotte after winning titles at The Palisades in 2006, defeating Martin 5-7, 7-6 (6), (10-4 in Champions Tie-Breaker) in the final, and in 2008, defeating Martin again 6-2, 3-6, (10-5 in Champions Tie-Breaker) in the final. Courier, a two-time French and Australian Open champion, currently leads the rankings on the Outback Champions Series with 2000 points, followed by Sampras with 1600 points and John McEnroe with 1300 points.

Wilander will be making his debut in Charlotte in 2009. Like Sampras and Courier, Wilander is a former world No. 1 player and has won three French and Australian Open titles and one U.S. Open singles title.

Martin has played in Charlotte in all three previous editions of the event, reaching the championship match all three times — losing to Courier in 2006 and 2008 and to Sampras in 2007. Martin was a singles finalist at the Australian Open in 1994 and the US Open in 1999.

 The remaining players in the Breezeplay field will be announced at a later date.

22
Jul
09

Sampras v. Safin at 2009 LA Open.

_pete%20marat2Pete Sampras, the 14-time Grand Slam Champion who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 286 weeks, will return to the LA Tennis Center at UCLA this summer for the “Millennium Challenge” as part of the 83rd annual LA Tennis Open Presented by Farmers Insurance.

Sampras, a two-time LA Tennis Open Presented by Farmers Insurance champion, will take the court on opening night, July 27, for the “Millennium Challenge,” a rematch of the 2000 US Open final against Russian Marat Safin. Safin claimed the first of his two career Grand Slam titles with that win over Sampras in New York, and holds a 4-3 edge over the American in professional matches. Safin won their last meeting, which came in the fourth round of the 2002 Australian Open.

“We’re thrilled that Pete Sampras, perhaps our greatest champion, is coming back to the LA Tennis Open Presented by Farmers Insurance,” Tournament Director Bob Kramer said. “This will be an outstanding way to kick off our event in 2009. Pete had a great fan following when he played here during his career, and this will be a great way for tennis fans to get to see him play again. It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since he and Marat played in the US Open final. The rematch on July 27 should be some great tennis.”

13
Dec
08

Pioline Wins in London’s Albert Hall.

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Cedric Pioline came from a match point down today to overhaul Greg Rusedski and win his first ever BlackRock Masters Tennis trophy. A packed Royal Albert Hall crowd watched enthralled as the Frenchman took three Tie-Break sets to overcome his dogged opponent in 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 11-9 (Champions’ Tie Break) in one hour and 45 minutes.

In a match that saw Pioline and Rusedski hit a total of 22 aces, there was little to choose between the two men in the first set. In the end the decisive moment came when Pioline double-faulted in the Tie-Break to hand the set to his opponent. The second set was equally nail-biting as both men held serve with ease to take it to a second Tie-Break. This time though the momentum swung quickly the way of the Frenchman, as Rusedski double-faulted at 2-2 offering Pioline a mini-break and the chance to level up the match at one set all. It was a chance that he duly took and in the deciding Champions’ Tie-Break it was the Frenchman who played the more aggressive tennis when it mattered. Facing a match point at 8-9 down, the 39-year-old Pioline aced his way out of trouble and went on to take the following two points, clinching the match with a scorching forehand winner down the line.

“I took my chances and it worked,” said Pioline. “It was really close and it came down to a few points and I think at the end maybe I just returned a little bit better than him.”

Rusedski was disappointed not to convert his chances today, but admitted he had lost to the better player on the day.

“I was just one or two points short,” he said. “I had one match point in the second set tie break but Cedric played great and I think he’s a deserving champion.

For Pioline, today’s win was the perfect way to round off one of his favourite tournaments of the year. He reached the final by beating Pete Sampras for the first time in his career, a taste of revenge for his loss in the Wimbledon final some years ago.

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25
Nov
08

The Blackrock Masters Tennis Champions.

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The cast of this ‘theatre’ of tennis includes many of the greatest players of our time. To qualify to participate the players must no longer be active on the ATP Tour, they must have been ranked as the Number One player during their careers, or been a finalist in a Grand Slam event, or been a winning singles player on a winning Davis Cup team. These requirements certainly separate the men from the boys of tennis! This year’s event takes place in London, at the Royal Albert Hall, December 2nd to 7th.
As John McEnroe, a four time champion says, “The Royal Albert Hall is a place of shear beauty. There is no doubt it is the best venue on the Blackrock Tour of Champions. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else, you get goose bumps just walking in.”
Making his debut in this season ending final in London, is past champion and all time US legend Pete Sampras, who has decided to join the Champions Tour and kick McEnroe’s ass! The two will meet in a singles match on the Thursday night. Other players who will be displaying their skills in either the singles or doubles events are, Pat Cash, Goran Ivanisevic, Stefan Edberg, Greg Rusedski, Monsour Bahrami, Jeremy Bates and Cedric Poline plus several others who will make up the 16 man roster.
A Champions Club ticket includes champagne receptions daily, lunch or dinner and complimentary drinks throughout the entire tournament, sure sounds better than a lousy hot dog at the US Open! The players take this event seriously and as Pete Sampras has said, “I’m coming to win in London again,” but there is an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment that pervades the event that only these experts can provide. It is a tennis event that should not be missed.

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04
Nov
08

Real Life Doubles Partners?

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All eyes will be focused on the 2009 Australian Open as the new season kicks off with the its first Grand Slam event in Melbourne in January. The Aussie fans are hungry for a home grown winner, but they know that there are really no Australian players that have much of a chance of winning. But they will cheer every man or woman who steps onto the court wearing the Aussie flag. The biggest cheers will be for former number 1 player Lleyton Hewitt, who is close to retirement but will give his best effort to please the crowd. Rebecca Cartwright, just about as popular in her own right as Lleyton, will be in the player’s box to acknowledge the crowd’s applause and to support her husband. They were married in 2005 after a storybook romance. Rebecca is a talented Australian actress who is best known for her soap opera role on Home and Away. She also won the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars.

Another successful actress who married a famous tennis player is Bridgette Wilson. She was a former winner of Miss Teenage USA in 1990 before becoming an actress in such films as Billy Madison, where she played the role of school teacher Veronica Vaughn, an opposite Arnold in Last Action Hero. Her marriage to Pete Samprass at the end of his record setting career has worked out just fine and they are a happy couple who stay out of the limelight as much as possible.

A sad day for all male tennis fans was the announcement of the secret marriage of Anna Kournikova to pop singer and recording star Enrique Iglisias. It’s hard to believe that the sexy Miss Kournikova, who set the tennis world on its ear with her provocative style and flirtatious comments, is 27 years old. Their marriage took place on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with just a few close friends and family present. They met when Anna was playing the role of Enrique’s girlfriend for a music video, and as they say in Hollywood, the rest is history.

Although they are not married in the true sense of the word, Roger Federer and Miroslava Vavrinec have been together and visible as a couple for so long, that they might just as well be married. Who knows? Maybe they are! Most observers do not realise that Miroslava was an accomplished tennis player in her own right, in fact she was representing Switzerland at the Sydney Olympics when she met Roger. Her WTA ranking reached as high as #76, before she retired from active play due to nagging injuries.

Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf have a son and a daughter now, and I have heard that it’s Jaz Elle their 5 year old daughter, who has inherited the tennis genes from her parents, and spends hours hitting a tennis ball. Maybe I should place a bet on her now to win a Grand Slam event one day. Any takers?

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