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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Peter Kline, Aug 25, 2003.
Pete and son wave goodbye during Ceremony at U.S. Tennis Open.
Just heard about this on the radio, that's got to be tough to have to let go of the dream you've worked all your life to reach. When atheletes finally reach that point where the body can no longer do what the heart wants to I always think about the courage of a great man named Lou Gehrig ,who on one hot afternoon in Yankee stadium, stood bravely before a sold out crowd , knowing he was dieing of an incurable disease, and proclaimed that " yet today I feel like I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth"
"I'm not retiring because I'm married or I have a son. I'm retiring because I have nothing to prove to myself. I've always had challenges ahead of me, either staying No. 1 or winning majors," Sampras said. "My biggest challenge was last year -- the challenge of winning one more. Once I did that, I felt I really had climbed a tall mountain."
I forgot that he was officially retiring today, just moved back into college yesterday. He's one of only a few sports players of my lifetime that I really respect.
He decided to retire "on top" so to speak. He won his last tournament (2002 U.S. Open) and, as mentioned above, didn't have the burning desire to win anymore.
Pete patterned his on-court demeanor after his idols Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall. Those 50's-60's tennis stars played the game and not the crowd. There's certainly room for both, but the crowd-players generally don't have all the records. One last thing. He's probably the only player to barf on center court at the U.S. Open and still win the match!
Pete was a class act, although a bit on the bland side personality-wise. When he was "on" (for the large portion of his career), he was virtually unbeatable and simply dominated on the hard/grass courts.
The problem with Sampras is that he's worn out. His last couple of years he was really struggling.
He reached his peak at a very young age whereas Agassi didn't peak til later on and has managed to stay in top physical shape.
Michael Chang? One of the best ever? Not even close. I always pulled for him because he was scrappy and worked hard, but he just didn't have enough juice to keep up with even the top players of his own era, let alone "all time".